A quick review of tonight's “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” coming up just as soon as I use a sunglasses case as a wallet…
I said last week that while the start of season 2 had been solid and fun, it had yet to produce an episode as great as the best of the first season. Conveniently enough, tonight provided us with an episode that qualified, as “Jake and Sophia” was terrific from its first scene (Captain Holt being excited that his “problem at the bank” guess was right, with a FANTASTIC Andre Braugher delivery of “HOT DAMN!”) to the last (Stephen Root and Sandra Bernhard as Charles and Gina's inadvertently fixed-up parents), and pretty much everything in between.
“Jake and Sophia” was a great example of what Schur and Goor talked about before season 1: that point a good sitcom reaches where the characters have become so specific that you can place them into any story and it's inherently funny because they're the ones in that story. In their broadest strokes, all of tonight's stories – Jake inadvertently sleeping with a defense attorney, Diaz pushing Santiago to run for union rep, Charles and Gina trying to ace each other out of the spa night – are very familiar ideas. But because the writers and the actors have such a good handle on who these characters are and what kind of jokes should be associated with them – say, Santiago recognizing the button-maker model (or being upset when her pow-wow turns out to be a harangue), or the very well-informed gambits Charles and Gina each use to trick the other out of going to the spa – they don't feel like the umpteenth twist on a hacky premise, but like their own amusing thing, unique to the world of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”
Eva Longoria was fun as Sophia, and I'm looking forward to more of Root and Bernhard, but it's the mastery of the regular characters that made “Jake and Sophia” such a treat.
What did everybody else think? And will anyone else's dreams be haunted by the Amy/Scully minotaur?