Review: ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ – ‘Lockdown’

alan-sepinwall
Senior Television Writer
11.16.14 16 Comments

FOX

A quick review of tonight's “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” coming up just as soon as I solicit drugs using perfect grammar…

“Lockdown” felt like a throwback to those frustrating episodes from early in the first season where Jake would spend 80 percent of the episode ignoring obviously wise advice from Captain Holt, getting deeper and deeper into trouble until he finally listened. It's a pattern I'd hoped both Jake and the show had moved beyond, but here we got a variation on it, with Amy playing the role of Holt – even though, technically, the whole story was about Jake having to fill in for the captain on Thanksgiving. That Jake wants to be everybody's buddy, rather than the stern authority figure he's temporarily replacing, fits his character, but the whole A-story dragged as we waited for Jake to stop being such an idiot. With that many characters stuck in one location, there were some amusing moments in the margins (my favorite was Boyle doing the “Single Ladies” dance with the hookers), but on a whole, this one didn't work.

The B-story, on the other hand, revisited the early part of season 1 in a good way, with the return of Terry's brother-in-law Zeke (played, again, by former Giants defensive end Jamal Duff). The idea of a man who understandably makes Terry feel small and weak is a terrific gag, and rather than just repeat variations on it the whole time, we got to see a desperate Terry realize that he could suck up to Zeke by pretending that they both hate their bosses. Holt's willingness to play along in his own deadpan way was marvelous in that way Andre Braugher always is whenever Holt feels he's being enthusiastic even as he seems robotic to the rest of us.

Mediocre episode overall, but an excellent subplot.

What did everybody else think?

Author Profile Picture
Alan Sepinwall has been writing about television since the mid-'90s. He's the author of "The Revolution Was Televised," about the rise of TV's new golden age, and co-author of "TV (The Book): Two Experts Pick the Greatest American Shows of All Time."

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