Review: ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ – ‘Sabotage’: I’m never gonna dance again

Senior Television Writer
03.15.15 19 Comments

FOX

A quick review of tonight’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” coming up just as soon as I update my jerk rolodex…

Of late, “Brooklyn” has toggled back and forth between episodes with two stories and episodes with three, and the latter group often ends up feeling rushed throughout. That mostly wasn’t the case with the subplots of “Sabotage,” which each had a couple of funny ideas at their core – Holt and Terry disagree about whether to lie to Gina about missing her dance performance, and Boyle is forced to work a case with Scully and Hitchcock, who turn out to be secretly competent – and executed them well. (I don’t know that the show “needed” to ever tell us that Scully and Hitchcock can actually do the job when they feel like it, but it will add some texture to all their future idiocy.)

The eponymous story pitting Jake against the return of Chris Parnell’s drug-addled Geoffrey Hoytsman (from “The Defense Rests”) was hit or miss, though I think more for character reasons than a lack of timing. The beginning and end of the story, with Holt foiling Jake’s attempt to act out his fantasies of indignantly turning in his badge and gun, was really funny and played nicely with all of Jake’s fantasies of being a heroic movie cop like John McClane. Seeing him in a classic hostage situation, but a ridiculous Parnell-flavored version of it, was in the same vein, but at a certain point it started pivoting into being about Jake’s abandonment issues and his refusal to trust other people to help him. And it didn’t really click and rapidly pivoted back into joke land. In general, the show hasn’t had a ton of success trying to take Jake even slightly seriously as a character, in the way that Goor and Schur were able to do at times with Leslie, Ron and nearly every other character on “Parks and Rec.” Andy Samberg’s really good whenever the show pushes Jake and Amy to the forefront (they work together in next week’s the next, very strong, episode), and the daddy issues work mainly via the involvement of Andre Braugher in those stories, but usually when Jake turns introspective, it feels like he and the show would both much rather be back to making jokes about urine collection, particularly a week after the show did a really rushed and perfunctory job of bringing his father back into the picture.

But, hey, we got to hear Captain Holt discuss his love of antique globe collecting, and sometimes, that’s all you need.

What did everybody else think? And did anyone else wish that at some point in all the discussion of sabotage, Peralta made a Beastie Boys reference? Or are you still fixating on last week’s brain-teaser, even after Captain Holt explained the solution?

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