Review: ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ – ‘The Stakeout’

Senior Television Writer
12.14.14 10 Comments


A quick review of tonight’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” coming up just as soon as I do my kegels secretly…

The title story of “Stakeout” is a pretty familiar one, both for this series (Jake suffers for refusing to listen to obviously wise advice) and for sitcoms in general (Jake and Charles’ fight at times was very evocative of the first Leslie/Ann fight on “Parks and Rec”), but was extremely well told. Even in a crowded episode with two other stories and the usual structural problems forced on them by the network (see my lament at the end of last week’s review), the episode slowly and meticulously plotted out the disintegration of the Peralta/Boyle friendship over their Chanukah-length stay in the tiny apartment, and particularly after they had the terrible idea of crafting the no-no list(*). Other than Charles’ hero-worship of Jake, there’s no real reason these two very different men should be friends, and I liked watching them gradually drive each other mad with their quirks and dislikes. (I will have nightmares about Joe Lo Truglio’s kegel face.)

(*) I didn’t have time to take note of all the things on the expanded list, but they included “No Kwazy Cupcakes,” “No Red Wedding” and “No Walken or De Niro impressions.”

The other plots were largely separate from one another and the A-story, but all dealt in some way with the blurring of lines between work and friendship. (As Tim from the original “Office” once noted, you often spend more time with your co-workers than many friends or family, “But probably all you have in common is the fact that you walk around on the same bit of carpet for eight hours a day.”) Of these, the awkwardness over Diaz sleeping with Holt’s nephew Marcus (Nick Cannon, in a periodic reminder that he can also act, and that he was once in the awesome “Drumline”) probably trumped Amy and Gina’s reaction to Terry’s children’s book, if only because seeing the captain and Rosa simultaneously try to avoid expressing feelings is a great and wonderful thing. (In that respect, scenes between them often evoke Ron and April scenes on “Parks,” even though these two characters on the whole are very different.)

This is, I believe, the last original “Brooklyn” until January, but the show closed 2014 on a very strong note – including an apparent end to the Giggle Pig task force and the Holt/Wuntch rivalry, with the captain giving into his more childish impulses at the medal ceremony. (“WUNCH TIME IS OVER! BOOM, DID IT! BOTH WAYS! NO REGRETS!”)

What did everybody else think?

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