A quick review of tonight’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine coming up just as soon as I don’t read all the terms and conditions…
Weddings were originally popular sitcom devices because they could offer ratings boosts, but that ship has largely sailed. These days, the value to both wedding episodes and wedding-adjacent ones comes from paying off a romantic storyline the audience has enjoyed for years, and from getting to see the characters interact in a different way from what’s usual.
“Bachelor/ette Party” doesn’t lack for Nine-Nine staples, from Terry getting hangry when a promised meal was delayed (he’s been doing that since season one’s Thanksgiving episode), to Jake being obsessed with Die Hard (and thus giddy to meet Reginald VelJohnson, even though the man who would be Sgt. Al Powell wound up hating him), to Boyle taking things too far in his attempt to prove his devotion to Jake. But many of the episode’s delights came from seeing characters opt to step out of their comfort zones for this special occasion.
So at Amy’s party, Gina promises not to insult anyone for the entire evening, and it’s fun to see her fighting her natural impulse towards being mean, while Rosa and the others in turn keep pushing Amy to step out of her rule-obsessed comfort zone after she remains sober throughout a game of Never Have I Ever that nearly kills Hitchcock. (Seeing Hitch and Scully channeling Lucius and Cookie from Empire wasn’t so much them acting out of character as them being years behind the times, as usual.) Blake Anderson makes an amusingly awful ex in would-be wedding singer Constantine Kane, and if it’s too easy an out for Amy to be able to burn the contract to save the $15,000 kill fee, it leads to some nice frantic work by Melissa Fumero, followed by a splendid pratfall.
But I’d be lying if I tried identifying a comic high point other than Captain Holt doing his best to be a regular guy — wearing a Kangol hat, speaking in a less clipped manner of speech, candidly discussing sex (“Kevin got me horny this morning”), and getting very drunk — in addition to Jake’s nearly orgasmic reaction to it. The episode eventually shifts into another test of the Peralta/Boyle(*) friendship, and all that material’s good (particularly Jake’s confusion over why the gold coins are important, plus VelJohnson treating Jake like a real-life Urkel), as is the brief Jake and Amy scene at the end where he teases her about Constantine. But the greatest comic marriage on Brooklyn Nine-Nine involves Raymond Holt and Jake Peralta, and even an episode minimally about that was most livened up by it.
(*) Of course Boyle’s phone password is “Dianne Wiest.”
What did everybody else think?