Would A ‘Return To Skyfire’ Live Up To The ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Original?

A quick review of tonight’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine coming up just as soon as singing in English counts as rock music…

“Return to Skyfire” is a sequel to “Skyfire Cycle,” which was one of last year’s best episodes. Where Brooklyn often does very well at revisiting ideas that worked in the past (Halloween heists, the Pontiac Bandit, the Boyle cousins), this unfortunately felt like a world that might have been better as a one-time visit. Too much of the DC Parlov story felt like a rehash of jokes from the first one, like characters speaking in unison at great length while discussing details from the books, and the scene where Jake and Terry inadvertently broke up a family felt mean and awkward in a way that doesn’t fit the general tone of this show. Parts worked just because of the sheer enthusiasm of Samberg and Crews, and/or the interlocking sounds of Fred Melamed and Rob Huebel’s voices (particularly when Parlov and Lawson debated the proper pronunciation of “Smaug”), but it felt very much like diminishing returns on the original concept.

And where “Skyfire Cycle” gave us one of the great Andre Braugher exclamations of all time in “BOOOOOOOONE!”, the Holt subplot this time seemed to miss the point of the character altogether by having him value the certification over Boyle’s health and well-being. There are plenty of times when the show generates laughs from the captain doing or saying things you wouldn’t expect him to, but there are certain baseline traits necessary for the departures to work, and one of those is that he cares more about the people in his command — even Hitchcock and Scully, to a degree — than about his own personal ambitions. Holt and Santiago trying to keep Boyle from telling annoying stories to the forensic scientist seemed fine, but the minute they screwed up in applying the plaster cast to Charles’ face and risked severely injuring him, taking care of one of his detectives would become Holt’s first and only priority. This show’s usually very careful not to sell out its characters for a laugh, and when Holt does something that deviates from his usual demeanor, it still feels like something he could do without violating who he is at heart, in the same way that Ron Swanson could plausibly have Duke Silver as an outlet for feelings he couldn’t comfortably express in his daily life. I just don’t buy that Holt would wait so long to sacrifice his goals to support Charles, and it made most of the B-story ring false as a result.

What did everybody else think?

Alan Sepinwall may be reached at sepinwall@uproxx.com. He discusses television weekly on the TV Avalanche podcast. His new book, Breaking Bad 101, is on sale now.