Review: Jake and Holt get the mumps on a hilariously stupid ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’

A review of tonight’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” coming up just as soon as I eat potato chips on my hunger strike…

There are episodes of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” that are erudite, sophisticated, and structurally dazzling. “Nine Days” was not that. “Nine Days” was about the dumbest, broadest, most lowbrow installment the show has ever given us.

And also one of the funniest.

“Nine Days” started off slow (it’s also the first episode in a very long time where the pre-credits scene was related to the main plot, rather than a standalone comedy sketch), and didn’t really get going until the second act. And the two subplots were forgettable. But once Peralta and Holt were quarantined together with the mumps? Stupid, stupid comedy magic.

I won’t try to defend the mumps storyline as high art. But between the disgusting makeup for the neck goiters, the increased delirium of both men, and the way that the different symptoms kept piling on top of each other – say, a fatigued Jake sitting down and feeling testicular pain – made me laugh as hard and as frequently as anything “Brooklyn” has done in ages. That both men were afflicted helped, because the two have such opposite temperaments that the episode got to play with how the mumps brought them down to the same clumsy, incoherent level. When Jake collapsed to the ground, followed by Holt yelling, “CASE!,” I lost it completely.

I wouldn’t be surprised if some of you find this the worst episode of the series by a wide margin, nor would I be surprised if many of you cite it as a favorite. It is spectacularly dumb, but so creative and well-executed in its dumbness that I was helpless in the face of it.

What did everybody else think?