Brooklyn Nine-Nine: “Undercover” Review *SPOILERS*

06 Oct
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: “Undercover” Review *SPOILERS*

What was only roughly 4-5 months of waiting for us has felt more like an eternity for me, as Emmy Award-winning Brooklyn Nine-Nine finally returned following an outstanding freshman debut. Laughs and all, it was great to resume the office shenanigans we’ve been accustomed to, as well as get a continued focus on the fallout from the finale’s last couple of minutes. Even with so much to cover all in a span of 20-something minutes of running time, the show did a great job answering questions, catching us up with the six-month spread between this season and last season and delivering a strong main story to boot.

That being said, let’s jump right into what happened at the end of last season. Sergeant Jeffords finally overcame his fears and anxiety of leading a police squad, Boyle and Gina had sex (!), and not only did Peralta reveal his true feelings for Santiago relationship-styles, he left the force to go undercover for six months, allowing the whole thing to permeate. Diaz and Captain Holt? Still Diaz and Captain Holt.

As you can imagine, there’s plenty for season two to delve into, yet show writers Daniel J. Goor and Michael Shur seem well beyond up-to-the-task. Almost immediately following his return to the police force (which was also following an hilarious wedding intro with the mob he was investigating undercover,) Jake doesn’t waste any time regurgitating his feelings for Amy. A scene that could’ve hurt the entire tone and comfort level of the season in an instant, the whole thing went perfectly. Fused with great dialogue and a grounded approach from both Andy Samberg and Melissa Fumero, the “outside looking in” potential of their relationship remains present, but appears to do little to break their awesome chemistry. Even when the show decides to reexamine the status of their relationship after Amy reveals she’s still going out with Teddy, the classic “sex tape” jokes and “perp hall of fame” nods remind us that this series could both ease us into the prospect of such a dicey relationship and keep the overall tone in check. Much, much credit to Goor and Shur again for not dropping the ball on something so delicate.

A wackier investment for the new season will definitely be Boyle and Gina’s dilemma. With a big mouth the size of Boyle’s, how will Gina keep him quiet? It was smart for her to quickly alert him of their night together and of his work habit, and it made sense for her to mention Peralta’s return. Let’s not forget their tandem back in season one: Jake’s his best friend and Boyle loves to tell him everything (and I mean everything…) The show has made great strides in making Boyle infinitely loveable and Gina broadly likeable, and there are plenty of hilarious examples of that. Gina declaring the inherent self-decline in social status to Scully and Hitchcock was meant with satisfying results; so was the wolf-to-mole rat proclamation to Santiago. Boyle being Boyle has slowly become an iconic staple of the series, and he had plenty of opportunities to prove that: his jealousy of Derek (Jake’s supposed acquaintance during his time undercover,) and the fake bar fight being a couple of examples. However, his general affliction for the well being of his squadmates is equally endearing. Anyone who’s watched the premiere is well aware of all the chances Boyle had to tell Jake about him sleeping with Gina. So, seeing him not only hold back but explain to Gina that he’d be afraid of hurting her disposition was heartwarming. Tally it up as another winning moment in a growing list of them for Boyle.

Even with the jam-packed storyline, the season premiere spared no expense in laughs. In fact, if my memory and past judgments serve correct, this happened to be one of the series’s funniest episodes I’ve seen to date. The Jeffords-Diaz-Holt B-story ceased to disappoint in that regard, using mandated office drills to further display Terry Crews’ unique comedic ability. From an old lady looking to report a crime, to a seven-year old boy facing the “prospect of a parentless existence,” he can portray anything and anyone with levity. On the other hand, Diaz didn’t get much to do or say, yet that seemed to be a product of Crew’s gag running so well for so long. Captain Holt’s quest to find his smile and lose some stress led to a bunch of chuckle-worthy one-liners we’ve come to expect, and his toast at the bar for Jake’s return couldn’t have been funnier. I severely missed Andre Baugher’s straight-faced expressions and delivery, and it was a real joy to see it back in full swing. Lord knows if preparing the squad for the new NYPD commissioner with play a part in the rest of the season, but at the very least it was a great device for a few good laughs.

Lastly, I found Boyle’s conversation with Jake towards the end of the episode to be a fantastic way of morally bringing their side-stories together. One of the special characteristics in their friendship is the willingness to feed off of one another’s advice. Charles teaching Jake to be honest with himself (specifically with his feelings for Amy) correlates directly with Jake encouraging Boyle to let go of his love for Diaz last season. The undercover proceedings of the premiere, consisting of one of the sixteen mob members Jake locked up escaping, allowed Boyle to show Jake that the overall success of the operation is significant regardless if one of the targets got away. It’s safe to say that Brooklyn Nine-Nine just excels at developing rapports within the group, but Jake and Boyle’s friendship specifically has the makings of becoming something truly special.

Here are some of my favorite lines from the season premiere:

“Ah, yes. Stale coffee. Fingerprinted ink. Whatever Charles is fermenting in his desk.”

“Hey! This is a tight 240. Show Adelaide some damn respect.”

“I’ve spent years cultivating a reputation of someone who sleeps with bike messengers or better.”

“I was fine until they went inside the hive.”

“I have to ask, do you think awesome begins with an O?”

“Adelaide has successfully transformed into a giant man, sir.”

“Those lines were lifted verbatim from my boyhood diary.”

“With three people we can have a real massage train now.”

“When I was seven I used to sneak into my father’s office to see his collection of antique globes.”

“Look at that. You helped me find my smile.”

The Verdict:

I couldn’t be any prouder that Brooklyn Nine-Nine is back. The whole cast is as wacky and charming as we left them, and the premiere’s story is as funny as some of the best the series has yet produced. Season two’ story arc is also well introduced, and the direction it’s heading is very promising. I don’t usually stray away from football and HBO to do much else on Sundays, but with this show returning in top form, I’ll be willing to make an exception.

Rating: 9.2

+The show is back, funnier than ever
+The nutty police work of Jake and Boyle
+Each and every loose string from the season one finale transferring
perfectly into the new season
+Terry Crews as 89-year old Adelaide and 7-year old Timmy
+Holt’s got his smile back


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