One of my favorite Brooklyn Nine-Nine episodes so far has been season one’s “The Party”. It invited us into the life of Ray Holt outside of his job as police captain, while placing his brand of humor center stage (we also have his husband Kevin to thank for that.) Even while “Chocolate Milk” doesn’t focus as heavily on Holt or his relationship at home, the episode delves into his past work in the police force with the back and forth between him and special guest star Kyra Sedgwick.
We were warned about the office being evaluated with last week’s premiere, and Sedgwick’s Deputy Chief Wuntch and her office inspection was a reminder of its sudden importance. However, her history with Holt held more significance. The two were great colleagues together back in the day, but had a falling out in ’89 that involved Holt losing a potential promotion and Wuntch’s failed attempt at sleeping with him (she didn’t know he was gay at the time.) Suffice to say, there’s some dirty laundry in the middle of their present-day rivalry. Thankfully, it plays out just as well as you would expect. Sedgwick and Andre Baugher do an excellent job playing off of one another, and on various occasions I laughed through their banter (You embarrassed YOURSELF in front of Derek Jeter.”) It was also a lot of fun going through their history together as once-budding police partners, and the flashbacks smoothly connect us to that (with some very amusing moments, of course.) Like I said before, episodes that focus even a wee bit more on Holt than usual tend to soar, and this one was no different. Baugher was given plenty of great lines to work with, and nearly half of them were gut-bustingly funny. I also really liked Sedgwick as Holt’s nemesis, as she delivered on that front in spades. The semi-bitter nature of her character is perfect for her. There’s enough of it to match wits with Holt, without her character coming off as too hateful or crude. I hope the series finds some way of bringing her back as a sort of adversary to Holt and the Nine-Nine.
Another strong component of “Chocolate Milk” was Jake and Jeffords budding up for the first time in a little while. Although the main focus was Jeffords planning to — and then deciding not to — have a vasectomy, we got a chance to watch Jake reach out as a “friend-friend.” I was surprised to see how repellent Jeffords was at the start about where he stood with Peralta; the way the show has gone, I’ve been under the impression everyone here is friends of some sort outside of work. Jake responding the way he did was still admirable, as he extended his care for Jeffords and helped him hold up the promise they both made about ducking the vasectomy (even though Jeffords was technically high on a considerable dose of different medicines when they made it up.) It goes to show how far Peralta has gone in terms of bettering himself at work and others away from the office. He’s really grown into a character you can empathize for, especially because his actions involving his colleagues seem more universal. It would’ve been totally understandable for him to back off and let Jeffords do his thing, but Peralta is a man of his word and feels responsible for his squad no matter what.
Boyle’s life outside of work is still all kinds of wacky, as he continues to live in the “basement” of his ex-fiancee’s apartment while planning to go to her wedding. Clearly he hasn’t let go of Vivian, yet Diaz may be able to help there. Although it took a lot of convincing (and a new, braided out hairdo,) Boyle ultimately wound up getting Diaz’s approval to go to the wedding with him. Truthfully, though, she just wants Boyle to move on and be happy, and that’s what I really enjoyed about this subplot. These two have slowly become good friends in this show, and it’s nice to see someone help out Charles for a change. Her promising to help find him a new apartment should lead to a funny little adventure for them down the line, but ultimately it’s a reminder to the rest of us that Diaz is really acting to the best interests of Boyle.
I’m still a little curious about where Boyle’s situation with Gina is headed, considering they slept together again at the end of the season premiere. While her slapping him in the bathroom over the prospect of becoming sex buddies puts up some fences, is it premature to assume that there’s at least something here? Having the same mistake happen twice is a huge coincidence, and hopefully the show touches on that a little bit more later on. It can’t just come down to who tells someone about it first…
Here are some of my favorite lines from this week’s episode:
“You are blessed with a great power, and you should never snip its wings. You should let it soar.”
“Now playing, ‘Scrotal Recall’!”
“I will be your friend-chariot to the penis-removal of the century.”
“That is amazingly funny.”
“That’s the worst part of both of those things!”
“The text reads, ‘Your are dumb-dumb batter in a stupid pancake, you steaming pile of human fences.'”
“I’m not a man of unlimited cajoling.”
“Does your system have pluses in it, or is A the highest?”
“Did you tell her we slept together twice?”
“Chocolate Milk” was carried greatly by the rivalry of Captain Holt and Deputy Wuntch. Their verbal showdown this week was awesome, and presented Holt with a worthwhile adversary we deserve to see at least one more time. Jake continues to develop this season, as he demonstrated his loyalty to his friends by keeping Jeffords’s promise about avoiding the vasectomy. Even though Boyle and Diaz played a relatively small part in the proceedings, the show planted some new ground in which they could work. All in all, season two continues to run before it even thinks to slow down and walk.
+Captain Holt vs. Chief Deputy Wuntch
+Jake and Jeffords, Chocolate and Milk
+Diaz taking one for the team and looking out for Boyle