Brooklyn Nine-Nine returns after a brief hiatus, and takes on the daunting task of making Captain Holt more of an approachable peer than a commanding boss towards the rest of the gang. The set up is in the title; a brief beach house vacation sanctioned by Jake which usually involves just him and his colleagues (Amy, Boyle, Diaz, Gina, Hitchcock and Scully,”Vacation” Terry) just so happens to include Holt at the last second following Jake’s sentimental change of heart. Apparently, all it took for the extra invite was a flashback and the captain’s yearning to “josh” around with his peers.
Quite honestly, had “Beach House” simply consisted of the gang hanging out and having fun, I would’ve been just fine with that as a standalone episode. I would get a real kick out of seeing more of “Vacation” Terry, or witnessing a more volatile version of Six-Drink Amy. All these new character elements were exciting to watch, and amusingly experimented with. Unfortunately, “Beach House” kind of force-fed the idea of Captain Holt deserving an opportunity to mess around with his squad, and took some quality time away from the good stuff this episode had to offer. First of all, it’s not particularly necessary for him to indulge with everyone else on such an easygoing level, anyway. If you may recall, he almost lost his cool in “The Party” when he invited everyone over to a social gathering he hosted at his own home. Why Jake took it upon himself to test that kind of experience again, at the expense of the rest of the gang enjoying their vacation time, is beyond me. Of course, there is the reasoning that Holt never got along with his colleagues back in the day because he is both black and gay; that I do understand. But still, when you and your work friends set aside a weekend every year to party, wouldn’t you at least want to inform them that you may or may not be willing to have your boss over as well? And was this really the only way Peralta could get the gang to ever want to hang out with Holt? Holt’s surprise reveal at the beach house just didn’t feel right, and at that point in time you could almost immediately predict how the rest of the episode would play out.
Another issue I had with “Beach House” was that it didn’t use this set up to any real sort of advantage. Rosa was there too, and if I’m not mistaken she’s still dating Holt’s nephew, Marcus. Just one brief, awkward scene between her and Holt about that would’ve been great. However, everyone was so busy ducking him we got a juxtaposition instead, where half the gang partied it up in the basement while the rest listened to Holt discuss why he doesn’t have a TV in his bedroom. On top of that, scenes like the ones at dinner and at the hot tub fell flat because they didn’t use Holt’s signature brand of humor effectively. While we could’ve just watched the gang poke fun at their other office colleagues and themselves, these moments in “Beach House” came to a halt when Holt kept interrupting. There truly are better and funnier ways to show why Holt didn’t initially fit in with everyone here. I’d also go over how sudden and predictable the ending was with the gang ultimately being cool with Holt around for the whole weekend, but that issue is rather self-explanatory. (Side note: “Real Ray or Fake Ray” needs to make a return in some capacity. That game is just too much fun.)
Despite all the problems I had watching “Beach House,” there was still plenty of good material overall. Although I’m not exactly believing in the chemistry between Rosa and Marcus, their long distance text conversation did help create some valuable screentime between Rosa and Boyle. These two are just great together, and I loved watching Diaz get all paranoid about sending the worst texts and Boyle calmly describe how to write the best ones. Moreover, it was funny seeing a more “wild” version of Diaz with her trying to out “sext” Marcus (something I’m still a little surprised about for some reason.) Also, Hitchcock and Scully’s constant casino proposals were hilarious, and Peralta’s retort to stop talking about it was one of the better lines of the night.
Like I said earlier, “vacation” Terry and Six-Drink Amy weren’t fully fleshed out, but they were certainly the highlights of this week’s shenanigans. In addition, I liked how Amy’s drunken stupor helped her get along with Gina, which also makes a bit of sense since we all kind of find sober Amy to be a bit of a pushover. With there being so many variable traits to drunk Amy, I’m surprised the “confident” version didn’t make a move for Jake, since we all know Amy actually has feelings for him now. Hopefully, we get to see this side of Amy in the future, because there are so many wonderful avenues the series could take it.
“Beach House” definitely had its moments, and took the supposed weekend for drinks, jokes and games as an opportunity to show some of the Nine-Nine in a new light. The results, however, are variable. While the gang is certainly a lot more fun when they’re out of their element (see: Amy and Terry,) it took the entire episode to get the gang comfortable with Holt on a more intimate level. In addition, the set up was botched by some weak lines and an unusually dull comedic pace. It’s safe to say that this episode was a bit of a wasted opportunity to bring Holt closer to his squadmates, but it was great in other areas so it wasn’t a total loss.
+ Boyle teaching Diaz how to be a better texter
+ “Vacation” Terry, Six-Drink Amy, and the Hitchcock and Scully Casino
+ “Real Ray or Fake Ray?”
– Holt was too much of an intrusion to the weekend vacation
– Some dull lines and unfunny scenes