Sunday, February 2, 2014

REVIEW: 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' Investigates Hotel Robberies & Battles Efficiency in 'Operation: Broken Feather'

FOX's Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Episode 1.15 Operation: Broken Feather

Jake and Amy investigate a string of hotel robberies together, but Jake turns on her when he finds out she may leave the Nine-Nine to work in the Special Crimes unit with "The Vulture." Meanwhile, Captain Holt and Sergeant Jeffords strategize to make the precinct more efficient.

Airing after the Super Bowl is a huge honor for any show. So the fact that Brooklyn Nine-Nine in its first season got such an honor is already very rewarding. The show has blossomed into one of the breakout hit comedies - at least creatively if not always in the ratings - of the broadcast season.

The pre-credits sequences of every episode are very close-ended and often are some of the comedic high-points of the episode. The opening to "Operation: Broken Feather" is no exception - with the police precinct once again facing off against Boone and the firefighters. This time in a game of football - as a way to tie into the event that just happened on the television. Understandably, they let Terry be the star player - while getting some great jokes and physical comedy out of the scene.

The rest of the episode was fine and funny. Yet, I found it to be a bit too dumbed-down for my personal taste. After the title sequence, the show has to explain what the Vulture does in this universe. It's funny for sure - Boyle spilling coffee on him, Diaz flirting and Hitchcock opening the teargas. But it's also explaining things to the new audience who hasn't been watching this show all season. That's perfectly fine. I welcome more people discovering Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Overall though, I didn't think the episode was as rewarding to the loyal viewers as it was at trying to find new ones.

The emotional roots of the episode are in the Peralta and Santiago relationship. The resolution of him not wanting her to leave for the Major Crimes Unit felt like they only scratched the surface. He basically just enjoys working with her - and she, in turn, is happy with where she's at right now. That's really all the time that is allowed for it - but it's something I wished the show could have explored further in the episode.

The B-story too felt like it cast all the supporting characters in their broadest strokes. Diaz is angry and acts out. Boyle is an optimist and a foodie. Gina is sarcastic to everyone around her. Seeing Holt and Terry come together to try and make the precinct work more efficiently was an entertaining premise. However, once the reference to the Icarus story was dropped, it because played out just how you would expect it to.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Operation: Broken Feather" was written by Mike Schur & Dan Goor and directed by Julie Ann Robinson.
  • Fred Armisen stops by to reprise his role in the pilot. He gets like four times the screentime than before even though it's not that different or funnier.
  • Also, Adam Sandler and Joe Theismann stopped by to play themselves. That was fun.
  • And more people got to fully appreciate the greatness that is the Brooklyn Nine-Nine's opening title sequence. 
  • Seriously though, what is The Vulture's obsession with Jake's butt?
  • Terry Crews also used to be a football player which makes the opening sequence even more hilarious.
  • Boone: "You don't have to dance every time." Terry: "But I do want to dance every time."
  • Jake to Adam Sandler: "Who does Kevin James play in it?"
  • Captain Holt actually showed some emotion! It was while watching Moneyball.