Tuesday, March 4, 2014

REVIEW: 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' - Jake & the 99 Act Out a Hostage Simulation While Holt Plays a Game in 'Tactical Village'

FOX's Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Episode 1.19 Tactical Village

The precinct heads to Tactical Village Day, a mandatory training course in which all regional precincts compete; Amy runs into Teddy (Kyle Bornheimer), an officer she used to date; Holt becomes addicted to a game on his phone; and Rosa is pissed at Charles for not inviting her to his wedding.

It's interesting how Brooklyn Nine-Nine has arced its first season in terms of its main romantic plots. Yes, the show has been funny since the very beginning and has consistently gotten stronger this season. But the most important material that has grown and evolved in this run has been the dynamics between Jake & Amy and Boyle & Rosa.

In the pilot, Jake and Amy were partners with some pretty clear sexual tension. That episode commented on that too. They were in direct competition with one another over their bet. It all felt like an idea the show was pushing even though we hadn't seen enough of these characters to determine whether or not they would be a good pairing romantically. Then, the show split them up in the early episodes to allow both of them to develop individually as fully-formed characters. "The Bet" brought them back together and hinted that the spark between them could be an honest-to-goodness fine thing for the show. They're opposites in personalities but they also bring out the best in one another. They work very effectively as a team of police detectives.

In "Tactical Village," their chemistry is once again confronted by Jake's pining after Amy while meeting a new guy who she's really into. That guy, Teddy, happens to be played by Kyle Bornheimer and is fundamentally the male equivalent of Amy. He also happens to be a good member of the police - beating the record time in the real-life hostage simulation. That fuels Jake to take things seriously - or as serious as Jake can get while also creating a new character - to break that record and prove himself. And he does break that record and is pumped up because of it. And yet, Amy still goes out with Teddy on two dates. Which leads to Jake's realization that he just needs to ask her out if he ever wants her to look at him as a romantic possibility. I don't know when that development will be touched on again this season but I'm really interested to see how the show handles it.

Similarly, the show started with Boyle always pinning after Rosa and her always shutting him down. Then, he got shot but revealed he took the bullet just because it was a cop in harms' way. Then, he met Vivian at Holt's birthday party and went all-in commitment to that relationship. Now, he's getting married to her, which is all kinds of fast and a little bit crazy. But the most welcome thing to come from it has been the redefining of the Boyle and Diaz relationship. They can talk as friends. Yes, the sexual tension is still there but the two can have an open and honest conversation with one another. Things still can get awkward - like whenever they discuss his past infatuation over her. But the two of them as friends is one of the best things on the show right now because it opens them up as naturalistic people. Together, they aren't just the perpetually-angry lady and the over enthusiastic guy. Him not telling Vivian about his past attraction to Rosa has all the makings of trouble later which is another thing I'm really excited to see the show tackle.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Tactical Village" was written by Luke Del Tredici and directed by Fred Goss.
  • The C-story with Holt and Gina was pretty funny too even though it mostly came from hearing Andre Braugher say Kwazy Kupcakes. But remember the W is backwards!
  • I still don't think the show has quite nailed Gina as a multi-faceted character. Even though this is her third episode in a row where they have called on her to be the voice of reason for another character - twice for Holt, once for Jake.
  • Also, the montages were on fire in this episode. First, there was the great opening one with the entire squad having fun shooting people and living out an action movie. Then there was Rosa causing pain to Boyle.
  • Jake: "Just out of curiosity, how many people have you given STDs to?" Boyle: "Lots. Like hundreds."
  • Holt: "Yes, but my software is due for an exuberance upgrade." Jake: "You know when you play along with the robot jokes, it kinda ruins one enjoyment of them." Holt: "Yes I know."
  • Boyle on his insinuating voice: "I sound like Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia."
  • Boyle: "I can taste my thoughts."
  • Holt: "I do not have a problem. If I want to play Kwazy Kupcakes, I will play Kwazy Kupcakes."
  • Santiago: "Okay I know you have two bullet wounds in your butt but you gotta stop calling them your butt holes."
  • Boyle: "Rosa Diaz, will you accept my STD?" Rosa: "I look forward to having it forever."