Tuesday, March 18, 2014

REVIEW: 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' - Jakes Throws Himself Into the Work, Amy Visits a Dentist & Boyle Needs Privacy in 'Unsolvable'

FOX's Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Episode 1.21 Unsolvable

When Jake gets the weekend off, he decides to take on a cold case that everyone thinks is unsolvable, but with the help of Terry, the two try to crack the case once and for all. Meanwhile, Amy plans a romantic trip with Teddy and Gina and Rosa let Charles in on one of their best-kept secrets.

Jake throwing himself into his work to avoid dealing with his feelings towards Amy is a very understandable direction to take with that character. The show is coming to the end of its first season and it is obviously building up to some big Jake-Amy moment in next week's finale. But that also means we get another episode where Jake is frustrated by his feelings towards her only to be told by some other character to just go for it. It's a very similar story to what happened in "Tactical Village" and I think it is less successful here. For starters, Amy was very much a big part of the plot of that prior episode. In this one, she interacts with Jake at the beginning and the end but is otherwise off in her own subplot. Overall, it's an idea that's stated but doesn't really inform a lot of the story. The bulk of it came from the history between Jake and Terry trying to take on this case eight years ago. That's where most of the intrigue came from while also having fun with one of the better pairings of characters. The fact that the romantic feelings had to be pushed into it probably detracted more than added to it.

The two subplots were pleasant and relied on pairings that have proven themselves as funny. And yet, neither felt as funny as they could have been. We knew that lying would come back to hurt Amy as she had to commit to this story of dental surgery. The fact that she had 7 cavities due to over-brushing was a nice beat of karma. And then, the Rosa-Boyle-Gina story was humorous largely because it showed Hitchcock and Scully being competent at their jobs for the first time this season. They've been a reliable source of easy humor for the entirety of this season. But it's nice to see that they also aren't that incompetent at their jobs. They just need the proper motivation. 

Some more thoughts:
  • "Unsolvable" was written by Prentice Penny and directed by Ken Whittingham.
  • Loved the brief glimpses of Jake, Charles and Terry eight years ago. The hair!
  • That cold open was the funniest thing of the episode as well as one of my favorite interactions between Holt and Jake yet. Seriously though, who would believe Jake if he said Holt hurt his wrist while hula hooping?
  • I'm also really glad the show didn't immediately skirt over the Canada issue with Boyle and Vivian this week. That's the other story that will be a big focus in the finale. I'm really intrigued to see whether or not Charles actually does get married.