Sunday, November 9, 2014

REVIEW: 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' - Jake Dates a Defense Attorney & A Surprise is Coming for Boyle and Gina 'Jake and Sophia'

FOX's Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Episode 2.06 "Jake and Sophia"

Jake hits it off with Sophia, a woman whom he meets at a bar, only to find out she is the defense attorney for a perp he is trying to put in jail. Meanwhile, Gina and Charles work to put their relationship behind them.

In a typical workplace ensemble comedy, it is easy for the main characters to mix their professional and personal lives. They spend so much time together in this one setting that deep bonds start to form whether it be friendships or romantic feelings. The need to couple characters together has been a strong driving point for comedies for years now. That feeling exists in the world of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Jake admitted his feelings to Amy in the first season finale and the fallout of such action has fueled a lot of their scenes together since. In the first season, Charles was hopelessly pining after Rosa. This season he's been having a casual fling with Gina. Even though they official end things, their story is far from over - as the last scene in "Jake and Sophia" shows.

It's wise of the show to admit that Jake is having problems in his personal life because he can't take his work out of the equation. He figures everyone in the world loves hearing cop stories and that will make him the most popular guy in any room. That's been a consistent characteristic with Jake. Take the detective out and he's almost a completely different person - though the same sort of fun. Holt and Terry both have successful and lasting relationships and they attribute it to not bringing the work home with them.

So, Jake sees Sophia (played by the wonderful Eva Longoria) alone at the bar and makes his move. He doesn't bring up his work all night long and neither does she. They have a great time. She feels like the perfect woman for him. They have very similar interests and it's a lot of fun just seeing and hearing about the evening they had together. They played ping-pong with an avocado pit but not a board. The twist is that they are actually rivals professionally - he's a detective and she's a defense attorney. After that reveal, it's just fun seeing them go back and forth teasing each other. She disproves his witness and he finds new evidence. She reworks his saying of "things can have two purposes" and he throws a John Adams quote into his testimony. It's wonderfully playful and dynamic enough to actually make me care about these two as a couple - and not just something delaying his relationship with Amy. Sophia presents a story of character growth for Jake. They have to learn how to have fun together and just leave work behind. That could potentially be difficult for both of them. And yet, they are happy at the end of this episode and I'm really delighted to see where this goes.

The two subplots of the episode are also quite entertaining - Boyle and Gina fight over who gets a couples room they booked before they ended things and Rosa tries to get Amy to run for Union Rep. Both wonderfully bring in the Captain in a recurring bit about him turning around in his chair because he either can't get involved or doesn't want to get involved. Well, at least until one of his meetings turns into a powwow with Amy. That was just lots of fun in this episode. And then, came the final minute where it's revealed that Charles and Gina gave the hotel to one of their parents (Stephen Root is his dad while Sandra Bernhard is her mom, just excellent casting all around). And now, the parents are going to hook up. Even though Boyle and Gina are over with, the show certainly isn't finished with the story of the two of them interacting.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Jake and Sophia" was written by Tricia McAlpin & David Phillips and directed by Michael McDonald.
  • Holt learning he was right on why Amy was late to work: "Hot damn."
  • Terry and his wife bond over Meatloaf - the singer not the food - while Jake and Sophia bond over wings - the food not the band or the TV show.
  • It's nice of the show to remember that Jake won Rosa's friend's number in an earlier episode. It just never panned out into anything because she's even more closed off than Rosa.
  • Rosa's definition of "nerdy stuff" is just writing stuff down. She just wants to forget - like a cool person.
  • Scully considers Amy his best friend. What?
  • Amy's excitement when Holt calls their meeting a powwow.
  • Gina to Holt: "Sweet chair turn. That's a real power move."