Monday, March 26, 2018

REVIEW: FOX's 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' and 'The Last Man on Earth' (March 25)

Various FOX reviews for March 25, 2018:

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Episode 5.13 "The Negotiation"
The Last Man on Earth - Episode 4.12 "Señor Clean"

In 2018, it's impossible to watch every scripted show out there. There are over 450 of them. It's even more impossible to even provide adequate coverage of some of them. Great shows slip through the cracks. Some shows take awhile to figure themselves out. So as a way for me to provide more coverage, I'll just be writing some paragraph reviews of the various shows that aired new episodes on FOX for March 25, 2018. Enjoy!

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "The Negotiation"
Written by Phil Augusta Jackson and directed by Linda Mendoza

When FOX picked up Ghosted to series, it suddenly became unclear if Craig Robinson would be able to return to Brooklyn Nine-Nine for his annual appearance as Doug Judy. It was less necessary this season because his previous appearance ended with Judy giving up a life of crime after pulling Jake and Holt into a crazy scheme. As such, "The Negotiation" feels a little more formulaic. In fact, it seems like the Doug Judy episodes follow a more predictable pattern than the Halloween Heist episodes now do. That's a little lame. Of course, it's still a blast to see Robinson on the show. The dynamic between Jake and Judy is still so infectious and fun. The show continues to have so much fun in exploring a detective befriending a criminal. And yet, it still doesn't quite feel genuine when Jake barely has to deal with any repercussions for aiding a known criminal. He creates this whole ruse to distract the hostage negotiator - played wonderfully by the always terrific Chris Bauer. He doesn't bring any backup to this meeting to arrest a huge drug dealer. Then, he's completely surprised when Judy escapes with the diamonds and the hostages all say that the two were best friends. The show does enough to write off any ongoing consequences by having Judy surrender the diamonds in the end while still being on the run for a life of crime. But it's not all that remarkably different from the previous endings for these episodes. Meanwhile, it's great to see the ensemble switch things up with Hitchcock being a competent and well-dressed detective as well as Boyle as a demanding jerk. The food truck story is pretty thin and basically only gives Boyle comedic material to work with. It's fine but not all that notable. Meanwhile, it's mostly just amusing to think of Holt and Terry giving Hitchcock a makeover with only limited success and no longterm viability. B

The Last Man on Earth - "Señor Clean"
Written by Maxwell R. Kesser and directed by Maggie Carey

It's extremely crazy that none of the survivors realize that a bomb was just detonated in their house. The show could possibly rationalize that decision by saying if they knew a bomb was in the rubix cube they wouldn't want to live in this mansion anymore. That has to be the setting for the entire season. And yet, it just doesn't make any sense. Tandy fired a practice shot before delivering the fatal blow to Karl. As such, the rest of the survivors knew what a gunshot sounded like in this particular situation. They knew that the bomb blast sounded different. Plus, they know what a bullet does to a person. It creates one solid wound. It's fatal but doesn't completely obliterate the person. Here, it's the joke that Tandy believes he accidentally fired the gun and it miraculously ricocheted and killed Karl. They held two funerals for him - one for the guy who was their friend and the other for the guy who was a cannibal. It's a sweet but twisted service. But this episode is mostly about no one coming to their senses about the bomb while Tandy tries to impress Gail. It's fascinating to see how believing he killed Karl changes him. Last week it seemed like all of the moral consequences of that action were removed from the playing field because Tandy didn't have to pull the trigger. But here, it's important that he is trying to be a better and moral person. He warned the group about Karl and was willing to do what needed to be done. They are very appreciative of that. Gail is the one who voices it the loudest which really takes Tandy and Carol aback. It's a story where it's a lot of fun seeing Tandy and Gail getting along. Sure, it inevitably has to go awry because Tandy can only be a decent human being for so long. Here, he messes it all up after believing that Gail is coming on to him. That's not even remotely true and he becomes the punching bag at the end of the episode once more. Meanwhile, Melissa gives Todd the freedom to have a kid with another woman. It's a process she'll be engaged with as the fun aunt who listens to the child and who will monitor Todd trying to get Erica pregnant very closely. But it's also the show just indulging on the weird personal bonds that come from being the last few people alive at the end of the world. B