Thursday, February 28, 2019

REVIEW: 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' - Jake and Amy Investigate a Challenging #MeToo Case in 'He Said, She Said'

NBC's Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Episode 6.08 "He Said, She Said"

Jake and Amy investigate a difficult "he said, she said" case. Holt becomes suspicious after learning his lifelong arch nemesis died in a prison transport accident.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of NBC's Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

"He Said, She Said" was written by Lang Fisher and directed by Stephanie Beatriz

This is a pivotal episode of the show because it marks Stephanie Beatriz's directorial debut. She has really blossomed as an individual and creative partner over the course of the series. It's been fantastic to watch. Plus, this episode tells such an important story. The #MeToo movement has forced so many important and meaningful conversations. It has invaded workplaces and made sure that co-workers understand what's appropriate behavior. But there is another aspect to this cause when it comes to the perception of those who come forward with their stories of abuse and whether or not the law can actually do something to ensure they get something resembling justice. Amy is passionate about fighting for the victim in this case. She wants to expose the man who assaulted her. It's just complicated because she fought back and injured his penis. The show would absolutely love to make fun of that joke. Jake keeps having to reign himself in because the absurdity of the situation isn't appropriate given the gravity of the crime. He still says every thought that crosses his mind. This is still a broad and outrageous comedy after all. However, he is also taking note of just how inappropriate it is in this situation. He truly does present as an ally. He understands that Amy is the one with the personal connection to this case. He lifts her up so that she feels the support and is hopeful about solving this case. It's daunting because they are fighting against a company that wants to cover up this abuse. They want to just believe that this company is a happy and healthy place to work. They don't want to actually put the work in to make that true. Instead, they wish to hide behind lawyers. That's the easy solution afforded to them because they have the money and means to actually mount this kind of defense. The alleged attacker feels confidence because he doesn't believe there is any proof that could incriminate him. Everyone believes this is a simple "he said/she said" situation in which nothing will ultimately come of the crime. Amy and Jake aren't giving up so easily though. However, they also have to reckon with the idea that them pushing so hard could be inherently selfish. They could be doing harm to their victim because she will be the one who deals with all of the public fallout. This will change her life and her career. That shouldn't be the case. This was something done to her. It shouldn't take everything away from her too. And yet, she was already contorting herself in order to fit in this company. That shouldn't be necessary either. As such, it's easy to condemn every aspect of this company. Even the man who comes forward with the texts that serve as the most damning evidence is only doing so because he selfishly wants to replace the guy within the company. It's such a complicated situation. But the show also highlights the conversations that men and women need to be having right now. Everyone needs to feel comfortable sharing their stories whenever it's appropriated. They should also feel support and understanding when they do. Amy and Jake are carefully navigating that with some solid input from Rosa as well. She too adds a necessary component to the story. Everything comes to a satisfying ending too. Amy and Jake get justice for their victim. And yet, she also has to quit her job because she is being kept out of the social circle. That too would be fatal for her career at this company. But all of this does inspire her co-worker to come forward with her own story. That's what Amy hoped to achieve with all of this. It may be too simple. But it's also done and makes everyone feel like something did change because of the work that they did to better the world.