Thursday, April 23, 2020

REVIEW: 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' - A Blackout Sends Brooklyn Into Chaos as Jake and Amy Take Charge in 'Lights Out'

NBC's Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Episode 7.13 "Lights Out"

The entire squad is on high alert when a massive blackout hits Brooklyn.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides 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.

"Lights Out" was written by Dan Goor & Luke Del Tredici and directed by Dan Goor

With only 13 episodes this season, Brooklyn Nine-Nine could only produce its best story ideas. An episode didn't have to be made just in order to fulfill some network requirement. Of course, every episode of the show is funny. This ensemble and premise still work incredibly well after seven seasons. The quality was impeccably strong this season as well. It was concise with everything it wanted to achieve. It brought in some wild and fun guest stars while reliably telling stories about the characters the audience has seen for years now. The only true consequence from a shorter season is the "Jake and Amy becoming parents" story feels a little truncated. It has been a significant development in these episodes. The premiere saw the two of them have an honest conversation about now being ready to start trying to make a baby. An episode was dealt with their struggles to get pregnant. They eventually succeeded. And now, Amy is already giving birth. It's a lot of fertile storytelling ground with not a lot of time to encompass it all. Every idea worked. It just would have been better paced in a season with a more traditional episode order. But it's still emotionally rewarding to see Jake and Amy expand their family. They are embarking on a new journey together now. The show will be returning at some point to depict that onscreen too. That is very exciting for the future. Right now, it's just a mad dash to get Jake to the delivery room. It's a familiar comedic idea for everything to go wrong when it comes to the birth plan. Amy wasn't planning on working right up until she gives birth. She certainly wasn't expecting to give birth in the precinct. That is absolutely insane. This entire night delves into that kind of chaos. Amy is managing a crisis while in labor because Holt and Terry are stuck in an elevator. The fire department doesn't help in the slightest. But Terry and Holt do come in with some hilarious moves set to Salt-N-Pepa's "Push It." That is a fun reveal. The show had to pay that off in an incredibly rewarding way even though there would be no natural reason for Holt to perform that routine once he escapes to freedom. It's nice that he is the one terrified of being trapped in an elevator though. It's only because he knows they aren't inspected regularly or by qualified individuals. That's his reaction but it still creates an amusing sitcom plot. Meanwhile, Rosa gets to be the sane one as she tries to convince Amy to prioritize giving birth instead of commanding the precinct. Amy isn't hiding her contractions well. That provides some great physical comedy for Melissa Fumero. Plus, Amy and Rosa's friendship is one of the best in the series. So, it's pivotal that Rosa is there for all of this even though she wants to witness none of the actual birth. Sure, the show just did an Amy-Rosa story an episode ago. But it still works wonderfully well here. And finally, everything that could go wrong for Jake does go wrong. He gets to be in full-on action hero mode here. He foils a bank heist. He arrests numerous criminals. He helps people in a city dealing with a massive blackout. He is a hero. But all he wants to do is be by Amy's side as she gives birth to their child. That's his priority. That is such an evolution from the man he used to be at the start of the series. That childish amusement is still there. That's apparent when it comes to the name of Jake and Amy's son - Mack after Die Hard's John McClane. That does a wonderful job in establishing something silly while also genuinely meaning it. This precinct cares about what happens to each other. They may be too close at the end of the day. Rosa's hands are literally asked to be part of the birth. Charles has to call in Lieutenant Peanutbutter for help despite his ongoing hatred for the horse. It's all in service of this couple they love so much. Even Hitchcock and Scully do something incredibly nice and helpful. That is the emotion that fuels the stories of this show even when it goes to some completely ridiculous places. That's why it has been a success for so many years. It's why it will continue to be amusing even though Jake and Amy worry about how they'll balance their home and work lives now that they have this baby. They are determined to figure it out as life goes on together knowing that they'll always have the backup and support from their friends and colleagues.