Thursday, September 16, 2021

REVIEW: 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' - Jake Plots the Perfect Goodbye By Throwing One Last Heist at the Precinct in 'The Last Day'

NBC's Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Episodes 8.09 and 8.10 "The Last Day (Parts 1 & 2)"

The squad take stock of their eight years together and look toward their future.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 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 series finale of NBC's Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

"The Last Day (Part 1)" was written by Luke Del Tredici & Audrey E. Goodman and directed by Linda Mendoza
"The Last Day (Part 2)" was written by Dan Goor and directed by Claire Scanlon

Everyone yearns for the perfect goodbye. Holt and Amy are leaving the Nine-Nine in order to lead their new police reform initiative within the department. Meanwhile, Jake has also made the decision to leave the force. That big reveal drops early on in this hourlong finale. It leaves everyone with ample time to process the decision he has made and the rationale he has for doing it. He always dreamed about being a cop. That was his greatest aspiration in life. In this job, he got to live out his fantasy of being an action hero. He delights in the fun antics of this job. He always increases the stakes to make them more satisfying for his own personal pleasure. He is also capable of solving cases and making a difference within the department. And now, he is willing to walk away because his family is just as important to him. It's not him giving up his dream in some grand sacrifice for others. He has simply evolved to the point where being a cop is no longer his sole ambition. He also wants to be a good and present dad for his son. He and Amy have figured out the balance of being new parents while also being career driven. They could have made things worked. Amy is willing to have that conversation. It may not be easy. But it's considerate of everyone involved as well as the depth of their humanity as displayed across eight years. That's not what Jake needs though. In this moment, he is content with the decision he has made. It was actually easy for him. It's all about family. Yes, this season has forced him to confront the ugly truths of the policing. He hasn't always acted nobly and honorably. He has made plenty of mistakes. The spirit of the Nine-Nine isn't lost simply because some people decide to pursue new ventures. Rosa was still very much engaged with this group of friends despite leaving to better serve her community as a private investigator. Holt and Amy are actively doing good as well. Meanwhile, Terry has everyone's full support to become the new captain of the Nine-Nine. He has earned that title. He is a confident and capable leader. He views some of the silly antics as inappropriate and disruptive. However, he indulges in them as well. It's fun that this entire finale is set up as one final heist to determine the true champion of the Nine-Nine. This is the heist that truly counts. It's a point of pride that everyone agrees is significant. This will be the last time they get to do it. As such, they all pull out their amazing tricks. But they also have their expectations set so high. And yes, the audience has certain expectations for heist episodes. The creative team has always said that they are the most difficult episodes to craft. The show has had to continually top itself each year. The magic is still present in this setup though. It's a lot of fun. People view this as the greatest sentimental attachment to this place and the people. Their friendships are present elsewhere too. The heist is something much greater altogether. It holds a special place in each of their hearts. Sure, it can be disappointing that Hitchcock ends up wearing the crown at the end of this. And yet, this isn't the last heist. Everyone involved puts so much pressure on themselves to emerge victorious and hand out their heartwarming gifts. Each of those signs of friendship is meaningful too. These characters all know each other so well. They know how to plan. They know how to disrupt those plans. Plus, the show still finds ways to surprise the audience. Amy tricking Jake into believing he has been in a coma for years was especially brilliant. But the sentiment behind all of this is special too. The show has come to an end. The time together for these characters is ending. They are moving on to better things. Their lives are changing. That's good and should be celebrated. The police precinct can still function without Holt, Amy and Jake. Terry and Charles are trustworthy and responsible in that regard. Life has precious rewards for everyone elsewhere. These friendships stand the test of time. They each are compelled to return for more heisting. They also genuinely care about each other's happiness. They yearn for the respect of each other. That was earned a long time ago. These relationships have only strengthened and gotten more rewarding ever since. This is an ending. These dynamics can still delight and fulfill for years to come. This finale has plenty of callbacks that reward longtime viewers. It's a ton of fun while earning every single sentimental beat. As such, this is the perfect ending. It may have been hard for everyone to plan. The final result sparks because it's the work of everyone offering their own enriching perspective to the experience. That has made all of them better and the audience delights in having seen it all happen every step of the way.