Brooklyn Nine-Nine, “The Funeral,” (3.2) – TV Review

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B99 Funeral

October 4th, 2015, 8:30 PM, FOX

The chickens come home to roost for Jake and Amy this week as they try to navigate the social tension brought on by Captain Dozerman’s untimely death.

The new captain is The Vulture, Jake’s longtime nemesis’ – and he’s making the squad’s life miserable with his quirks and glory hogging. His machinations soon put a kink in Jake and Amy’s relationship as Jake gets busted cozying up to him and The Vulture demands he dump Amy to preserve his badge in retaliation; the twosome collude to convince Holt to intervene but he refuses to, trying to force them to handle the problem on their own – which they do by trying to record their superior’s scheming on video, then going over his head to his superior – who happens to be Dozerman’s widow. Meanwhile, Terry is invited in to help Holt with a publicity matter but the twosome instead end up leaning on one another (and a bit of booze) as they chew over their anxieties and problems, and Gina and Rosa try to dissuade Charles from entering into a casual hookup with another officer – but he follows his old instincts and immediately regrets learning more about his object of lust, with whom he plans on sleeping with after Dozerman’s funeral.

Picking up directly after last week’s episode, “The Funeral” finally brings Holt and Gina back into the social orbit of the Nine-Nine. Gina finds her coffee klatch has gone to hell and tries to pull Charles back from the brink of doing something he doesn’t want to do out of loneliness; why Rosa, who just barely started developing a closer relationship with him, is along for the ride I don’t know (the season seems to be struggling to find something new to do with her, but we’re only two episodes into the run.). Charles’ gently flailing neurosis is contained and expounded upon here; his reaction is understandable when we remember that he’s just witnessed Jake and Amy get together and that he might be feeling a bit bereft. It’s fittingly morbid that he find a flirt at a funeral, and that the woman of his lust is not the person of his gourmandish dreams.

Speaking of Jake and Amy, the show isn’t taking back the notion of pairing the twosome, and their relationship continues apace here but continues to blend into the rest of the show tonewise, though some details could use a bit more work – I feel like Jake’s reactions make a great deal of sense but Amy could use a pinch more focus. There is a subplot where Amy desperately wants Holt to approve of her relationship with Jake that could have filled out an entire plot, especially since Amy’s desire for Holt’s esteem has been so much a part of her character. Here it serves as a throwaway line. A true shame that it’s not given more time to bloom.

As always, holding the center of the episode firm is Andre Braugher’s Raymond Holt, whose long absence from the 99 results in a spiral of depression when he hangs out with Terry. Braugher’s acting has been excellent this season – no surprise considering the general level of strength he’s been displaying throughout the show’s run, but extra noticeable lately. Hopefully awards season will reward him handsomely this year.

The Funeral has some great performances that make it worth watching, though it’s a couple of notches below this year’s season premiere.
The Roundup

  • ”If you really think about it, his parents killed him!”

  • Low points in Charles’ life: needs to know way too much about Jake and Amy’s sex life; ruins a casual hookup when he finds out the woman’s a gluten-free vegan.
  • The Vulture first appeared in season one as Jake’s cocky longtime rival, whose super-competence and tendency to be a jerk and take the glory has made him
  • ”Once Again, Scully’s butt is the downfall of the precinct”.
  • Dean Winters, who guests as The Vulture, is best known for playing Mayhem in a series of well-known Allstate Insurance commercials.
  • “I’ve been gone one week. Jake and Amy are dating and they killed a person.”
  • “Looks like someone’s got a case of the funeral crankies!”
  • Scully’s wife dumps him in this episode.
  • Terry’s woes: his wife’s on bedrest, they discontinued his favorite mango yogurt and his twins think their kindergarten teacher is a “stupidface.”
  • ”One thing I won’t do is fart in church. That is God’s house.”
  • ”I’m prostitute Jake! I love prostitutes!”
  • Next Week: Jake tries to set Charles up with an art gallery owner whom he thinks might be his best friend’s soulmate; Rosa tries to figure out who’s swiping stuff from public offices within the precinct’s limits and Amy is invited by Holt to help out with an image campaign in “Boyle’s Hunch.”
9.6 MASTERFUL

Still funny, though it doesn’t feel quite as essential as last week’s installment.

  • MASTERFUL 9.6
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About Author

Staff Television Critic: Lisa Fernandes, formerly of Firefox.org, has been watching television for all of her thirty-plus years, and critiquing it for the past seven. When she's not writing, she can be found in the wilds of the Northeastern United States.