Brooklyn Nine-Nine, “Into the Woods,” (3.6) – TV Review

23

B99 Woods

November 8th, 2015, 8:30 PM, FOX

After he gets angry with Jake for his maverick choices during a bust, Jake and Charles start worrying about Terry’s oft-mentioned stress level, with his wife Sharon on bedrest, his third child about to make an appearance and his twins growing taller and more rebellious. Charles and Jake put their heads together and decide to alleviate his home-related burdens by taking Terry into the deep woods on a trip to Detective Lohank’s remote cabin. But the gang’s attempt at excavating ‘fun Terry’ from the ether results in a weekend at “Stinkpuddle Manor”, a sinkhole-laden hellscape with unclean water in an awful location. The guys’ inner outdoorsmen fail them in turn, and when they run out of food Boyle tries to go foraging, only for him to go missing and Terry and Charles to get lost in the depths of the woods. The threesome end up stuck in a huge pit and must team up to find their way out to safety. Meanwhile, Rosa seeks Holt’s advice once more as she plots to break up with Marcus when he takes their relationship a step further than she’s ready to commit, but the emotions the break-up ends up stirring in her may be more than she’s willing to deal with and Gina tries to help Amy overcome her natural blandness to deliver a presentation when she tries to sell the NYPD’s supply department on a shoulder flashlight she invented as a teenager.

There’s a lot to love in this week’s episode of Brooklyn Nine Nine – the topmost reason this time includes Stephanie Beatriz performance. Rosa’s humor usually tends to stem from her outré violence and her monosyllabic resistance to emotion; when she breaks up with Marcus and is horrified to feel something. Beatriz plays this to the hilt, her eyes welling with tears and her shoulders shrinking from Rosa’s typical confident posture. It’s a great little moment of character deepening that ought to be on Beatriz’ reel come Emmy time.

Rosa’s partner in terseness is typically Holt, and Andre Braugher’s boundless talents manages to bring both humor and tenderness to the story. The plot’s only real flaw is that I cannot imagine Raymond taking the idea of Rosa and Marcus breaking up this lightly.

Terry’s plotline is part of his continuing, overarching stress-related story. The camping scenes are wonderful, with Jake’s pseudo macho idiocy making everything extra entertaining. Even as ‘Fun Terry’ springs back to life, though, I wonder if all of this free-floating anxiety he’s experiencing about his ever-changing life is going to end up evolving into a deeper and more complex when Sharon gives birth.

The Gina and Amy plot is somewhat less complex, but at least it’s funny. Watching Amy get swept up in Gina’s razzle-dazzle sense of theatre is fun – and it naturally gets unwanted results. Watching Amy and Gina get gradually closer over the past season has been another great overarching plotline that I hope continues to grow over time.

“Into the Woods” is a great little episode that both reflects the show’s current promise – and the promise of great storylines to come.
The Roundup

  • ”But what would my catchphrase have been? Knock knock, who’s there, justice? Actually that’s amazing, Charles, write that down!” “I already did!”
  • Low points in Charles’ life: Promises Terry that Jake will make him ‘happier than he was on his wedding night’.
  • Terry’s idea of a relaxing day: watching sports bloopers in a hot bubble bath.
  • ”We just have to turn this debacle into a straight-up backle!”
  • Nick Cannon makes a final appearance as Rosa’s steady beau, Marcus, who’s also Holt’s nephew, in this episode.
  • Holt applying his power of observation to Rosa’s tense demeanor is incredibly funny.
  • ”Boom, suck it wedding night!”
  • Apparently Detective Lohank talks nonstop about cheating on his wife…and his prostate cancer.
  • Stories Amy read as a kid: the Sweet Valley High series by Francine Pascal, The Lord of the Rings Series by J.R.R. Tolkien and Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Parsons.
  • “Amy, are you asking me to She’s All That you?!”
  • “No urine. I could get used to this.”
  • ”You want me to change my name to Vanessa?” “Desperately!”
  • ”Oh God! What if the last thing we heard him say is schmorgesbord!?”
  • Jake found out he’s allergic to poison ivy when he lost his inhaler in the woods at asthma camp.
  • Next Week: Jake and Amy are distracted by their ongoing relationship as they try to work a case involving a new street drug; Charles damages one of Holt’s prized possessions and then goes into panic mode and Terry tries to teach Rosa about discipline (!) in “The Mattress”.
9.1 AMAZING

Another reliably funny episode with some great and funny bits of character humor.

  • AMAZING 9.1
Share.

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.