Brooklyn Nine-Nine, “The Mattress”, (3.7) – TV Review

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B99 Mattress

November 15th, 2015, 8:30 PM, FOX

Amy’s dealing with exhaustion after her night on Jake’s lumpy mattress watching House Hunters leaves her wakeful. She wants him to buy a new mattress but when he balks at the cost she blows up, and the argument continues to distract them both as they try to work a case involving a new street drug called Taxi. Soon the little cracks in their foundation start to show – Amy has, for instance, never told her mother about her relationship with Jake – and the case is effected in a terrible way, leaving Holt’s wise counsel to save the day; Elsewhere, Charles accidentally damages one of Holt’s prized possessions, a well-loved convertible Holt and his husband call Gerty, and then goes into panic mode when Holt reacts with extreme anger to the scratch he leaves on it. When he tries to stand up for himself, Holt reacts with furious anger – and Gina rides to the rescue by proving to Holt that accidents can happen. Finally, Terry tries to teach Rosa about discipline when she tries to parent her new charge from the Little Brother program, Sam. The boy turns out to be something of a pickpocket, and when Rosa blows up at the kid Terry tries to advise calmness. His idea seems to backfire when a reunion only seems to prove that Rosa’s adherence to tough love is the right choice.

A lovely breeze of an episode “The Mattress” has a lot of fun with its various, disparate stories. Jake and Amy have their first real fight and start to grow up in measures; naturally it’s the once much-missed Holt who’s there to guide them with fatherly advice and gentle exasperation. That’s something the show’s sorely missed during its beginning quarter, and a formula to which it happily returns tonight. That together Jake and Amy eventually nail the perp is a given; what’s not is the mixture of goofiness (the two of them testing mattresses with a slow-motion bounce off) and heartfelt confrontation (both of them realizing that they’re not changing important part of their lives to be together). In between, we get to watch the show once again put some great, genuine effort into its action scene.

The Charles subplot is all classic sitcom in the best of ways; it’s nice to see Gina stick up for him, that they’re keeping the characters close in orbit – and that she of all people turns out to be the voice of reason that gets Holt to reconsider his harsh stance. We eventually get beautiful backstory that gives us even more insight into Kevin and Holt’s relationship and the importance of Gerty.

Terry and Rosa, meanwhile, get to joust, their opposing opinions bouncing off of each other and leaving them both a little in the right and a little in the wrong. Rosa learns a little something about softening up – and perhaps Terry learns just a little bit about tough love in turn.

The entire episode is worth watching, a little sweet-natured treasure that matures the characters and plot while leaving the audience laughing.
The Roundup

  • Hitchcock managing to slug down Scully’s goldfish before Jake could even deliver his bet speech was perfect.
  • Low points in Charles’ life: declares Jake and Amy’s relationship an addictive drug; accidentally scratches Holt’s car and deals with the anxiety of trying to stand up to him afterwards.
  • Rosa’s background in ballet was first mentioned in season 1. This is our first time meeting Miss Miriam, her tough coach. She also had pink hair as a youth.
  • Taxi is called Taxi ”Because it’s yellow and takes you where you need to be.” The last time the show used a designer drug was Giggle Pig, the task force to which Rosa had been assigned.
  • Holt’s convertible is called Gerty “because she’s a peppy broad”.
  • ”I CORRECTED YOUR GRAMMER! Are you so proud of me? Are you horrified? Are you super horny?”
  • ”I have a dumpster mattress!”
  • ”This isn’t Cagney calling Lacey a poopyhead!” Terry apparently hates bathroom talk.
  • Jake hired Mr. Met to appear at his birthday party once. “Mister Met used by bathroom. A number two. That’s a memory I will cherish forever.”
  • “Exciting. I’ll go get my pencil case!”
  • “Damn! Terry proved the wrong point!”
  • ”Oringina is not orange soda!” “That’s because it’s better!”
  • Holt and Kevin love Annie Lennox apparently.
  • Next Week: Sharon, Terry’s wife, goes into labor sooner than expected, Charles and Amy team up to process paper work during an internet outage and Holt bumps into his ex-boyfriend in “Ava”.
9.5 AMAZING

Heartwarming and beautifully constructed – not to mention just plain funny and rich in character backstory. A lovely episode.

  • AMAZING 9.5
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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.