Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Season 2, Episode 8, “USPIS”
November 23rd, 2014, 8:30 PM, FOX
There’s a lot of grit-your-teeth determination afoot in this week’s episode of Brooklyn Nine Nine. Jake and Charles team up with the head inspector of the USPIS to catch a Giggle Pig distributor at Rosa’s behest and Jake clashes with the superior, cowardly, postal-system obsessed Jack Danger at every turn. When he makes a maverick decision to move the case without him he incurs Rosa’s wrath. Meanwhile, the rest of the squad tries to help Amy quit smoking through various punishing means, but it seems that she won’t be able to stick to it until she has a talk with Holt.
This week’s episode of B99 proves just as brilliant as the rest of the season has been. The ensemble cast’s knocked it out of the park week after week, and this time around they get an able boost from veteran comic Ed Helms, who portrays Jack Danger as a man who loves his job – and almost exclusively only that. Since Jake doesn’t care for arrogant types by definition (while being a bit of an arrogant type himself), it’s a setup for conflict. The plot’s big Achilles heel is definitely the way it uses Charles – in that it barely uses him at all. After putting him front and center for various plots over the past few weeks, it feels weird to see him hanging out with Jake in a plot and barely getting used. Rosa makes a great foil for Jake, as always, because she’s completely unflappable, which makes a good foil for his passion; Charles might have easily been ditched from the plot, giving more attention to Jake and Rosa. The episode could have used more of Rosa, period.
The Amy b-plot, however, is pure hilarity from start to finish that uses every character perfectly. Holt is again in father mode this week, and his relationship with Amy is as precious as ever. Terry gets one great scene involving a full-immersion ice bath and Gina, much like Charles in the Peralta plot, hangs around in the background while being given small funny lines to ejaculate into the conversation.
But it’s the dialogue that continues to propel the series. There’s something incredibly smart and yet silly about the show that makes it worth watching; the dialogue (Rosa calling a drug dog ‘an idiot’ still scares a laugh out of me), the physical comedy, the character motivation – everything links together beautifully and plays out enthrallingly.
One more thing I must remark on; the show’s doing an amazing job choreographing arrest scenes, or any action scene that they put their minds to. It’s something I noted back when they did the video village episode, and it’s a thread that’s continued throughout the show’s run.
“USPIS” is a good episode; perhaps not the show’s strongest, but still funny and well worth your time. Jack Danger provides Jake with a worthy adversary, and Amy’s battle with tobacco is relatable and fits completely with her character. Some memorable set pieces and some great dialogue boosts the experience to another, even more exciting level.
- Captain Holt was once addicted to gambling.
- Excuses given by the squad to avoid Scully’s birthday party: Had to go to the vet because my puppy cat got sick (Amy); Had to take my mom to get birth control pills (Charles); Had to attend twins’ bat mitzvah (Terry), was in Ecuador (Holt).
- Captain Holt considers music a crutch when exercising.
- The motto of the USPIS: We Guard What You Lick. It sounds better in Latin.
- “Wait a minute Mr.Postman!” is an obvious reference to the Girl Group hit of the 60’s , first performed by the Marvelettes, then covered most famously by the Carpenters and The Beatles.
- Danger is portrayed by Daily Show alumnus Ed Helms.
- Next Week: Jake, Amy, Sophia, and Teddy go on a road trip together, Rosa refuses to admit that she’s not feeling well and Charles is determined to help Holt plan his anniversary breakfast in “The Road Trip”.
The war against Giggle Pig goes on, and the show only seems to get funnier as time goes with it. Some points have been deducted for the misuse of Charles and Gina, but overall it was a nicely drawn episode.