Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Season 2, Episode 9, “The Road Trip”
November 30th, 2014, 8:30 PM, FOX
Romance takes its lumps in this week’s Brooklyn Nine Nine. Jake and Amy take a weekend trip upstate to pick up felon Jesse Hermick for nine (now ten) counts of armed robbery. The overnighter to northern New York soon turns disastrous when Jake invites his girlfriend Sophia to meet him for the weekend. Out of fondness for Amy, who wishes Teddy would be romantic and spontaneous instead of obsessed with craft brewing, Jake goes behind her back and invites Teddy up – but he learns that Amy wants to break up with Teddy, which leaves Jake and Sophia to run interference for a nervous Amy and get her through the weekend. But Amy’s too nervous to make it to the civil break-up she envisioned happen, and the foursome are left to take in an awkward dinner where all of the attendees soon learn something new about Amy’s true feelings about Jake. Meanwhile, Rosa stubbornly denies she’s caught a cold and battles her symptoms along with Terry’s attempts at helping her out until a medicinal high turns her flighty and loquacious, which forces germophobe Gina to care for Rosa while Terry tries to break Rosa’s perp. And Charles is enlisted to help Holt learn how to cook a meal to commemorate his anniversary with Kevin, but his artistic approach clashes with Holt’s brusque, direct one.
This show is often at its best when it exposes its tender soul; “The Road Trip” only puts a heavier accent mark on that point. The revelation that Amy may have kinda-sorta had feelings for Jake at some point (and that she may or may not still be harboring them) adds another layer to the push-pull of their working relationship; naturally, we all know that someday these two kids are going to end up together, the only question is: when? Will there be pining for seasons or will they get together and break up a’la Sam and Diane? The show manages to keep the audience invested by making both incredibly endearing, and by keeping their love interests likable as well. It would be too easy to take a character like Sophia and make her a vain, self-centered fake, but the show gives us a character that’s as endearingly quirky and yet as strong as Jake is in off-centered silliness and in her thirst for justice. And Teddy isn’t evil; he’s just too staid to impress Amy, who needs a little chaos in her life. But alas, he’s chosen beer over spontaneity, and for his relationship with Amy that’s a deadly blow.
Meanwhile, Rosa finally gets some extra layers to her personality, showing a silly, spirited side that lies underneath her violent, grouchy exterior; Stephanie Beatriz seems to be having a lot of fun playing with that side of Rosa. Terry the den father is just looking out for everyone’s best interests – and I really wish they’d given us a scene of him trying to talk Rosa’s perp into confessing. The show’s, meanwhile, starting to develop a hypochondriacal streak for Gina, which is an interesting vulnerability for a woman who doesn’t care about much beyond the facile pleasures of life. Knowing these characters, and knowing their motivations, helps make the whole plotline as satisfying as the sight of Rosa punching her way through a glass-plated window.
And then there’s the incredibly funny pairing of Charles and Holt – polar opposite personalities trying to figure out how to break an egg – literally – and ending up learning something from one another. Joe Lo Truglio’s physical comedy is getting better and better as the weeks go on, and there are several gags this week where he stands out as particularly commendable, specifically during the cold open and when Holt nearly shoots him while getting money at the bank they share.
“The Road Trip” ironically involves very little driving – which is just fine, because what we’re left with are strong character interactions and good, solid plot development. A wonderful and very funny episode.
- In the cold open, Jake and Charles continue their history of ridiculous cover IDs, with Charles playing the whimsically-accented Irish sailor named Twink Tucker and Jake plays Vaughn Tom Tucker, a rough, tough sailor with a love of tobacco.
- New lows in Charles’ life: Was nearly shot by Holt after sneaking up behind him at an ATM machine.
- Amy and Teddy signed up for a joint library card just before their break-up.
- Hitchcock once roasted corn on the radiator.
- Kevin and Holt once shared a croque monsieur on a rainy Paris night. That’s one of their most treasured memories.
- Next Week: The Pontiac Bandit’s back! And he’s got the name of a Giggle Pig source, which means he’s got a plea deal in the works. Meanwhile, Amy tries to show off her crafty side while making Holt a Christmas present and Gina and Boyle fear their parents are developing a close relationship in “The Pontiac Bandit Returns.”
Painfully funny – in the best of ways – This episode of the Nine Nine gives us deeply rootable characters and funny – as well as relatable – situations for us to watch them overcome. Whether dodging creepy antique dolls or dishing out failed cooking advice, they and the show remains a perfect, beautifully performed and written production. This episode is a great example of the show’s shaggy dog lovability, and it comes recommended highly.