Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Season 2, Episode 11, “Stakeout”
December 14th, 2014, 8:30 PM, FOX
Awkwardness is the name of the game this week. Charles and Jake slowly grate on each other’s nerves when they end up cloistered for weeks during a stakeout next door at a drop house for a mafia member. Their attempt at nailing the man at the scene of his crime slowly goes sideways, however, as the conflict grows more and more pronounced and they’re reduced to writing conduct rules on the walls and acts of pantomime when, after seven days, all they can agree on is the notion of giving each other the silent treatment. Meanwhile, Rosa develops a sexual interest in Captain Holt’s nephew Marcus, much to Gina’s delight and Holt’s horror. When the twosome hook up things promptly get extremely awkward between Holt and Rosa; then Terry draws from life at the station to create a picture book for his twins’ birthday, and Gina and Amy take offense at their portrayals as nasty (Gina) and a pushover (Amy).
There’s a lot of classic sitcom plotting afoot in this week’s B99. Two characters stuck sharing a space together until they reach a mutual boil has been a staple of every single sitcom with an office premise. B99 doesn’t have much new to offer the cliché, but it still works due to the unique chemistry between Joe Lo Truglio and Andy Samberg. Charles’ activity-loving, foodie, cheerful self suddenly starts clashing with Jake’s macho, driven personality, and both actors manage to make everything feel, if not fresh, newer than usual with their antic activities. All ends well – with a healing and a knee to a mobster’s neck, in another example of the show’s excellent action and stunt choreography.
The side-plot is particularly cute this time, with Terry showing off his artistic skills, Amy trying to be tough and Gina trying to be nice. I would have liked a little bit more of that than the sudden, out-of-the-blue hookup and romance between Rosa and Holt’s nephew. While it does lead to a brief but priceless moment in Holt’s breakfast nook, it just feels strange, a situation made worse by the fact that Beatriz and Cannon don’t even get a moment to really interact; everything happens off screen, we’re told she might be interested in a relationship with him, all of this coming out of the blue. While some hookups happen that way, we were at least given time to be introduced to Sophia, Teddy and other newbies. Though it’s nice to note that Rosa doesn’t lose an ounce of her taciturn nature. Outside of Jake And Amy and Holt and Terry and their respective spouses, the show’s really been having a hard time of it trying to establish secondary pairings.
This episode shows a different side of Holt, too; less justice-obsessed and more concerned about one-upping Wuntch. His handling of Rosa’s affair with his nephew treads the line between being representative of his typical paternal style and being squeamish, which fits the character.
When this show works, it works better than any sitcom on the air – said it before and I’ll say it again. They have the power to make ancient formulas feel new again, which is something to be proud of. But every show has kinks, and this one –much like Gina – has to work them out.
- The main thrust of the Giggle Pig storyline seems to be at an end this week, with Holt, Rosa and Jake receiving commendation from Wuntch for their service. Holt’s ultimate zinger against her? “Wuntch Time is Over.” He spent all night up crafting it, too.
- This marks the first time we’ve ever seen the squad in their dress blues.
- Those are really Terry Crews’ drawings in this episode; he’s an accomplished artist in real life and has shown his work on talk shows.
- Amy and Rosa once took a four-hour car trip to Boston – and Rosa characterizes it as one of the worst experiences of her life.
- It was odd that Holt emphasized that his nephew’s over thirty, wasn’t it? Dear writers, Nick Cannon’s an adult with two children, he’s not so babyfaced that it’s necessary.
- One of the items on Charles and Jakes’ No-No List includes “No Kwazy Cupcakes”, a viral mobile game that entranced Captain Holt in season 1.
- The only time Jake’s ever yelled at Charles was during one of Charles’ roller derby competitions.
- Terry’s picture book is entitled “Junebug and Cricket – Adventure Girls”.
- Next Week:
Brooklyn Nine-Nine starts its winter hiatus. See you soon!
A formulaic episode compared to what the show usually delivers, but still manages to be funny even within its more sitcommy bounds.