Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Season 2, Episode 15, “Windbreaker City”
February 8th, 2015, 8:30 PM, FOX
Triumph over heartbreak – and paintballs – is the focus of this week’s episode of Brooklyn Nine Nine. Terry and Charles try to help Jake cure his broken-by-Sophia-last-episode heart by immersing him – and the team – in a terrorist training simulation, where Jake comes into conflict with an Agent Kendrick of the FBI. Assigned the roles of hostages – who naturally have to do nothing but lie on the floor and stay out of the way – Jake leads a rebellion, but will he be distracted by his own romantic longings? And will that ruin the squad’s chances to win and be invited back next year? With last year’s enormous video village victory looming before them, things seem unlikely to work out their way until Jake formulates a plan to lead the whole group to victory. Meanwhile, Gina gives Holt a personality exam for her psychology class and learns that they share the same score (I93G6), leaving Holt to wonder if he’s more like Gina than he ever thought…and if so, how to get her out of his category. And Amy and Rosa use the competition to decide which of them should keep the day off they both requested when Holt says he can only spare one of them.
The show’s annual ATF simulation episode combines fast-paced action with great jokes, from Charles’ belief that “you never forget your first” means ‘you never forget your first dog’ to Terry’s determined politeness as he tries to keep relations running smoothly between the teams. This is definitely a Jake episode, and thus it harkens back to the show’s early days when it was less ensemble than star vehicle for Andy Samberg. In the end, once Charles and Terry rally around him and the rest of the team surges into the field it once again feels like an ensemble piece, which only benefits the humor and the rah-rah sentimentality of the rest of the episode.
The best subplot belongs to Gina and Holt as they apply Gina’s personality test to Holt. When the squad’s more disparate personalities come together to bounce off of each other you’re virtually guaranteed a good time, and especially when they let Chelsea Peretti loose against the talented and wholly dignified Andre Braugher. The end result is delightful, the right combination of goofiness and tender good humor.
On the negative side, Amy and Rosa’s competition could have been fleshed out more thoroughly; they get three scenes to establish their conflict, with the bulk of the plot mainly sticking to the Terry/Charles/Jake situation, leaving them accessories to the crime. Part of me wanted their argument to resolve in a paint ball battle of their very own instead of having the problem solved by proxy through someone else’s weapon.
All in all, while it’s not as exciting and amusing as last year’s “Tactical Village,” “Windbreaker City” is funny and pleasing. There’s some excellent work by Nick Kroll as Jake’s nemesis of the week and he’s a perfect example of the sort of high-handed, imperious negative force that works so well as a villain in this show. Hopefully he’ll put in a return appearance next season and become a recurring thorn in Jake’s side, a person whose presence will make the team’s eventual victory over the forces of darkness all that much sweeter.
- Amy and Rosa’s various weekend plans: Amy’s going to a TED talk about power poses and getting what you want by using your body and Rosa is planning on seeing her smiley, hug-freak parents.
- Low points in Charles’ life: thinks romantic relationship items are the sort of things you should send to your mom, has apparently bathed in a mall fountain, has to endure the mental image of his childhood dog burning in hell.
- More titles for Amy’s sex tape: “Uh oh, I hope this doesn’t get too sexual.” And “what is taking too long?”
- Holt is offended that his blood pressure is normal.
- Gina went back to college earlier in the season.
- Scully apparently doesn’t wear cologne. Or anything chemical that would cover his ‘natural musk’.
- Gina hates the ocean because “that’s where that stuck-up bitch Rose let Leo die”.
- Jake manages to create a backstory for his hostage character that weaves it into the Die Hard movie series.
- Actually, some blondies are quite different in texture from cookies. It depends on the flour content.
- Nick Kroll guest stars as Agent Kendrick.
- Next Week: Jake and Kevin, Holt’s husband, team up to figure out why Holt’s behaving moodily. Meanwhile Charles tries to extract information from an elderly suspect in “The Wednesday Incident.”