Brooklyn Nine-Nine, “Sabotage,” (2.19) - TV Review


B99 Sabotage

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

Lucky streaks break on this week’s Brooklyn Nine Nine. Jake deals with a bad luck streak by growing suspicious of perceived outside enemies, especially when he fails a drug test which results in his suspension from the force. Holt assigns Amy and Rosa to the case to investigates Jake’s beliefs and hopefully clearing his name, but Jake immediately involves himself in the investigation, but when his suspicions turn out to be real he ends up having to rely on his own wits to make it to safety before his stalker decides to end his life. Meanwhile, Holt accidentally insults Gina’s dancing by bluntly telling her the truth: he skipped her performance the night previous, thus wrecking Terry’s lie that he had seen and loved her work. A saddened Gina promptly shreds her tights and says she’ll never dance again, forcing Holt and Terry to figure out a way to bring back her love of the rhythm. And Charles deals with the pain of working with Scully and Hitchcock while trying to wrap up a case Jake left unsolved.

The sight of Jake tied up in the back of an ice cream van recording a fake sob-story to corroborate his stalker’s murder-suicide plan is only one of the memorable moments we’re given this week. The Jake plot is interesting in that it manages to hold some amount of suspense under its comedic cover; it turns out the perp not only makes perfect sense when he’s revealed, his presence in the story enhances a simple caper episode and lifts Jake’s paranoia to an interesting new height. Brooklyn Nine-Nine always does such a good job with the procedural aspect of its stories that its serious action interludes are always welcome bonus treats in the lovely comedic stew that is the show’s general constitution. My biggest complaint about the plot is that Amy and Rosa aren’t given very much to do – they swoop in at the very end of the plot and get a single moment of awesomeness while Jake learns another valuable lesson about not bull headedly charging into bad situations alone, but nothing more than interesting than that.

The most interesting part of the Terry/Holt/Gina plot belongs to Terry Crews, who does an amazing job with the physicality and intensity hidden in his goofy but sharp exterior of Sgt Jeffords. We get very little of Gina, which is something of a detriment, but her absence is mostly understandable, as she’s in the middle of mourning her (still technically non-existent) dance career. Most of the plot revolves around some great Terry and Ray scenes as they enter into a battle of moral will that has no winners until Ray, once again, embraces his moral code.

The weakest plot involves Scully, Hitchcock and Charles’ struggle to work together efficiently. It’s unsurprising that Hitchcock and Scully have true investigative skills; Holt has mentioned that they do at least once, though the results have been varied so far. Of course they have to have some kind of level of expertise to have the position they maintain in the station; this episode reveals what they know, how they get their info and how they manage to maintain their slovenly and yet rock-stupid personas intact. The whole affair’s a tad bit boring, unfortunately.

In total, “Sabotage” manages to wrap up a strongly suspenseful plot with two weaker subplots in a way that appeals and makes the entire enterprise a worthwhile watch.
The Roundup

  • Jake’s bad luck streak contains: one power outage, a hot water outage, his laundry is stolen from the Laundromat and his car runs out of gas, and one failed drug test (with meth and coke in his urine).
  • Low points in Charles’ life: is stuck working with Scully and Hitchcock for hours on end while both men ignore him.
  • Jake buys his jerky online from “world-renowned jerkmasters”.
  • Receipts in Jake’s pocket: for a round of laser tag, a remote-controlled monster truck, wheelie shoes and gasoline.
  • “Monsters can be women too!”
  • Charles is into calligraphy.

  • ”You were like a swan that went to Julliard!”

  • “Three mini-fridges are cheaper than one regular one!”

  • Jeff’s downward spiral: did coke to get the energy up to complete all of his community service at once, went on a prolonged psychotic episode that included assault, puppet fornication and touching his scrotum to every knob in a synagogue.

  • “Why would you keep my pee?!”

  • Terry ended up lying to his twins to get them to eat their lettuce – but his tale about the bunnies living in their stomachs resulted in him having to buy bunnies so they’d start drinking again.

  • Deeds of Jeff’s Jake is forced to confess to: framing him for drug possession, planting the scrotal prints, getting him fired, ‘cheaping out’ on his dad’s funeral, possessing mountains of Thai pornography, fathering two children with his cleaning lady and then speaking against her at her political asylum hearing.

  • Next Week: The nine-nine skips a week for an hour-long presentation of The Last Man On Earth.

Action-loaded with good comedy, there’s plenty to love about this episode.

  • GREAT 8.6

About Author

Staff Television Critic: Lisa Fernandes, formerly of, 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.