December 6th, 2015, 8:30 PM, FOX
Jake and Rosa compete for bragging rights with a pair of Swedish cops when they’re assigned to an international case after arresting a petty thief who turns out to have stolen a priceless royal Stockholm jewel. While trying to prove their closeness, their more competent Swedish counterparts trace the jewels back to the ring of thieves who originally swiped it, while Rosa and Jake manage to track down nothing but fresh fish. Unable to accept that their rivals’ intimacy might be the key to their success, Rosa and Jake nevertheless are forced to deepen their previously surface-level friendship, much to Rosa’s chagrin and Jake’s sweaty insecurity - culminating in . Can Jake convince Rosa to take interested in picking a gift for his and Amy’s anniversary? Can Rosa force herself to care? Or will things end with fisticuffs with their so-super-close that-it’s-scary counterparts? Meanwhile, Terry and Amy help Gina study for an astronomy test and find that it’s not as easy to explain the universe to somebody who lives by their own rules – or to combat her unusual study methods. The entire process ends with a dance number and a little bit of learning. And Holt asks Charles to join him as his partner in a squash tournament when his husband’s assigned to teach at the Sorbonne for six months, but Charles worries that the game will unleash is intensely competitive side – something that seems to be necessary for them to earn a victory.
“The Swedes” provides a good mix of tenderness and laughter – and does what the show’s always done best, focusing in on the friendships and interconnected relations that make the 99 such a watchable and wonderful experience.
The funniest segment definitely belongs to the Gina/Amy/Terry triumvirate, who end up going to great lengths to frustrate one another while Gina remains frosty and yet frustrated by her lack of expertise. Everything about their interaction is hilarious and perfectly in-character for everyone – and we even find out that Terry has a family friend.
Also uniformly excellent is the Charles/Holt storyline, which is peppered with triumphant moments for Charles. It’s fun to see Holt’s competitive streak come out – and in the end, of course, it’s all about Holt’s love for his husband and the stuff they get to do together. Hopefully Kevin comes back from the Sorbonne soon, the show needs its rock-solid anchor couple to keep things moving.
The weakest of the lot is the Jake/Rosa/Swedes plot which isn’t even necessarily a bad thing as it’s loaded with a ton of memorable moments. There’s some great supporting work from everyone involved, especially Anders Holm of Workaholics fame as the deadpan Soren. The perfect picture the partners make is one that’s relatable loatheworthy – we all have that couple we envy, or that we aspire not to be, and for down-home Jake and Rosa two better rivals couldn’t have been conceived. It’s nice to watch them bond in the same way Gina and Amy have bonded over the past season – in a show that values friendship and human life over posturing there could be no stronger moral message.
- The episode originally scheduled to air this week, “Yippie Kayak”, has been moved to next week. It deals with a hostage crises, which might have struck too close to home in light of the recent San Bernardino shooting.
- Low points in Charles’ life: Suggests Jake put a baby in Amy when he asks him for relationship advice.
- The show will be shifting to a Tuesday at 9:00 PM timeslot after January 5th.
- Jake christens the new snack machine in this episode; the crew said a fond farewell to their previous snack dispensing soldier in the previous season.
- Terry graduated magna cume laude from Syracuse University.
- Amy had eleven straight birthdays at the planetarium.
- The female Swedish detective is portrayed by the ubiquitous-as-of-this-year Riki Lindholme, one half of Garfunkel and Oates, who has a recurring gig on The Muppets and co-stars in “Another Period.”
- Rosa once saw Jake in his bathing suit. He forced her to turn around.
- Charles was the three time intramural squashball champion in his high school.
- Gina has no idea what Star Wars is.
- Neil DeGrasse Tyson, noted physicist, appears in this episode as Terry’s friend in a cameo.
- Jake finds out that Rosa and Marcus broke up, which occurred in episode 6 of this season, Into the Woods.
- The song “Wildside” is heard, it’s performed by Motley Crue
- Rosa shares brand new, spoilery info in this episode! And it’s great.
- Jake once forgot to return “Superfudge” in the fourth grade, and he feels weird about going back to the library since then.
- Charles ends up breaking a trophy over his knee and chucking it into a urinal in this episode.
- Next Week: Terry is called into service on Christmas Eve to save Jake, Charles and Gina from a “Die Hard” like hostage situation, and Amy tries to prove she’s as tough as Rosa and Holt as she tries to help in “Yippie Kayak”.
A downright adorable episode that concentrates heavily on the power of friendship.