January 19th, 2016, 8:30 PM, FOX
While in the middle of solving a high-profile mafia-related case, Holt and Jake contract a case of the mumps and decide to be quarantined together. They think they’ll have the energy to find Joey Girabaldi while the illness runs its course but must ultimately battle a concerned Amy and the rigors of high fevers and huge goiters to get results. Incoherent and lost In their own illness-ridden minds, time seems to be running out - but in the end, with Amy’s help, straight talk and her tender loving care, this just might be the thing Holt needs to kick off his husband-is-stuck-in-France-teaching blues. Meanwhile, Rosa tries to figure out how to pull Charles out of the dumps when one of his dogs passes away and repeatedly flunks sympathy 101 until she manages to relate to his grief; and Terry, who’s been battling a case of inferiority while comparing his leadership skills to Holt’s finds himself In charge of the precinct while Ray’s quarantined with Jake, and gets a confidence booster from Gina while dealing with Scully and Hitchcock’s childish squabbling, Gina’s high expectations, and a self-made extra task list that seems impossible to complete.
This week, Brooklyn Nine Nine ventures into the realm of extremely broad comedy – like extremely, even for them, giving us a story that ought to focus on the loopy comedic chemistry that Holt and Jake bring to the table. Instead it turns into a tale of Amy trying to reel both men back in as their stubborn pride gets between them and their health and dignity, which is a weird position for them to be in. It shoves Amy into a position she’s not often placed in – the voice of reason. The end result is a bit of a mess, though it does lead to a nice moment for Amy and an even better Jake/Holt one.
The real jewel is the Rosa/Boyle plot, in which Boyle’s typical, obsessive and overweaningly creepy love for his favorite dog (out of a pack of four!) both has an important context (the dog meant a great deal to him because his love supported Charles through his divorce) and because of the humor the situation drizzles over the story (Rosa’s complete emotional illiteracy, and her desperate attempts at trying to get him to function, then simply to feel better). It sings wonderfully, and there’s a lot of wonderful stuff for Stephanie Beatriz and Jo Lo Trugllia to play with.
Weirdly, the plot that could’ve used chopping was Terry’s, as it seems to exist as time filler. Yet it also manages to be funnier than the Holt/Jake/Amy plotline and give the inimitable Terry Crews space to play off of Hitchock and Scully. In the end Terry learns he’s perfectly capable of running the precinct – which is something we kind of already knew after weeks of watching him manage the squad whenever Holt’s not around.
- Amy is part of a bar trivia team called “Trivia Newton John”. They’re internationally ranked.
- Low points in Charles’ life: loses one of his dogs – Jason, the bulldog who loved to hump everything, but a devoted soul nonetheless; finds no understanding from Rosa, who fumbles her attempts at sympathy; seals Jason’s collar in an airtight bag so he can continue sniffing it; says the dog’s humping was “the only thing that got him through the divorce.”
- Jason, the most humpy of Charles’ dogs, was mentioned several times throughout the course of the show and taking care of him was specifically one of the tasks Jake had to complete to win back Charles’ esteem after lying to him.
- Kevin, Holt’s husband, left for France to claim a teaching position in “The Swedes”.
- Jake knows enough about his neighbor’s fights that he absolutely knows how every argument will end (“with sex, it always ends in sex…don’t make me horny.”).
- Only Jake would get upset about having to abstain from sour candy during his illness.
- Holt considers watching a Nicolas Nickelby miniseries with Amy: “I do enjoy long quiet stretches.”
- The names Jake and Holt pick for their goiters: Simon and Balthazar, respectively.
- Nitpick: it feels very unlike the extremely well-ordered Holt not to be up on his vaccines.
- Amy tries to convince Jake and Ray to stay inside: “You can’t go spewing mumps like a mump fountain!”
- Amy apparently isn’t much of a cook on her lonesome – or doesn’t have the courage to go off-recipe often.
- Scully’s singing talent was first explored in season 1.
- Next Week: Jake and Amy run into Doug Judy, the Pontiac Bandit, while on their first couple’s vacation on a cruise ship and when Holt’s opinionated sister visits the 99 Gina and Terry try to help out in “The Cruise.”
A tad cringeworthy, the subplots make up for the episode’s general weaknesses