Eva Longoria hasn’t been much of a screen presence since Desperate Housewives ascended to that omniscient voice-over palace in the sky back in 2012, and it was nice to see her pop up in tonight’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine, the first of what will apparently be a three-episode arc for district attorney Sophia Perez. (In case you were wondering where Longoria’s been, the short answer is producing EVERYTHING.) It’s a shame the show couldn’t have found a slightly less-hackneyed plotline than “accidentally slept with the enemy” to introduce her, especially after Arrested Development’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus arc pretty much rode that trope into the ground, but Longoria is an appealing presence here, even if her character isn’t very fleshed-out. A brainy legal badass who happens to adore hot wings, ping-pong, and casual sex? If Amy Dunne were real, she’d probably be devising a secret plot to destroy the reputations of B99’s staff right now.
With that said, it’s fun to see Peralta a bit romantically flustered here, in a way that he never seems to get around his supposed crush, Amy. (With whom he’s had exactly zero romantic moments since he revealed he still was into her, by the way. Unless destroying her new car via powdered doughnut counts.) And as a fellow Die Hard fan, Sophia unleashes the sickest burn possible in Peralta World: “God, it’s like I had sex with Hans Gruber.” Jake: “I’m not the Gruber, you’re the Gruber!” It’ll be intriguing to see what the show plans to do with Longoria now that their relationship is graduating from avocado pit to regulation ping-pong ball; she’s clearly intended to be competition for Amy, but it’s hard to imagine Amy wanting to go toe-to-toe on anything not related to her rise to captain.
Case in point: the union rep election, which nicely sidesteps the obvious angle of having Amy go full Tracy Flick in favor of showing her genuinely conflicted about whether or not to take a job for which she’s obviously well-suited, even if it could derail her opportunities to join the top brass. Her alternating dithering and sabotage (“There’s a section [of my speech] where I just pick people out of the crowd and insult them … Did you know that Hitchcock is technically a bastard?”) ring note-true to her character, whose charm comes from the intersection of her type-A goals and her big heart. (Without the latter, it’s pretty easy to imagine her eventually turning into someone like Wuntch.) Indeed, she solves the dilemma in classic Amy fashion, promising to both do the job responsibly and to bring home leftover party subs, the only part of the gig that her rival, Scully, actually covets. She even gets a reward, in the form of a secret powwow with Holt, who seems to be warming to playing the teacher to her pet, when he’s not trying to opt out of conversations altogether via chair rotation. (Of course, only Andre Braugher could make the line “I am enjoying a magazine” laugh-out-loud funny.)
While the Gina-Boyle scuffle over the hotel-room reservation was a pretty thin C plot (though, admittedly, one that allowed Gina to declare her undying affection for “the most sacred and most high Ms. Tina Know-el-es”), I have to admit that I totally loved what it set up: a burgeoning relationship between their parents (with Stephen Root, basically always one of the most welcome character actors going, as Boyle’s dad). Parents dating isn’t exactly a new plot, but considering the sexy-times between the duo have more or less run their course, this is sure to engender some delicious new insanity on both sides.
- Holt is an amazing detective! Last week, he nailed that Boyle and Gina were sleeping together without hardly any clues, then he figured out the source of Amy’s lateness in this week’s cold open. Someone needs to find out if Clarke Peters is busy, because there’s nothing I’d love more to see Holt face off against a Lester Freamon type.
- I can’t figure out who played Carl, the deadpan prosecutor (IMDb has zilch), but all his responses to Jake’s assertions in the judge’s chamber cracked me up. “Everyone likes to be the little spoon, it makes you feel safe! Carl, back me up!” “Yes, little spoon all the way.” “Open up your refrigerator, it’s an air-conditioner! Carl, back me up!” “Well, it’s not very green …”
- A blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment: When Boyle announces to everyone that his favorite food blogger has asked him to dinner, he distracts Scully and Hitchcock from a more pertinent task: looking at matching ViewMasters. Will their friendship recover from Scully’s announcement that he sees Amy as his bestie?
- Rosa: “Going to meetings, writing stuff down, you love that nerd stuff.” Amy: “Writing stuff down is nerdy? What do you do?” Rosa: “I just forget stuff, like a cool person.”
- Someone needs to do a supercut of all of Gina’s smack-talking of Amy. On what made her late to work: “She fell into another dimension where she’s interesting?”
- Heisler appears to be the official fake beer of Fox sitcoms. It regularly shows up in New Girl, where it’s Nick Miller (Jake Johnson)’s preferred brew, and Andy Samberg was drinking it with his hot wings, as his dining companion opted for guzzling ranch dressing.