The Brooklyn Nine-Nine finale had the misfortune of airing against another, more epochal finale this evening, but interestingly enough, this episode equally marked #TheEndOfAnEra for many of the characters in our favorite precinct, with the writers deserving full credit for finally shaking up the board on the show’s increasingly stagnant milieu. Though his unbelievably touching closing speech might have given a few fans cause for concern, Andre Braugher is definitely not leaving the show (thank God), and we’re going to get to see a chunk of next season center around Holt trying to run, and fight his way back from, the NYPD’s public-relations department. (Delightfully, he’ll be joined by Gina, who already understands one major tenant of working with journalists: “Always say your insults to someone’s face. No paper trail!”) I’m proud of the show for painting itself into this challenging corner, especially because the real-life NYPD certainly has no end of major issues when it comes to PR; while I doubt we’re going to see a Fox sitcom take on police brutality, the move could allow B99 to mine some of the many topical issues surrounding modern police departments.
Meanwhile, the turmoil of Holt’s leaving also unearthed another hotbed of emotions, as is required by a good season finale: Jake and Amy’s relationship finally heated up in a big way, with the embryonic couple locking lips a record three times during the episode. Of course, two of those kisses were necessary to avoid blowing their cover as blissful engaged couple Johnny and Dora, but despite their attempts to keep things professional (including vocally claiming said professionalism after using their second smooch as a cover to bust a perp), those two crazy kids finally got to savor a genuine moment in the evidence locker — for five seconds, anyway.
B99 won’t be the first workplace show to have to navigate the transition from will-they-or-won’t-they to they-are-and-it’s-inevitably-going-to-cause-problems, but I’ll be interested to see if it can directly incorporate its milieu into the classic issues caused by co-workers dating: After all, most co-workers aren’t staying up all night on stakeouts trying to avoid making out, or potentially sending one another into dangerous undercover situations. It could definitely make for interesting viewing, seeing Jake’s protectiveness of Amy curdle over into trying to keep her from doing her job, or Amy getting frustrated with Jake’s workaholism when it affects their time as a couple. For now, though, we can luxuriate in the fact that their relationship is indeed moving forward, which is good if for no other reason than that hearing Jake express his romantic misery in a Jamaican accent really bums me out too, mon.
One of B99’s most adorable features is that it really tries hard to establish friendships among all the characters, and while Holt’s tearjerking climactic speech was definitely an indicator that the detectives are more than just employees to him, I was actually just as touched by the C-plot, in which Boyle successfully pulled off a surprise party for Rosa (who doesn’t believe birthdays should be celebrated by anyone over the age of 6), and earned the right, if not the permission, to dub her RoRo. Of course, Rosa’s ideal party is one in which there are no humans in attendance besides Marcus, but Stephanie Beatriz is so good at making Rosa’s toughness segue into more genuine feeling when it’s warranted, and seeing Boyle make her happy gave me almost as much of a tear attack as seeing Holt say good-bye or seeing Jake and Amy admit their feelings. While I’m bummed the show didn’t go through with Rosa’s fake-out pregnancy story line, I’m crossing my fingers Nick Cannon will continue to be an occasional presence, and that we might even hear wedding bells for Rosa (who would make a hilariously uncomfortable bride) by this time next season.
As for next season’s biggest surprise, the addition of a new captain (and possibly his/her Gina-equivalent assistant) to the precinct, things remain unclear: Not even the show’s writers know who the new addition is going to be, and it’ll definitely be interesting to keep an eye on the trades over the summer as the new cast member(s) is/are announced. This show is already so impressively diverse, both in terms of cast ethnicities and character types, that it’s hard to imagine what it’s currently lacking in that department, but I’m confident that it’ll be someone interesting (and almost certainly someone who will pose a significant threat to the burgeoning Jake-Amy romance). In the meantime, just like the characters themselves in the closing moments, we’ll have to remain on tenterhooks.
- Despite being relegated to the C-plot, Joe Lo Truglio may have been the MVP of this episode, absolutely killing the little comic business he was assigned. This included Boyle describing Ms. Pac-Man as “Insatiable. Insatiable. INSATIABLE!!!” and discussing the time he played Daddy Warbucks in high school and had onstage make-out sessions with Annie. “The audience was not onboard. Playwright sued the school.”
- I am beyond delighted that Rosa shares my obsession with Gilmore Girls (and my disappointment with its finale). “I just want Lorelai to be happy!” You said it, Rosa.
- How to know Gina is serious: She puts her phone into airplane mode, something she doesn’t even do on airplanes.
- Kyra Sedgwick usually doesn’t do much for me, but her series highlight came this episode in the form of her extended (eight minutes!) pat-downs of Holt to make sure he wasn’t wearing a wire. Also amazing: Gina’s reaction to seeing them behind the two-way mirror. “Shh. I’m watching something.”
- Tall Butt and Weird Elbows: While not officially designated as such, I’m declaring this the newest entry in the Amy Santiago Sex Tape Compendium.
- Thanks to everyone who read and followed along this season. I will miss Brooklyn Nine-Nine on its hiatus almost as much as the precinct will miss their vending machine (especially because I still have to pay for my candy).