This Brooklyn Nine-Nine review contains spoilers.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 6 Episode 11
If anyone needs to see a therapist, it’s Jake Peralta. Like Terry points out, Jake has been through some pretty traumatic stuff throughout Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s run, and as Dr. Tate observes in this episode, he does tend to use humor as a coping device to handle events like grizzly murder investigations. Jake has juvenile justifications for all of his shortcomings, but that itself shows exactly why Jake should be going to counseling. Exploring the idea of putting Jake under the microscope in “The Therapist” leads to funny moments, and yet Brooklyn Nine-Nine doesn’t commit fully to the bit, mainly because of time constraints, making this just another serviceable episode instead of a truly great one.
Part of the issue is that, after spending weeks focusing on only an A and B plot with great success, Brooklyn Nine-Nine returns to a three-plot structure, something that has never quite worked. Inevitably, one of the plots feels underserved, but in “The Therapist” it’s both the C-plot, involving Terry being embarrassed about ordering a book to spice up his and his wife’s sex life, and the A-plot. While the C-plot was mostly an excuse to make jokes and keep Terry in comfortable exasperation mode, the A-plot feels underserved because it introduces the idea of Jake having some dark, troubling issues to work through without ever fully committing to exploring them. I understand that the show is a comedy, but in “He Said She Said” the writers and cast were able to pull off tender dramatic moments that deepened our understanding of characters like Amy. Here, we learn nothing new about Jake that we didn’t already know. Maybe if we had a couple more moments with Dr. Tate and Jake in that car, we would have been able to get there, but alas.
Another thing that bothered me about the episode was the opportunity to further explore the Jake and Boyle friendship after last week’s episode. Last week, Boyle got angry at Jake for not listening and being an inconsiderate friend. Here, when Boyle brings the case about a missing wife reported by her and her husband’s marriage counselor to Jake, he asserts that it is his case and that he likes the husband for it. He also urges Jake not to go behind his back to investigate the counselor. Even though Jake ends up being right to suspect the counselor, he completely disregards Boyle and betrays his trust. It could have been another moment for Boyle to call Jake out on his bad qualities, but it goes unmentioned.
The episode isn’t all bad. Jake having to hide from Dr. Tate and pose as a patient with multiple (British) personalities led to some solid laughs, and the B-plot, involving Rosa and Holt, was also sharp and to the point. Rosa and Holt’s no nonsense personalities make them a funny duo, but the show sparingly pairs them up. Here, Holt wants to invite Rosa and her new girlfriend Jocelyn (comedian Cameron Esposito) over for dinner, but Rosa said that she’s fearful because of the Holt’s judgmental nature. Holt tries to prove that he’s not judgmental while Rosa attempts to fool Holt with an actress posing as her girlfriend. Finally, Rosa admits that she loves Holt’s judginess, she just values his friendship a lot and really wants him to like her new girlfriend. It’s a perfect B-plot and Esposito is perfectly cast as Rosa’s new flame.
While overall not a disappointing outing, the episode disappoints more in what it didn’t have time to do rather than what it actually did. Brooklyn Nine-Nine will be off a couple of weeks before returning in April. Hopefully when it shows back up, it will stick to the two-plot method instead of three.
– The Boyle Bottle Bullpen Bowling cold open felt like an OG Season 1 cold open. Babushka!
– “Jake and I are like two penises in a pod.” – Hitchcock
– “Which one is Judas? The Hamburglar. Knew as soon as I asked.” – Jake talking about a Last Supper painting comprised of McDonald’s characers.
– Jake talks about the irregularities of NYC apartments: “I had an apartment where the toilet was literally in the refrigerator.”
– When Jake finds out that he’s posing as a schizophrenic: “Got buttloads of peeps living in my brain.”
– Rosa’s fake girlfriend tries to sell her Molly.
– Instead of trying to do a horribly offensive voice, Jake resorts to doing a Morgan Freeman impression to pose as “Satchel.”
Nick Harley is a tortured Cleveland sports fan, thinks Douglas Sirk would have made a killer Batman movie, Spider-Man should be a big-budget HBO series, and Wes Anderson and Paul Thomas Anderson should direct a script written by one another. For more thoughts like these, read Nick’s work here at Den of Geek or follow him on Twitter.