This Brooklyn Nine-Nine review contains spoilers.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 6 Episode 12
After a two week break, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is back with “Casecation,” a rare single-storyline episode. Set entirely at a hospital as Jake and Amy wait for a mobster to come out of his coma, “Casecation” is sort of like the bottle episode “The Box,” yet it features appearances from the entire cast in fleeting, but memorable ways. Jake envisions the witness security detail as a way for he and Amy to spend some quality time for their anniversary. They both state how they’ve been working tirelessly and have had little time to spend with one another, so with Boyle’s help, Jake transforms the witness’ hospital room into a romantic French restaurant where he and Amy can laugh, reminisce, and enjoy one another.
Despite their being a comatose body in the background, the beginning of their little date goes perfectly, with Jake and Amy recounting the Top 5 moments in their relationship. The scene is, to quote Rosa later in the episode, “so cute, it’s f**ked up.” Full of their character quirks and focusing on the small details that make a relationship meaningful, Jake and Amy feel like such a real, lived in couple. Their chemistry has really come a long way since the early days of the show, and like this scene, it’s usually together that Andy Samberg and Melissa Fumero do their best work on the show.
However, things go off the rails when they’re intruding upon by Pam (SNL vet Julia Sweeney), a patient in the room next door, but then things really grind to halt when the topic of having children comes up. Amy is eager to start trying soon, but Jake says that he’s not even sure if he wants kids. Now, it’s pretty hard to believe that two people would get married without first having this discussion, but the episode does a good job showing how Amy misconstrued a moment that indicated to her that Jake wanted to have kids that is in line with both of their characters. The kids issue is a huge point of contention, and Jake suggests that they continue to have the discussion in a calm, loving manner, but Amy insists on having a structured debate. It’s a great way to highlight that Jake isn’t the only difficult person to deal with in this relationship.
Naturally, Amy brings in Holt to moderate (also, Kevin and several others via phone) and is completely prepared to dominate Jake. Despite only have a crumbled up piece of paper, Jake makes solid points about why they might not be cut out to be parents; they both work far too much and Jake has serious lingering daddy issues that have him scared about not being able to be a good enough father. Amy squashes Jake’s point, and all Jake can think to do is say that maybe when they discuss it again, he’ll feel differently, but Amy isn’t having it. As a woman, she doesn’t have the luxury to wait and see, and essentially tells Jake that if they’re not going to have kids, she may need to think about ending their marriage. It’s heavy stuff that a 22-minute sitcom can’t really do justice, but somehow, the performances make it work.
Interrupting at a bad time, Terry and Rosa arrive to tell Jake that they’ve heard that someone is going to try to make a hit on their witness. Amy takes the opportunity to get away from Jake by guarding the nurse’s station with Rosa while Terry guards the witness with Jake. Rosa and Terry tell each person what they want to hear; Rosa tells Amy she should absolutely have kids while Terry tells Jake that being a Dad is a nightmare, subverting his Super Dad image. A myserious man enters the hospital floor and appears to be their perp, but he’s apprehended and isn’t carrying a weapon. When Jake rushes back to the witnesses room, he finds Pam looking to detonate an explosive, in a classic BK99 third-act twitst.
Jake, with measured words and a calm demeanor, is able to convince Pam not to sacrifice herself and to hand over the bomb. In this negotiation, Samberg does perhaps his finest dramatic acting to date. The whole experience of channeling his fear to actually nail his “debate” with Pam proves to Jake that while he fears being a parent, perhaps that fear will drive him to be an incredible father. It’s a convenient, tidy ending, but what more can you ask of a network sitcom?
After what felt like a log hiatus, yet was really just two weeks, it was great to have the Brooklyn Nine-Nine gang back, and especially great to see them focusing on one plot while expertly utilizing their deep bench of characters.
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.