This Brooklyn Nine-Nine review contains spoilers.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 6 Episode 15
Well that didn’t take long. Chelsea Peretti’s iconic, nay, legendary character Gina Linetti made her return to Brooklyn Nine-Nine this week, and she brought her signature blend of bizarre overconfidence and nonsensical wisdom with her. As a card-carrying member of the G Hive, I was thrilled to see Gina back in the Nine-Nine’s orbit. I understand that if you haven’t missed Gina, aka the Paris of People, then your mileage may vary, but with her on hand to dish out Gina-mandments (they’re like the 10 Commandments but better and longer) and heart-to-hearts with a literal knife in her back, Brooklyn Nine-Nine delivered one of its funniest episodes of the season.
Besides clearly having a wealth of quality Gina material stored up, the writers also focus on Gina and Jake’s relationship. During Gina’s final run on the show, the series started remembering the fact that Gina and Jake are supposed to be life-long friends, after neglecting that shared history most of the show’s run. It’s nice to see that Jake and Gina’s friendship drives the conflict in the episode, with Jake upset that he hasn’t seen or heard from Gina presumably since we last saw her.
Internet famous as a social media influencer, Gina is getting death threats and her handlers decide that she should get a police detail for her upcoming G-H Live event; naturally, she calls up Jake and Terry. Hoping also to reconnect, Jake makes plans to meet with Gina at Shaw’s, but she no shows, causing Jake’s resentment to grow deeper. Later in the episode, when it’s discovered that Gina’s excuse for missing the meet-up is bogus, Jake becomes so angry that he adopts a “flight attendant” voice. When the two finally confront the issue, it’s after Gina’s mystery attacker successful stabs her. Watching the pair have the show’s typical third-act emotional moment while Gina tries to tough it through having a knife stuck in her is this show at its offbeat best.
I also have to give props for the show making this week’s criminal of the week harder to pin down. I complained last week about Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s “twists” getting easier and easier to sniff out, so it was nice that the offhand mention of a parkour enthusiast ex at G-H Live ended up pointing to the culprit. That unpredictability also spread to one of this week’s B-plots and helped completely reverse my opinion about it. We’ve had plenty of B-plots revolving around Rosa having too tough of an exterior, only to learn to show vulnerability., Just when it looks like this week’s dual cast problem will lead to Rosa admitting she needs help, the show swerves and allows Rosa’s independent nature to be celebrated.
The only problem with the other B-plot this week is that there’s just not enough of it. The Boyle/Holt character combination is under-explored, and though it may seem like the show can’t find anything to do with Boyle that doesn’t revolve around him being a father, it works this week because Holt plus a kid is comedy gold. Holt misunderstands Nikolaj to be a genius and decides to volunteer to be the boy’s tutor, and it’s a shame that we don’t get to watch Holt deliver his lessons to the young Boyle. In the end, Holt realizes that he was wrong to think that Boyle doesn’t recognize his son’s strengths and compliments him for being a supportive father.
I couldn’t help but love this episode because of Gina. From the meme-oir to her mixing Timothee Chalamet and O.D.B. in her vocal warm-ups, the Gina material always lands for me. But the rest of the episode also manages to keep things funny, and most importantly, fresh, and that’s why this will likely be remembered as one of the better episodes of the season. Hopefully like Craig Robinson’s appearances at the Pontiac Bandit, the show will be good for one Gina-centric episode a season to keep all of us in the G-Hive satisfied.
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.