This Brooklyn Nine-Nine review contains spoilers.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 6 Episode 3
Jake Peralta and Gina Linetti are childhood best friends, did you know that? I’d forgive you if you didn’t, because though Brooklyn Nine-Nine made this fact apparent in its first season, since then, this piece of joint character history has sort of receded into the background. Actually, come to think of it, Gina has faded into the background a bit as well. It might just be me, but I’ve found that the perpetual scene-stealer has had less and less to do on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, to the point that when Chelsea Peretti went on maternity leave from the show, things moved along smoothly without skipping a beat.
When you have an ensemble as big and well-defined as Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s, it’s easy for certain characters to get lost in the shuffle, and that has seemed to happen with Gina. Peretti’s first stint away from the show probably convinced her, as well as the writers, that the show could survive Gina’s absence, hence the announcement of her planned departure late last year that the show’s sixth season on NBC would be Peretti’s last. Now this week and next the show will take the opportunity to say goodbye to the character (though hopefully not for good).
The first part of this long goodbye, “The Tattler” finds Jake and Gina, or as they used to be known back in high school, the Dope Denim Crew, preparing for their high school reunion. Though Gina is excited to lie to her former classmates to inflate her ego, Jake is a bit more worried about the event due to some unresolved high school drama. It turns out that back in high school, Jake was accused of tattling on the coolest kid in school, though he is steadfast in his claim that he was not the one that tattled. Once at the reunion, Jake realizes that his nickname, the Tattler, has stuck, and he spends the rest of the evening using his detective skills with Amy to clear his name once and for all.
A high school reunion would have been a perfect example to show some flashbacks to Gina and Jake’s heyday as friends, but the episode only utilizes one brief flashback, with Andy Samberg of course portraying his younger self, and mostly keeps Jake and Gina apart for the majority of the episode. Gina is able to get a couple of very on-brand lies out to her former classmates, but her role in the episode really isn’t much bigger than her typical presence on the show. What should have been a full-length tribute to the Jake and Gina relationship is mostly relegated to the episode’s last three minutes, when Jake discovers that Gina was in fact the tattler, but only did so to keep Jake from falling in with the wrong crowd of kids.
Jake recognizes Gina’s fierce loyalty and unwavering self-confidence, and in a meta-explanation of the very funny Peretti’s predicament, wonders if her talents are being wasted at the Nine-Nine. Gina agrees that there are bigger fish for her to fry and formally announces her decision to leave the precinct. The decision feels a bit rushed, but thankfully, we have another whole episode to properly bid farewell to Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s most colorful character.
Elsewhere, Rosa is forced to choose between two potential suitors when they discover through an Instagram photo that she is seeing the both of them. The always indecisive Boyle tries to help her make her choice, first with a 309-question questionnaire and then with a technique called “the upside down coward,” but in the time it takes to decide between the two lovers, one takes themselves out of consideration. This outcome is perfectly Boyle, who says that when you’re often indecisive, the universe will make your decisions for you. While watching these two work on Rosa’s relationship issues, it’s interesting to remember the characters’ dynamic in season one and just how good of a job the writers have done at rehabilitating Boyle from a creepy “nice guy” to a genuinely well-meaning weirdo.
Lastly, the C-plot finds Holt, Terry, Hitchcock, and Scully trying to win a radio competition by identifying an unknown crinkling sound. It’s mostly inconsequential, but does feature some good digs at Terry from Holt and some always welcome Hitchcock and Scully nonsense. In the end, Holt learns that not every minute of work needs to be productive, or something.
So while “The Tattler” doesn’t make the most out of honoring Jake and Gina’s former selves, it still features quite a few solid jokes and sets us up comfortably for Gina’s grand goodbye. Next week will surely be more special than this.
– Amy, being the total nerd that she is, thinks Jake’s nickname “The Tattler” is sexy and also finds his perfect attendance and community service records simply irresistible. The nerdier they make Amy, the funnier she becomes.
– Some of Gina’s best lies include referring to herself as Gina Clooney, claiming that she’s writing Thor 4: More Thor, that she’s responsible for designing the Freedom Tower, and that she’s developed a playdate app Todddddlr, which is Tindr for toddlers.
– Rosa apparently has a homemade jewelry line, another reminder that there’s a basic chick underneath her rough exterior.
– In another somewhat meta joke, Holt asserts to Terry that yogurt is “literally your only thing.”
– Jake and Gina’s high school ska band was called Skavester Skallone.
– Jake’s high school buddy Mike (played by Paul Rust) is so happy everyone still dresses the way that they did in high school.
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.