This Brooklyn Nine-Nine review contains spoilers.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 6 Episode 5
How do you ease the pain of losing a fan-favorite Brooklyn Nine-Nine character? Well, you compensate by bringing back a different fan favorite! Yes, everyone’s favorite criminal Doug Judy, aka the Pontiac Bandit, returned to the Nine-Nine universe this week to once again team-up with his best buddy and frequent adversary, Jake Peralta, to catch a copycat car jacker.
Craig Robinson’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine appearances as Judy usually lead to the series’ very best episodes, and I’m happy to report that his latest drop-in lives up to the high standard that he and the writing team have set. Samberg and Robinson clearly have a blast playing off one another and each time that they team-up, their characters become even more hilariously chummy. If the rest of the BK99 cast ever gets tired of making the show, a spin-off starring Samberg and Robinson as pop-culture referencing vice detectives would be the absolute best-case scenario.
Each season has had its Pontiac Bandit episode, with part of the fun being that Robinson gets to bounce off a different member of the precinct. After replacing Holt’s precious car, spending a cruise with Jake and Amy, and repeatedly crushing on Rosa, “A Tale of Two Bandits” finally finds Terry caught in Judy’s orbit, and he’s having none of Jake and Doug’s buddy-buddy routine or Judy’s general laid-back demeanor. After discovering evidence of a copycat car jacker, Terry immediately suspects Judy, though Peralta doesn’t want to believe that his friend has returned to a life of crime. When they decide to look into Judy, they make the surprising discovery that he’s passed away, but any long-time viewer knows this is just another one of Judy’s cons. Peralta and Terry attend his funeral to look for another potential suspect, meeting Judy’s sister Trudy in the process. It’s quickly revealed that Judy is still alive, and he explains that he’s faked his death because this copycat has stolen crime boss Stefano Lucas’ car. Despite Terry’s misgivings, Peralta gets caught up in the natural banter and chemistry he has with Judy and invites him once again to consult on the case.
After some bar mitzvah shenanigans, things get complicated in a hurry when it turns out that Judy’s sister is behind the copycat thefts, using Doug’s old journal as a guide. Nicole Byer, who plays Trudy Judy, is usually too over-the-top and for my tastes, but she keeps things restrained and avoids her normal instincts to ham it up. Trudy plays the victim, and being the protective big brother that he is, Doug tells Terry that he’ll help lead them to Stefano and recover the car if it means a reduced sentence for his sister. So, with another Judy sibling in the mix, the foursome work to recover the stolen car and set up a sting operation on Stefano. After the car is secured and the sting is set, the car unexpectedly explodes, and Trudy gets away in the process. It’s then revealed that Trudy is cut from the same cloth as her brother, as she was working both Doug and the police to secure an opportunity to flee. It’s a fun twist on the way that Doug routinely slips through Jake’s fingers by double-crossing him that finds Doug on the receiving end of a con. At the end of the day, Trudy escapes, but Doug remains clean, to the delight of Jake.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Nine-Nine find themselves in a drinking competition with the New York Fire Department over squatting rights at their favorite local hangout, Shaw’s. It’s the perfect B-plot because it’s a simple premise that includes the rest of the cast and finds each of them displaying the irquirky personality traits, with the kicker being that they’re getting progressively more intoxicated as the episode goes on. I’ve been saying it a lot lately, but Amy gets the funniest material, as we’re reminded of the many stages of drunk Amy. Also, shouts out to the camera work when Boyle attempts to give a motivational speech. Things look downright cinematic before Boyle pukes and the picture reverts back to normal. When it appears that they’re going to lose the drinking contest, Holt steps in at the last minute to support his colleagues, even if Shaw’s floors are far too sticky.
Overall, this is a near perfect episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, simply because it coasts on friends like Peralta and Judy and the rest of the Nine-Nine crew with one, with everyone just enjoying each other’s company. It’s shame that we’ll probably have to wait for Season 7 (if there will even be a Season 7) before we get another Craig Robinson guest spot, but if this episode is any indication, it’ll be worth the wait.
– “You know who else was funny? Bill Cosby!” – Boyle
– The Pontiac Bandit has appeared so frequently that even Jake can’t keep all of his appearances straight.
– Doug Judy has told his mother that Jake is his assistant Mangy Carl, and that he’s an architect working on LeBron James’ school for black astronauts.
– Part of Mangy Carl’s unfortunate back (ahem) story is that he received some back-alley butt implants that turned out to just be mulch. Yikes.
– Holt is very upset that the philharmonic has added another piccolo. The audacity!
– “Get ready for the backdraft, bitch.” – Hitchcock
– Jake can confirm when Judy attests that no one likes hip-hop more than a thirteen-year-old Jewish boy.
– The best scene in the episode hands-down is when Jake and Doug have fun rhyming the word “Judy.”
– Just for my own records, three-drink Amy is Dancy Pants Amy, four-drink Amy is Horny Amy, and nine-drink Amy speaks French. Rosa suggest that four-drink Amy should really be retired in the #MeToo era.
– Another standout joke is Doug assuming that Terry is a pervert because of his suspenders. He thinks that Terry needs to “tie his pants down to keep them from flying off.”
– It is revealed that Judy has an aversion to fire, which leads to Jake comparing him to The Hound, and Judy comparing Jake to Arya from Game of Thrones.
– Hearing Holt say “Ya boy’s turnt” added 5 years to my life.
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.