This review contains spoilers.
6.6 The Crime Scene
After lampooning the classic cop procedural Homicide last season in a series best episode The Box, Brooklyn Nine-Nine returned this week with another send-up of a classic crime series, CSI. With a forensics expert named Franco McCoy (Michael Mosely) standing around in aviators and reciting groan-worthy puns, Jake and Rosa are tasked with cracking the case of a murder at an awfully bloody crime scene.
The Crime Scene is another fantastic episode in an already stellar season, full of rapid-fire jokes and oddly emotional character beats. Stephanie Beatriz, whose voice was featured heavily in the US’ top film at the box office this week, The Lego Movie 2, gets some further spotlight here, with Rosa still grappling with her mother’s reaction to her bisexuality. Rosa’s character by design isn’t an open box, so it’s always appreciated when the show tries to examine what’s going on in her head. When Jake promises the victim’s mother that he’ll solve the case, Rosa bristles and chastises him. Jake says he couldn’t help but promise the woman because she reminded him of his mother. Later in the episode, when Rosa forces Jake to tell the woman that they’ve given up on the case, Rosa has a change of heart, realising the woman also reminds her of her mother, after the woman talks about how she and her son lost touch over an argument. Rosa doubles down and recommits to solving the case. It’s not a huge moment, but for a silly comedy like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, it’s emotionally satisfying.
Still, the jokes are really what makes this episode great. At the top of the episode, Rosa mentions that her new girlfriend Jocelyn is using her hair to practice for cosmetology school, and in each subsequent scene, Rosa is sporting a different whacky doo. Usually the show excels at quick banter and pop culture references, but I always appreciate a great sight gag. That’s not to say there aren’t solid pop culture jokes too. Last week, I mentioned that Holt saying turnt was one of my favorite line readings on the show, but that was until I heard him mistake Bilbo Baggins for a suspect named Bill Bobaggins. Every week, Andre Braugher has a line reading for the ages.
Samberg is also reliably great in the episode. Of course, Jake gets consumed by the case as two months pass without a major breakthrough. Watching Jake slowly lose his mind while trying to solve the murder yields plenty of whacky material, like him restaging the murder in the Nine-Nine conference room. The way he intensely yells at Boyle to “stay in character, you’re covered in blood,” while shooting him with ketchup scored my biggest laugh of the episode. Jake is perplexed because the victim was killed in his apartment with the door still locked and the alarm still armed. However, it’s revealed that the killer never left the apartment; he was hiding in a A/C vent and disguised himself as a CSI employee and casually made his escape.
I love the episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine that focus on a single plot, as they tend to feel more complete and less scatter-shot. I was also appreciate the light parodying of other law enforcement-centered shows and hope that the series makes this a season staple like the Pontiac Bandit episodes, should the show continue into season seven.