This review contains spoilers.
6.9 The Golden Child
Last week’s episode featured an incredible performance by Melissa Fumero as Amy Santiago, so it’s fitting that Amy remains in the spotlight this week for The Golden Child. After routinely serving as the straight man in her relationship with Jake, this season has increasingly allowed Amy to be the whacky one in their adventures. Amy has been reliably funny all season, and the character has been pleasingly allowed to lean into her ugly jealousy for her brother David (a guest-starring Lin-Manuel Miranda) that borderlines on being almost sadistic.
David is the perfect child in the Santiago family, which obviously annoys do-gooder, over-achieving Amy. David’s nonchalant brilliance and irritating faux-humility almost seem like a play on Miranda’s real-life persona, and he clearly seems to be having fun in the role. Miranda was one of several A-listers that campaigned for Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s return when Fox cancelled the series, so it’s great to see him popping into the show and hopefully this won’t be the last that we see of him. David is a fellow police officer, and while out to dinner with Jake, Amy, and Mrs. Santiago, he’s arrested for cocaine possession. Amy takes such glee in the arrest that it’s almost unsettling. While Amy has seemed like a perfect person in the past, this season Brooklyn Nine-Nine has delighted in showing her flaws, which only makes the character more endearing, just not when she’s posing for selfies while waiting to pick her brother up from prison.
As expected, David isn’t actually a coke-head, he was framed by some corrupt cops working for the Brazilian mob, and he enlists Jake and Amy’s help to clear his name. They infiltrate a Brazilian night club that is a front for the operation, but immediately David and Amy come to blows over Amy’s jealousy and David’s smug attitude. It leads to a dance-off, which is the perfect distraction for Jake to gain access to their backroom. However, Jake is eventually discovered and taken into custody by the mobsters, and instead of fighting over who gets to save Jake, Amy cedes control to her brother, who shoots out the fleeing mobsters’ tires and saves Jake. Later, she explains that Jake being in danger allowed her to see how petty her jealousy over her brother was, and how all she wanted was for Jake to be safe. It’s another example this season of Jake and Amy’s relationship being rock solid and believable, and also adds to creator Mike Schur’s track-record of successfully pairing will-they-won’t-they couples together without their storylines or characters suffering. Despite that cute moment, the case feels a little rushed and lacking a proper payoff, but it works fine nonetheless.
Meanwhile, the B-plot features Boyle on one of his eccentric ego-trips, trying to “cast” the role of an undercover officer to get a confession out of a jailed meth distributor. Playing the community theatre director from hell, Boyle pits Holt and Terry against each other trying to land the role of a tough gangster. As expected, the “old nerd” Holt is absolutely terrible at trying to come across as a hardened criminal and we get to hear Holt’s terrible attempts at playing straight, exulting the pleasures of a woman’s “heavy breasts.” It then angers Terry when Boyle chooses Holt for the role, and the whole thing ends with both Terry and Holt blowing their cover. However, BK99 has one of its patented twists up its sleeve when Boyle reveals that blowing Terry and Holt’s cover was only a ruse to get the perps guard down so that the real covert agent, Rosa, could get the confession. As far as B-plots go, it’s perfectly suitable.
While not a classic, The Golden Child is a competent episode that further highlights the great work that Fumero has been doing as Amy and finds Jake comfortably slotting into the straight man role while still getting the opportunity to be funny, like when he “roasts” Amy’s mom. Lin-Manuel, come back to the 99 anytime!