This BROOKLYN NINE-NINE review contains spoilers.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 7 Episode 12
In a similar way that Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Season 3 Episode “Yippie Kayak” allowed Jake to live out his Die Hard fantasy, Captain Holt gets his chance to play a sanitized, and thankfully victimless, version of John Wick in “Ransom.” That wouldn’t mean much to him though, he repeatedly mistakes the character for “John Wicks” multiple times throughout the episode. It’s one of the many silly, effective jokes that makes “Ransom” one of the clear highlights of the season.
The episode’s title comes from the main plot, which finds Holt and Kevin’s beloved fluffy boy, Cheddar the Dog, kidnapped. Naturally, this causes the normally robotic Holt to short circuit and start shouting tough guy one-liners. It’s almost always funny when Holt and Peralta’s dynamic is switched, with Peralta in the straight man role. Holt’s irrational behavior gives Jake a chance to be an authoritative presence again, even after he’s been restored as Captain.
The show also gives proper screentime to Marc Evan Jackson’s Kevin. As frequent sitcom appearances over the last few years have proven, if you give Jackson a little time to cook, he always delivers. Kevin’s presence catches Jake in a situation where he can act like a rational officer with Holt, but still play the slobbish buffoon for erudite Kevin. Having Jake learn to “capture the essence” of Kevin leads to great material, like Jake switching his “cool, cool, cool” to the more cumbersome “indeed, indeed, indeed.”
Despite his help returning Cheddar to his worried owners, Jake is taken hostage. This leads to one of Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s finest action sequences: Holt in full-on rescue mode, fighting on behalf of his Fluffy Boy like John Wicks. It’s a nice reminder that Holt is a genuine badass. It’s also fun to watch Jake fanboy over Holt’s reprised catchphrase. This is genuinely as good as this show gets.
The subplots work well too, getting in and out quickly while delivering plenty of laughs. These are high-efficiency minutes! Amy tries to win an aesthetically pleasing baby stroller in the old sitcom classic “hand on a (fill in the blank)” contest, but an ominous past incident bars her from entry. Rosa competes in her place, but she’s unfortunately up against Amy’s painfully boring ex-boyfriend, Teddy. Teddy’s insufferable small talk causes Rosa to lose the competition, but she and Amy bond in the process. It’s cute, funny stuff.
Meanwhile, Boyle and Terry team-up on an after-workout “bone broth” after Boyle’s recipe helps Terry recover from a wicked workout. Besides the always welcome recurring gag that Boyle thinks he’s stronger than Terry, this one almost completely hinges on Boyle going all in on the name “Work Place Bone Buds.” It’s classic Boyle, and it totally works. The bone broth exploding at the end is just an added bonus.
“Ransom” works on every level. It even gives us a second slo-mo, crosscut intro for Cheddar the Dog. What more can you ask for? I may have cringed at the sight of a hazmat suit at the beginning of the episode (we live in strange times), but otherwise, this was a particularly noiiiice episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Hopefully next week’s finale can live up to it!