This Brooklyn Nine-Nine review contains spoilers.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 7 Episode 3
Seven seasons in, fans of Brooklyn Nine-Nine know that there are certain things that they’re going to get: you’re going to get a Pontiac Bandit episode, you’re going to get a Halloween heist, and now that Chelsea Peretti has left the show, it’s safe to assume you’re going to get a Gina appearance, too. Jason Mantzoukas’ Adrian Pimento doesn’t pop in like clockwork like the examples above, but he has appeared frequently enough since his Season 3 introduction to be somewhat expected.
Like the other repeat guest characters, if you aren’t a fan of the certain alchemy that’s brewed when they’re tossed into the Brooklyn Nine-Nine mix, then you probably won’t enjoy the episodes that are centered around them. Pimento brings a chaotic and even more irreverent quality to the show, and I know this is shocking, but that’s exactly what can be found in “Pimemento.”
If you couldn’t tell from the title, the entire episode is a riff on Mement…uh, excuse me, Finding Dory. Pimento comes roaring back into the precinct like a bat out of hell, like he’s wont to do, screaming that someone is trying to kill him. The only thing that makes this different from most other Pimento-centric episodes is that Jake and Boyle quickly realize that he’s lost his short-term memory. Together, they must look after Pimento and keep him out of harm’s way.
Besides the difficulty that normally comes along with looking after Pimento, and the memory-loss complication, Jake is also trying not to tip off Boyle to the fact that he and Amy are trying for a baby. Jake’s purposely been avoiding Boyle to prevent from slipping up, and having to look after Pimento, and into whether someone is actually trying to kill him, forces them to spend time. An episode dealing with strife between Jake and Boyle has started to become just as routine as the frequent character returns, and they usually end up being about the same things; Boyle is a little too much and Jake maybe isn’t the most considerate friend. There’s really no new wrinkles here, and when Boyle inevitably finds out about the secret when Pimento miraculously remembers Jake mistakenly mentioning it, things are resolved pretty smoothly.
“Pimemento” repeatedly calls attention to its influence with the before-mentioned Memento/Finding Dory joke, with Jake exacerbated by the fact that no one is familiar with Christopher Nolan’s first feature but only connect short term memory loss with a cartoon character. It’s funny, if a little repetitive. If I’m really being critical, it’s unbelievable that Jake wouldn’t be just as big of a fan of the Pixar movie as everyone else (I’m also not buying that he’s a big No Country For Old Men guy considering what he know about his other tastes). Pimento having incredibly basic and inane things tattooed on him is a joke that’s been made in other Memento parodies, but Mantzoukas’ cheery insanity sells it anyway.
The cause of Pimento’s memory loss ends up being some sabotage from a doctor he was seeing, who Pimento got mixed up with in his work as P.I. By episodes end, Pimento’s memory is back working like a charm. That perfectly functioning memory isn’t able to explain why Pimento has no interaction with, nor makes mention of, his former flame Rosa. It seems like a missed opportunity to have a little drama.
The B-plot concerns the Nine-Nine having to attend a workplace conflict seminar. Worst of all? It’s taught by a “funny guy.” *Shudders* To get out of the seminar in record time, Amy has them study the seminar handbook ahead of time so they can blaze through the instructor’s questions. Unfortunately, there is a mandatory time limit on these seminars, so the instructor suggests that they practice resolving workplace conflicts with specific Nine-Nine workplace examples. This opens a Pandora’s box of hate, and all of the co-workers’ resentments and petty grudges come spilling out. It really isn’t given enough time to get too nasty though, and the episode rushes through a half-baked resolution.
While I’ve mostly been a fan of Adrian Pimento appearances in the past, “Pimemento” just doesn’t quite do it for me. That being said, if you love the energy and unpredictability that the character brings to the mix, you might give this episode higher marks, and that’s completely understandable. However, it just feels like a bunch of recycled plot beats we’ve seen before redesigned ever so slightly. It’s fine, but it’s no Finding Dory.
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.