This Brooklyn Nine-Nine review contains spoilers.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 7 Episode 6
Last week I lamented that Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 7 had failed to deliver a truly great episode, let alone one that would crack our list of all-time favorites, but the show made me eat my words immediately. Not only is “Trying” the most emotional episode of the season thus far, it’s also the funniest and most experimental as well. I’m not surprised that the show returned to top form, but I am surprised by how it happened.
Episodes that forego the usual case of the week are few and far between and “Trying” doesn’t revolve around a recurring format like the Halloween Heist or The Jimmy Jab Games, it’s just an episode entirely dedicated to Jake and Amy’s very real, relatable struggle of trying to get pregnant. Well, the episode isn’t entirely dedicated to Jake and Amy, as there’s also several subplots, like Holt getting tired of walking the same beat every day, Charles and Rosa trying to hide spontaneously procreating guinea pigs, and Hitchcock using a missing tooth to search Cinderella-style for the lady of his dreams. The number of subplots is the other surprising aspect. Brooklyn Nine-Nine flounders, especially back in the more-crowded early days on Fox, when time is spread too thin across too many storylines, and yet “Trying” uses its plethora of plot to its advantage.
“Trying” contains a six-month time jump, and typically TV shows use time-jumps as a gimmick or a way to hand-wave away plot decisions that would be difficult to work through, like the immediate aftermath of a character’s death or something. “Trying” tells a story that feels enriched by the time jump. Jake and Amy trying and failing to make a baby both the Jake and the Amy Way wouldn’t be dramatic if they were only trying for a week or two, or if we heard about the failed off-screen attempts. Here we get to see their increased desperation and worry as their efforts grow more workman-like, yet still produce no results. Meanwhile, the progression of the subplots keep things breezy, deliver sight gags and laughs, and in Holt’s case, advance his season-long arc as well. It’s efficient and highly effective.
The episode also makes a bold choice with its ending. After getting so desperate the pair make an honest attempt to try things The Hitchcock Way, mistakenly believing that he impregnated his new fiancée (it’s not shocking that the marriage doesn’t last), but when that doesn’t work, the two have a touching conversation where they reiterated their love for one another no matter if they have a kid or not. It’s another wonderful instance that proves that Jake and Amy are one of TV’s greatest couples.
When that tender conversation leads to them finding the spark that was missing during their clinical UDs, years of sitcom watching lead me to believe that the moment would then magically lead to Amy being pregnant, but the episode zigs where other shows would have zagged. Amy reveals that her test is negative and their little family registers the moment, then moves on. I’m certain that this pregnancy talk will result in Jake and Amy having a kid, but the show is going to wisely make us wait for it.
Combining the perfect mixture of sweet and absurd with some surprising story decisions, “Trying” is easily the best Brooklyn Nine-Nine episode of the season. Hopefully we can expect to see more format-busting episodes in the back half of Season 7. An episode like “Trying” makes me feel like Scully officiating Hitchcock’s wedding, just bursting with love for this show.