“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” review: “Pontiac Bandit”


I’m surprised Doyle still has his butt cast from the Christmas episode. When he ended up in it, after being shot protecting Rosa, I thought it was just going to be a sight gag for cheap butt jokes and everything would just reset after the holiday break. Nice to see some continuity, I suppose. Especially in the name of good physical comedy, as Doyle struggled to work in the office as normal with his extender arm, scooter, et al. This comes much to the chagrin of everyone else in the 99 (and Holt’s foot), who try their best to be nice to the recovering hero by tolerating his awful food choices and general Doyle-ness. Although you’d think Rosa would be the most grateful, since he saved her life and all.

But she was busy partnering with Jake, as the two pursued their nemesis the Pontiac Bandit. They get help from funny guest star Craig Robinson as a Fievel Goes West-loving crook who’s attracted to Rosa (aren’t we all?). She has become a more well-rounded character since earlier in the season, and there was some nice stuff here with Stephanie Beatriz and Andy Samberg involving a pact Jake breaks during the case involving 1,000 (2,000?) pushups. We learn the two were classmates at the police academy. Was that ever mentioned before? Maybe. Anyway, we get some good stuff with Robinson’s character, Doug Judy, taking the detectives to who they believe is the nefarious car thief. The endeavor leads to the two posing as Judy’s personal assistant and girlfriend, respectively, for his sweet, clueless mom, and then to Jake donning an all-white, Steve Harvey-esque ensemble in which Judy’s dad died. Jake’s dogged pursuit of the Bandit and his dishonoring of his deal with Rosa leads to them getting fooled by Judy, who’s revealed to be the actual Pontiac Bandit, not the British-Asian guy he described.

It seems that this is pretty much what Jake does on this show. He does something dumb, messes things up, learns his lesson and tries to make amends, one push-up at a time. If it’s funny, like it was for the most part here, it can work. For the most part. If things end with Jake paying for being a jerk or being reduced to a low-status situation, that’s okay with me. If it’s funny. The character, as I’ve mentioned in reviews before, is not very original, so it all falls on Andy Samberg’s performance which, toned down like it has been since the start of this show, can be very funny.

Since the show is practically Parks and Recreation with cops, this is a group that hurts but still cares about each other. Doyle’s hurt feelings from realizing he came back to work too early and everyone’s hiding from him leads to his being presented with two pups Holt and his hubby need to give a home to. Doyle has companions who can handle his lunches, or adventures in diarrhea as some might call them.

Overall, a pretty good episode. Very little Gina. Which is always welcome.