“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” review: “The Bet”


The Amy/Jake potential relationship is visited once again in this week’s episode, “The Bet.” The “Will they?/Won’t they?” approach is a time-honored TV trope that’s quite dull at this point in the evolution of how modern shows deal with this area. If it were done ironically and with some self-awareness, that would have been more refreshing. Here, it’s pretty straightforward: guy is immature, girl is too uptight but then learns to lighten up from guy. Jake and Amy being an item has been hinted at in brief integrals in past episodes. In Tuesday’s episode, it’s focused on as the two detectives inch closer to an inevitable relationship due, of course, to Jake’s tired obnoxiousness.

To honor a year-long bet seeing who makes the most arrests (hence, the title), Amy has to be Jake’s date in his crap car. This involves being gleefully humiliated by Jake at work via a silly proposal, a ring, confetti, and the harmonies of Kool and the Gang’s “Celebration.” Amy then must wear an uncomfortable dress to her spot in the passenger side of Jake’s car, which he decorated Just Married-style, only here it’s “Just Lost A Bet”. He then subjects her to perform the Titanic Jack and Rose steerage dance at Boyle’s post-medal honor party.

That’s a whole lot to go through to rub your victory in someone’s face, even for Jake. He just comes off as a sadistic jerk and gives Amy no tangible reason to bond with him. It makes you wonder what kind of a social life Jake has where he can bury himself in debt (sorry, devastating debt) just to stick it to someone he’s supposedly friends with. This is also the second episode in a row where Jake’s been involved with a bet of some kind, and the first one he initially refused to honor due to being a stubborn jerk.

Amy and Jake bonding over his stakeout peanuts later on was a weak attempt at trying to humanize him. We learn the origin of Jake’s car (he cuffed his first criminal on it and saw a “for sale” sign) and how it began his “devastating” debt. The stakeout turns into something of an actual date, with the two not requesting backup as they bond, before catching the perps like a bickering married couple. Melissa Fumero’s Amy is a good character in a cast filled with several, and it’s a shame she’s reduced in much of “The Bet” to the target of Jake’s unresolved emotional issues.

The night’s other plot, involving Boyle and his inability to lie as his ass wound continues to heal, was marginally better even if it was a convenient plot device. He saves Holt from continuing to destroy Terry’s marriage, who lied about going back on the street beat. It was a rare chance to see Holt make some mistakes and not be the authoritative captain he usually is. Later, Rosa’s fear of Boyle professing his love turned out to be a confession that he took the bullet meant for her simply because he was protecting another officer, not her specifically, and he wants Rosa to like him for the weird guy he is. At least the potential for this relationship’s on better ground than Amy and Jake’s. More truthful.

  • Nicole Rankine

    Wow, you really need to lighten up….the whole point of his side of the bet was to take her on the worst date ever, while if it had been the other way round she wold have gotten his car.

    • Anthony Hoffman

      I just found that his behavior was kinda jerky and childish, especially when you consider how all of a sudden it was a real date. And clearly she didn’t want the car to drive if she got it.