“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” review: “Tactical Village”


I’m enjoying the Boyle/Rosa conundrum more than the tired “will they or won’t they” between Jake and Amy.

Boyle’s confidence since he met and got engaged to Vivian has Rosa seeing him in a more attractive light. Her hard-shelled exterior wouldn’t allow her to tell him how hurt she was not getting an STD (Save The Date) for Boyle’s wedding. So naturally, she expressed her anger by inflicting various acts of physical pain on him during the 99’s annual, mandated training exercises at a tactical village.

Jake getting jealous of Amy rekindling a romance with old boyfriend Teddy is kind of unsurprising and predictable. It does at least put Jake in a more awkward, insecure position. He was quite jazzed about getting the kid’s karate trophy that came with winning Coolest Kill on the training course, but that focus turned into just needing to break the course record Teddy’s team set and then got tainted by using Scully’s ridiculous “ups-y, downs-y” maneuver for his coolest kill. Boyle catches on to how Jake feels about Amy and astutely points out later that Teddy at least had the gumption to ask her out, unlike Jake.

There was a nice moment of vulnerability showed by Jake at the end of the episode when it appeared he was about to ask Amy out, but she told him she was off to a second date with Teddy. I sincerely hope Jake doesn’t resort to an unoriginal sitcom cliche by trying to sabotage Amy’s relationship or anything else similar in upcoming episodes. It would be appropriate for the sometimes petty and childish Jake to do that, but I hope he leaves things alone, or at most try to find some dirt on Teddy to give Amy.

It’s becoming increasingly apparent just how screwed up and less put together Jake is compared to everyone else in the precinct, insane Gina included. Everyone else is evolving or moving on with their respective relationships, leaving Jake in a stunted adolescence. It’s sad when you think about it. Amy’s in a relationship, Boyle’s getting married, Terry overcame his anxiety, Gina’s better with money, etc. Even Holt’s playing along with his robot jabs.

I see Jake more as a sad character. His fatherless, lonely childhood has already been explored a little, and it’s been established his man-child demeanor, narcissism and pranks are just a mask to hide the slowly boiling-over pain that will surely manifest into alcoholism, cocaine and self-destruction. Sorry. I’ve been watching too much True Detective. Hey! They’re both cop shows!

Also, the captain’s obsession with a Candy Crush-like phone app called “Kwazy Cupcakes” (the ‘w’ is backwards) was great because it showed Holt unsure of himself and not the confident man in charge. It’s always good to see the complexities of any character.

I think this is where I like Gina the best, when she’s actually assisting Holt and also helping him with aspects of his life on a friendlier level. I’m sure his problem staying focused on the job because of a game on his phone is something most of use can relate to in this smartphone-obsessed era. Her solution to Holt’s problem, by showing him how he and Hitchcock share a love for the game (they’re each at Sprinkle City), was enough for him to put the game away for good. Nobody wants to have anything in common with Hitchcock.