Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Season 2, Episode 3, “The Jimmy Jab Games”
Written by Lakshmi Sundaram
Directed by Rebecca Asher
Airs Sundays at 8:30pm ET on FOX
It’s competition time again on Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 2 Episode 3, as the team engages in an elimination style tournament called the “Jimmy Jab Games”, an absurd series of competitive events that Peralta helped to spearhead. The Jimmy Jab Games began in 2008 when the President of Iran came to NYC and the Nine-Nine was on call to help with any potential protests. During those nine hours, Jake spent a good portion of that night tossing pieces of bagel into Scully’s open mouth, thus giving birth to the event. Jake makes a side bet with Rosa that if he wins the games she will give him her friend, Katie’s phone number. If Rosa wins, Jake will give her $200 and will never ask her for another phone number again. Peralta try as he does isn’t fooling anyone. Even a blind person can see that he’s not over Santiago, and in finally coming to accept this fact himself, Jake allows Amy to win.
While Brooklyn Nine-Nine is great at making us laugh, making us believe and or care about romantic pairings is not one of its strong suits. Jake spends a good chunk of the episode trying to persuade Rosa for her friend’s number but we rarely see him show any romantic interest towards Santiago. If the writers are insistent on running this subplot, they should let Jake and Amy spend a bit more time alone together, but so far we’ve had but a few scenes in the course of the series showing us this. The revelation that Peralta allowed Santiago to win the Jimmy Jab Games was disappointing on two fronts: First it would have been nice to see Santiago actually win the competition by herself, and second, Jake’s confession to Diaz felt unearned. It was great to see Peralta and Diaz share a buddy moment, something lacking since they investigated the Pontiac Bandit in season one. Diaz giving Jake Katie’s number and insisting that he move on shows that despite her tough-gal demeanour, she has a big heart. Rosa is one of my favourite characters on TV, and while Stephanie Beatriz hasn’t been given much to do this season, learning that she’ll be heading up the Giggle Pig task force that Holt conspired promises she will play a bigger role later in the season.
The cast and writers of Brooklyn Nine-Nine are masters of physical comedy and “The Jimmy Jab Games” gives them plenty of opportunity to showcase this talent. It should be no surprise that it also bears more than a few similarities to “Office Olympics;” the third episode of the second season of The Office – written by none other than B99 co-creator Michael Schur. The tournament itself is outrageous: Game One consists of each player eating month old Chinese food; Game Two titled Bulky Bulky Foot Run pits contestants in a race through the precinct with bomb squad gear on. And Game Three challenges them to attempt to keep an undercover persona from their colleagues. The grand prize is the Winchester 2000, a terrible rolling chair that Amy uses to win the final event.
While Peralta and the gang are busy with the Jimmy Jab Games, the combative back and forth between Captain Holt and Deputy Chief Wuntch continues as Holt drags Terry into helping him defeat Wuntch by getting a drug task force to fight against the Gigglepig problem in the Nine-Nine. Watching Terry trying to make sense of their rivalry is the highlight of this episode. Holt and Wuntch the type of people who use basketball analogies without having a real knowledge of the sport, and the verbal acuity between Wuntch and Holt is confusing as hell. Much credit should be given to Braugher and Sedgwick, as the two actors play off each other’s robotic and emotionless personalities perfectly.
Finally, over in the C-Plot, Boyle is paired up rather unexpectedly with Hitchcock who inadvertently gets ahold of evidence that Boyle and Gina are sleeping together. Hitchcock’s escalating blackmail is made even funnier by the fact that he isn’t aware of what is on the tape. Hitchcock who is normally serves as the butt of jokes sees the opportunity to use leverage to improve his social standing and hopes Boyle can help make social advances that put him on Jake’s radar. I’m curious as to where they’re going to take Charles and Gina from here. Is there a possibility that their relationship might evolve? Will Charles swoon over Rosa again? More importantly, will they continue to give Hitchcock more screen time? The most disappointing part of this arc isn’t that it’s so short.
“The Jimmy Jab Games” isn’t quite up to the incredible pedigree of the best Nine-Nine episodes, but it delivers some good laughs and sets up the Giggle Pig task force storyline.
Like most workplace comedies, there are many actors/characters competing for attention, and season two has so far done a decent job in alternating who’s in the spotlight each week. This is a briskly paced and funny episode in which the main cast come strong, showcasing the dynamic chemistry that beautifully complements the show’s kinetic humour. Apart from the tiresome Amy/Jake romance, the sophomore season of network TV’s finest workplace comedy continues strong.
I love how they all chant the start of the tournament: “JIMMY JABS!”
Nice subtle gag of Gina signalling the start of each event by declaring famous “Mark’s” (i.e. Wahlberg, Ruffalo, etc..).
“She doesn’t care about the community. She only cares about defeating me. This is war, Sergeant. The war on Wuntch.”