Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Ep. 2.01, “Undercover”: The pacing is consistent, the sight gags imaginative

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Season 2, Episode 1, “Undercover”
Written by Prentice Penny
Directed by Dean Holland
Airs Sundays at 8:30pm ET on FOX

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is back on a new Sunday night slot, and it doesn’t take long for the series to settle back into its groove. The season premiere, entitled “Undercover,” recaptures the magic of season one, opening with Detective Peralta (Andy Samberg) ending an undercover sting operation after infiltrating the local mafia. Upon his return to the precinct, he’s quickly brought up to speed on the events of the past few months (the best gag comes when Boyle and Santiago arrive to the office wearing the same outfit). This is followed by Captain Holt allowing Jake 12 seconds to fill us in on his own highlights while covert: “I fixed a boxing match, smoked a whole cigar, found myself in a room with 12 guys named Sal, and missed you all so very much.” And just like that, Brooklyn Nine-Nine proves once again why it is the funniest show on television.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine creators Dan Goor & Michael Schur continue to brainstorm the funniest ways to play around with actor Terry Crews. The best parts of this weeks episode circle around Captain Holt (Andre Braugher) running strange drills. It turns out the NYPD has appointed a new commissioner, meaning Nine-Nine is going to be under a lot more scrutiny. In order to make sure the group is ready for any, and every possible scenario, Holt has Sergeant Jeffords (Crews) assuming the identities of various imposters camouflaging as regular citizens for drill purposes. Jeffords is given a dry-erase board which is left dangling around his neck identifying the subject he’s playing (7 year old boy, 40 year old woman, etc.) and a tight script that Captain Holt expects him to follow word for word. This subplot features some excellent sight gags, such as Terry destroying a Lego tower and getting caught in an inflatable jungle gym.


Perhaps the biggest surprise of the episode comes when we learn that during the hiatus, Detective Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) and Gina Linetti (Chelsea Peretti) hooked up in what appears to be a one night stand. Gina doesn’t want the others to find out, claiming she wants to maintain her standard of “bike messengers and above.” Meanwhile Boyle doesn’t want to be known as the office slut, so he has to do the impossible and not tell Jake about the awkward situation he and Gina find themselves in. Their strange sexual chemistry makes a great counterpoint to Jake and Amy’s familiar rom-com relationship, and allows Charles to move past his man-crush on Jake and become more confident and independent. The pairing of Gina and Boyle offers some hilarious gags and gives these two characters a way to grow and move away from their first season, one-note personas.

“Undercover” continues to prolong the romantic arc between Peralta and Detective Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero) which could easily become tiresome, but Peralta confessing his feelings for Amy shows his character is also growing, and allows the writers to continue to explore this dynamic without it feeling forced or manipulative.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine didn’t need to make many adjustments, but with a few small changes and some new additions, the episode shows plenty of promise moving forward. Will Amy and Peralta finally find themselves romantically attached? Will Gina and Charlie make their relationship public and if so, how long will it last? And who is the new police commissioner? With a rapid-fire script, Brooklyn Nine-Nine returns with a strong entry that reminds us of what we loved about the series in its freshman season. Writer Prentice Penny re-establishes the existing dynamics and paves the way for some interesting new directions.

– Ricky D

Other thoughts: 

“I have to ask, do you think awesome begins with an O?”

“I am feeling trepidation at the prospect of a parentless existence.”

“Those lines were lifted verbatim from my boyhood diary.”

“Timmy was cranky, we’re just letting him tire himself out.”

“Only I can talk about my spirit animal that way.”

“You’ve used my logic against me.”


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