The show holds up a mirror to itself.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 3: Episode 3: Boyle’s Hunch: GRADE A-
Boyle gets to step up for the first time this season. Last week did a lot to make Boyle himself again after really underutilizing him in the premiere, but here he gets the main story and it a great reminder as to why this character works when you use him right. Boyle’s love life now on a downslide after the breakup of his funeral booty call last week seems to have found a person exactly like him in too many ways when he and Jake wait to testify at the courthouse. All is good, well until its revealed she’s on trail and not a previously thought of lawyer. Boyle being Boyle can’t stand to accept this and goes well out of his way to prove she didn’t commit insurance fraud on her own art gallery.
Boyle’s outlandish ways and expressions of love are what make the character work because he’s sincerely ernest and very open. A good reminder of that last week made him come out of his funk and its stayed around. It feels right to him that he would suddenly take a sudden interest in a case he was never involved in simply because he’s already in love with this women and has also already doodled their joint tombstone. When Boyle and Jake go investigate Genevieve (Mary Lynn Rajskub)’s ex-boyfriend as a lead it allows Joe Lo Truglio to play up how good Boyle is. The joke about him simply holding a mirror up to society, and literally having such a piece in this exhibit, was the show doing that to Boyle and its perfect. In fact everything about the art gallery is hilarious from the skin tight latex servants to Jake’s hipster as fuck undercover outfit. Andy Samberg plays along with the plot in true fashion getting so many good one liners in and walking the great balance of skeptical while supportive of Boyle and of course Mary Lynn Rajskub who comes in and like many of the great guest stars that the show gets, fits in immediately. She’s another female Boyle, but more around his age which could make for some fun, particularly the scene at the prison in which they question her on the case. Their interplay helps to make this episode so good and will hopefully be further highlighted when she guest stars again. Also shows an important side that Boyle isn’t always gonna be on Team Jake so much and Jake here is the Boyle to Boyle’s Jake this episode and it also works really well to shake up the structure every once in a while. Their rendition of My Humps, My Hunch, I could really watch a full music video of.
Now we have a lot of issues with the police these days and while the show can get really good with its more emotional beats thanks to its strong ensemble that really sells the material more than not, it isn’t exactly Nine-Nine’s bag to have a “very special episode” or get up on a soapbox. The character beats and relationships sell the emotions. What starts off a Amy once again desperately craving Holt’s approval and Gina’s slams on that plot, turns into a poignant story that actually addresses some real issues. There are other comedies on TV that deal with social commentary very well, but seeing Nine-Nine touch upon it was pretty nice to see this one get into it. Holt’s new campaign idea is about putting a friendly face on the NYPD and Amy more than raises her hand for teacher to see it higher than all the other students. Gina here plays the role of voice of reason, as if she wasn’t before, and warns them of what a bad idea this is and she was right once all the posters start getting vandalized and people bring up bigger issues they want addressed like racial profiling and stop and frisks. The vandalism gets the ball rolling and such a negative reaction is very much welcomed for the show to take a look at such problems and for Holt to personally change the campaign by asking the people how the NYPD can do better by sending complaints to him.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a show I think can very well handle this and make some issues we know and maybe some others we’re unaware of prevalent under the guise of comedy. Gina’s gloating was spot on with having a t-shirt tell them so rather than herself and Melissa Fumero being as funny as ever with her playful attempt to tell Holt to shut up and how she is at the photo shoot.
Rosa and Terry try to prove is Hitchcock and Scully ate the ice cream Marcus gave her, yeah he stills exists, and its just a light and breezy subplot. Really its not bad nor good, just compared to how good out A and B-plots where its just a bit weak, but god for some fun comedy beats such as Terry being upset about a spoon being thrown away when its the easier utensil to clean and Rosa’s overreaction to many things. Again its not really bad and primarily banks on the duo of Terry Crews and Stephanie Beatriz which you can never go wrong with.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine continues to find its steady groove in its third season which builds up more character relations and introduces some interesting new story beats for the show to explore. This is essentially Brooklyn Nine-Nine at its best where it gets to really be itself. The hilarious cold open set the tone for the episode well.