First allow me to explain where I’ve been. I was on vacation with several of my closest friends. Everyone needs a break every now and then so hey I took a break, much needed one, and feel charged! Lets get back to work!
These latest episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine seem to ask the age old question of any workplace sitcom of, “Don’t these people have jobs?” Well yes, particularly here some very important ones, but its also something brought up from the same team of this show with The Office and Parks and Recreation and many others from the past, NewsRadio for certain springs to mind when that question is asked. Now this can be done well or not and Brooklyn Nine-Nine seems to know how to strike a good balance between absurdism and realism more often than not. The Jimmy Jab Games is a good example, Rosa investigating who eat her ice cream might not be, but the best example is the Halloween episodes. While season 1’s episode was a classic, last year’s installment wasn’t quite up to par and well got a bit over complicated for itself so here we are with Halloween III which not only is their best one yet, but the best offering season 3 has to offer so far.
Halloween III pits Jake and Captain Holt against once again to see who will call the other the most amazing detective/genius. This is also the end of the Halloween trilogy for the show and it needs to get big, it has to be outlandish which is why the heist setting, distractions, planted cockroaches, and Rosa gymnastics are required. Its gotta go big or go home. The interactions via strained paranoia are great set up for comedy, such as Amy being left off of each time and have her breasts yelled out by Jake and Holt who each think she’s being used by either side.
Again makes this one work is that the absurd lengths taken for the sake of the bet are outrageous, but its also a bit subdued like the first one. Halloween II was disappointing in how far it tried to reach to feel like it needed to be bigger. It did, but its grasp was bigger than though. Here having a bit of a smaller setting where its mainly confined to the precinct makes it work. It makes for many incredible laughs, including the fun subplot of Boyle trying to set Gina up with Genevieve’s twin brother for a weird connected family thing. That works well within the setting and doesn’t take too much away from the main proceedings. Also helps that guest star Josh Casaubon plays into it very well and very believable. Gina’s reactions are pretty great and its good to know that Mary Lynn Rajskub is gonna be around more for the show which is very reassuring.
This year’s bet between Jake and Holt also really shows a spirit of friendly competition than the previous two have and that also speaks to the development on friendship and professionalism between the two who do actually learn a lesson in underestimating Amy who wins the competition with her own planning savvy that gives the episode a great twist and turn in the events and also a nice surprise which gives a great conclusion to the seasonal bet that ends in Jake and Holt having one up on each other and Amy getting the final word. Melissa Fumero really gets to shine here and obviously shows she’s having a lot of fun with what’s given to her.
Halloween III celebrates the show and holiday with such style that is never lets up with the laughs and keeps consistent throughout.
Into the Woods however is a lesser episode that feels mixed. Sure it does focus on their jobs at first but then goes into varying directions. The A and C plot really are okay, its the main B plot with Rosa coming to term with her emotional side that works. She’s considering breaking up with Marcus (confirmed to still be a character here) and the emotional journey she goes on, even Holt who are both called out for their emotional repression by Holt’s husband. Their relationship with each other this episode make for great character arc, particularly Rosa. It also lets Stephane Beatriz stretch herself more on the show and give more depth to Rosa. Holt’s contributions continue making for great laughs and the resolution at the end makes a lot of narrative sense.
Main plot wise its okay. Jake and Boyle take Terry out to a co-workers cabin for stress release due to his home situation and well it feels a bit old hat. Taking the characters out of their setting can make for good things, but this wasn’t the case. Even if the image of Terry carrying Jake and Boyle over when they need to huddle together for warmth in a sinkhole is worth it, the story doesn’t inspire as many laughs as thought and wastes a guest stint of Veep’s Matt Walsh who this episode could have use more of. Though hey small progression of Jake, that’s great too.
Amy and Gina’s storyline is mainly good for more interactions between the two of them which proved to be a highlight last season when they were paired. Always good times with them.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine keeps things strong and moving along in a very good third season. Gotta admit I missed this show while I was gone. Glad to be watching it again.
HALLOWEEN III: A
INTO THE WOODS: B