Friday, April 8, 2016

Brooklyn Nine-Nine 3x21 Recap: “Maximum Security” (Amy Undercover) [Contributor: Alisa Williams]

“Maximum Security”
Original Airdate: April 5, 2016

Amy heads to jail, Jake and Charles become doctors, and Rosa mourns Pimento’s absence in this week’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Let’s talk about everyone’s favorite precinct, shall we?

At the end of last week’s episode, the team dedicated themselves to finding out who at the FBI is dirty and bringing that person to justice so Pimento can return to the Nine-Nine. So even though Pimento is (thankfully) not in this episode, the whole episode is still about him. Basically, his essence is lingering like a dirty gym sock.

The team knows that the mob boss Jimmy Figgis is the man who put a hit out on Pimento, and that getting to him will help get them to the dirty FBI guy (or gal). Jimmy’s sister, Maura, is in a Texas prison, so the team hatches a plan to send a female detective undercover to get in close with Maura and get intel on Figgis. Amy quickly volunteers but is laughed down. No one thinks she’d last a day in prison. Rosa seems the obvious choice to everyone and Holt chooses her to infiltrate the prison, much to Amy’s utter disappointment.

While the team gets ready to send Rosa undercover, Holt reveals a second plan to Terry and Gina: he wants to hold a funeral for Pimento to draw the dirty FBI agent out. But as far as the police officially know, Pimento is only missing. So, before they can hold a funeral, they need to find Pimento’s body, get it identified as Pimento, and obtain a death certificate. The only problem is, Pimento is still very much alive and hiding who knows where. So, they’ll have to find a believable stand-in for the Pimento corpse. Gina’s eyes land on Hitchcock, who could resemble a bloated version of Pimento that’d been floating in the sewers for a couple weeks. Problem solved.

Rosa prepares to go undercover, disguised as a pregnant inmate (in jail for stabbing a guy on the subway 46 times in the trachea). This... seems plausible. The fake pregnancy will give her an excuse to visit Jake and Charles, who will be undercover as her prison OB-GYNs.

Unfortunately, the minute Rosa gets inside the prison, she’s identified as a cop by a woman she arrested three years ago in Brooklyn. With Rosa out of the running as a believable inmate, it’s time to fulfill Amy’s wish and send her in. The Brooklyn Nine-Nine writers are clearly having fun with this episode, since the brilliant Melissa Fumero, who plays Amy, is clearly pregnant in real life. They’ve been strategically hiding her behind desks and chairs for weeks now.

Amy arrives in the Texas prison and immediately lets her cellmate know that she has a guy on the outside who gets her contraband. Her cellmate agrees to help her spread the word about her contraband store in order to draw Maura Figgis, who also runs a store, into an altercation. The plan works — a little too well for Jake’s liking. Just as things start to get heated between Maura and Amy, Jake has a guard call Amy to a doctor’s appointment, where he lectures her about things getting too dangerous. Amy tells Jake and Charles to stop worrying so much and to let her do her job.

Back in New York, the funeral for Pimento is underway. Holt and Gina have devised a way to check each of the funeral attendees’ hands to see if they have the scar Jake saw on the FBI agent’s hand: instead of just shaking hands like a normal human being, Gina and Holt are high-fiving all the guests. Though effective, it leaves everyone a little confused as to the funeral’s tone.

None of the guests appear to have scars, but after the funeral gets underway, a latecomer wearing gloves catches the team’s attention. The suspect notices them watching him and makes a run for it. They corner him in the next room and demand he remove his gloves. He’s not the scarred FBI agent, but he IS a pickpocket who managed to grab several wallets — including Scully’s — while everyone grieved Pimento.

Meanwhile, Jake has been pulling Amy out for fake doctor’s appointments every two seconds, much to her irritation. Amy feels disrespected by Jake, and thinks that he doesn’t trust that she’s strong enough to handle this undercover job. Jake finally admits that it’s him who’s not tough enough to watch her surrounded by all these criminals. After they finally get their feelings out, they devise a way to give Amy some street cred on the inside: the next time Jake comes to fetch her for a doctor’s appointment, she beats him up in front of everyone. This impresses Maura, who asks Amy to join her crew.

The FBI agent never shows up to Pimento’s funeral but Rosa does finally get in touch with her feelings about Pimento’s parting. She gives a surprisingly touching but still very Rosa-like eulogy, then she and Terry vow to take down the people responsible for all this.

I thought this episode would end up being really contrived and annoying when I discovered shortly in that it was going to be all about Pimento (whom I can’t stand). However, despite Pimento forming the basis for the whole thing, it turned out to be a really great episode. Melissa Fumero is hilarious as Amy, and she really got to shine this week. I loved that for the first time in weeks, she wasn’t regulated to a desk or other strategic position in order to hide her growing belly. She was priceless as an undercover pregnant inmate, and I hope the focus stays on her next week, too.

Bullets on the Bulletin Board:
  • “My presence is not puzzle-related. I just followed Terry into a dark closet.”
  • “That was crazy, right? I mean… I can be scary.” “Oh, yeah. I watch Jeopardy with you and you’re a straight-up psycho.” “Aww, thanks babe.” “I’ll take Awesome Girlfriends for $500, Alex.” “I know you’re being sweet, but don’t disparage Jeopardy.”
  • “I grew up forging report cards. If people knew how smart I was, it would have been harder to control them.”
  • “I dunno… Is anyone gonna buy it? I mean, do I look pregnant?” “I guess I can see it?”
  • “I’m gonna split you like a sundae with Grandpa.” 
  • “I’m sorry prison didn’t work out.” “Eh. I’ll find another use for that shiv.”
  • “I speak the language of the streets... Okay, it was actually from Girl, Interrupted.”
  • “Celly for my celly.” “Oh no! Word play? Abort!” “Oh. It actually worked. People are really starved for entertainment in here. Prison is hell.”


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