Monday, October 12, 2015

Brooklyn Nine-Nine 3x03 "Boyle's Hunch" (This T'isn't Going To Work) [Contributor: Connie]

"Boyle's Hunch"
Original Airdate: October 11, 2015

What was so outstanding to me about this episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine was the way the show balanced living in a fictional world with the big problems of real-life policing. In fact, that piece greatly overshadowed the other parts of the episode, which we'll talk about later.
“It’s no secret the NYPD has an image problem.” 
The Amy/Holt/Gina side-plot (one of my favorite character combinations) didn’t initially seem like it would address the problems that people have with the police. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is, of course, a comedy. It’s hard for comedies to delve into real-world issues, especially while wanting to remain sensitive and respectful to those who have been negatively impacted by police action. But what I’ve noticed about TV shows lately is that they’ve been finding small ways to address serious issues without being preachy or taking something too far that brings you out of the story as a consequence.

Shur and the writing team did this on Parks and Recreation sometimes as well, notably when Leslie addressed "men’s rights activists" during a speech. Scandal did something similar recently when Olivia mentioned the #62milliongirls campaign and the lack of education for girls around the world. Jane the Virgin did it last season by literally stamping “#immigrationreform” on screen as Jane’s grandmother dealt with possible deportation.
“It’s not just vandalism, sir. People have real complaints, too. End stop and frisk. Stop racial profiling. Unlawful arrest is a crime.” 
“I should be open to criticism, just like this department should be open to criticism.”
Just a small acknowledgement of real-life situations and current events manages to bring the story the writers are trying to tell into the real world. Integration of those storylines lets us know the people behind-the-scenes are aware that the characters in their universe would (or should) be thinking about these issues and not just dwelling on typical sitcom (or melodramatic) antics. That makes the characters and universes more grounded for me. So kudos to Brooklyn Nine-Nine for daring to talk about changing police thinking when it comes to criticism and feedback.

In our main story, Charles meets his match (“She eats octopus balls and she sleeps on the floor? She’s the perfect woman!”), Genevieve, played by 24’s Mary Lynn Rajskub. He is initially too nervous to ask her out, but when he finally does, he finds out she’s going to prison for art theft! He and Jake decide to prove her innocence (“She was framed. Art joke!”).
“You and me, getting my lady off together.””I mean, you know how that sounds right?”
They talk to Genevieve, who points fingers at her ex-boyfriend. Jake and Boyle head to an art show, with Jake dressed as a hipster named Sherwin. They meet with Nick, the butthead ex-boyfriend, the clearly guilty assistant in the latex body suit (“If she farts in that thing, does it blow up like a balloon?” “You have to assume it does.”), and learn that art isn’t quite for them.

When Charles gives up on the case because the evidence points to Genevieve, Jake sees how depressed his friend is and continues to work the case. Jake surprises Boyle the next morning with the latex assistant (because, duh), and proves why he is such a good friend. “I didn’t do it to be nice. I did it to be amazing. Also I think you’re a good detective and I trust your gut.”

Meanwhile, Rosa is on a mission to destroy Scully and Hitchcock. They’ve been eating her Moose Tracks ice cream and she is not pleased about it. (“It is a delicious treat for all ages.”) Marcus introduced the ice cream to her and she’s pissed that Scully and Hitchcock are stealing it. (I like how Rosa is so furiously protective of her Moose Tracks because it represents her relationship with Marcus, which she is also trying to protect. You cute, Rosa. Even if you don’t want to be.) She pulls Terry into the case. The Terry/Rosa dynamic is so great because it plays against all stereotypes. Terry –– the big bulky cop –– is the one advocating for peace, while tiny Rosa is constantly leaping at Scully and Hitchcock when they obfuscate stupidity (this time. Usually, it’s true stupidity).

So far, this was my least favorite episode of the season, but between appreciation of its step into the real world and the many one-liners (mostly between Rosa and Gina), I still enjoyed it. What I am waiting for is more Amy/Charles storylines in the future, Jake/Gina, Jake/Holt — character combinations we don’t see that often and will be enhanced now that Amy/Jake are a thing. Also more Amy/Jake please. That one line about Amy going to Jake’s apartment wasn’t enough!

Bullets on the Bulletin Board
  • Rosa snapping her baton out to kill the tarantula in the cold open was great. I really love Rosa. 
  • “How do you keep them [the dogs] off the bed?” “I gave up, I sleep on the floor.” Both: “it’s better for your back!”
  • “Step one: put a delicious pie in the fridge and cover it with poison.” “That’s step one? What’s step two?” “Tell their widows they were thieves.” 
  • “I know you think my judgement is clouded because I like her a little bit.” “You doodled your wedding invitation.” “No. That’s our joint tombstone.” 
  • “This campaign –– like 3 out of 5 Backstreet Boys –– is inconsequential.” Clearly Gina has been on a 90s boy band binge, between this line and her NSYNC comment from the premiere.
  • “Don’t move.” “Not a problem; I hate moving.” 
  • “She has a great tongue. Strong, supple, great bud density.”
  • “Whoever used this spoon? Their body ain’t right.”
  • “This one says 'Die pig,' and what’s worse is they didn’t put the comma between 'die' and 'pig.'” Never change, Amy.  
  • I need a shirt like Gina’s “Gina told you so ” shirt. “Did you have enough time to read it all?”
  • “Socks and shoes. This is exactly the kind of stuff I own! It’s kismet.” Charles, you look for such easy common denominators. 
  • “I’m the Nostradamus of your shame.” How does Gina come up with these lines? Or the writers, for that matter?


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