Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Brooklyn Nine-Nine 3x07 "The Mattress" (Shmooshing Booties at the Mattress Factory) [Contributor: Connie]

"The Mattress"
Original Airdate: November 14, 2015

Jake and Amy work their first case together and it actually brings them closer together on this week’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine! I hadn't realized that Jake and Amy haven't had many cases together because their relationship seemed to have been moving forward off-screen. I assumed this milestone had come and gone, so it was exciting check back in on their relationship and watch them overcome their first fight.

Amy and Jake proved that their hilarious banter and dynamic has remained the same even with them dating. There is, of course, always the fear of the will-they-won’t-they curse. Many shows have suffered with getting their characters together, finding that it takes out the spark and sizzle of that unresolved sexual tension (UST) dynamic. Then, in order to combat that, many shows go through lengths and hoops and bounds to avoid getting their characters together in the first place — stringing the audience along for endless seasons before fans became frustrated with that dynamic.

I think we’re now reaching a point in the current television era where creators are trying hard to reach a middle ground. They want to give the fans what they want, but they’re also finding ways to still bring the tension to these characters — it just comes from a different place. You don’t have to change the characters and make them lovey-dovey all the time. Only focusing on the good, harmonious moments of a ship tanks it because fans do become less interested, and that is not how real relationships work. Two people don’t change personalities just because they fall in love and finally get to express it. They still have the same flaws and hang-ups. Maybe over time they change, as their partners inspire them to grow, but for the most part, if a will-they-won’t-they couple bickered and argued all the time before they dated, it’s likely they will carry that into their relationship. And as long as it’s not always about serious stuff, that’s fine. When fights are sparked by fundamental differences in beliefs, then we have to wonder if the characters were ever meant to be in the first place.

So turning to Jake and Amy, what I loved the most about them being in a relationship, and us finally getting to see it, is that they haven’t changed personalities and become the perfect couple. They think they are, but the things that annoyed them about one another still drive the other crazy. Jake is still sloppy, lazy, and unwilling to spend money when it’s useful (I hope we get more of Jake’s hoarder tendencies down the road). Amy is still uptight, awkward, and adorably nerdy. (I might have Amy-goggles on because she’s an adorable Gryffindor Hermione-type.) She’s also still nervous that Jake isn’t in their relationship all the way like she is, yet, Jake is fearful of the same thing — he feels and has always felt that Amy is too good for him. Jake and Amy had yet to have a fight. Ironically, not fighting left them both still nervous about the others’ intentions, meaning that they hadn’t proven their commitment yet. This fight finally gave them permission to relax into their relationship.

Despite being frustrated over Jake’s mattress, Amy still calls his apartment “home.” I know it’s easier than “your apartment,” but a lot of couples I know still use very specific language to speak of their partners’ homes as being separate from their own. So despite the lumpy mattress, all the junk that’s probably there, and her statement that she went home to shower, Amy is clearly comfortable at Jake’s apartment and feels at home there. Did she slept at his place without him there? Since he was already at work and had to explain that she showered at her own place and he felt comfortable leaving her there. Amy has referred to Jake’s apartment as her home in a previous episode this season; I wonder if there’s something about Jake’s apartment that’s more appealing to her than his. We don’t know all that much about Amy’s home life after all, do we?

All in all, I thought this was a perfect first case as a couple episode, a great first fight episode, and it wonderfully moved Amy and Jake forward. Also, it featured Jake and Amy bouncy-testing mattresses and ending it with mattress hand-holding. IT WAS THE CUTEST AND I WANTED TO LIVE IN THAT MOMENT.

Bullets on the Bulletin Board
  • “Ooh, lovers quarrel!” Love you Gina!
  • “My snitches are the best. The key is handwritten thank you notes.”
  • “Shall we take this partnership from the sheets to the streets?”
  • “I just discovered a new drug too. It’s your relationship and I’m high on it.” WHY IS BOYLE ME THOUGH?
  • I focused a lot on Jake and Amy, but I loved Rosa being a big sister. Everything about it was so in-character for her: for her to care so deeply, but express it so apathetically. Also it’s a great subtle storyline that this is happening after her break-up with Marcus and she needs a new way to use her time but also express her love. What a great way to deal with a break-up!
  • A small little detail that’s a perfect New York City detail? Rosa’s little brother was selling candy for his basketball team. That’s a thing young kids said on the subway when they sold candy. Then they figured riders didn’t believe that, so they switched up to “I’m not selling money for a basketball team, but just to keep myself out of trouble.” Now, I don’t see as many kids selling candy on the subway, but man did I love that little detail.
  • “HR gets daily updates and are BCCd on all of our emails to each other.” “That’s why HR Jim keeps high-fiving me.”
  • “Our only close call was when Jake didn’t know who Will Shortz was.” “Really. Never heard of the Puzzle Master. This is who you want to be with? I shouldn’t get involved.” I LOVE this moment.
  • “What’s with you Furiosa?”
  • Last review, I talked about how I wanted more Boyle/Holt interaction and I WAS BLESSED THIS WEEK. Am I psychic or should I be writing for Brooklyn Nine-Nine? (I did write a spec script for it last year... Or it’s just that the writers are really in-tune to what the fans want.)
  • Gina with the brilliant lesson taught to Captain Holt on Boyle’s behalf. Love when she stands up for him and they get to work together. “And I was the brilliant Gina Linetti in both scenarios.”
  • Charles sings Charles in Charge every day. Of course.
  • Also, as a lifelong New Yorker, I don’t know if Jake as the environmental activist was relatable to anyone else, but it was absolutely perfect to me. Because I also avoid anyone on the street with a clipboard.
  • If you didn’t giggle (giggle, not laugh) at Terry’s reaction when Rosa suggestion Cagney might call Lacey a poopie-head, I don’t know what to tell you. “Poopie-head means no Doc McStuffins for a week! Terry hates toilet talk!”
  • One confusing thing: why did Jake and Amy’s fight tip off the perp? They didn’t mention cop stuff in the fight...
  • I only heard Rosa say that ballet-age Rosa had pink hair on my second watch. Which is 1) Amazing because Rosa with pink hair?! 2) We can see it because actress Stephanie Beatriz actually wore pink hair over the summer. You could see some of the cover up earlier in the season. She rocks it well.
  • Finally, congrats to Melissa Fumero, who announced this week that she is pregnant! That’s so wonderful for her! 


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