Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Brooklyn Nine-Nine 5x02 and 5x03 Recaps: “The Big House, Part 2” & “Kicks” (Ch-Ch-Changes) [Contributor: Alisa Williams]

“The Big House, Part 2”
Original Airdate: October 3, 2017

In the second part of the season five opener of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Jake and Rosa are still in jail, and things aren’t exactly looking up for them. Jake is performing double agent duty, having infiltrated Romero’s notorious prison gang and snitching to the warden on the side. It’s not going so well. He gets himself thrown in solitary for five days at the warden’s orders. Solitary isn’t great for anyone, but especially someone as out-of-touch with their feelings as Jake. To cope, he constructs an Amy out of mashed potatoes and spends his time talking to it. Yeah, it’s gotten that bad.

Meanwhile, Amy (the real one, not the mashed potato one) has been spending her Jake-free evenings re-shelving books in the public library, much to the annoyance of the actual librarian. While there one evening, Seamus Murphy, head of the most brutal crime family in New York, pays her a visit. Murphy knows Jake is innocent and wants to take down the corrupt Lieutenant Hawkins who framed Jake just as badly as Amy does. He tells her Hawkins is planning to move stolen diamonds that would tie Hawkins to the crime Jake and Rosa are convicted for.

A deal with Murphy wouldn’t be free, though. If Amy takes him up on his offer to help, then she’ll owe him a favor. The next day, Amy talks to the whole team about the idea. Holt suggests that instead of making a deal with the mob, they work the lead Murphy gave them and try to catch Hawkins moving the drugs by themselves.

Jake is trying to make a deal of his own on the inside. The warden isn’t impressed with the intel he’s been getting from the prison gang, and tells Jake that if he doesn’t get some good dirt soon, he’ll tell the whole prison Jake’s a snitch. Jake will be killed if that happens, which the warden is totally fine with. So, now Jake is tasked with trying to get into Romero’s inner circle and find out how he’s smuggling drugs into the prison.

As Jake quickly learns, just asking Romero if he can join his inner circle isn’t all that effective. Romero becomes suspicious that Jake is a snitch, so Jake has to back off that plan real fast. Next, Jake goes to Caleb the Cannibal for help and after talking with Caleb, Jake decides he’ll just figure out where the drugs are by putting his detective skills to use.

Amy and the team are having better luck with their plan. After surveilling Hawkins, Amy discovers that she has two cell phones: a regular one and another that only has Snapchat installed. Hitchcock apparently knows way too much about how Snapchat works, and also how to mirror a cellphone so they can find out exactly what Hawkins is up to.

There’s only one slight complication: they have to get their hands on Hawkins’ cell phone in order to mirror it. Boyle mentions that if you visit prison, they make you leave your cell phone in the car. So, they convince Rosa to ask Hawkins to visit her so they can gain access to the cell. Rosa isn’t too happy about having to chat with the woman who framed her, but Holt says they’ll only need three minutes and Rosa begrudgingly agrees that she can remain civil. But, Rosa warns, if it takes any longer than three minutes, she will break through the protective glass and throttle Hawkins with her bare hands.

Fortunately, Amy, Boyle, and Holt are able to break into Hawkins’ car and mirror her phone before Rosa murders her. Over at the men’s prison, Jake and Caleb are also having success. Jake’s figured out that the drugs are being snuck into the prison in bars of soap. Of course, he doesn’t realize this until after he’s used a bar of soap and gotten a severe contact high. He still manages to tell the warden about his discovery despite being completely high and unable to pronounce the word “all.”

When Jake gets back from the warden’s office, Romero and his gang are waiting for him. Jake manages to keep his snitching secret, but does reveal that he’s super high right now. Romero decides this means he can trust Jake after all and reveals what Jake already knows — that the drugs are being smuggled in the bars of soap. Romero also tells him that he’s one of only two people who know how the drugs are getting in, which is bad news for Jake. As soon as the warden uses the intel Jake just gave him, Jake’s a dead man.

The clock’s also ticking for Amy and the team. They successfully mirrored Hawkins’ phone and watch as she texts where and when the diamonds will be moved. They have one hour to get to the train station locker where they’re stashed and bust Hawkins once and for all.

They race to the train station and intercept a man opening the locker, but the duffel bag inside is empty, except for a cellphone. Hawkins calls and brags to Holt about besting them once again. But once the team gets back to the station, Holt has a revelation. Hawkins’ informant, Langdon, (the one who testified against Jake and Rosa), has a pig farm and during a recent stakeout Hitchcock and Scully saw Langdon force-feeding the pigs. Holt thinks he must have been feeding them the diamonds.

Sure enough, when they raid the pig farm and dissect the pigs, their stomachs are full of diamonds. The squad rushes in and arrests Hawkins. Just in time, too, because the warden busted up Romero’s drug ring and he wants Jake dead.

Everyone’s impressed with Holt’s ability to figure it out, but just as the closing credits start rolling, Holt gets a phone call from Seamus Murphy. In order to save Jake and Rosa, it seems Holt made a deal with the devil. Murphy gave him the tip on the pigs and now Holt owes the Irish mob a favor that Murphy will undoubtedly collect on later this season.

Bullets on the Bulletin Board:
  • “I need your help.” “That’s what friends are for!” “Well, friends might be a bit of a stretch. I mean, you’re a cannibal that ate six people.” “Nine-and-a-half.”  
  • “Don’t let them see us. Blend in.” “I gotta tell you, cop work is a lot like cannibal work.” “Really?” “Oh yeah! The watching, the following, the waiting for soccer practice to end.”

Original Airdate: October 10, 2017

With Jake and Rosa finally out of jail, the Nine-Nine team is back and ready for action! Jake confides to the team that what he missed most of all while in prison was great food. (Amy, it seems, was a distant second after food.) To make up for lost time that could have been spent eating, Jake tells the team they will be celebrating “Freedom Fest 2017” with a variety of heart-stopping food including cheeseburgers, pizza, a Passover brisket, a Thanksgiving turkey, loads of candy, and more.

After their feast, Jake tells Captain Holt he’s ready to get back to work and tackle a case. Holt reminds Jake that unfortunately, he hasn’t been cleared to work any cases yet and is instead assigned to desk duty. Being Jake, he can’t handle desk duty so he convinces Boyle to tell him what he’s working on, which turns out to be grand larceny at a sneaker store. Boyle being Boyle, he of course lets Jake help.

Though Rosa’s cool with the desk-duty assignment, she has other problems going on. Her fiancé, Adrian Pimento, has returned from Argentina now that the charges against him were dropped, but she tells Amy and Terry that he’s been acting funny. Terry and Amy are dubious because Pimento is a psycho all the time, but Rosa insists he’s hiding something and she’s going to find out what it is.

After going through his bank statements, she discovers a Mexican restaurant charge for two entrees and one flan, which convinces her Pimento’s having an affair. Terry agrees that this is clearly evidence of cheating, though Amy’s still not convinced.

Meanwhile, Jake and Boyle discover a loophole in Jake’s required desk duty. It turns out, Jake is allowed to demand his own evaluation while performing a field assignment. If he passes the evaluation, he’ll be cleared for active duty. Holt strongly cautions him against it because if he fails the evaluation, he’ll be suspended and have to surrender his gun and badge. To further complicate matters, Holt assigns himself to be Jake’s evaluator. Jake’s not worried though, and instead sets off to help Boyle crack the grand larceny sneaker case.

The robbery involved all the pairs of expensive sneakers from Lil Wayne’s latest line that the store had in stock. A crowd of people were gathered outside the store the night of the robbery all wanting to be the first to get their hands on the new sneakers, so their pool of suspects is pretty large. While Jake tracks down leads at the store, he tries to ignore Holt who is always nearby, evaluating his actions, and making him nervous. Even though there were no fingerprints or other evidence left at the crime scene, Jake spies a security camera across the street and hopes it will reveal who robbed the store. Though he doesn’t catch the person on camera, he does discover how the robber broke in, which gets them one step closer.

The perp was camped outside the store, with the rest of the crowd, in a blue tent that was positioned right over a manhole cover. When Jake, Boyle, and Holt go down into the sewer, they discover a hole in the wall that leads directly into the sneaker store’s storage room. Holt remains unimpressed, however.

Back at the precinct, Rosa storms in and tells Amy and Terry that she confronted Pimento and he not only denied cheating but said he’d never heard of the restaurant. Not only that, but he left their apartment in clean clothes that morning which she tells them he never does. She wants to do full surveillance on him, starting now. Amy reminds her that using precinct equipment for personal surveillance is forbidden, but fortunately, Hitchcock has his own “sneak kit” that he lets her borrow. While staking out Pimento, Rosa sees him meet up with another woman and give her a kiss on the cheek, before going back into the Mexican restaurant where the whole thing started. She has her proof now but she’s devastated.

When she confronts Pimento, he finally comes clean. He hasn’t been cheating, though. The woman is his Spanish teacher. He’s been trying to learn Spanish so that he can impress Rosa’s father. They were only at the restaurant so he could practice ordering in Spanish, and they shared the flan because the restaurant serves huge pieces and tells all their customers to share. Rosa’s relieved and apologizes.

Meanwhile, Jake has tracked down the owner of the blue tent, Morris Richmond, and they make their arrest. He’s wearing a pair of the sneakers when they arrest him, which is pretty damning evidence. Holt is finally impressed and tells Jake he passed the evaluation. But at 3:47 a.m., Jake suddenly wakes up and realizes that Richmond is innocent. He runs to Boyle’s apartment and wakes him up. Jake realizes that maybe when Richmond told them a friend gave him the sneakers, he was actually telling the truth. Other than the pair he was wearing, they found none of the other stolen pairs in his apartment, and other than the blue tent, there’s no physical evidence tying him to the crime scene.

Jake tells Boyle he perused the dark web and discovered a woman named Jenny McFadden who is selling the Lil Wayne sneakers. He and Boyle decide to go undercover, wearing sneakers from Jake’s personal collection, to take Jenny down. It turns out, however, that Jenny McFadden doesn’t actually exist. That’s just a cover name that Morris Richmond uses on the dark web.

Boyle tells Jake he should be relieved — he was right all along about Richmond. There’s a slight problem though: Jake let Richmond go earlier that morning, thinking they had the wrong guy. Now they have to come clean to Holt and Holt is furious. When Holt asks Jake to explain himself, Jake says he’s realized he’s not ready to be back in the field. Holt and Boyle are both shocked, but Jake explains that after experiencing jail himself, it’s really hard for him to throw someone else in jail.

Later, Holt comes up to Jake and tells him that thanks to all the research Jake did on Morris Richmond and his known aliases, they were able to arrest him again. Holt also admits that when Jake came back, he was afraid he’d be more reckless out on cases, but the opposite has happened — Jake’s become more cautious and Holt thinks he’s a better cop because of it. Jake has passed his evaluation and is cleared for active duty again. Despite that, Jake says that he’ll still take a few extra weeks on desk duty, and Holt says he respects that decision.

Meanwhile, Rosa’s realized that when she thought Pimento was cheating on her, she was actually relieved because she actually wants to break up with him. She tells Amy and Terry that she hasn’t felt like herself in a long time and now she knows breaking up with him is what she needs to do. It goes about as well as one would expect, but she’s relieved she did it. I’m relieved too because I’ve despised the Pimento character ever since they introduced him, so I hope he’s finally off the show for real now.

Bullets on the Bulletin Board:
  • “Good morning, sir, your expression is inscrutable as always.” “And yours is extremely scrutable. You want something. A video game, perhaps? Or a fidget spinner?”
  • “So now I’m just supposed to do anything that Rosa does? What if she jumped off a cliff?” “If Rosa were to jump off a cliff, she would have done her due-diligence regarding the height of the cliff, the depth of the water, and the angle of entry. So, yes, if you see Rosa jump off a cliff, by all means, jump off a cliff.” “You jump off a cliff!” “Gladly. Provided Rosa did first.”
  • “Follow the flan, Rosa! Follow the flan!” 
  • “Captain, I hope you’re wearing your evaluating pants because I’m about to put on a crime-solving clinic.” “I am wearing my evaluating pants.” “What? I was just — wait, what are evaluating pants?” “They have a deep bottom pocket for my notepad and they don’t crease, which is a must given how much I squat during an evaluation.”
  • “You know, there is no pleasing you.” “That is accurate.”


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