Screenplay by Luke Del Tredici (created by Doon Goor/Michael Schur)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s second season premiere just feels better than the first season. And the reason is because it’s the first season premiere to not be a series premiere. Ergo, this is the first episode following a season finale, and that means there are some things that need wrapping-up. For example, we have Jake Paralta’s undercover work, and where that leads him in this episode, as well as the insertion of a potential story arc involving Police HQ, and its affect on Precinct Nine-Nine. The first season is often the weakest for comedies, because the second season is where we know the characters, so the comedy comes from now experimenting with them. Simply having Paralta working undercover at the start at the episode, and that carrying-over the plot, rather than just being solved at the start, is an example of this. He’s taking more ambitious steps with his career, and that makes the show more ambitious itself, and it’s much better for it.
And then there’s also the process of the undercover investigation as well. Simply doing something isn’t going to necessarily going to have a desirably improving effect, but the opportunity it can provide will. Here, we see not only funny gags used, but clever ones. The use of Paralta’s car keys is ingenious – the gags happen because of it.
Really, what this episode’s done is prove what the show’s capable of, and – I hate this say this – makes the first season less funny. I suppose that’s a good thing. But unlike a comedy drama, where gags are happening over plot, here, the plot and the gags intertwine with each other. And now that’s established, there’s no way for the writers to go back on it. The question is… will they keep it up?
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Undercover – comedy season premiere done right. 6/10