Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Lockdown — review

Screenplay by Luke Del Tredici.

Season 2 has, so far, been an interesting insight into the workers at Precinct 99. What Tredici does with Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Lockdown is to create a situation in-which most characters are trapped within it during a package scare, the exceptions being Det. Ser. Jeffords and Cap. Holt, who are up to… something else. I honestly can’t remember what. This episode is just that forgettable. And I don’t really have a problem with that, because most episodes are entertaining, so one deviation isn’t going to do any harm, but I take everything I watch for what it is, not as I’d like it to be.

Sometimes, you just don’t get it right. It’s doesn’t have to be someone’s fault. Sometimes, the wind’s just in the wrong direction, and the arrow lands off-target. Sometimes, the jokes just seem off or not-quite-right. It was a good idea, and was potentially one of the best: make the precinct the central character for an episode by closing it due to a scare. It could have been a love letter to the show by portraying how much these people care about the building. Maybe save it for an anniversary special in season ten?

But it’s not something I’ll hold against Brooklyn Nine-Nine, just this episode. Everyone has a bad day, but it doesn’t mean they’re not normally on top form. There are plenty more I’ll gladly watch, and this exception just shows how rare examples of this actually are.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Lockdown — rare example of bad storytelling luck 4/10.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Undercover — review

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