This week’s episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine featured a new face to the show—Lin-Manuel Miranda. I am going to now make an attempt to review the episode without incoherently screaming about the fact that THE ALEXANDER HAMILTON, AND ONE OF THE MOST BRILLIANT MINDS IN OUR WORLD RIGHT NOW, WAS ON MY FAVORITE SHOW.
In the beginning of the episode, we see Jake facing an important decision—which blue checked shirt he is going to wear to have dinner with Amy’s mother. Boyle has very strong opinions, (“He has to wear the smaller checks! The big checks wash him out. Where are you, Amy?”) but Amy could not care less, because also joining them for dinner is her (ugh!) perfect brother, David (played by Miranda). He graduated top of his class at the police academy, he took a bullet for the mayor, and he bakes his own bread—we hate him too, Amy. But do not worry, because Jake has her back—he is the perfect hype man. (“Hey Scully, did you know that Amy is super cool?” “No way! Can I get your autograph, m’am?!”)
Boyle corners Terry and Holt in the break room to discuss a case he needs some assistance with, but Holt insists that discussing work in the break room is “highly unorthodox”, and they should move to his office. The case involves Alphonso Tucker, who has been caught dealing a toxic batch of meth, and refuses to name his supplier. Boyle’s idea is to have someone join Alphonso in the holding cell undercover as a perp to see if they can get him to open up. The character he has created for this perp is named “Maxwell Blaze” and he thinks Terry would be a great fit—but Holt has different ideas. After all, he and Kevin recently competed in the French parlor game “Charades” and he nailed Elvis Presley by quietly crossing his arms across his chest and closing his eyes (“He’s dead now, so I portrayed him as such. Everyone understood immediately.”). Boyle agrees to hold auditions, and advises them to wear “clothes they can move in”.
At dinner, Jake gives Amy a quick pep talk—not to tell her how great she is, but to inform her that if things start to go south, he will act like he is choking and she can do the Heimlich Maneuver to save his life and look better. But the night is off to a rough start—first, David and Amy’s mom Camilla have arrived an hour early. When Jake tells them about Amy’s gold certification in marksmanship, David mentions he just went platinum. Amy is the youngest female sergeant in the history of the nine-nine, and David just (accidentally) passed the lieutenants exam. Suspecting that the dinner was going downhill, Jake shoves a roll in his mouth and begins to fake choke. Amy gets up to help him, but Camilla tells her to sit down, as David has EMT training. Fed up, Amy excuses herself while David performs a painful and unnecessary maneuver on Jake.
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) March 8, 2019
Terry and Holt have gathered with their scripts to show off their acting skills to Boyle. Terry is up first—giving a gritty rendition of Maxwell, asking “Do you know what it’s like, to look a man in his eyes, as the life drains out of him?” The captain’s take is just as hard hitting, talking about his fake girlfriend, noting “You should see her heavy, feminine breasts, with their perfectly placed nipples. Don’t get me started on her can.” Boyle has a lot to consider, and thanks them.
Jake finds Amy outside of the bathroom, still fuming. “Also, everyone saw you walking away while I was choking,” Jake mentions. “And I don’t want to say you’re a villain now, but the b-word was tossed around. A lot.” They decide to end the evening, but when they rejoin them, David’s captain is at their table. They place him under arrest for possession of cocaine. (“Oh noooooooooo….” Amy says with a thinly veiled smile.) At the station, Amy is called to bail David out and, I mean, it would be terrible to say that she is happy. She is not, of course, that would be horrible. But she cannot stop smiling. And complimenting Scully.
She is still all smiles (and selfies) when they pick up David, despite Jake reminding her it is in poor taste. David explains his actions by talking about how much pressure he has been under from their parents, ever since they were kids. Amy is shocked—her brother always seems to effortlessly have it together, but maybe they are more alike than she realizes? She is about to take it down a peg when they get into the car and David reveals that story was bull, it was just in case they were being listened in on. Turns out, there are dirty cops in his department that he has been going after because they are taking money from the Brazilian mob (“Ugh, Brazilian mobsters are so good looking. They’re just a bunch of gazelles, the women and the men!”) and they planted the cocaine to try to frame him.
Boyle posts the results of the audition, and he has decided to go with Holt as Maxwell, and Terry is pissed. He claims Holt’s rendition was unbelievable, (“Yes, I gave myself a Dickensian backstory, which, apparently, made quite the impression.”) but he gets the part anyway. In the holding cell, Holt meets Alphonso and tries to get him to talk, but he is absolutely terrible. (“I pushed a man, just to see him frown.”) Terry cannot get over how Holt got the part instead of him as they listen in, but this was Boyle’s plan all along—to get him ready to play the real role of “Tyrone McCallister”. Terry is suspicious at first, and Rosa warns him not to fall for Boyle’s deception. But the pull of the theater is too strong, and he takes the roll with enthusiasm.
Jake brings Amy the news that her brother has been cleared, but she can only roll her eyes. Now “perfect David” is just going to go take down the bad guys and get even more awards from the governor. (Barf.) Jake thinks it sounds dangerous, that maybe they should help him, but Amy declines. (“Look, Ames—I never had a brother, but I know four guys who did. And they would have fights and squabbles but in the end, they always had each other’s shells.” “Are you talking about the Ninja Turtles?” “Of course I’m talking about the Ninja Turtles!”) She comes to her senses, however, when she realizes that David’s death would mean an even bigger shrine on her parent’s mantle. That is not exactly the lesson Jake was hoping for, but he will take it.
David meets them at the club to take down the Brazilian mobsters, but he and Amy will not stop arguing. He claims she is just jealous of him because he is better at everything than she is, and a truly epic argument ensues. (“That’s not true! I have more allergies than you!” “I have so many allergies, I just found out that I’m allergic to chia seeds!” “I’m allergic to chia, and acai berries!” “Yeah, well my throat gets scratchy when I eat stone fruit!”) It progresses into a dance off that would put Elaine from Seinfeld’s moves to shame. Amy decides to end it with her signature move—a death drop (from RuPaul’s Drag Race, of course), which goes very poorly, but does at least provide the needed distraction for the beautiful Brazilian guards to leave their post, allowing Jake to break in.
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) March 8, 2019
Boyle finally allows “Tyrone” into the cell to try his luck with the perp, but immediately pulls him out for notes. He needs to be “an ocean”, and apparently is missing his mark. Terry tries again and again, but each time Boyle pulls him out. Finally he snaps, reminding Boyle that he is an experienced cop, and he has done undercover work before—right next to the Alphonso. Whoops.
David and Amy join Jake in the Brazilian mob’s office, and David is trying to apologize for their earlier fight—which is only making Amy more angry because of course he is being nice when she is being horrible! HE IS THE WORST! Amy decides the best revenge is to find the ledger (with sufficient evidence to arrest the dirty cops), so she dives in, finding it pretty quickly. In her moment of triumph, she celebrates by yelling “I beat the golden boy! I’m the golden girl!” which is truly heartwarming and also alerts the mob to their presence. They try to escape, but Jake gets distracted by the beauty of one of their henchmen, and he knocks him out.
They call for backup, but in the meantime, David and Amy try to figure out what to do. The guards are taking Jake out to their car, so their one chance is to shoot out the tires. David tries to tell Amy to do it, but she declines—in the heat of the moment, she does not care about ego. It is about who can get the job done to save Jake. David takes the shot, and the car slams into a divider. Jake is relieved and still very much taken with how beautiful these Brazilian dudes look and smell. Same, Jake—same.
Back at the precinct, Holt and Terry are pissed that they got nothing out of Alphonso until Boyle reveals—they were side characters the whole time! The star of the show had been Rosa, who had gotten the name of the supplier from Alphonso by playing “Rickee Sheets—DJ by night, gun smuggler by later night”. They cannot help but be impressed by Boyle’s brilliant strategy.
— Stephanie Beatriz (@iamstephbeatz) March 8, 2019
Amy and Jake go out to dinner again with David and Camilla to celebrate a job well done, and Camilla proceeds to again praise only David. Seemingly frustrated, Amy excuses herself to the bathroom. Jake meets her outside, concerned that she is upset, but she really was not—she may never have the mantle, but she does have him. (Cue our “AWWWWW”s.) Jake is grateful, but wishes she had indicated that she was fine beforehand, because he well and truly roasted Amy’s mom after she left. He asks Amy if he should go back to apologize, but because they are mature adults, they decide to sneak out the back.
This week’s episode was so much fun, and we really hope they bring on Lin-Manuel Miranda more often! He is as big of a fan of the show as we are, and from his behind the scenes pictures, it looks like he had a blast!