Brooklyn Nine-Nine season 6 review: New Network. Same Squad.


Brooklyn Nine-Nine didn’t drop a beat when it moved to a new network. Let’s recap the highs, the lows, and the farewells of season six.

When the first official promo for season six of Brooklyn Nine-Nine was released by NBC, it was clear that the show would stick to its roots. I’m not sure that anyone expected the budget to go through the roof. I didn’t expect the show to get bigger. It just looked like fun. That’s the essence of the show. The show is legit wack-a-doodle. But. It’s super grounded in the fact the squad is made up of good, socially conscious cops. Even Hitchcock (Dirk Blocker) and Scully (Joel McKinnon Miller) have an important role to play. No one is better at mindless tasks and paperwork.

The Highs

No one feared that the show would retcon anything. But creator Dan Goor and company did throw away one seasons’ old conceit in the grandest of fashions. For years, we would get flashbacks of Hitchcock and Scully with their hair darkened and their ties wide. They have seemingly always been the same as if the squad was their own personal Hotel California.

In episode two, “Hitchcock and Scully,” that concept of the younger duo was retconned in magnificent fashion. We got to see the real origin story of how our heroes became desk bound and addicted to the sauce at Wing Sluts. In true Brooklyn Nine-Nine fashion, there was a lot more heart involved than we ever expected.

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE — “Hitchcock & Scully” Episode 602 — Pictured: (l-r) Dirk Blocker as Hitchcock, Joel McKinnon Miller as Scully — (Photo by: Vivian Zink/NBC)

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The season-long arc of Captain Holt (Andre Braugher) versus Commissioner Kelly (Phil Reeves) was about the only through-line that we really needed. It started early in “Honeymoon.” Kelly was painted as a spiteful, civil rights abusing commissioner who was exactly what the NYPD did not need. The arc would be picked up every so often in episodes like “The Honeypot.” It concluded in the season finale, “Suicide Squad,” which turned out to be one of the best episodes of the season.

One of the biggest highlights for me was the cast moving behind the camera to direct episodes. Stephanie Beatriz (Rosa) was the first to have their episode air. “He Said, She Said” was a complicated #MeToo inspired episode that had a lot of moving parts, a guy named Beefer (Matt Lowe), and no real winners.

The essence of the episode came through clearly. Women are in entirely impossible situations in the workplace just because they’re women. Whether or not you choose to be vocal about what’s happening is of no importance. Once the focus is on you, the chances for career advancement are low. Even feeling comfortable at the job is made exponentially more difficult.

The script gave a clear path to the irony and sadness of it all. But Beatriz really captured the matter-of-fact nature of everything. Sometimes that was shooting scenes straight up. Other times it was really blocking the actors and actions to create a contrasting void-like feeling and claustrophobic vibe of life being on top of you. Plus, the episode was just plain funny.

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE — “He Said, She Said” Episode 610 — Pictured: (l-r) Andy Samberg as Jake Peralta, Melissa Fumero as Amy Santiago — (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

Joe Lo Truglio (Boyle) directed “The Bimbo.” It was a great caper episode that included Jake (Andy Samberg) working with Captain Holt. But the real fun of the episode was the lunch war that divided the office. What started as sushi versus cupcakes ended up in laser tag and limousine rides. It was the exact amount of crazy that part of the story needed.

Melissa Fumero (Amy) directed “Return of the King.”  It marked Chelsea Peretti’s return as Gina Linetti. And, as I mentioned in my recap, Fumero made Gina’s promo video, rave-like meet-up, and stabbing pop with over the top madness. It was funny. The slow-motion shot through security cameras late in the episode was the cherry on top.

I’d love to see Beatriz, Lo Truglio, and Fumero direct more episodes. Maybe we’ll get a few more cast members writing episodes in season seven. These actors have six full seasons playing these characters. They have a plethora of knowledge and insight that would make episodes next level wack-a-doodle with love.

The Lows

There weren’t a lot of Brooklyn Nine-Nine lows this season. For me, the only weird moments were in “Casecation.” Jake and Amy have been the relationship that’s served as the heart of the show for the last three seasons. Even before that, there were sparks-a-glowing. Peraltiago has avoided becoming Jim and Pam, which lost their steam after season three of The Office. Where that couple’s allure was the build-up to them getting together, Jake and Amy’s longevity and bond is what draws me to their relationship.

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE — “Casecation” Episode 612 — Pictured: (l-r) Andy Samberg as Jake Peralta, Melissa Fumero as Amy Santiago — (Photo by: Greg Gayne/NBC)

In “Casecation,” Jake is afraid of having kids. Amy, along with me and likely a lot of the audience was surprised by this. I audibly gasped when she told Jake she might have to start over if he really didn’t want to have kids. What?! That is huge! And a really fast development. It’s not like that is so out of character for Amy, but that’s not a bell you unring.

Once she considers there might be a future passed Jake, every time he overspends or over-prioritizes something silly, she might consider leaving. Yes. Having kids is a big deal. That’s why this is more than a speed bump. The fact this disagreement happened makes me think that Amy would reconsider everything Jake does.

The issue is resolved within the episode. It’s resolved so hard that Jake is heartbroken that Amy would prank him about being pregnant in “Cinco de Mayo.” I get that the timelines move fast on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, especially with a shortened season, but wow. That’s a big jump in character development. It was like twelve steps back and seventeen steps forward.

The Farewells

Gina Linetti left to take over the world and the Internet at the end of “Four Movements.” The team behind Brooklyn Nine-Nine handled the departure well. There wasn’t a gaping sarcasm hole in the middle of the show. The shorter episode order helped. A closer focus on everyone’s personal life fleshed out the season.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine-Return of the King-Courtesy of John P. Fleenor/NBC

Still, the sheer lunacy of “Return of the King” reminded me of what we were missing. Brooklyn Nine-Nine will easily survive, but there’s no denying how important Chelsea Peretti was to the show. Every character is fairly honest, but there was a bluntness to Gina that few TV characters could match.

We also lost Holt as Captain of the Nine-Nine in “Suicide Squad.” There’s no doubt that the early episodes of the seventh season will arc around Captain Holt’s return or promotion to Commissioner of the NYPD. The final showdown between Captain Holt and Acting Commissioner Wuntch (Kyra Sedgwick) has been a long time coming. I’m assuming Terry (Terry Crews) will run the Nine-Nine next season.

Looking Ahead

I loved the guest stars Brooklyn Nine-Nine featured this season. Also, now that they’re on NBC, the cast can swear. It’s bleeped and their faces are distorted when they swear. But, still, the augmented reality of frustrated people swearing every so often was a nice addition.

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In season seven, I look for even more character development and the slow resolution to character arcs. Who knows what the future holds passed season seven. Holt versus Wuntch is the first domino to fall. We’ll see what happens with Peraltiago. I’d love to see more of Rosa and Jocelyn (Cameron Esposito). I look forward to the show being safe and having a normal offseason to break stories and line-up guests.

Did you enjoy season six of Brooklyn Nine-Nine? Is there anything you would have done differently? Let’s discuss in the comments!