Brooklyn Nine Nine ended its last season with a cliffhanger, and much like Captain Holt’s future with the 99th precinct, the future of the series itself was an unknown. Its cancellation on Fox led to an outcry from fans, and NBC quickly picked it up for a sixth season. This led to a lot of questions — How would the show fare on another network? Would it still be as funny? What changes would we see going forward? I’m extremely happy to say that despite all this uncertainty, Brooklyn Nine Nine is as good as it’s ever been, if not a little better.
Honeymoon serves as a fantastic opener to NBC’s premiere season, with the Nine Nine crew at their very best after a holiday break, but it also does a worthy job of introducing the cast of eccentric but well-meaning officers to a potentially new audience. Every member of the cast gets a little bit of screen time here, with a clear objective of laying out who they are, what their personalities are like, and where they fit within the social hierarchy of the workplace. It’s an effective way of laying out the cast for new viewers, and it also gives an opportunity to showcase the storylines we’ll see from each of them in the episodes that follow.
The main plot revolves around — you guessed it — Jake and Amy’s honeymoon, and the surprising appearance of Captain Holt along the way. Jake and Amy’s relationship doesn’t need a great deal of development here, it’s grown into one of the best-developed relationships on TV over the past five seasons, which sets them up to more or less spit jokes back and forth the entire episode. All Jake and Amy want to do is follow the key doctrine of honeymooning in a tropical location — ABC, or Always Be Coconutting — but Holt’s absence presents a hilarious set of challenges.
An under-packed, over-emotional Holt is the star of the show here, with Andre Braugher, as usual, chewing the scenery and pumping out melancholy velvet dialogue. It’s made all the more funny by an increasingly hilarious and inappropriate set of T-shirts — visual comedy isn’t always at the forefront of Brooklyn Nine Nine, that’s usually reserved for shows like Bojack Horseman and Arrested Development, but it’s safe to say that they absolutely nailed it in this episode.
The B-plots are a little less interesting; Terry and Rosa are struggling with the bureaucracy of policing while Holt is away, while Charles and Gina are left dealing with a shaky situation with their married (and still very weird) parents. Neither of these plots are particularly dynamic, with the latter especially feeling more like a gateway to Gina’s eventual but inevitable departure from the show later this season, but like everything in Brooklyn Nine Nine, they’re still rife with hilarious moments, like Charles’ decision to wear a very creepy Gina mask in an attempt to unlock her phone.
Those wondering if the network switch resulted in any major changes to the show will be pleased to hear that, for the most part, everything is business as usual in the Nine Nine. That said, it’s pretty evident that the show’s writers have a bit more freedom now than on Fox, a point punctuated by two jokes — the first is a very meta joke from Hitchcock about being able to say certain words now, and the second is a moment of bleeped dialogue that took me by surprise to such an extent that I had to pause the episode because I was laughing so hard. It’s hard to say just how much this new freedom will impact the show — it could result in racier jokes and scenes, or it could result in nothing at all — but it seems like, for the moment, Brooklyn Nine Nine’s approach to humour will be following the doctrine of Police Commissioner candidates John Kelly(s): “Maintaining/staying on/remaining on the course.” And that’s not a bad thing, Brooklyn Nine Nine has always been exceptionally good at walking the fine line between adult jokes and family-friendly humour.
Season 6 is off to a wonderful start with Honeymoon, and it’ll be interesting to see where the episode’s fantastic closing line takes the rest of the season. In the meantime though, we can all be happy knowing that NBC’s Brooklyn Nine Nine is the same great show we’ve come to know and love.