That “New Season of a TV Show I Like” feeling is a good one, making for one special day of the week for 10+ weeks of the year. With Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Fridays are now that day for me, with season 6 definitely ramping up the crazy new standard every week. This week’s episode dives into the bumbling Hitchcock and Scully’s past as surprisingly able cops.
While I was somehow expecting a concept episode set entirely within the past for the two gross detectives, there actually is some framing within the modern setting for these flashbacks. Hitchcock and Scully are under internal investigation for an old case, and with the 99th precinct at war with the NYPD through Holt’s new perspective, Jake and Charles are assigned to also look into the case to figure out what really happened.
This does mean the flashback portion of the story is a bit diluted with what I felt to be a bit of an unneeded and clunky side story relating to Charles looking to adopt Nikolaj’s (read: Nikolaj) half brother from Latvia, which is very clearly a fully grown man. It’s loosely connected to Charles believing Hitchcock and Scully’s story relating to a missing duffle bag, which Jake believes is a sign that Charles is too trusting.
The flashback elements of the episode are definitely the highlight, showing Hitchcock and Scully in 1986 as competent and more morally pure versions of themselves. ’86 Hitchcock still has some lines that you can definitely hear modern Hitchcock saying, with the suave tone still undermined by knowing how sleazy he is now.
As Jake and Charles look into the full story, their amazement at the two former hot shot cops goes between admiration (even exclaiming how hot they were) to disgust when finding Hitchcock’s “home”, something I feel needs to be experienced yourself. Oddly, Hitchcock does seem to get more love and characterisation in this episode compared to Scully, which was a tiny bit disappointing.
While the main story goes down, there’s a few more side plots back at the actual precinct, with in-fighting between the “upstairs people” and the “downstairs people”, now that the entire precinct is working from the bullpen. It starts with Terry and Rosa accusing Amy’s subordinates from causing problems within what they feel is their space. It’s amusing, classic B99 rivalry that’s taken all the way to an immature conclusion involving a fish exploding in the contested communal microwave.
Holt focuses on his campaign against Commissioner John Kelly’s archaic police methods by organising a media interview to outright call him out on live television, recruiting Gina to help with with his mannerisms. This side story isn’t really touched on terribly much, but feels like more of a way to keep the remaining cast busy with something that’s still driving the story forward. But seeing John Kelly arrive with an incredibly passive aggressive variety of threats against Holt’s stone faced retorts is an interesting instalment in “Holt’s rivalries”.
All of the stories do end together, with Jake and Charles getting to the bottom of case regarding Hitchcock and Scully, and the moral issue within the precinct itself acknowledged by Holt, with a new approach being considered to stand up for what he believes in. It’s all satisfying enough, and when it’s entertaining it’s incredible, but I can’t feel like everything wraps up a bit too abruptly and without much screen time to develop these side stories.