Brooklyn Nine-Nine 5x13 "The Negotiation"
The Pontiac Bandit, everyone’s (including Jake’s) favourite criminal, has returned, except this time as a...diamond thief? In another cold open that plays directly into the episode’s main plot, Jake receives word that he is wanted as a negotiator in a botched B&E that has turned into a hostage situation. Jake is as inappropriately excited as he usually is when there’s a situation where people’s lives are at risk (“You’ve prayed for a hostage situation?” “Every night without fail!”) and he and Diaz head down to the scene of the crime.
Who is behind the hostage situation except Doug Judy himself, Jake’s arch-nemesis/best friend/partner in crime — as Jake himself says, “it’s a layered relationship!” I truly love the way this relationship has developed over the years, especially given that it only has one episode of material a season to grow on. I think it’s a huge testament to the chemistry between Andy Samberg and Craig Robinson that the audience has become so invested in this relationship, especially given how downright ridiculous it can be at times.
When Jake and Judy last parted ways a year ago, it was after the two had taken down Judy’s murderous brother, the NYPD had pardoned Judy for all his outstanding crimes, and Judy had left after promising to try to stay clean. Given that, Jake is less than pleased to learn that Judy has gone back to his nefarious ways.
However, Judy reveals that he did go straight (he now sells luxury vehicles to the rich and famous, legally), but two years prior he had stolen a car from a big drug boss, Martin Halloway. When he found out who the car belonged to he torched it, unwittingly along with the millions of dollars of drugs that were in the drunk. Recently, Halloway discovered that Judy was behind it and told him that he needed to repay the loss by stealing diamonds, or else he would kill Judy’s mother. (Sound convoluted? It is, but to be fair the situations that have brought Jake and Judy together have only gotten crazier over the years, and I’ll accept anything that puts the Pontiac Bandit back on my screen.)
ESU doesn’t accept Judy’s plan to catch Halloway (reasonably, they assume that he’s lying about turning himself in afterwards) so he and Jake need to come up with another scheme to catch the criminal, one that involves Judy pretending to take Jake hostage in order to get Rosa into the building. Rosa is sceptical that Judy actually has pure intentions, since she’s watched him pull the wool over Jake’s eyes before: “You’re the frog and he’s the scorpion. You’re gonna help him across the river. And in the end, he’ll sting you, and then you’ll both drown.”
As per their plan, Jake and Rosa get Scully to bring a bunch of pizzas in as part of their demands. And then Scully does what he does best: turns off his heart. In the ensuing chaos as Scully is carted away on a gurney and the hostages are released, Judy and Jake sneak out dressed as uniformed officers. They end up in a Korean karaoke bar, where they set up the drop with Halloway.
Halloway agrees to meet up with Judy at 5:00 PM, and the plan is for Jake to take the drug boss down. However, the plan goes awry when the negotiator whose job Jake had stolen and who had grown increasingly suspicious of Judy’s actions shows up. Halloway makes a run for it while Dennis has Jake cornered. They’re able to take Halloway down before he gets too far, but then discover that Judy has taken off with the diamonds, leaving Jake, as per Rosa’s predictions, to drown.
Meanwhile, Charles has finally opened his food truck, “The One Thing,” that serves (you guessed it) only one thing: his nana’s meatball sandwiches. Unfortunately, the two guys Charles hired to work the truck called in sick, leaving him alone on his first day; wanting his truck to be a success, Amy and Gina volunteer to help out.
Charles turns out to be a bit of a tyrannical boss, first insisting that Amy and Gina call him chef, then judging them harshly for their bread-cutting skills, and then getting furious when they make six sandwiches at a time instead of only one because it compromises bread integrity. Unable to deal with Charles’s tyrannical ways, Amy and Gina both quit.
Back at the precinct, Holt and Terry need to train Hitchcock for an interview with a member of the commissioner’s selection committee, who is there to learn more about Holt’s management style. (Hitchcock is hardly Holt’s first choice, but the interviewer doesn’t want to speak with a supervisor and Hitchcock is the only detective in the precinct.) Holt and Terry proceed to “My Fair Lady” (or, according to Hitchcock, “My Bare Lady”) Hitchcock into a presentable person. Surprisingly, their efforts seem to work as Hitchcock gives a good interview.
Charles shows up at the precinct to apologize to Gina and Amy for how he treated them, realizing that he had acted the way his Nana Boyle (who apparently was a hateful witch who died with no friends) had treated people and felt terrible about it. Gina and Amy forgive him, but refuse to ever work for him again.
After aiding and abetting Judy’s escape with the diamonds, Jake is in danger of at least a suspension, possibly worse. However, it turns out Judy left him with a coupon for a private room at the karaoke place, where the owner has been instructed to play a prerecorded message. In it, Judy reveals that he got Jake a wedding present, a French grey Le Creuset pot, and inside of it he left the diamonds. “I may be a scorpion, but I would never drown your adorable little frog ass.”
Such a change from the gloating video Judy left Jake after he escaped in the Season 2 episode! I’m glad that although it seems like these two will always be on opposite sides to some degree, they’ll always remain more friends than enemies.
(Also, “I’m sure I’ll see you again at some point.” I’m so desperate for a Season 6 renewal that I’ll take any sign that we might get one.)
“That’s all negotiating is: Two liars lying to each other until one liar stands too close to the window and gets shot in the head.”
“Do I look like Jake to you? Do I look like Jake to you?!” “No, not at all!” “Then why are you trying to screw me?” This Gordon Ramsay version of Charles is one we haven’t seen before, and I loved it.
Super adorable that once Jake and Judy are back on friendly footing, Jake immediately tells him about his wedding. Reminds me of when Judy first met Amy on the cruise a couple of months after she and Jake had started dating, and he told Jake that if he wanted to hold onto her he better start showing some interest in her interests. And now look at him! He’s watching documentaries for her! And they’re getting married!
“Damn it, stop being so romantic. Now turn around and come back to me, you fool?” For your consideration: Jake and Judy are actually star-crossed lovers. They have undeniable attraction despite their nemesis status, their paths are fated to cross (approximately once every twelve months, as Jake points out in a rare meta-moment for the show), but due to their unchangeable differences in nature (Judy is driven to commit crime, while Jake is driven to stop it) they’re destined to always fall apart.
“I know, I didn’t even fart once! You’re right, I can hold it.” This show is such a bizarre mix of humour.
“Did you tell them I feel so bad I have a tummy ache?” This is one of the most relatable things Jake has ever said.
It was weird seeing Holt relegated to the C-plot line, and not even being the main character in that plot. I didn’t like it.
Not to jinx it or anything, but for the second week in a row, Brooklyn achieved season-high ratings. The move to Sunday nights has given a definite boost to the show's viewership, which is hopefully enough for the network to consider renewing it for another season.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine airs Sundays at 8:30/7:30c on FOX.