Brooklyn Nine-Nine 5x18 "Gray Star Mutual"

Brooklyn Nine-Nine 5x18 "Gray Star Mutual"

Adrian Pimento, Rosa’s ex-fiance, returned in this week’s episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and just enough time had passed since we had last seen him that it was refreshing seeing his face again. I always felt that Pimento was a bit too crazy to fit seamlessly into the Brooklyn world and was too much to handle in a string of episodes, such as those at the end of Season 3. However, he works perfectly as a one-off character who pops up on occasion with a crazy story (this time about winning a fight with a bear by headbutting it in the penis and pushing it off a cliff, among others) and injects just enough manic energy into a plotline.

Pimento returns as an insurance investigator when Charles’ food truck burns down — another one of his attempted career paths after leaving the NYPD. Unsurprisingly, it isn’t going terribly well, although Pimento seems to be enjoying it; he also seems to think that being an insurance investigator means he doesn’t have to follow any laws, much to Jake’s discomfort. At first, Pimento believes that Charles set his own truck on fire because in cases of arson, the owner always does it; it doesn’t help that Charles has already stated that running the food truck was causing him huge amounts of stress and he would be relieved to get his money back through insurance. After staring intensely and creepily into Jake’s and Charles’ eyes, Pimento decides that they’re innocent, but reneges on this assessment when he realizes just how much has happened at the precinct since he left that Jake hasn’t told him about (including his engagement to Amy, Amy’s promotion to sergeant, and Holt being up for police commissioner). If Jake and Charles managed to hide all that from him, what else might they be hiding?

(Worth noting that Pimento makes these accusations from the inside of Charles’ house, which he had once again broken into in order to investigate him.)

Adrian Pimento (Jason Mantzoukas) returns in the "Gray Star Mutual" episode of  Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Adrian Pimento (Jason Mantzoukas) returns in the "Gray Star Mutual" episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine

After Pimento denies Charles’ insurance claim, Jake and Charles head to the head office of Gray Star Mutual Insurance to request a different investigator. This doesn’t make things better, though: although Pimento forgives Jake and Charles (after they have to demonstrate just how well they know him by recounting numerous disturbing facts about him), he is also fired for his behaviour and Charles’ claim is once again denied, due to the presence of turpentine at his house which was also the substance used to start the fire.

(The turpentine is apparently used by Genevieve in her paintings, which reminds me: I miss Genevieve. I’m glad the show remembered she exists and that she’s an artist, but will we ever get to see her onscreen again? What about Nikolaj? What about their three dogs?!)

Jake, Charles, and Pimento (less Pimento, more Jake and Charles) are left to solve the crime for themselves and prove Charles’ innocence, which is the root of many of my favourite crime-related plots on this show. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t take too long to solve, as Charles remembers that his ex-employee, Ted, never returned the key to the food truck and would have motive for burning it down, since Charles fired him over dinner in front of his family. They go to visit Ted at his house, and their hunch is proven correct when Jake finds turpentine and matches.

So Charles gets his money (and Amy’s, to Jake’s relief) back and is officially out of the food truck business, which he’s grateful for because it had been stressing him out. I still found this plotline oddly abbreviated (only three episodes even mention the food truck’s existence, from conception to conclusion) and would have liked to see Charles chase his dreams for a little longer and with more success. That being said, I understand that a show like this can never stray too far from the status quo for too long (which is also why I’m interested to see how they handle Amy’s promotion and Holt’s possible promotion in future episodes) and I understand Charles wanting to step away from something that was causing him undo stress.


Speaking of Amy and Holt’s promotions, both of the subplots in this episode dealt with exactly that. Amy is settling nicely in to her new job as sergeant after her disastrous first day (which is expected but I’m still proud of her) but is wary about mixing her personal life with her professional life, when she needs to work twice as hard as a female sergeant just to gain her officers’ respect. In this episode, that means sneakily looking at wedding dresses (Amy, isn’t your wedding in like three weeks? Shouldn’t you have figured this out by now?) and being caught in the act by Rosa, who insists that Amy shouldn’t be ashamed for being excited about getting married.

Last week featured a great Rosa/Gina subplot, and this week features a fabulous Rosa/Amy subplot; the female characters don’t always get as much screen time together on this show as I would like (since Jake is the most popular scene partner for everyone), so I love when they take the chance to explore the dynamics and friendships between these women, especially when they’re all such different characters. Here, we see a softer side to Rosa (softer but still fierce), as she forces Amy to spend her break trying on wedding dresses and rejects Amy’s attempt to buy the first one she tries on.

Their “dress” rehearsals (ha ha) are interrupted when they receive a call that a perp who has been stealing from bodegas is on the run in their area. They see him run past the window of the wedding dress shop and, ignoring the fact that she’s still in a dress, Amy pursues him on foot. This sequence features some great stunts, as Amy jumps over a couch and rolls over a basket full of sheeting en route to tackling the suspect and arresting him. Aside from making her look like Wonder Woman, this helps Amy realize that something “silly” like looking at wedding dresses doesn’t take away from her competency as a sergeant.

Amy is just as badass in a wedding dress as in her sergeant's uniform

Amy is just as badass in a wedding dress as in her sergeant's uniform

Meanwhile, Gina and Terry become worried that Holt’s chances of becoming police commissioner have been impacted because of a tweet from his rival, Olivia Crawford, about a water main break which was retweeted by the mayor. In order to improve his popularity and thus his chances of winning the job, Gina and Terry want Holt to create his own Twitter profile, but Holt is characteristically resistant.

After disapproving of Gina and Terry’s first attempt (dressing Holt’s dog, Cheddar, up in adorable clothes for a photo shoot because cute animals are the fastest way to gain a following), Holt declares that he will take care of running his Twitter account himself. This includes setting his username to the hexadecimal code for Raymond Holt (@5261796d6e6420486f6c74) and cryptically tweeting about the water main break (“NYC H2O-Main sid rep: @ 20:40 EDT current PSI 456 max cap 204000 LPM”). Unsurprisingly, Holt’s account gets deactivated for suspected robot activity.

Holt’s disdain for social media is proven somewhat justified when another candidate for the commissioner’s job is forced to drop out after accidentally linking to a porn site on his Twitter account, leaving only three of them in the running. However, he doesn’t get out of the social media game altogether; after seeing the photos of Cheddar dressed up, he and Kevin started an Instagram account for him, which now has over 14,000 followers.


  • I will only ever call going out for beers a “yeast feast” from now on.

  • “When it comes to clothes, Cheddar wears little booties in the snow or Cheddar wears nothing.”

  • ‘Oh, come on! I’m the creepy guy that’s supposed to be in stuff that you have happen!”

  • I’m a BIG fan of Rosa calling Amy ‘Sarge.’

  • “I am a human! I am a human male!” Does this bring anyone back to Jake’s robot jokes?

  • “Are you still angry?” “No, that was a cathartic scream of love.” Same.

  • “And when you tweet again, again you should probably stop communicating in numbers, kay?” “There’s a 0% chance of that.” Holt is me, I am Holt.

  • I would love for this show to cash in on some of the ideas they pitch. An Instagram account for Cheddar? I would absolutely follow that. Gina’s Twitter account? Holt’s Twitter account? The Holt soundboard app? Charles’ podcasts while Jake was in prison? All gold.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine airs Sundays at 8:30/7:30c on FOX.

Sam’s episode rating: 🐝🐝🐝🐝

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