Brooklyn Nine-Nine 5x22 “Jake & Amy” Review
“Life is unpredictable. Not everything is in our control. But as long as we’re with the right people, we can handle anything.”
Spoken first by Amy to Jake at their wedding, and later by Holt to the squad, this sentiment perfectly encapsulates what this show is about (as well as being general good advice for real life). Every crazy thing the squad has gone through, they’ve gotten through together. Talking to Amy got Jake through jail; when her parents rejected her coming out as bisexual, the squad showed up at Rosa’s apartment with pizza and beer; when Kevin’s life was threatened by Seamus Murphy, the squad came together to save him and see Murphy arrested; and of course, when Jake and Amy’s wedding plans go off the rails on the day of, everyone in the squad comes together to make sure the day is saved.
Because when do things ever go according to plan for these two? Six days after they first started dating, they were told to break up by their (then) commanding officer; a week-long cruise was ruined by the appearance of the Pontiac Bandit, but they still found time to exchange their first “I love you’s”; right before they were supposed to move in together, Jake went into witpro for six months; Jake was sent to jail for what could have been years, if the squad didn’t come up with a way to get him out; and Jake’s elaborate proposal scheme almost went awry when he ended up handcuffed to a filing cabinet by his best friend.
Poor Charles; more than anyone (more than Jake and Amy themselves, it seems), he wants to see Jake and Amy together, and unwittingly he almost ends up ruining their wedding day: it’s the ceremony announcement that Charles put in the paper that tells the bomber (who is, surprisingly, an arch-nemesis of Amy’s, not of Jake’s) the time and location of the wedding. Determined to be of use, Charles volunteers to crawl through the last vent the bomb squad needs to check in the absence of a working snake cam, to discover that there actually is a bomb and that the whole event needs to be cancelled while the bomb squad diffuses it.
But even aside from the mess with the bomb, the episode also featured a ruined veil, a sick ringbearer, a dog who ate the wedding cake, and an ex-boyfriend who is still desperately in love with Amy. Literally everything that could go wrong did, but that just allows the focus to be on what’s really important: not the dress or the veil, not the Nakatomi Plaza wedding cake, not even the presence of their parents and relatives; on Amy and Jake, getting married. Recognizing this, Jake suggests getting married at city hall the next day: “Amy Santiago, I would marry you any time, any place. I would marry you in the steaming filth of the Gowanus Canal. I would marry you on the G Train in the summertime when the air conditioning is broken. I would marry you on top of the Empire State Building...during a King Kong attack.”
Overhearing that, Charles is determined to save the day he unintentionally ruined and decorates the parking lot of the precinct to look like an impressively beautiful wedding venue. Amy doesn’t have her dress, but Gina happened to be planning on wearing a white dress to the wedding anyway (but was she? Was she really?) and Rosa’s new...friend, Alycia, helps them track down a bouquet. And although their families aren’t present, one surprise guest appears: Mlepnos (who Amy and Jake first encountered in the pilot) was found playing violin on the subway, and was brought to the wedding by Hitchcock and Scully. (A little bit ironic that of all the tasks Jake assigned at the beginning of the day, only Hitchcock and Scully’s was successfully accomplished and necessary, when it was a make-work task in the first place.)
And it’s only fitting that Jake and Amy get married at the precinct, the place where they met, where they had their first kiss, where they got engaged; and it’s even more fitting that the officiant at their wedding should be Captain Holt, whom they both love, respect, and look up to as a mentor and father figure. (The moment when Jake interrupted the ceremony so that he and Amy could say “I love you” back to Holt nearly brought tears to my eyes.)
With Jake and Amy officially married, attention turns to the other loose thread of the episode: earlier, Captain Holt had received an email telling him whether he received the job of commissioner but hadn’t opened it, not wanting to overshadow Jake and Amy’s wedding day (and also out of fear of what it said). Later, at Shaw’s bar, surrounded by his squad, Holt finally opens the email and reads it, and then looks around at his colleagues with his typical stony expression.
“Well, from the look on my face, I’m sure you can guess what it says.”
It’s easy to see how this episode could have served as a series finale instead of a season finale (and thank you, by the way, to those who wrote it with the possibility of cancellation in mind, unlike some other shows that go full steam ahead with the cliffhanger). But even if the episode had ended with Holt saying he received the commissioner job, as I feel it would have had the show indeed had been cancelled, this story still wouldn’t have felt finished.
Sure, Amy has already received her promotion to sergeant, Jake and Amy got their happily ever after, Holt would have received his dream job, and Rosa may have found a new love interest, but this show has never been about plot threads. Plot has always served as a (sometimes extremely loose) backdrop for the character interactions that truly drive this show. For that reason, no matter what kind of ending this show gets — and if it’s lucky enough to get the ending it plans — as a fan of the show, it’s always going to hurt a bit.
But no need to worry about that this year, at least! In 2019, we’ll get to see Holt as commissioner of the NYPD (or not), we’ll see what married life looks like for Jake and Amy, we’ll see Amy’s further adventures as a sergeant, Rosa navigating her love life, Gina being...Gina, and Terry, Charles, Hitchcock, and Scully rounding out the crew with storylines I haven’t thought of yet.
After that, who knows? Life is unpredictable, not everything is in our control. But as long as we’re with the right people (as demonstrated by the outpouring of support online from all corners of the world when this show was briefly cancelled), we can handle anything.
See you next year, squad!
I love the parallel between this episode title and the Season 2 finale “Johnny & Dora,” when Jake and Amy first get together.
Last week, Jake was terrified that he wouldn't be a good enough husband to Amy and this week, he anticipates her fears and needs before she even vocalizes them. Jake, honey, you're going to do just fine.
“When we’re married, we’re gonna share everything: bank accounts, health insurance, arch-nemeses.” “Aww, that’s nice, Ames, but you don’t have to say that. Charles, will you put a picture of me up on the wall?” Did Jake just give Charles his driver’s license to hang up on the stalker wall? (Also liked the reappearance of the NYPD poster featuring Amy’s face from Season 3!)
Terry’s face when Alycia says “Are you the one I’m looking for?” is everything.
Is that really the first time we’ve heard Rosa’s laugh? Does she always snort or was that just because she was lovestruck?
I still really want to hear the entirety of Jake’s Addams family-themed wedding rap.
“Your butt. Your butt is the bomb. And there will be no survivors.” I teared up at the same moment Jake did, because this line was just so quintessentially them; it’s so Jake to make this joke when their wedding was in danger of being cancelled and although Amy was too stressed out to appreciate it then, she’s able to make a joke of it now.
Jake and Amy both ad-libbed their wedding vows, and they were both perfect.
Although almost everything else went wrong, at least Jake got a robot ring-bearer at his wedding!
Guest stars I wish had made it to the wedding: Kevin, the Pontiac Bandit, Lady Gaga, Bruce Willis. (Also I’m a little sad that Jake and Amy’s parents didn’t even make it, but I understand the importance of focusing the wedding on the squad.)
Holt definitely got that commissioner’s job, right? RIGHT?
Jake and Amy are married! MARRIED. Husband and wife. M a r r i e d.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine returns for Season 6 in 2019 on NBC.