Brooklyn Nine-Nine 6x01 “Honeymoon” Review
It’s always a joy when a beloved show returns to air with new episodes after a lengthy hiatus, but it’s even more special when there was doubt (albeit brief) that the show would return at all.
After being cancelled by FOX before being quickly picked up by NBC, Brooklyn Nine-Nine comes back without missing a beat — picking up exactly where it left off, with the squad waiting eagerly to hear whether Captain Holt got the promotion to NYPD commissioner or not.
If you guessed, based on Holt’s reaction to reading the email at the end of the Season 5 finale, that he had indeed received the job, you would be right — and wrong, as Holt quickly realized that he misread the email and did not get the promotion after all. This news throws him into a spiral, and, rudderless, Holt takes some time off work and finds himself impulsively booking a trip to Mexico.
Coincidentally, to the same resort where Jake and Amy are spending their honeymoon.
Dressed in any number of novelty t-shirts, Holt unwittingly interrupts Jake and Amy’s alone time with his dour mood and conviction that his life hadn’t amounted to anything. Desperate to salvage some of their honeymoon, Jake and Amy decide to invite Holt to the activities they have planned, in the hopes that it will cheer him up and send him back to the city early.
(Activities that are clearly designed for couples, such as sensual food tasting.)
The plan seems to work — until Jake learns that Holt only wants to fly back to New York so that he can quit the NYPD altogether. Knowing that he can’t let that happen, Jake tricks Holt into coming back to his room...where Amy has dressed as Holly Genero from Die Hard as a surprise for Jake.
Eventually, after an outburst from Amy (which is a serious step up from her previous attempt to yell at Holt for losing her favourite pen last season), Holt decides to return to NYC with a new mindset: to just not give a hoot. He plans to go over the new commissioner’s head and talk to the mayor about how John Kelly’s plan for a more vigilant police force is a step backwards for the NYPD.
I really like this direction for the show; one of the most common criticisms aimed at it is that it’s a show about good cops in a world where cops are very often evil. Although previous seasons of the show have definitely touched upon how the cops at the Nine-Nine aren’t a reflection of cops as a whole, it has never so explicitly been stated as in this episode.
The reason Holt is so distraught at losing the commissioner’s job is that he’s stayed within the lines his whole career, hoping to work his way up to the top to where he could affect real change; and not only does he lose out on that opportunity, but the job goes to yet another old white man who doesn’t think that there’s anything worth changing.
Holt’s last line of the episode — “The Nine-Nine is at war with the NYPD” — seems to speak to perhaps a season-long arc for him, and I look forward to this show about good cops turning its gaze outwards and telling us what cops outside the NYPD and in the real world could and should be doing better.
The main subplot of the episode also deserves to be touched on, as it focuses on Charles and Gina, one of my favourite pairings on the entire show. The weirdness of their relationship (from ex-lovers to step-siblings, as Charles loves to point out) coupled with Gina’s snark and Charles’ ridiculousness makes for comedy gold, and this episode was no exception.
Charles finds out that Gina’s mom is planning on divorcing his dad, and is desperate to find out why. At first, Gina lies to him about knowing anything about it, before eventually admitting that she did but refusing to tell Charles what she knows.
This results in Charles using a mask of Gina’s face to attempt to unlock her phone and read her text messages, a very sibling-esque fight between the two of them as Gina tries to get her phone back before Charles reads that she’s the one who told her mom to break up with Boyle’s dad, and finally a sweet scene in which Gina tells Charles that her mom was cheating on his dad, which was why she told her to end it; and the reason she didn’t tell Charles was because she didn’t want him or his dad to be hurt.
One of the best things about this show, six seasons on, is that the characters are so well defined that when they break out of their niches it’s viewed as another facet to their complex personality, rather than simply being out of character. It’s why Holt can be a melodramatic queen while simultaneously being the stoic, emotionless leader of the Nine-Nine; why Amy can yell at Holt in defense of Jake while still emulating him as a mentor; and how Gina can be a rascal who purposefully makes others’ lives more difficult while still caring enough about Charles to not want to see him unnecessarily hurt. These characters are so well-worn by their actors and the people who write them that only rarely do their actions feel ungenuine, and I’m exceedingly glad we get to spend (at least 🤞) another season with them.
The revival by NBC seems to have given the show renewed jump, as the jokes were flying fast and heavy all episode, from the physical comedy (each one of Holt’s novelty t-shirts is funnier than the last, and everything with Boyle wearing Gina’s face is hilarious) to the classic rapid-fire one liners, to Holt’s dark musings played perfectly by Andre Braugher, to everything related to Jake and Amy’s honeymoon sexscapades. The show wasted no time jumping on NBC’s rules for beeps (which aren’t allowed on FOX), with a particularly raunchy joke that can’t be repeated here.
Mixed in with all that is Brooklyn’s classic dose of realness, from how we need to save the bees to the fact that relations between cops and citizens are not, in fact, better than ever. Everything about this episode shouted from the rooftops that Brooklyn Nine-Nine is back, quite possibly better than it’s ever been, and I couldn’t be happier.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine airs Thursdays at 9/8c on NBC.