Brooklyn Nine-Nine 6x04 “Four Movements” Review
The squad gets ready to say goodbye to Gina in “Four Movements”, titled after Gina’s dance routine in the opening sequence, in which she dances through four 45-minute long movements, each one representing a part of her personality. In a unique format, the episode is also split into four parts, each part focusing on Gina’s goodbyes with a member (or members) of the squad as she seeks to impart them all with a “Gina Moment.”
(Can we talk for a second about how Gina says “Hit it!” and it cuts to the theme song, and then the episode mirrors the four movements of her routine? Because that was pure poetry.)
First up is Captain Holt, who has been teaching Gina chess while she, in turn, has been teaching him how to trash talk. (“The hospital called, your test results came back positive. You’re a Stage 5 dumbass” is a Grade A insult.) While they play chess, they discuss Gina’s decision to leave; more specifically, Holt questions whether Gina has thought her decision through. He fears that she’s being reckless and that by leaving without having a backup plan in place, she could face ramifications that not only affect herself but her daughter.
But while Captain Holt easily beats Gina at chess, Gina serves up her own checkmate in the form of an impassioned speech; it’s impossible to for everything to always go according to plan, and sometimes you have to take a risk.
“Life is chaos, success is completely arbitrary, and confidence is everything.”
At nearly five minutes long, this feels like one of the longest continuous scenes Broolyn Nine-Nine has done* (*this has not been fact-checked), and it’s a bit of a risk for a show that relies on fast-paced comedy to spend five minutes in a room with two people having a conversation. They pull it off though, in part because the dynamic between Holt and Gina is so captivating (and helped along by instances of Holt saying “Bitch,” “Dumbass,” and “Dick”).
As her superior, mentor, and an experienced adult who’s faced his own share of hurdles, it makes sense that Holt would be the one most concerned with the logistics of Gina’s rash decision. But if nothing else, I’m certain that Gina’s confidence will carry her through whatever comes next.
If she doesn’t like the rules, she’ll just change the game.
Next up is Amy (and, by accident, Rosa), as Gina reluctantly agrees to allow Amy to take her and Rosa for a ladies’ lunch. At the lunch, Amy presents Gina with a gift — all of her tweets turned into a book, something she once asked for. (Amy is the sweetest, and one thing that has always annoyed me is how...careless and sometimes downright mean Gina is in regards to her feelings, especially since Amy is very special to Jake, who is Gina’s best friend.)
Gina strives to make Amy more like her and Rosa — i.e. someone who doesn’t wear their heart so much on their sleeve. She orders Amy to burn the book she made in the “bum barrel” in order to cleanse herself of her “childish sentimentality”, but Amy is unable to do it; she doesn’t want to change herself after all. She likes having feelings, and she accepts that Gina leaving is going to make her cry.
Thus Gina reveals the true message she was trying to get across: to just be yourself. (Or did she just change the game again so she wouldn’t lose?)
“If you want to cry like an idiot for hours on end, just do it. You want to make a big old ugly book full of all my brilliant thoughts, do it. Do you!”
The wording may be a little rough, but the sentiment is real, and Amy, Gina, and Rosa all share a touching hug.
Third is Jake, who seeks to throw Gina an amazing going away party, “Ginarama”, including a splashy celebrity guest. Turns out that Mario Lopez is in town, so Jake and Gina scheme to dress up like the “uber wealthy” to try to sneak into the Manhattan Club and talk to him.
Turns out that acting rich and entitled will get you pretty much anything you want, and the two faux-siblings manage to gain entrance into the club after threatening the man at the door who seeks to check their names off the list that “Daddy” will get him fired. (Jake and Gina repeatedly saying “Daddy” in an affected accent is one of the funniest things this show has ever done.)
Once into the club, they still need to get past the security guards in order to access Mario Lopez in the VIP lounge; Jake distracts the guards by attempting to run past them and immediately getting tackled, while Gina waltzes by.
However, when Mario Lopez shows up at Gina’s party (which she’d told him was for “malnourished malaria monkeys” in order to get him to come), she promptly turns him away at the door, to Jake’s dismay.
Bring on Gina moment #3: she doesn’t need her party to have celebrities or take place at the Met; she just needs her friends. “You guys are all the splash I need.”
The first day without Gina at the Nine-Nine arrives and both Terry and Charles are feeling put out because they haven’t received their “GM” yet. But to their surprise, Gina is still at her desk, supposedly tying up some loose ends and clearing her desk of items she wants to give to her friends.
She has a sweet moment with Charles in which she gives him back the Boyle family mother dough starter which she was gifted from Nana Boyle’s will (and then destroyed the original and had to make her own). As Gina says, Charles is weirdly the one she’s closest to thanks to their strange relationship (as Charles says, because he was her brother and her lover, which is my favourite running joke of the entire series), and she admits that she loves him and is going to miss him. (Me too; their relationship truly was one of my favourites on the show.)
Terry thinks that Gina is getting cold feet and she denies it; but the next day, Gina is once again at her desk.
And the day after that.
And the day after that.
Just as the squad is trying to figure out what to do about the Gina situation, they walk into the precinct to find her gone — and replaced with a giant golden replica statue of herself. In a pre-recorded video, she reveals that she had never truly lost confidence, she was just waiting for the statue to arrive.
And thus we receive the fourth, final, and biggest Gina moment of them all: although she may be gone from the precinct, her presence will never truly be gone from their lives.
Personally, I hope that the statue remains as a prop in the bullpen for the remainder of the season.
As a farewell to one of its core characters, this episode did a fantastic job. It reminded us of the tenets of Gina’s personality: her flashiness, her unbelievable confidence, her Gina-isms that will make her impossible to replace, and her love for her friends which is only thinly veiled by a sarcastic exterior.
My one complaint about this episode is that Gina’s goodbye with Charles deserved more time, perhaps an entire movement to itself. But with the ensemble being as strong as it is in this show, it’s hard to find time for everybody.
If you’re left feeling as sad as the squad after Gina’s departure, have no fear; it’s already been confirmed that she’ll return at least once more as a guest star later this season.
Until then, Gina has left us with plenty of “Gina Moments” to remember her by.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine airs Thursdays at 9/8c on NBC.