While Brooklyn Nine-Nine gifts us with two back-to-back episodes tonight, you can’t exactly call “Cop-Con” and “Chasing Amy” a two-parter. So for those readers checking in before watching these episodes, please know this in advance: You’re not going to miss integral information for “Chasing Amy” if you miss some of “Cop-Con,” and you can watch “Cop-Con” without immediately watching “Chasing Amy” afterward. The episodes themselves aren’t bonded by a certain theme either, as “Cop-Con” focuses heavily on the squad as a unit, while “Chasing Amy” goes back to divvying things up and putting more of the focus on a specific character. But while it’s hard to complain about having two episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine on any given night, this isn’t exactly the most balanced pairing.

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“Cop-Con” is a getaway episode for the crew, but it’s one that still exists within the confines of policehood. Sort of. The idea of Cop-Con as an excuse to party is classic Nine-Nine, but as far as this annual event we’re just now seeing goes, it’s rather nice to see the show acknowledge a convention like this. They’re not just cops in the Nine-Nine, and of course they’d have to attend something like the Tri-State Police Officers Convention. When their precinct isn’t being threatened, there are certain perks that go with the job. Like testing out new weapons and gear or getting free hotel rooms to blow off some steam in.

Also, “Cop-Con” is just a funny name for a police convention.

Obviously, Jake is right that the Nine-Nine needs a break, given everything’s that’s happened to them this season… But given Holt’s news that the Nine-Nine’s “reputation has taken a hit” during all of that chaos, he’s also right that the squad should probably lay lower than they planned to. Sure, if they had listened to Holt, then Boyle wouldn’t have committed a crime of passion against a robot, but it’s good to see that both sides of the argument have merit in the first place. I’ve written before how Brooklyn Nine-Nine can fall into the trap of “forgetting” to have its characters do police work, but with the way things have been going for the crew, this is actually the perfect time for them to let loose. As for the aftermath of letting loose, Jake, Boyle, and Terry ending up in a Hangover-esque plot isn’t anything too special, but it makes for some amusing flashbacks (poor Jake) and moments as they retrace their steps. It also leads to Rosa as Holt’s gym buddy, which is a nice bit of lifeless, groan-based comedy from Stephanie Beatriz. “Cop-Con” is a fun, chill episode for a show whose characters definitely need a little fun and chill. Though, we end the episode without knowing if Holt’s sabotaged presentation will also have an effect on the Nine-Nine’s reputation, since this is the second episode in a row that features members of the Nine-Nine getting screwed out of promotions.

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Then there’s Scully as the emotional heart of the episode, which sounds off but actually ends up resonating in an unexpected way. After all, this episode opens with Scully’s partner-in-crime Hitchcock drowning in a “hand dipped in warm water” prank gone wrong, which is much more both characters’ speed. The episode provides us with another Amy/Gina team-up, where the women prove they can multitask together as they party and get Scully a lady. The Cyrano de Bergerac bit is an especially funny beat, because it’s just that—a single beat—as is the minor check-in from Jake, who quickly realizes he has no idea how to help on this front. Luckily, Amy and Gina are perfectly capable, even though the word “capable” must have a different meaning when it comes to Scully and his “She Scully.” It’s a sweet little love story, clammy hands and all.

“Chasing Amy,” on the other hand, has a very strong, albeit broad (see: Amy’s hair) A-plot going for it with Amy and the sergeant’s exam… but the rest of the episode doesn’t quite hold up. While it’s always nice to have a reminder of the Boyle/Linetti family relationship, their “mother dough” plot isn’t all that great of a use of either Joe Lo Truglio or Chelsea Peretti’s comedic talents, no matter how many times Boyle says “tang” or Gina disregards what Boyle has to say. The disregarding at least allows Gina to sit a bunch and hide Peretti’s real life pregnancy, but it’s so low energy compared to the previous episode and the other plots in the episode. This episode is also a reminder that while we know way more about the Boyle family than anyone’s ever even asked, the Linetti side of things is still a mystery. And while Gina’s family identity gaining this unwelcome side can lead to interesting dynamics (especially when it comes to her relationship with Charles Boyle), it’s now feeling like she’s lost her original family identity as a result. The Boyle family is incredibly weird, perpetually inappropriate, and physically weak—we know—and the lack of conflict in this episode is most apparent in this plot. It’s flat, which isn’t what you want from your sourdough but is what we get from this sourdough-based plot.

Terry and Holt’s plot at least has some push and pull in it, but there are still no stakes when you look at the obvious conclusion (in terms of what kids would like to play with). It is nice to see them team up for the second week in the row though, this time over their shared nerdiness instead of their shared experiences as black male cops. The combination of this and the Boyle/Gina plot make this episode pretty high on being the type on the list of episodes where the Nine-Nine doesn’t solve crime (for no good reason), but this plot at least begins as a way for Terry and Holt to fix an aspect of the Nine-Nine. They’re initially trying to keep the soft room from being obsolete, which keeps in line with their constant quest to make the precinct as great as it possibly be. Their belief that most children in the year 2017 would be interested in either version of a toy train in the first place is a definite blind spot, but their ability to bond at the end over their shared hobby is a nice touch. The one thing they won’t share is their ability to give each other solid burns: Holt absolutely wins in that particular category, no doubt about it. At the very least, their competition and the zingers (and dance moves) they throw at each other at least bring something to the table for this plot and episode.

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The episode honestly sets itself up for something absolutely ridiculous after the scarily-braided Amy cold open, but that set-up actually leads to the most compelling plot with the most going for it. In fact, despite her own plot with Boyle, I’d argue Gina’s best moment in this episode is when she chimes in with her suggestions for where Amy could possibly be (like the “Boring Pant Suit Store”). Rosa convincing Jake to approach Amy’s disappearance like he would a perp is a smart suggestion, but the surprising part of this episode is how well that works as a story choice without coming across as a cheap excuse to have Jake spoof Amy. In fact, Jake’s Amy impression is scarily accurate (in a different way from how Rosa’s brief impression is also scarily accurate), and it works as well as it does because it clearly comes from a place of love. It truly would be easy for there to be some type of mocking in Jake being Amy—like in those lines about her always being cold or the sunscreen—but it all really shows just how well he knows her, and it’s all romantic without trying too hard to be romantic.

The Jake/Amy relationship also allows the show to discuss what life as a cop in a serious relationship with another cop can really mean, as it addresses what could otherwise be considered an elephant in the room. Because while Jake is also a great, hotshot detective, we know he’s not as determined as Amy is when it comes to moving up in the ranks. The episode doesn’t say he has no aspirations to ever do so—though it would track if Jake wanted to stay a detective forever, for Die Hard reasons—but it acknowledges the truth that Amy’s aspirations are fast and furious. This plot’s conclusion honestly continues Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s specialness in handling Jake and Amy’s relationship, going with the refreshing take of two grown adults approaching a bump in the road like adults. And the episode sets it all up with Jake’s consistent talk of how much he loves Amy and is even surprised himself that he’s actually good at their relationship. It’s not just lip service: He is actually good at their relationship.

As for if we should get used to hearing “Sergeant Santiago” or if this ends up being another rejection/failure for a member of the Nine-Nine, we’re not quite sure yet. Amy says she nailed the test with 45 minutes to spare (after getting 102% on her practice exam), but until we know for sure, that one’s up in the air. Just like Jake’s ability to ever to get over the pressure of trivia night. Or all the pictures Rosa took of him after he Die Hard-ed. (Those are actually in the cloud.)

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Stray observations

  • This week in webisodes Brooklyn Nine-Nine needs: There’s still so much footage of Boyle and K-13 the robot together. That’ll do.
  • We’ve learned something about Rosa this week! She’s under 35 years old. Unlike old, gnarly Jake and Boyle.
  • “Chasing Amy” isn’t the only episode that has Jake/Amy relationship moments: “Cop-Con” has Jake only officially announcing the hotel party once he has permission from Amy to borrow $200 for booze.
  • After seeing Holt’s mini-feud with Margo last week, there’s a bit of a question early on if Andy Daly’s Jeffrey truly is as “evil” as Holt claims he is. But with the missing laptop, the conclusion is a bit obvious, especially once Jerry mentions Holt’s presentation at the hotel gym: Either Jerry stole that laptop or Jerry tampered with that laptop. The latter ends up being the case, and he’s also lucky that Terry doesn’t get the chance to actually look at Holt’s presentation.
  • Amy: “I learned a bunch of new dance moves for tonight. Ones where you move your butt.”
  • Boyle: “Forget Bonnie Raitt! It’s like the video to ‘Love Shack’ in here!”
  • Jake: “Amy?”
    Amy: “The shush is lifted! Party time!”
  • Terry got to Starfish. That’s the true win. That and Rosa getting Jake to drink shampoo.
  • Jake: “You can’t come in because… Amy’s naked. And she’s embarrassed of her weird body”
  • Will Cindy the “She Scully” return in the future? She’s apparently Scully’s soulmate, and I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure Hitchcock isn’t going to react too well to that at all.
  • Holt: “Toys from the movie Kazaam. And none of them are even Kazaam!” I need to know more about these toys.
  • Terry: “Sweet! This will be fun!”
    Holt: “I hope not!”
  • Holt: “Stop dancing. Stop dancing. This is a direct order: Stop. Dancing.”
  • Hopefully Sarah Baker returns as Amy’s best and only friend Kylie. Who knows—if Jake ever figures out how to succeed at trivia night, they could actually have a good relationship.

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