I’ll admit, I’m not caught up on the new season of New Girl, so reviewing this week’s episode of BROOKLYN NINE-NINE, “The Night Shift,” might be a little unfair for avid fans of both shows. I say this because I do watch and am a fan of New Girl, but after watching this week’s episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, I was not overly thrilled with the oversell on this crossover event. Perhaps if I was caught up on the current season of both shows, the storyline and cameo might make more sense, but for now, it was just that: a cameo, and I was expecting far more from all of the Fox promos leading up to this week’s back-to-back episodes.
Don’t get me wrong, I was very excited about this crossover event, if for no other reason than that I always enjoy finding out how the writers of two separate shows come together to present their characters in one world. But if we’re being honest, it never usually ends up being that great, because the character voices are never quite on point, and the storylines usually feel forced, because they have to find a way to make these characters and their worlds cross paths. For the very brief time that Jessica Day was in this episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, that’s exactly how this crossover felt.
The jokes in this week’s episode also felt a bit weaker, considering how strong the show has been this season leading up to this point. Perhaps this too is a symptom of the more boxy requirements that a crossover tends to have. Or perhaps we’ve reached a point in the show where the basic structure of pairing characters off and bouncing jokes off of each has been exhausted. Perhaps the real reason the first three episodes came off so strong is because the structure was new and different. I certainly hope this isn’t the case, because as we’ve seen in the previous episodes, there is still quite a bit of humor to each of these characters individually.
The show opens with the gang back together in New York. Jake shows up at the nine-nine bar to meet the rest of the team for what he thinks is a “secret meeting.” He’s still on crutches and won’t be cleared for work for another week. Gina tells him this isn’t a secret meeting. It’s an intervention. Jake’s grown attached to his frosted tips and so the rest of the nine-nine is going to shave them off his head for him. Just as Gina begins shaving off the tips, Charles shows up – he was late because he had frosted his tips so that he and Jake could be “tip twins”.
When Jake finally gets to return to the precinct, he finds a broken, depressed team beaten down by the night shift. He’s pumped, but the rest of the nine-nine is not feeling it one bit. Captain Holt pulls Terry into his office and expresses his worry that the moral in the nine-nine is at an all-time low. He tells Terry he plans to “brighten the mood.” Jake is determined not to let the night shift blues get to him, and enlists Boyle’s help to solve a case. Meanwhile, Amy and Rosa are stuck with a huge pile of paperwork to finish before the morning shift, but Rosa keeps disappearing on “breaks” and won’t tell Amy where she’s going.
Jake and Charles go investigate a break-in and robbery. They find the butt to a cigarette, and take it to forensics for DNA testing. Charles tells Jake they can work the case until sunrise, because he wants to get home to cook his son breakfast. Jake wants to work the case until it’s solved, so the two agree to try and solve the case before sunrise. Unfortunately for them, the night shift employees at forensics and precinct database offices are not on their A-game. At the precinct, Holt is trying to boost morale unsuccessfully and Amy discovers that Rosa has simply been sitting on a park bench on her phone during her mysterious breaks from work.
Running evidence through the night shift employees and tracking down their suspect takes Jake and Charles much longer than expected, and by the time they find all the information they need to locate the culprit, it is well past sunrise. Jake finds out that the suspect in question is only a couple blocks from Charles’s apartment, but Charles can’t help Jake track the man down until nighttime, because he’s home alone with his son until Genevieve gets back from work. Jake doesn’t want to wait that long, though, in case their suspect is on the move. He decides to go after the man himself.
Back at the precinct, Holt has planned a surprise party for the precinct, including the all-time favorite ice-breaker, “Name Your Favorite Sailing Knot,” and the bumping music of John Phillip Sousa. It’s a testament to how draining the night shift is that the nine-nine isn’t feeling any better with these festivities. Angry, Holt tells the team he’s miserable too, and that he’s done trying to cheer them up. Amy confronts Rosa about her breaks. Rosa confesses she’s been waiting for Pimento, who was supposed to meet her on that park bench after Figgis was captured, but hasn’t.
Meanwhile, Jake confronts the suspect at his home. The man in question makes a run for it, and because Jake is still using a cane because of his leg, he can’t chase after him. Instead, he commandeers a car from an unsuspecting citizen – Jessica Day – who refuses to get out of the vehicle, but agrees to scoot over and let Jake drive. They bicker back and forth while Jake takes them on a wild car chase until they almost run into a garbage truck and crash the car into a mailbox. Jess spills her soup.
The nine-nine pulls Holt into the briefing room for “Work Hang,” where things are looking up, because now that they know Holt is miserable too, they know that he’ll do everything in his power to get them back on the day shift. A frustrated Jake gets real-talk from LoHank, a former night shift, now day shift cop. Jake confesses that he’s not only frustrated that he didn’t get the perp because he’s on a cane still, but that ever since Charles had a kid, Jake can’t count on him to be there 24/7 anymore. LoHank helps him realize that Jake needs to embrace the fact that Charles has a kid now, not be angry about it. Amy apologizes to Rosa and Jake apologizes to Charles.
Will next week’s episode up the antics without the limitations of the crossover event? Will we ever find out what happened to Pimento? I’ll be here next week to find out!
Season 4, Episode 4 (S04E04)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine airs Tuesdays at 8PM on Fox
Tasha is a freelance writer currently based in Los Angeles. Originally from Kansas, when she’s not writing about or watching TV, Tasha is searching for the best BBQ place in LA to fill the KC BBQ hole in her stomach.
Keep up with all of Tasha’s reviews here.
Tasha Cerny | Contributor