In short: we get a little more back story on Holt’s time as detective during the good ole seventies (always a pleasure), Terry and Jake clarify their relationship status, Amy gets to use her brown-nosing skills for good, Rosa helps Charles out of an extremely uncomfortable situation, and Gina once again shows off her palm-stinging BAMF-ness.
Now on to the recap! (Is this the first time a B99 episode opened with a “viewer discretion is advised” disclaimer?)
We open on Terry nervously confirming his doctor’s appointment for the next day. For a vasectomy. Immediately everyone puts their two cents in, starting with Jake, who sidles on over and puts on his best concerned face. Charles makes a weird reference to his own under-the-knife experience. Gina’s crush on Terry comes roaring back to life, hilariously inappropriately. Rosa sidles up to join in the joshing. Even Amy pipes up from her desk with a belated joke, which culminates in a roster of great lines right before the opening credits:
- Gina: “Oh, God. No need to be testes.”
- Rosa: “Guess you won’t be manning the tip line.” (emphasis all Rosa’s)
- Charles: “Sergeant, is this gonna go on your sperm-anent record?”
- Jake: “Now playing: Scrotum Recall!”
Jake’s got a stabbed person case. The victim owns a chocolate milk restaurant, that is, in Jake’s words, “finally a dumb Brooklyn hipster trend my mouth and I can get behind.” (The irony with which Andy Samberg pokes fun at anything hipster is not lost on me.) This leads to a hysterical scene in which Jake, on a roll waxing about the dopeness of this case in an effort to get Terry to assist, calls Terry “chocolate” and himself “milk.” He quickly mumbles that he said Terry is chocolate because he’s so full of protein, not because of any racial similarities. Throughout this whole exchange, Terry just stares at Jake with his mouth quirked and brow furrowed, as if patiently waiting for Jake to finish sticking his accidentally racist foot into his mouth.
Terry reminds Jake that he needs to get back to the station early enough to make his vasectomy appointment, because he’s enlisted a friend to drive him to the hospital. Which brings us to the one of the two main tensions within the episode: Terry doesn’t consider Jake a close enough friend/the kind of friend who would drive him to get his vasectomy. (Cue a strangled shout of concern from me.) Which leads to Jake defending himself as any kind of friend to anyone, i.e., rattling off the main cast of Friends, excepting Monica and Joey. FOR SHAME, JAKE PERALTA, FOR SHAME. He can’t remember Ross’s name and merely dubs him “dinosaur guy,” which gets Terry shooting up from his desk shouting “Ross!”
To further the whole “new commissioner coming in to reorganize the department” plot thread from last week, this week’s B-plot revolves around sweet talking the deputy chief, who’s coming to evaluate the entire precinct. (I can’t be the only one who immediately thought of Jeremy Renner when Holt talked about a Deputy Chief Brandt. Am I?)
Anyway. Amy freaks out upon hearing that the evaluation will be graded, launching into a terrific spiel about numbered grading scales while both Rosa and Charles stare at her wordlessly: “What?! When? Are we going to be graded? Or is this just some pass/fail garbage?” [Holt answers that it will be on a scale from 1 to 5.] “That’s how many letter grades there are. I feel like they’re just being weird using numbers instead of letters.”
Rosa’s facial expressions are SO GREAT in this episode. Oh, and character backstory: Amy hasn’t gotten an F in anything since her second-grade teachers flunked her in recess.
Appropriately, Holt enlists Amy’s skills as teacher’s pet to greet the deputy chief and make a good impression on Brandt, who used to be Holt’s own captain. Charles jokes that that makes Brandt their grand-captain, and Holt tilts his head and tells him that that was amazingly funny, and Charles blushes and twitters with glee.
Back to Jake and Terry’s case: The owner of Drk Mlk, the old-timey soda shop-esque chocolate milk restaurant, who’s wearing a red plaid shirt, glasses, and has a perfectly coiffed undercut, earnestly describes his restaurant’s regulars as “milkers.” Jake’s revolted expression perfectly matches mine.
The stab victim (whose official name, says IMDb, is Duncan Traub) hilariously calls his stabber a “psycho wuss” and then offers Jake and Terry an incredibly bitter, teeth-staining, sour drink that offends Jake to his very core. Duncan defends his product by explaining – very patronizingly – that: “dark milk isn’t chocolate milk. This is teat-to-mouth raw cow’s milk. The bitterness of the chocolate brings out the sourness of the milk.” To which I say: EURGH. Is this all this restaurant sells?! HOW DOES DRK MLK STAY IN BUSINESS?
Also, I twitch a little bit every time the place is referred to as a restaurant, not a bar. If a place of business doesn’t offer food, it should NOT be considered a restaurant. Feel free to persuade me otherwise.
While Amy’s up to her brown-nosing ways – creating a perfect pear welcome basket – Rosa and Charles are in charge of organizing the evidence room “beyond reproach.” Things devolve into confession time: Charles needs a date to his ex-wife’s engagement party. Charles thought an appropriate, suitable date for said party was his sister, who unfortunately just canceled. His ex-wife’s fiancé’s name is Hercules. She and Hercules are Charles’ landlords. Because Charles lives in his ex-wife’s basement. Oddly, that doesn’t keep Charles from having neighbors, one of whom is a very nice lesbian named Joanne.
Even more hurdles are flung in our heroes’ way. Instead of Deputy Chief Brandt coming to the Nine-Nine, we’ve got beautiful, stoic Kyra Sedgwick stiffly walking into the precinct. Man, this season and their fantastic female casting. Bravo, show, bravo.
Sedgwick plays Deputy Chief Wuntch, nemesis to Holt. She’s just as literal and stone-faced as Holt, who seems more dynamic the minute he starts interacting with her.
Switch scene to the hospital, where the doctor wheels Terry out into the waiting room. Turns out, Terry’s body is so physically massive that the hospital wasn’t equipped with enough anesthesia and he needs to come back another time. So we just get to revel in a gloriously loopy Terry and it is SO GOOD. Any episode that showcases Terry is terrific; last season’s “The Ebony Falcon” was one of my favorites.
A noteworthy thing: when Terry is high, he reverts to a childlike state – an interesting choice by the writers, considering last week’s Terry-as-7-year-old-Timmy, who we find out is more of a mature than high-on-anesthesia-Terry. And I guess this is the episode of confessions, because Terry’s starts babbling the following things:
- Sometimes he can’t tell his twin baby girls apart, so he calls them both boo-boo.
- He thinks Holt should smoke some weed to loosen up.
- He thinks Jake as an incredibly tiny head. He’s concerned where Jake keeps his brains.
- High Terry is unable to brush his own teeth.
- High Terry is terrified of possible monsters under his bed.
- Terry doesn’t really want his vasectomy – he wants more kids. “I’m not done with my testicles yet. I’m gonna let them sing!”
And because Jake has an unwaveringly loyalty to his team, with that last confession in mind, he is determined to keep sober Terry from going through with his vasectomy.
Back to the precinct: Holt uses two-toned graphs on a projector and Wuntch considers it a flashy presentation. THEY ARE SO GOOD TOGETHER I NEED MORE OF THEM. We get a flashback to their previous cozy friendship, the precursor to their current chilly detente; they were desk buddies who bonded over their mutual need to use the stapler. Cute giggles heralded a seemingly perfect friendship. Until: Wuntch visited Holt’s hotel room? House? with intentions to woo him per a tiny negligee; her efforts were stymied because of Holt’s confession that he is gay. That, he is certain, was the start to the end of their relationship. Amy’s shocked face transitions into a commercial.
Jake and Terry question Gregory Philips, Duncan’s former business partner and prime suspect in the case. In a nutshell, Gregory is finance-bro gross. He voluntarily admits that he and his business school buddies routinely go out for drinks at a bar, whose sole appeal lies in the fact that it faces a Pilates studio with a huge window across the street. He proudly uses the fact that he puked on a statue at 10 PM as his alibi. (Brent Morin is playing a character who is so vastly different from his Undateable character that I’m amazed.)
Gina and Charles are still sleeping with each other, apparently, and he grossly uses the euphemism “knocking boots” when talking about it. Because of that fact, Charles turns to her as a substitute date for his ex-wife’s engagement party. He wheedles that as “bone bros,” the least she could do is help him out. Gina rightly slaps Charles across the face because she “could not abide.” YOU GO, GIRL. Charles, how dare you. Her slap, by the way, sounded absolutely painful.
Back to Jake and Terry: Terry blows up at Jake for constantly getting in the way of his vasectomy. He argues that they’re not “friend” friends, just work acquaintances, and Jake’s face falls, and so does my heart. But a knockdown like that isn’t enough to keep Jake from doing what he believes is in his friend’s best interest, so he does his best physically overpower Terry. Spoiler alert: he isn’t strong enough.
Wuntch is almost finished evaluating the precinct, and mockingly asks Holt what he thinks she’s thinking. His answer is perfect: “From your expression, I would have guessed constipated, or chilly.” Writers, another kudo is getting lobbed your way. We finally get to see Holt’s literal match: like everyone else in the precinct who is unable to properly discern his variety of facial expressions, he is 50% sure of what is on Wuntch’s face.
Before the two of them can get into a word-stabby confrontation, Amy rushes into Holt’s office. She has managed to dig up Wuntch’s letter of recommendations, thanks to her relentlessly and overbearing wheedling, the source of Holt’s and Wuntch’s bad blood. Holt was sure that Wuntch had written a bad recommendation letter about him, purposely sabotaging his chances at becoming deputy chief, because of his sexual rejection of her. She retorts that “your sexual identity is the one thing I actually respect about you.”
They then go into detail about their feud, which can be summarized as such: she thought he was trying to get her thrown off the force. She shot him. He thought on purpose. She shot him because he was undermining her orders. She destroyed his personnel files while he was undercover. She maintains that she was protecting him from a potential mole. She believes he embarrassed her in front of Derek Jeter. “YOU EMBARRASSED YOURSELF IN FRONT OF DEREK JETER.” Dear Lord, this scene was fabulous. But I want to know what the Derek Jeter incident was. THE WRITERS DO NOT ELABORATE.
Amy is mentally exhausted from the stress of worrying about the grade the Nine-Nine will receive from Wuntch. She takes matters into her own hands and marches into Holt’s office. She’s determined to keep Holt as her captain as long as possible, but knows that if their precinct gets a failing grade, then Holt will be ousted, like the Nine-Oh’s captain was. She tells Holt to start apologizing for anything and everything necessary that will placate Wuntch. Amy’s outburst was FANTASTIC, and it clearly impresses him.
Holt reluctantly takes responsibility for the Derek Jeter incident, and Wuntch happily gives the Nine-Nine a grade of 2.7. As a thank you, Holt rewards Amy a Post-It with a quickly scrawled “A” on it, and she practically vibrates with happiness.
Gina and her sweater once again play an important role in a B99 episode. Sadly, said sweater is only mentioned, not shown. She tells Jake about how, one day, she found enlightenment concerning the cuteness of a sweater. The sweater that she thought was only work-cute also turned out to be as equally cute outside of work. Jake takes her nugget of wisdom as the metaphor Gina clearly did not plan for it to be, and runs to the hospital to prove his worth as “friend” friend to Terry.
Happily, Jake was able to keep Terry from getting his unwanted vasectomy; his police badge played a large role here. Unfortunately, Terry allegedly threw an EKG at Doctor Penis-Off before Jake was able to shut down the operation.
As the episode comes to a close, we get to see Rosa continue her awesome give-no-fucks attitude. She’s dressed in what I’m pretty sure is a giant Jamaican flag, so that she can go with Charles to his ex-wife’s engagement party, after which she will help him find a new apartment, away from his whole mess of baggage.
Coda scene: as a thank-you present for Jake, Terry gifts him a Tupperware full of baby carrots. Jake does not appreciate it. Terry headlocks Jake and shoves baby carrots into the smaller man’s mouth; this is the price of being “friend” friends with him.
Jake: [Stretches and screams.] “Sorry. Terry turned my spine into a mass of pebbles.”
Drk Mlk owner: “You don’t get into this business to make friends.”
Jake: “Really?” [Incredulous] “I would think making chocolate milk is a great way to make friends.”
Gina: “Where have you been? This is chaos. Gina’s been organizing evidence based on ‘perp hotness.'”
Holt: “They look ripe. And crispy.” [Holt is utterly confused at Amy’s basket of pears.]
Holt: [to Wuntch] “But if you’re here, who’s guarding Hades?”
Gina: “Jake, I am so scared that man is going to make a huge mistake re: his vast deferens.” (I died when Gina actually spelled out the “re:”)
Holt: I’m not a man of unlimited cajoling.
Amy: Cajole up, Captain.
- Jake’s futile attempts to bodily muscle/physically overpower Terry away from his vasectomy appointment was gold.
- I don’t know if I would consider Charles’ and Rosa’s hideous Jamaican-flag suits a best scene, but it took my breath away, so I jot it down.
- Charles’ jokes were on-point in this episode. Holt thought so too.
- Terry is apparently a Ross-head.
- It took me an inordinately long time for me to realize that the chocolate milk bar’s name is pronounced “Dark Milk.”
- I’m glad the writers are making an effort to showcase Gina’s and Jake’s friendship, and by doing so, making clear that despite Gina’s self-absorbed, airhead ways, she’s the more levelheaded and practical of the two.
- SO WEIRD, after I made an “Undateable” reference for the first episode, Brent Morin from it guest-starred on this week’s episode as Gregory Philips.
- Jake hates carrots. He only eats them in cake form. He also only drank chocolate milk when he was a baby.
- Steps are being taken to segue Charles and Rosa into a platonic relationship. This is still so weird to me, considering the PILOT episode set up Charles as having pined after her for the longest time.
- I NEED Gina’s denim hoodie. I found out that it retails at $60 from American Eagle – but they’re all currently sold out. WHY.