A review of “The Bimbo,” this week’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine, coming up just as soon as I’m taller than the Greatest Generation…
“Y’all are hella specific,” Jake tells Captain Holt and Kevin at the end of “The Bimbo,” as the spouses flirt and enjoy a PDA as only they can. Theirs is, indeed, a very specific relationship, and their marriage is in many ways the most unique aspect of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. All the show’s characters have DNA you can trace back to other comedies (particularly other Mike Schur/Dan Goor-created shows). But the particular blend of traits that make up these two — intellectual, excessively formal, emotionally reserved bordering on robotic, gay, etc. — feels like something brand new, and has been brought to wonderful life over the years by Andre Braugher and Marc Evan Jackson.
The title of “The Bimbo” suggests a sequel to this season’s “The Honeypot,” with one half of the couple being tempted by a man who would only seem sexy to them. In a delightful twist, though, Raymond Holt himself is the titular bimbo. We learn that he has long felt dismissed as intellectually inferior by Kevin’s colleagues in academia. As with “The Honeypot,” the comedy comes from the yawning gap between how the bulk of society might define the term and how Holt does, like in his rant about going to sit by the pool to read fiction. The story is full of satisfying callbacks to past outings (Jake’s glee at Kevin quoting a Nicolas Cage movie, Holt declaring “Bingpot!” when finding a clue), but mostly it’s just a welcome excuse for Andy Samberg to stand back and marvel at how ridiculous and yet buttoned-down Braugher and Jackson can be.
The B-story, where Amy and Terry compete to see who can throw the more impressive lunch for the other cops at the precinct, felt like a leftover bit of business from earlier in the season. The uniforms are all hanging out upstairs, plus everyone is still concerned about Commissioner Kelly slashing their budget. Still, it’s a nice use of the larger world of the precinct, including the return of The Other Two‘s Drew Tarver as Gary Jennings, last seen in Season Five’s “Nutriboom” as a kind of Santiago-in-training. The subplot effectively exploited the food mania of Boyle (boasting of his Yelp! reviewer status) and Scully and Hitchcock (able to bend the laws of time and space when free food is involved), and even brought back the Gina statue (now parked out on the balcony) as a place for the uniforms to hide from the sergeants after the competition gets out of control.
Still, the Jake/Holt role reversal, and the latest opportunity to spend more time around Holt and Kevin, was so strong, I wouldn’t have minded giving the rest of the supporting cast the week off.