Brooklyn Nine-Nine S01E13 Recap: "The Bet"

This week on the Golden Globe winning Brooklyn Nine-Nine: a horse gag, Jake takes Amy on “The Worst Date”, and Boyle is droppin’ truth bombs.

This week’s show opens with Boyle being awarded a medal of valor for taking that bullet in the butt. But wait! They’re giving the same medal to a horse? Well that’s just plumb nuts! Look the gag might have been funny but after the Lil’ Sebastian gag on Parks & Recreation and knowing that it’s the same creators, it’s all just too similar. Why didn’t they make it a dog? Are they less funny? At least it wouldn’t have felt as derivative.

After falling off the stage and reinjuring himself, Boyle doubles his dose of painkillers (not like that’s not troubling due to the fact that most painkillers are extremely addictive) and starts dropping truth bombs. Because I guess painkillers also treat anxiety. All snark aside, this was actually my favourite plot of the episode. I had a moment of real identification with Boyle when he expressed that he was worried Holt “didn’t find him interesting” and then told him he was pretending to get a text message. Don’t we all secretly worry we’re boring and pretend to check our phones when things are awkward? And Holt’s call back to that later in the episode- classic. I love a good call back.

Also his redemption with Rosa was so lovely and genuine, it almost convinced me the show deserved the Golden Globe. And then I remembered genuine and deeply resounding moments aren’t exactly common in Brooklyn Nine-Nine and chose to resent them for winning Best TV Comedy. I think this show could be deserving of an award eventually, but compared to powerhouses like Girls and Parks and Recreation, the internet and I could share our outrage at the win for Nine-Nine.

Anyway, Jake plans the worst possible date for Amy when she loses their bet on who can make the most arrests. (Remember that plot device at the beginning of the season that we’d all forgotten about?) Peralta makes her wear something hideous (yet reminiscent of former crushes) and he pulls out yet another ridiculous outfit: tux jacket, bow tie and cargo shorts. Amazing.

Jake promises the date will include: a first date portrait session, food poisoning, a youth choir singing "Santiago you suck so bad", among other things. Boyle says what we’re all thinking because it’s a classic trope: you’re trying too hard to annoy her because you like her.

Jake utters the words “you're not allowed to fall in love with me” but she probably will. He also uses the phrase “You really wanna know?” before he reveals something semi-personal. Then he chooses to have the nice conversation on stakeout instead of continuing with his joke date. Considering how clichéd it felt, it’s not nearly as barf-inducing as it could be.

Maybe I’ve been swayed by the Golden Globe recognition (probably not, considering the rage) but I feel like Brooklyn Nine-Nine has improved since the Christmas break. I don’t know if two episodes makes a streak but I like where things are going. More character development, more varied plots, better jokes- if things keep going this way, I could see myself actually enjoying Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Notes & Quotes
• When Boyle drops his truth bomb on Jake, Jake’s “Alllright” was a little reminiscent of Jim Carrey. “Alllllrighty then” is a classic line that will never die. A little tribute to it really warms my cockles.
• Best Gina line from the episode: “Why are you sequestered over by this old cell phone?” in reference to a pay phone.
• It’s weird that a male stripper giving Santiago a lapdance is so torturous but most guys would not mind a lapdance at work. The sexes really do have some fundamental differences. Not to be too controversial guys.
• I would totally do the Titanic jig with any iteration of Andy Samberg. That’s just plain awesome.
• The tux, the ring, a choir in Time Square, the play on the "Just Married” sign on the back of his car- how could Jake deny his feelings in the face of those metaphorical neon signs.
• We all knew Santiago wouldn’t win because losing one’s car in a bet is comparable to losing one’s soul in North America. Also, losing a car is obviously so not comparable to going on a date.

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