We're back with another recap! Well, I'm back with my personal thoughts, anyway. There are a lot of names in this piece, so buckle up. *Spoilers below*
The second episode opens with a throwback to the '80s, when jazz was apparently the background music of choice. We see a much younger Hitchcock and Scully capturing big-shot cocaine dealer Gio Costa, complete with epic take-downs and a toast.
In the present day, Captain Holt's efforts to push back on the new commissioner's stop-and-frisk initiative has led the commissioner to close down certain parts of the precinct building. This results in the "downstairs" and "upstairs" officers being forced to cooperate (in the most literal sense of the word). Tensions are running high due to the overcrowding, and the office kitchen becomes ground zero for the conflict. Specifically, the office microwave.
When Sergeants Amy and Terry try and take their conflict to the Captain, he is busy preparing for an interview criticizing the new initiative and tells them the resolve it between themselves, with a reference to last episode's Hoots. On a side note, "Gina-Linetti-Spaghetti-Confetti" is one of those small jokes that make the show so entertaining.
Boyle is also considering adopting another child; specifically, a 40-something-year-old Latvian hunter who claims he is Nikolaj's half-brother. Needless to say, Jake is skeptical. The simmering tensions resulting from this come to a head when they learn that Internal Affairs has opened an investigation into one of Scully and Hitchcock's old cocaine bust. When Jake finds a picture revealing that a duffle bag full of cash is unaccounted for in the case report, Charles accuses Jake of being needlessly suspicious. Jake claims Charles is letting his emotions get the better of his reasoning, and both bicker their way through the first half of the investigation.
Things reach a head (a mannequin head, to be more precise) when they are locked in the back of Hitchcock and Scully's old van. Being stuck in the small space forces them to air out their grievances (and some unsavory-smelling cloth) in order to escape. Using a tracker Charles placed on Jake's phone, they manage to track the other two down to their favorite restaurant. When they move to cuff the older pair, the restaurant manager Marissa "Donna" Costa intervenes. It turns out that she was an informant in the drug case, and that the money in the missing duffle bag was used to help her go into hiding when the government refused to place her in witness protection.
The four are reconciling when a call from Captain Holt reveals that there was no investigation, after all. It was simply a ploy to help the recently released drug dealer and his goons suss out Marissa's hiding place. However, the combined efforts of the Nine-Nine and two tubs of "Slut Sauce" (it is a slightly less disturbing name in context) prevent Gio from enacting his revenge. He is recaptured in another epic take-down sequence, this time featuring Terry.
Meanwhile, at the precinct, the fight for bullpen supremacy has escalated into war. This culminates in Amy leading a decoy mission to allow her uniformed officers to plant a fish-bomb in the microwave. Of course, it turns out that Commissioner Kelly has chosen just that day to come to confront Holt about his interview. He then leaves, but not before making a few more threatening statements about how much worse things could get for the precinct if Holt continues in his path of most resistance. Upset by the toll his actions have taken on his staff, Captain Holt promises to account for their well-being in future efforts to dismantle the initiatives. Hitchcock and Scully are also given a year of desk duty in punishment for stealing the money, much to their poorly-concealed glee.
It was interesting getting a bit more backstory on the duo. We've had glimpses, or even entire episodes focusing on the histories of pretty much every other member of the squad except for these two. Yet Scully and Hitchcock have always been little more than punchlines. The perv and the peculiar.
We also learn exactly how the pair went from a highly-lauded, crime-fighting, clever-quipping duo to the lazy desk-lovers they are today. Unsurprisingly, it involves a bucket of wings. Although, it might not be entirely because of this; close viewers may remember their successes in Season 2 Episode 19 when they explain to Charles that most of their bumbling incompetence is a means of avoiding field duty. The two are perfectly content to remain behind their desks, scarfing down potato chips and commiserating about their home lives. The show has thus come full circle, with each of the character's having undergone character development (or in this particular case, character redevelopment), except Gina.*
Young Scully and Hitchcock also vaguely remind me of John Cena and That Kid from every white prep school murder mystery movie ever. I have no idea why. Must be the hair.
More recaps to come!
Here are some episode highlights:
1. Rosa's highlights. Rosa's jacket. Rosa's entire aesthetic.
2. Amy's posh accent.
3. "Yep, that's definitely the language of the innocent."**
4. The microwave contract.
5. Captain Dad.
*But Gina is so quintessentially Gina that it is hard to imagine her as anything else.
**I cannot believe that the show took such a direct potshot and at the same time am hardly surprised it did. Have I mentioned how great "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" is? Because it is very great.