Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 5 Episode 5 Review ’Bad Beat’

***Spoilers Ahead***

Bad Beat

Andy Samberg (Left), Terry Crews (Right). photo: Jordin Althaus/FOX

Aside from some minor instances, Brooklyn Nine-Nine tends to take continuity very seriously. When Terry said he had a girlfriend in Japan in season 1, that detail reappeared three seasons later. Rosa said she went to ballet school (and got kicked out) in season 1 and we got to see her ballet instructor in Season 3's 'The Mattress'. Likewise, the series established Holt's obsession with gambling in Season 2's 'USPIS' and it is the main focus of 'Bad Beat'. The episode does a wonderful job showcasing the captain's crazy addiction while also bringing in some legitimate suspense.

The A-plot focuses on the generally underused trio of Jake, Holt & Terry as they attempt to take down an arms dealer by going undercover at a gambling club. The plot heats up when Holt relapses as a result of being exposed to gambling again. For me, the "cartoon-ish" side of Holt is very hit-and-miss. When he simply yells catchphrases excessively, the shtick becomes old and I'd rather see his serious side. But, when there's justification for him acting outlandishly, I prefer to see his wild side. 'Bad Beat' uses the latter which is why Andre Braugher absolutely steals the show in this episode. The best scene in the episode is when Holt is held hostage and nearly killed in the process. It helps bring out a nice moment of character development since he comes to the realization that he needs to do something about his addiction. Also, I just love moments where Brooklyn Nine-Nine raises the stakes and brings out a darker side to balance out the general goofiness. While the A-plot alone would be worthy of an "A" grade, the other two stories weigh 'Bad Beat' down a bit.

The B-plot, with Boyle & Amy starting a food truck business, was not particularly funny or entertaining. Brooklyn Nine-Nine generally has a problem integrating three full-fledged stories in one episode. Because of this, I wish they'd just take on one or two instead of biting off more than they can chew. It's not that the Boyle-Amy plot is bad, it's just forgettable. Ironically, despite valuing continuity, the food truck business probably won't be mentioned again on  Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Luckily, the C-plot has more to offer. The interesting dynamic between Hitchcock, Scully, and Rosa made it memorable and I enjoyed the ridiculously serious way they handled the "sitting competition".

'Bad Beat' is a thoroughly enjoyable episode that has two great stories alongside one forgettable one. Nevertheless, the casino plot alone makes it worthy of multiple re-watches.

Grade: A-

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