Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 5 Episode 13 Review ’The Negotiation’

***Spoilers Ahead***

The Negotiation 

 Andy Samberg (left), Craig Robinson (right). Photo: FOX

While Brooklyn Nine-Nine has had an episode entitled 'Hostage Situation', the series has never created a story where Peralta acts as the negotiator in a real scenario. Since the comedy has passed the hundred episode mark, it's satisfying that the writers finally generated a plot built around this framework. Aside from the refreshing synopsis, the man responsible for the hostage situation is the infamous Doug Judy. Once a year, Craig Robinson takes on the role of the Pontiac Bandit and steals each show he's a part of. Luckily for the viewers,'The Negotiation' is no different. From the consistent joke delivery to the captivating chemistry between Peralta and Judy, it's an episode that bears few flaws.

The main plot centers on Jake negotiating with Judy at the scene of the crime. Naturally, the two catch up and Judy predictably explains how he's a changed man. In earlier Pontiac Bandit episodes, one would be able to see through Judy's lies and view him as a criminal. But, since 'The Fugitive Pt. 2', Robinson's character has gained Peralta's trust and it's clear that he's developed as a person. One aspect I enjoyed is the fact that Jake did not doubt anything Judy said. It was wonderful seeing the duo get along and act as friends. Additionally, the fact that Judy's mom's life was on the line created more tension than any of the show's serialized arcs. Despite the bond that the two have made, it still didn't surprise me that Judy ran off with the jewels. It put the viewer in Peralta's shoes and made one feel Jake's disappointment since it seemed like Judy regressed back to his old ways. Fortunately, Judy defies that by returning the jewels and supplying Peralta with more goods. I enjoyed the twist and the fact that Doug Judy has truly changed for the better. Unlike last season's stellar 'The Fugitive Pt. 2', 'The Negotiation' follows a fairly standard Pontiac Bandit episode mold. Nevertheless, that doesn't mean that the story wasn't engaging and exciting in its own right.

In the B-plot, Boyle opens up a food truck and loses his temper as Gina and Amy fail to help him. I was a touch surprised that the throwaway subplot from 'Bad Beat' ended up coming into play in a separate episode. I never expected the writers to bring the topic of Boyle's food truck up again. But, Brooklyn Nine-Nine's continuity is always top-notch. Outside of Joe Lo Trugilo acting dominant, a trait that Boyle rarely embodies, this story had very little to offer. It played out like a standard sitcom plot and didn't bring much to the table.

Contrary to the B-plot, the third story was well-built and admirable. It focused on Terry and Holt attempting to fix up Hitchcock for an interview to make the precinct seem competent. Since Hitchcock is usually part of a package deal with Scully, it felt refreshing to have a story focus solely on him. With his signature goofy charm, Dirk Blocker carries the plot and proves that he can be a useful cop when he wants to.

Personally, I felt like 'The Fugitive Pt. 2' was a perfect way to cap off the saga of Doug Judy. But, 'The Negotiation' proves that more adventures featuring the Pontiac Bandit are always welcome. The classic shenanigans of Jake and Judy worked well in this unique setting. Even if the food truck story was weaker than the others, the episode proved to be another solid ride.

Stray Thoughts
  • Jake literally broke the fourth wall when he said that Doug Judy only pops up every twelve months.
  • It's a bit ironic that Craig Robinson was on the show that kicked his own series (Ghosted) off the air. 
  • After all this time, I can't believe that Boyle and Judy have never met. But, there was a deleted scene from 'The Fugitive Pt. 2' that showed the two meeting up.
  • Dennis was a really good character.
  • Glad to see that Rosa and Judy finally reunited. 
  • Doug Judy better return to sing at Jake & Amy's wedding. 

Pontiac Bandit Episodes (RANKED)
1. The Pontiac Bandit Returns (season 2)
2. The Fugitive Pt. 2 (season 4)
3. Pontiac Bandit (Season 1)
4. The Negotiation (season 5)
5. The Cruise (season 3)

Grade: A-

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