Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 5 Episode 15 Review ’The Puzzle Master’

***Spoilers Ahead***

The Puzzle Master

Photo: Andy Samberg. Credit: FOX

To prevent the series from becoming a rom-com, the writers of Brooklyn Nine-Nine only occasionally focus on the relationship between Jake and Amy. Personally, I admire them for continuing to focus on the friendships between the ensemble and not becoming a relationship comedy. But, the series still churns out some Jake and Amy episodes and they are usually a mixed bag. As for 'The Puzzle Master', the outing is a misstep for the comedy. It rehashes old plotlines and serves up a boatload of sitcom clichés. After last week's stellar episode ('The Box'), this result was a major disappointment.

Furthermore, Santiago receives the job of sergeant and partners up with Jake to solve one last case as a detective. At first glance, this sounds like a story that could be filled with emotional moments and nostalgia. Unfortunately, that potential goes down the drain with the introduction of crossword author Vin Stermley. Together, Amy and Jake investigate a string of arsons with Santiago's celebrity crush. As expected, Jake becomes jealous of Stermley and his insecurities rise up. For longtime viewers of the series, it's painfully apparent how much this plot is similar to season 2's 'Det. Dave Majors'. Both installments center on Jake being jealous that another guy is becoming close with Amy. Instead of feeling like parallelism, the storyline acts as a cheap knockoff of an episode that wasn't that great to begin with. Even if 'The Puzzle Master' wasn't taking a page out of a past installment, the plot comes off as forced and predictable. Before it even happens, it's blatantly obvious how this storyline will play out. Unsurprisingly, Amy briefly gets mad at Jake and then reassures him that she only loves Peralta and not the crossword author. The one saving grace is that Boyle hilariously pesters Jake about his jealous behavior. But, that's not enough to save a plot filled to the brim with clichés and few funny moments.  

Luckily, the B-plot improves from the tedious main story. Holt believes he's a shoe-in for commissioner until he finds out that a woman who isn't a dinosaur has joined the race. After he finds out that the NYPD has no intention to give the job to a woman, he decides to use his speech to expose them. While it doesn't bring much on the comedy side, it's nice to see Holt standing up for someone who's going through the same things he did. The captain's past hardly gets brought up in recent episodes, so that made for a nice callback. 

While not as generic as the A-plot, the C-plot is forgettable and has very little to offer. Terry decides that he'll keep the new squad car and that infuriates Rosa, Hitchcock, and Scully. But, he changes his tune and Rosa decides that he should still keep the car. Frankly, this plot does nothing except for cementing the fact that Terry is a wonderful person. It's not necessarily a bad story, but there's nothing memorable and the whole subplot felt widely uneventful.

'The Puzzle Master' ends Brooklyn Nine-Nine's hot streak of amazing episodes. While the Holt plot redeemed the episode a bit, the A-plot relied too much on overused sitcom tropes and the C-plot wasn't anything special. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is typically a creative show, so I hope that the writers attempt to stray away from clichés from now on.

Stray Thoughts
  • I wish they had focused more on the arsonist. That seemed like an interesting case.
  • The final moment of the episode was hilarious. Classic Boyle.
  • Speaking of Boyle, I don't think Nikolaj or Genevieve have made an appearance since last season. 
  • Cold openings should never actually tie into the plot.

Grade: C

What did you think of 'The Puzzle Master'?

Created with PollMaker

What did you think of 'The Puzzle Master'? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

Share this

Related Posts

Next Post »