Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 5 Episode 18 Review ’Gray Star Mutual’

***Spoilers Ahead***

Gray Star Mutual 

L-R: Jason Mantzoukas, Andy Samberg, Joe Lo Truglio. Credit: FOX

February 23, 2016, marks the date that Adrian Pimento graced onto our television screens with his self-titled inaugural episode. He stole every scene he was in with his madcap method of comedy and absurd outbursts. Mantzoukas's character continued to appear sporadically throughout Brooklyn's fourth season. While Pimento held the recipe for comedic delight, there was never any deviation in his schtick. This essentially made Adrian a caricature since the writers never properly explored who he really was. 'Gray Star Mutual' provides the solution to this predicament by shedding light on Adrian's true feelings and concerns. Amidst that, the series surprisingly builds on two recurring story arcs in solid fashion.

Peralta and Boyle helm the main plot that centers on Boyle's food truck being mysteriously burned down. Through the help of Pimento the insurance investigator, the trio must catch the criminal and save Boyle from being framed. The development of Mantzouka's character serves as the most meaningful part of a pleasant storyline. Although he continues his gimmick of acting out in an eccentric manner, there's an ulterior motive that comes with it this time. The fact that Pimento is angry about being left out of the loop establishes a softer, more human side to his persona. This new angle was necessary for Adrian to become a full-fledged character. It's commendable that the writers took a one-dimensional character and added a second side to them this late in the game. Moreover, due to his infectious feeling of dismay, it's almost upsetting to hear about the milestones that Pimento missed during his absence. In past seasons, this type of emotional connection could never have been made with Adrian. While overshadowed by Pimento, the duo of Boyle and Peralta still pack a punch. The dominance and confidence that comes with Boyle's stress is a trait that's always welcome. If Brooklyn Nine-Nine only highlighted Charle's beta qualities, things would get somewhat tedious. All things considered, this story acted as an ideal reintroduction to the crazy personality of Pimento.

The B-plot centers on the firm friendship of Amy and Rosa. Since this dynamic has been severely underused, their chemistry felt stronger than ever. The added factor of Santiago being a sergeant modified their relationship in a positive way. Since Amy is in a higher position of power, one would think that Rosa would be less blunt with her. But, this storyline emphasizes that nothing has changed between the two. Rosa can still call Amy weird and Amy can still take her advice on matters like picking out a wedding dress. The crowning moment here comes with Santiago's fierce takedown of the perpetrator. It's a scene that is effortlessly coordinated and stunning to watch. This subplot does a perfect job of capturing the magnificent bond that the ladies share.

In the weaker C-plot, Gina and Terry attempt to modernize Holt by getting him on social media. The writers essentially build upon the theme that had already been set in 'The Puzzle Master'. It's a touch bothersome to see Holt being portrayed as out-of-touch. Braugher's character usually has all the answers and it's a shame that something as trivial as Twitter could prevent him from his dream job. Criticism aside, this story still paved the way for some entertaining moments. Holt being labeled as a bot and his general resistance to the practice felt true to his character. Nevertheless, the trope of an old person being unfamiliar with social media comes off as a bit stale and overused. While it had its funny moments, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is capable of being substantially more original.

'Gray Star Mutual' brings back a phenomenal character and portrays them in a new light. That alone makes it an outstanding outing of the cop comedy. If that weren't enough, the B-plot showcased a pairing that doesn't often get the attention it deserves. And, while the C-story may have fallen a bit on the lackluster side, it still delivered in some ways. Overall, this installment did not disappoint and only makes me eager to see more of Adrian Pimento.

  • I appreciated the allusion to the Ted Cruz porn incident. 
  • The cold opening race was intense. But, Jake's screaming got a bit annoying.
  • I hope Andre Braugher is inspired by this subplot and makes a Twitter account.
  • It's quite interesting that Peralta and Boyle didn't bother to mention to Pimento that Rosa was dating again. 
  • This season is almost over and neither Genieve nor Nikolaj have made an appearance. 
  • A future side plot could focus on Hitchcock and Scully attempting to take off safe-search from their computers. 

Grade: A-

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