Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 5 Episode 21 Review ’White Whale’

***Spoilers Ahead***

White Whale 

L-to-R: Stephanie Beatriz, Melissa Fumero. Photo: John P. Fleenor/FOX

The reappearance of a cold case happens to be a mainstay in the Brooklyn Nine-Nine universe. Whether it be Jake (Unsolvable) or Terry's (Terry Kitties) case, it's clear that the trope has worn out its welcome a bit. Fortunately, 'White Whale' breathes new life into a routine storyline by providing Rosa and Amy with the opportunity to headline the A-plot. Had this story been handed to Jake and Terry, it would've felt tired and lackluster. But, the dynamic between the intimidating Rosa and cheerful Amy elevates the storyline and makes it fresh and enjoyable. 

The main plot begins with Rosa informing Amy that Sergio Mindar, a vicious murderer, has resurfaced after nearly a decade. The remainder of the story focuses on their attempt to catch the crook. First and foremost, the chemistry between Santiago and Diaz is nothing short of infectious. We've gotten brief glimpses of their dynamic throughout the years, but the writers have never awarded the two with a full-fledged plotline. In a similar fashion to Jake and Holt, Diaz's stone-cold demeanor and the buoyant, bubbly behavior of Santiago balance each other out. It's a shame the writers have rarely mined for comedy gold in their area. The contrast between Amy's positive outlook on the elderly and Rosa's indifferent attitude toward old people perfectly captures the disparity between the two and how incredible it is that their friendship remains intact despite it. This story also opens up an avenue for Rosa to express her emotions. Since she's genuinely hurt that Amy lied to her about the way Sergio got away, we get to see a side of Beatriz's character that's usually neglected. Brooklyn Nine-Nine's fifth season has legitimately helped Diaz open up and steer further away from caricature territory. This plot is merely a testament to that. Moreover, the reckless side of Santiago gets to shine when she jumps off the building in order to catch Sergio. It's always nice to see Amy valuing friendship and going with her instincts. This deviates from her lawful and strictly organized personality and reveals a generally hidden character trait  Although this plotline follows a strikingly similar structure to Season 1's Unsolvable, the bond between Rosa and Amy saves it from being a knockoff. Instead, it simply follows in the footsteps of the past episode. Ultimately, this wonderful plot gave a chance for the writers to show aspects of these characters that would otherwise not be explored. My only complaint is that it took so long for this pairing to take center stage for an episode.

In the B-plot, Jake and Terry plan for Amy's wedding and face many challenges. From the moment the story starts, the end game is exceptionally predictable. It's rather obvious that Jake will fail at these tasks and be assured that the thought is what really counts. Despite being run-of-the-mill, there were some stand-out scenes sprinkled in the midst. Jake breaking the windows of Terry's car was somewhat unexpected and served as a polished sight gag. Furthermore, Hitchcock and Scully's primitive nature always guarantees hilarity. Nonetheless, the story doesn't do much outside of reminding viewers that Jake and Amy's wedding is coming up. 

Oliva Crawford returns to the series in the C-plot to inform Holt that one of them must step down in the race for Commissioner. As a whole, Crawford fails to fill the void that Wunch left. Given that she's supposed to function as Holt's rival, she comes off as too friendly and lenient towards him. Because of this, their banter doesn't hold a candle to the rapid-fire insults that Madeline Wunch and Holt would hurl at each other during the show's early years. The best thing this subplot does is confirm that Crawford won't be in the race anymore. Now, it's up to Holt to win the position. Since this ongoing arc has been relatively mediocre, it's nice to know that it led to an outcome that benefited the captain.

'White Whale' manages to add a twist to a generic and overused storyline. The bond between Amy and Rosa lifts this installment to new heights and makes it stand out from the rest of season five. While the other plots may be forgettable, it doesn't take away from the writers' successful experiment in the A-plot. Hopefully, this means we'll be seeing more storylines centered on Santiago and Diaz in the future. 

  • The cold opening was pure genius. Only Hitchcock could get into a situation like that. 
  • NBC should be a better home for the series. I'm glad Brooklyn Nine-Nine will end on its own terms. 
  • The writers should do an episode that takes place in the past.

Grade: B+

What did you think of 'White Whale'?





Created with Quizzes

What did you think of 'White Whale'? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Share this

Related Posts

Next Post »