Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 7 Episode 4 Review [’The Jimmy Jab Games II’]

***Spoilers Ahead***

The Jimmy Jab Games II

Vanessa Bayer (left) & Joe Lo Truglio (right). Photo Credit: NBC

When Brooklyn Nine-Nine held just a fraction of the popularity and recognition it holds today, the police sitcom unleashed 'The Jimmy Jab Games'. The early season two installment was jam-packed with enough slapstick humor and infectious competition frenzy to instantly become one of the most compelling and memorable outings to date. The goofy charm that emerged from seeing members of the squad take part in the Olympics-esque ceremony felt right at home in the whimsical world of the Nine-Nine. But, as the series continually offered up yearly chapters of the Halloween heist and Pontiac Bandit outings, it became more and more unlikely that the Jimmy Jab Games would become a staple for Brooklyn. With all that said, 'The Jimmy Jab Games II' loses much of that playful energy that was so prevalent in its predecessor. Instead, it functions as a pretty discouraging reminder that some of the characters have outgrown the roles they inhabited in the original. Although there are still laughs to be had, it doesn't quite live up to the first edition of the Jimmy Jab Games.

Much of the entertainment from 'Jimmy Jab 1' came from the fact that Holt and Terry were unaware that the games were taking place. The looming threat that the fun could be spoiled at any moment added a special level of excitement to the episode. Those high stakes are mostly erased in 'Jimmy Jab 2' with even the more uptight Terry not objecting to the festivities. Additionally, the episode makes it clear from the start that Jake is now a significantly more mature individual. The main story follows his
hectic attempts at trying to reclaim the irresponsible, rebellious image he once maintained in his younger days. Even if his efforts at channeling his old self fall flat, his bet with Hitchcock manages to liven up the atmosphere a good bit. Jake may be on his way to fatherhood but it's comforting to know that at least Hitchcock (and Scully) are still the same fun-loving, wild duo that they were in the second season.

While Jake betting his minivan felt true to his character, Amy's anxious and pushy behavior took away from the thrilling events. In sharp contrast to how invested she was in the first edition, Santiago spends much of 'Jimmy Jab 2' keeping Peralta in check instead of yearning to win the game. It's a shame that the writers shelved the fiery, lawless side of Santiago that usually makes an appearance in these type of situations. Instead, she chastises Jake for taking the bet and only wants him to win so they don't lose their van. Santiago's constant reprimanding may have meshed well in an average episode but it's unfortunate that her competitive side was not let loose in a special installment like this.

Fortunately for 'Jimmy Jab 2', the Holt-Rosa and Boyle-Debbie pairings do a lot of the heavy-lifting in both the story and comedy department. Since he was entirely absent from taking part in the first Jimmy Jabs, it's refreshing to witness Holt slip right into the competition without anyone so much as batting an eye. Furthermore, the rapid-fire verbal attacks that Holt and Rosa hurled at each other strengthened their bond just as much as the somber moment they shared in Shaw's Bar. Given their matching deadpan, emotionless deliveries, the two tore each other down just as well as they built each other back up.

In the Boyle storyline, Charles finally manages to form a friendship with someone completely oblivious to his neurotic and awkward mannerisms. This results in a refreshing role reversal since Debbie is the one idolizing Boyle instead of Boyle feeling threatened or overshadowed by another person's presence. While Debbie's quirky and antisocial personality would have fit like a glove in the series, the final moments of the installment reveal a much darker side to her otherwise cheerful persona. Even though Boyle's encouraging words may have caused Debbie to turn to crime, it was still ridiculously entertaining to watch Charles Boyle give another individual tips on how to be well-liked and popular. Nevertheless, his advice was endearing despite him not embodying either trait in the eyes of the squad.

'The Jimmy Jab Games II' may pale in comparison to its far superior precursor, but it still manages to issue out enough doses of comedy to make this sequel a fairly enjoyable outing. Still, the indication that Jake may be getting too old for his bad-boy identity served as a pretty harsh wake-up call to viewers hoping to continue seeing his careless attitude shine through. Nonetheless, the other stories in the episode made up for the upsetting sentiment that the main plot made sure to emphasize. It may not have been a flawless second helping but 'Jimmy Jab II' proves that there is still more to explore when it comes to this series of episodes.

Stray Thoughts
  • It was genuinely surprising when Debbie stole from the evidence lock-up. This detail should help fuel some very engaging episodes. 
  • It might be for the best that Rosa broke up with Jocelyn, she never respected Rosa's police duties in the stellar 'Ticking Clocks' episode.
  • Hopefully a potential third 'Jimmy Jab' episode focuses more on the competition at hand. 

Grade: B-

What did you think of 'The Jimmy Jab Games II'?


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