Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 7 Premiere Review [’Manhunter’ & ’Captain Kim’]



***Spoilers Ahead***


  Manhunter/Captain Kim

Andre Braugher (center). Photo Credit: NBC

Manhunter

One of the more emotional moments to come from the early years of Brooklyn Nine-Nine consisted of Holt leaving his position as captain in order to stop Madeline Wuntch from relocating the detectives to separate precincts. His sacrifice vividly showcased how devoted he was to his workplace family and also put him in an unfamiliar setting for the first time. Although Braugher's character returned to his signature role a few episodes later, his stint in public relations gave viewers an idea of how soul-crushing it was for Holt to have his hard-earned status stripped away from him. The season seven opener places Holt back in that dreadful setting and examines how the change in power dynamics affects his relationship with Peralta. Given how much more the two have evolved and bonded since season three, 'Manhunter' achieves its purpose of making the audience feel sympathy for Holt much more effectively than the last time he was booted from his job. 

The main plot follows a fairly standard setup as all members of the squad attempt to track down the person who tried to assassinate a city councilor. Given the gravity of the situation, it seems rather odd that the characters treat the case just like any other. Aside from Terry's frantic tone in the cold opening, most of the episode could have worked just fine had the assassination been swapped out for robbery or vandalism. Nonetheless, Brooklyn usually utilizes the case of the week as a backdrop for character development instead of intently focusing on the details of their police duties. This holds true with 'Manhunter' as the episode zooms in on a downtrodden and humiliated Holt. 

While seeing Peralta give orders to his former captain is as bizarre as it sounds, it serves as a brilliant way to keep the aging sitcom fresh and inventive. With that said, it's tough not to wish that Raymond Holt was still head of the 99th precinct. Given how poorly he was treated by homophobic and racist coworkers in the 70's, it always felt like a major consolation prize that Braugher's character had the last laugh by securing an impressive post. Seeing him demoted to a state where he feels the need to prove himself is a slap in the face to those who empathized with his past struggles. Even then, his interactions with the outlandishly peppy and obedient Debbie (Vanessa Bayer) provide enough humor to the situation to make up for the gloomy atmosphere. Giving Holt a cheerful sidekick balanced out the somber mood quite well. 

The B-plot of the premiere focuses on Amy worrying that she may be pregnant and Rosa consoling her throughout her meltdown. Although the exchanges between the panic-stricken Santiago and sensible Diaz were as amusing as ever, the addition of Terry interrupting their conversations certainly wore out its welcome. His constant shouting coupled with a baseless fear of being made fun of provided little to an otherwise solid storyline.

'Manhunter' closes out with Jake reaffirming that he will always respect Holt despite his new role as a beat cop. While it may come off as a bit cliche, it's heartwarming to witness the two overcome the sudden shift and maintain their mutual respect. Despite Holt stealing Peralta's moment on television and Peralta discrediting Holt's hunch, the two put those issues behind and move forward. Likewise, Peralta's mature reaction to Amy announcing she may have been pregnant is a testament to his development as a character and serves as the perfect antithesis to his atrocious reaction to the subject of having kids in Season 6's 'Casecation'. While not without noticeable flaws, 'Manhunter' keeps Nine-Nine on its toes with an action-packed premise, a strong new edition to the cast, and some touching moments between characters viewers have grown to love. 


Stray Thoughts 
  • Hitchcock & Scully's montage was by far the highlight of the episode. 
  • It will be interesting to see how long it'll take before Holt is captain again.
  • Boyle's manhunt song was incredibly infectious. 
  • I hope Vanessa Bayer sticks around for a few more episodes.

Grade: B





Captain Kim

Andy Samberg (left) & Nicole Bilderback (right)

At first glance, 'Captain Kim' appears to be a tiresome rehash of past installments. The scenario of Peralta & company both attending and ruining a party was already tackled in Season 1's aptly titled 'The Party' while the arrival of a new commanding officer has been a recurring theme since the series began. That being said, Brooklyn Nine-Nine manages to take the familiar tropes and give them new life thanks to how different the characters act in this outing compared to ones prior. 

Hell-bent on proving that the new captain has ulterior motives, the spotlight of the episode shines brightly on the duo of Jake and Holt attempting to uncover some dirt on Kim during the house party. Even if it seems that Holt is acting wildly out-of-character, it makes perfect sense that he would join forces with Peralta given the fact he has lost everything he once cherished. Nevertheless, the former captain still retains his uptight demeanor as seen with his repulsion to the idea of getting drunk or the fact that carrots happen to be his favorite dessert. Shreds of his old ways remain intact as his character ventures into uncharted territory. Ultimately, seeing Braugher take part in acts he would once shun reveals how distressed his character currently is. With that said, that does not stop the story from being packed to the brim with humorous and exhilarating moments. 

The most pleasing storyline to come from this outing is the one focusing on Charles Boyle's transformation from insecure and awkward to confident and bad-ass after Rosa lends him her leather jacket. While Boyle has acted assertive in the past (most notably in Season 1's 'Full Boyle'), 'Captain Kim' explores this underused trait in far greater detail. It comes off as both incredibly jarring and satisfying to see a character that's usually a pushover stand up for himself and gain recognition from those outside of the precinct. Truglio does a spectacular job at morphing Boyle into a calm and collected individual. Even though his stint as an alpha male comes to a close when he gives his jacket away, the whole plot-line acted as a magnificent payoff for those hoping to see Charles Boyle not be the butt of the joke for a day. 

A brief C-plot centers on Terry meeting up with a rehabilitated criminal/waiter who he had helped lock up for ten years. Despite the fact that Jefford's alarmed reaction to the ex-convict was thoroughly entertaining, it's difficult not to feel like Terry was in the wrong for how he treated the waiter. This story is also another instance of Brooklyn Nine-Nine being able to show that the people the officers lock up are not all cold-blooded villains. Nine-Nine deserves major props for not adhering to the black-and-white concept of justice. 

'Captain Kim' ends up being a rather strong outing of Brooklyn. Although themes and threads from previous episodes are prevalent, this second showing does an immaculate job at taking some of the cast members out of their comfort zones. The fact that Holt does not tell Peralta to knock it off with his shenanigans adds some flavor to what could have been a by-the-book installment. In a similar vein, Boyle veering away from being Jake's hype man serves as another refreshing twist. With Julie Kim now gone from the precinct and the captain position left vacant once more, one can only wonder how the writers will tackle things for the rest of the season. Whether they fall flat or excel, these two episodes brought Brooklyn back in exceptional fashion. 

 

Stray Thoughts
  • Boyle gaining confidence after wearing the jacket was reminiscent of George becoming a whole different person after wearing a wig in Seinfeld
  • The cold opening mirrored the ending of the pilot.
  • The best moment of this episode came when Scully nearly attacked Jake for insulting the couch. 
  • Pimento returns for the following episode & there is a Jimmy Jabs sequel for episode four. This is shaping up to be a phenomenal season.



Grade: A



Which episode was better?

Manhunter
Captain Kim
Created with QuizMaker




What did you think of these two episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine? Is season seven off to a good start? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below. 

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