Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 7 Episode 7 Review [’Ding Dong’]

***Spoilers Ahead***

Ding Dong 

Andre Braugher (left), Melissa Fumero (center), Stephanie Beatriz (right)

Arguably the most entertaining running gag Brooklyn Nine-Nine has formulated during its seven- season run has been the ongoing feud between Captain Holt and Madeline Wuntch. The pair have verbally sparred with each other since the second season and the mean-spirited banter they engage in never seems to grow tiresome. Wuntch may not have appeared all that much throughout the years but the season six finale proved that she and Holt will never run out of steam when it comes to making the audience laugh. As a result, this specific episode feels like the end of an era for the cop comedy.

While many notable players have died since Nine-Nine debuted in 2013, none of them held as much significance as the heartless commissioner did. Kyra Sedgwick's character ended up driving much of the conflict on the program and managed to demote Holt on two separate occasions. 'Ding Dong' basically eulogizes the underused Madeline Wuntch by finally exposing the fact that the heated relationship between her and Holt may not have stemmed from hatred alone. Given how exaggerated and cartoon-like the exchanges between them were, this serves as a satisfying and ideal way to close out the tumultuous rivalry they had maintained for so long. 

'Ding Dong' wastes no time getting to the core of the episode as Terry immediately announces Wuntch has passed away before the cold open sequence finishes. Unfortunately for Holt, Madeline ensured she had the last laugh by making him plan her funeral. This leaves the former captain in a dreadful position since he's repulsed by the mere thought of his deceased nemesis. A good portion of the humor in this outing comes from Holt's bubbly reaction to the death of Wuntch. Watching the most sensible character in the precinct have a moment of elation over the passing of an individual is both pleasantly jarring and thoroughly amusing. Adding Rosa & Amy to the mixture only made this story more enjoyable than it already was. Between Diaz joining Holt in degrading Wuntch and Santiago dealing with the effects of taking hormones, the ladies brought even more hilarity to a riveting synopsis. Admittedly, there was not a single dull moment to be found between their interactions.

Amidst the laughter, the writers finally add a more human side to the longtime battle between Holt and Wuntch. The sense of betrayal that Braugher's character feels after learning that another individual (who is later revealed to be Wuntch's nephew) had a similar hellish experience with his personal rival resonates just as well with the viewers since all are familiar with how the two consistently fired passionate insults at each other. And while Holt ends up outsmarting the plan Wuntch laid out to sabotage him, there's still a morbid feeling that accompanies the fact that this closes the door on any future appearances for the show's most engaging antagonist. Despite that, it's admirable that the writers decided to provide a fitting conclusion for her character instead of simply never bringing Sedgwick back to the show. 

In comparison to the phenomenal main story, the fairly run-of-the-mill B-plot centers on a storyline that has been replicated far too often in the entertainment world. Essentially, Jake has four tickets to Kwazy Cupcakes: The Movie and the duo of Terry & Charles fight (both physically and mentally) over who should be able to get them so they can take their kids to the event. While the callback to the app Gina & Holt obsessed over in the back-half of season one was certainly appreciated, nothing particularly memorable comes out of this plot outside of the high-spirited wrestling match between Boyle and Jeffords. The competitive nature the two brought may have led to some delightful moments but the premise itself was far too cliche and overdone to be very interesting. Still, the trio did their best in the acting department to make up for the generic story.

'Ding Dong' says goodbye to an unforgettable cast member in a manner that illustrates just how essential they were to the fabric of the series. By conveying that Holt always had some emotional attachment to Wuntch, the writers are able to paint her motives in a refreshingly different shade for her final on-screen appearance. Although the subplot does not come close to matching the central one in the areas of story or comedy, it's far from being an outright unpleasant ordeal. Instead, it supplies a few pebbles of comedic gold while largely staying away from upstaging the remarkably gratifying main plot. In all, if the series had to kill off Madeline Wuntch, this certainly was the best way to handle the grim matter.  

Stray Thoughts
  • Rosa easily had the best line of the episode while watching the video message Wuntch left for Holt. "Judging by the flames around her, it could be a live-stream". 
  • There actually is a real Kwakzy Cupcakes app that was launched over five years ago. 
  • I'm glad to see Jake & Amy will be able to have a baby but I'd be shocked if Amy gave birth before the season ended.
  • The Pontiac Bandit returns in the following episode. Those outings are always some of Brooklyn's finest. 

Grade: A-

What grade would you assign 'Ding Dong'?

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