The Spool / TV
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Holt Finally Melts in “Ransom”
Jake finally has to be the adult in the room in one of the best episodes of the season.
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Jake finally has to be the adult in the room in one of the best episodes of the season.

It would be impossible for a follow-up to last week’s “Valloweaster” to live up to that precedent, and this week’s episode doesn’t seem intent on doing that, but still manages to be one of the superlative episodes of this season. While the three threads of the episode don’t ever touch or intertwine, it’s still three terrific vignettes of the squad doing what they do best. As always, spoilers abound. 

This whole season seems to be bent on giving Jake (Andy Samberg) parenting lessons through his time at the Nine-Nine. When Cheddar is kidnapped, it causes Holt (Andre Braugher) and Kevin (Marc Evan Jackson) to melt down as much as they’re able to, which in Holt’s case is quite a lot. Now Jake is forced to be the adult in the room and sure Holt returns all the grenades.  

This is exactly the energy that was missing in the first half of the season with Holt still laboring as an officer under his demotion. Now that he’s been fully restored, the dynamic between the two is more balanced and there’s so much opportunity for Jake to learn from Holt. In this instance, Jake is learning that his boss/work dad is much more volatile when his heart is on the line. 

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE — “Ransom” Episode 712 — Pictured: Andre Braugher as Ray Holt — (Photo by: Jordin Althaus/NBC)

The times we’ve seen Holt act his most irrational is when Kevin is at risk (particularly in season five’s “Safe House”), so it makes sense that he would go full “John Wicks” for Cheddar. Writers Nick Perdue & Beau Rawlins give Holt some of the best lines of his entire run of the show in this episode, and Braugher is clearly having a ball delivering them

Add Kevin to that mix, with his nebbish, uptight brand of anxiety and what you’ve got is its own kind of magic. After Jake figures out who the kidnapper is and what they want, Holt refuses to put Kevin in danger by making the exchange (one of the ransom demands is the file with an informant’s personal details be delivered by Kevin). 

Jake’s solution—to go in place of and as Kevin, leads to one of the best montages in Brooklyn Nine-Nine history. When he’s finally ready to show the correct amount of enthusiasm for a yellow-crested warbler, it’s time to make the exchange. 

Writers Nick Perdue & Beau Rawlins give Holt some of the best lines of his entire run of the show in this episode, and Braugher is clearly having a ball delivering them. 

Yes, this does mean that Cheddar gets two glorious slow-mo runs at the camera in a row, but considering that the dog who plays Cheddar recently passed away, I’m going to appreciate every moment we get with that fluffy boy. 

While Jake is off trying to keep Holt from beating the dognapper to a pulp, Amy (Melissa Fumero) enlists Rosa’s (Stephanie Beatriz) help in winning a Snood, the hottest name in Scandinavian strollers over at “TypTöpTykes.” Rosa’s happy to help if it means beating Amy’s ex Teddy (Kyle Bornheimer), who is still as boring as wallpaper paste.

Teddy is one of those recurring characters like Bill or Doug Judy that showrunners Dan Goor and Michael Schur know how to use well—as a seasoning, rather than the main dish. It’s easy to see now that he and Amy never would have worked as a couple, no matter how nice or sincere he was because Amy Santiago needs the chaotic energy of someone like Jake to balance her Type-A personality. 

In the end, Teddy is the winner, as a sleep-deprived Rosa can’t bear to listen to any more of his stories. And yes, he is willing to let Amy have the Snood, if she agrees to marry him. We can’t say we didn’t see that one coming. 

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE — “Ransom” Episode 712 — Pictured: (l-r) Terry Crews as Terry Jeffords, Joe Lo Truglio as Charles Boyle — (Photo by: Jordin Althaus/NBC)

The third part of ‘Ransom’ is a classic Terry and Boyle mess-around. Terry Crews and Joe Lo Truglio are an odd couple pairing on this show that just works in a way a Terry/Rosa or a Boyle/Amy story couldn’t. They’re easily the two sweetest members of the Nine-Nine, and at some point, I fully expect there to be an episode where they get easily grifted, but that’s not this episode. 

Ever since “Captain Kim” and Rosa’s jacket, there’s been a bit more confidence in Boyle, and it shows here with his insistence that if he works really hard, one day Terry will be able to body lift as much as he can. Terry suggests they go into business together selling Boyle Bone Broth, which apparently works miracles as a post-workout supplement. 

Frankly I’m amazed that Boyle would let anyone near another Boyle family recipe after what happened with Gina Linetti and the Motherdough. As expected, their pitch to the creator of Muscle Malt goes off with a bang…literally, as Terry neglects to add salt, causing the broth to ferment. Luckily Terry finds a buyer for Boyle’s “Workplace Bone Buddies” domain name.

“Ransom” is one of the better Brooklyn Nine-Nine episodes since the switch to NBC, which is no surprise since director Rebecca Asher has given the show some of its highest points, especially last season’s “Cinco de Mayo.” If the rest of the season lives up to these last two episodes, we’re all in for a wild ride on top of a speeding car. 

Random Observations: 

  • “All I hear is friendship and broth” should be on the Boyle family crest. 
  • Any guesses on which movie was based on Holt’s career? Life couldn’t get any better than picturing Wesley Snipes yelling “You took the wrong fluffy boy!” 
  • I hope that Jake eventually learns how to beat Wario, maybe by the time his son is old enough to play he’ll have figured it out. 
  • The Swedes might have the stroller game down, but Rosa’s seen Midsommar and knows those people have their own problems. 
  • Kevin might be the one character who in seven seasons has not had a single wasted moment on screen, even the small, in-between moments like teaching Jake how to properly say “Vendetta” are gold. 
  • No word on whether or not Boyle also bought domains for “The Bone Boys” or “More Bone, Less Moan” but I’m willing to bet that he did. 

Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 7, Episode 12, “Ransom” Trailer: