Brooklyn Nine-Nine Recap: “The Tattler” Offers Origins and Exits

Brooklyn Nine-Nine Tattler Brooklyn Nine-Nine Tattler

The Nine-Nine say goodbye to Gina Linetti in this exceptionally solid sendoff for Chelsea Peretti, though it’s saddled with lackluster B-plots.

It’s bittersweet that this is the end of the road (or the beginning of the end) considering how entertaining Gina is throughout her high school reunion. The episode title refers to a nickname that clouded Jake (Andy Samberg)’s senior year, when he was falsely accused of “tattling” on Brandon Bliss, the most popular guy in school, who planned to steal a school van and do some day drinking. In true Jake fashion, he claims not to be bothered by the lingering memory of his squashed popularity right up until the moment that he, Gina and Amy (Melissa Fumero) roll into the 90s themed-reunion and everyone immediately drudges up the past. Jake’s calm demeanor crumbles in short order (comedically captured in a montage of escalating reactions) prompting him and Amy to team up and find the true culprit, which is to be expected. This is a series about detectives, after all.

It turns out that the eyewitness confused Gina and Jake, which makes sense since they were both rocking an earring, long hair and their Dope Denim Club (DDC) outfit. The truth of Gina’s deception is less important than her rationale: she turned snitch in order to protect Jake from ruining his future and (at least in her mind) cleared the path for him to become a cop. Jake, in turn, encourages his high school bestie to follow her own ambitious designs and leave the 99 behind to pursue her own creative endeavours. In truth, it’s not bad advice considering she spends the evening pitching a fictitious app called Todddddler (Tindr for toddler dates) that legitimately sounds like a real product.

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Gina (Chelsea Peretti) and Jake (Andy Samberg)

The superhero origin-themed talk (both Spider-Man and Batman are referenced) is befitting for a show that specializes in geeking out (see also: Amy’s slow descent into homework nerddom – starting with rebuilding a science project, escalating to writing a Jane Eyre book report and finally getting kicked out of the library by the Principal). The reconciliation between Gina and Jake is classic B99, with just the right amount of sentimentality and quips to hit audiences in both the feels and the gut. If this truly is the last we see of Peretti on the show, it’s a nice send-off.

Much like last week, the B & C plots feel far more insignificant. Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) guides Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz) through a series of Boyle family traditions to help her overcome her romantic indecisiveness between two partners she’s dating (quinoa and cous cous) while Terry (Terry Crews), Scully (Joel McKinnon Miller), Hitchcock (Dirk Blocker), and Holt (Andre Braugher) – in the slightest of plots – pass the time attempting to guess the source of a generic sound on a FM radio contest.

The latter storyline is exceedingly thin, existing solely to provide some screen time for the remaining members of the cast, although it does (as always) provide a few choice gems of dialogue for Braugher. The Rosa/Boyle storyline isn’t much stronger, but as an unconventional match-up between characters who don’t often interact, it’s at least mildly amusing.

Fingers crossed everyone gets something a little meatier to work with in future episodes.

Random Thoughts:

  • Reasons why Jake thought Brandon Bliss was awesome: he was hot, he was illiterate and he lost his virginity at age 12.
  • Callback to Jake’s history with ska: he was in a band called Skavester Stallone.
  • Of course Jake’s HS flashback is scored to Smash Mouth’s insufferable hit “All Star”. Damn you, Brooklyn Nine-Nine!
  • I love how the writers lean into Amy’s (sexual) excitement about mundane procedural elements: she breaks the Administration window out of excitement and later saves a print-out of Jake’s perfect HS attendance for masturbatory purposes. “Keep it in your pants, Santiago.” “Oh that’s exactly where it’s going.”
  • In case you were keeping track, Gina has saved Jake’s life 12 times
  • Jobs that Gina references at the reunion: Marvel screenwriter (her forthcoming Thor project will feature “more full frontal nudity”), as well as working on the new Freedom Tower and coining the term Google maps.
  • JC and the Horndog is exactly the perfect name for a pair of insufferable FM radio personalities.
  • There are 312 questions in Boyle’s romantic questionnaire.
  • The cut-away that proves Rosa traditionally has no difficulty making decisions features her throwing away Sophie’s Choice and proclaiming, “the daughter, obviously.”

Best Lines

  • Holt (in response to caller Brenda the nurse referencing financial woes): “Cry me a river Brenda from Yonkers, we’ve all been hit by budget cuts.”
  • Hitchcock (explaining why he has time for another round of “name that sound”): “I have no one in my life.” DARK.
  • Boyle (after Rosa confesses a number of personal details): “So much juice at one time. I’m drowning.”
  • Boyle (when Rosa complains about bats being the most indecisive): “Flailing around upside down are micro-decisions.”
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