The detectives of Brooklyn Nine-Nine are aware of one unshakable truth: when life gets tough, turn to television. The future of the 99th precinct hangs in the balance as Jake and company attempt to handle their stress the best way they know how — by working together. The April 18 episode, "Serve & Protect," has Brooklyn’s best trying three different tactics in order to save their precinct.
The best pairing of the episode features Jake and Rosa as they leave the Nine-Nine to solve a case on their favorite crime show, Serve & Protect, a spot-on hybrid of CSI: Miami and Law & Order. Jake is determined to break Rosa out of her “Gloomy Gus” attitude (she prefers the term “Realistic Randy”) and to show her there are plenty of reasons to be positive — for one, that Jake is realizing his dream of becoming a movie star. The case: who broke into star Cassie Sinclair’s trailer and stole her laptop? The verdict: Pending, because it doesn’t take long for Jake to become smitten with both Gary, the executive producer, and guest star Nathan Fillion’s Mark Devereaux, who thinks he’s an actual detective. Even though Rosa has to be the tough detective while Jake fangirls, there are fun little moments where she gets excited about being on set, proving that even Rosa is powerless against her favorite TV show.
Meanwhile, the rest of the squad is shaken by the arrival of their new auditor, Veronica, who has romantic history with Terry. Afraid of Veronica’s wrath, Boyle and Captain Holt seek out the Deputy Commissioner to convince him to keep the precinct open, leaving Gina, Amy, and Terry to deal with Veronica. The Nine-Nine is desperate, especially since they send Amy in to try some girl talk with Veronica. Watching Amy scream at Veronica to “Let me see that bra!” is probably the best moment of the entire episode.
After a false accusation where Jake loses his precious show consultant credit, Jake and Rosa finally get their suspect. The case is closed, but Jake learns that Rosa’s bad mood stems not just from the closure, but from the fear that she will lose her friends. While it’s fun to see what her cranky cop brings to Jake’s cheerful cop, the best Diaz is when she shows her softer side. It isn’t until after Rosa and Jake lose themselves in the fictional and real-life cases of Serve & Protect that Rosa finally admits that she’s going to miss the precinct, especially her good friend Jake.
In an interview with IndieWire, Rosa actor Stephanie Beatriz discussed her love for the Rosa-Jake dynamic: “I love that Rosa and Jake were in the Academy together. It textually frames something that was happening chemistry-wise anyway. Andy and I get along as buddies, and Rosa sees him as a buddy.”
Using a ridiculous distraction isn’t anything new at the Nine-Nine, but the fear of closure is: not because they can’t still be detectives, but because they might not be able to work together.
The best moments of Brooklyn Nine-Nine occur when the detectives bring out the best in each other. Fans know that Gina is the Queen Bee, but each character is integral to the heart of the Nine-Nine. When Boyle and Captain Holt discover that the Commissioner is cheating on his wife, Captain Holt actually considers blackmail in order to save his precinct. Luckily, Boyle stops Holt in time because he believes Holt keeping his morals is more important than keeping the Nine-Nine open. Back at the precinct, after an intense line of questioning from Gina’s bad cop, Terry discovers he did not handle his breakup with his ex as well as he thought. At the end of the episode, he apologizes to Veronica, only to discover that she already turned in her report, still leaving the precinct in peril at the end of the episode.
Jake and Rosa’s experience on set reminds me of the power of fandom and how the cast of characters and how they treat each other is sometimes what makes a show worth watching. Fans don’t know what the future holds for the squad of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, but if they can survive the infamous “Night Sassy,” they may still have a chance.