SPOILER ALERT: The following article contains details about the season finale of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
In what could have been its final episode, Brooklyn Nine-Nine delivers a season finale that gives us Nine-Nine-brand humor, familiar story beats, and a “bomb” wedding that makes us thank the TV Gods that this comedy treasure was saved from cancellation.
The episode titled “Jake & Amy” is set on wedding day for Jake (Andy Samberg) and Amy (Melissa Fumero) and, of course, things are not going as planned. Amy is about to have a meltdown as she lists everything going wrong with her big day: the cake hasn’t arrived, the ring bearer is sick, and worst of all, there is a mysterious stain on her veil.
Jake is cool as a cucumber and defuses the situation and delegates responsibilities to the team so that their big day can be the best ever. He asks Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz) and Terry (Terry Crews) to take the veil to a dry cleaner; he gives Captain Holt (Andre Braugher) the responsibility of training his dog Cheddar to replace their sick ring bearer and puts Hitchcock and Scully on a wild goose chase to find a replacement band for the one that canceled — which turns out to be a scheme to get the two out of Amy’s hair for the day.
Just when everything seems to be smoothed over, Jake gets a call — and it’s a bomb threat. He insists that it’s fake and is wildly excited because he thinks it’s his arch-nemesis. He doesn’t exactly know who his arch-nemesis is, but he is pretty sure that it’s him who is threatening to blow his wedding to smithereens.
Meanwhile, there are some storylines happening in the background for our favorite police squad. Terry is very giddy as he is trying to set Rosa up with their Uber driver Alicia (special guest star Gina Rodriguez) while Gina (Chelsea Peretti) is encouraging Captain Holt to open an email that tells him if he landed the job of NYPD Commissioner or not. He refuses to open the email because he doesn’t want to steal the spotlight from Jake and Amy’s wedding. But in reality, he won’t open the email because he is scared of what it may or may not say.
As things unfold, the wedding day becomes more of a disaster as they find out that overeager and Jake’s number 1 fan Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) put a very detailed engagement announcement in the paper with the address of the wedding. This leads to Amy’s stalker-ish ex Teddy (Kyle Bornheimer) entering the picture with a bomb squad. He comes on to the scene to obsess over Amy and to stop the wedding. And to top it all off, the cake, shaped as Nakatomi Plaza from Die Hard (which has to be the coolest wedding cake ever), has arrived and it is on the verge of melting because there is no place to store it (the cake gets ruined later when Cheddar gets sick from eating it).
There’s a wild goose chase for Jake’s arch-nemesis, Frank Gillespie, a guy who he arrested years ago. They track down Gillespie, only to find out he is dead. They then trace the call to Amy’s arch-nemesis. Jake is jealous that his bride-to-be has an arch-nemesis and he doesn’t. Amy’s arch-nemesis admits that he called in the bomb threat, but there is no bomb — but then they find out there is a bomb. (It’s just a web of lies in this episode.) Worst of all, Jake and Amy have to cancel their wedding because of said bomb.
Feeling defeated, Jake insists that they get married at City Hall, but then Boyle, being the eager beaver he says they should get married that night. Gina lends Amy a wedding dress that she was going to wear to the wedding (which is a very Gina thing to do) while Terry finds a shower curtain veil to replace the one they lost and Rosa, with the help of her maybe-new girlfriend Alicia, found a beautiful bouquet of flowers she could walk down the aisle with. Boyle has created a last minute and gorgeous parking lot set up to stage their wedding.
With Captain Holt officiating, a robot ring bearer, and a surprise appearance from the delightfully bizarre recurring character Mlepnos (Fred Armisen), they have the ceremony that is as touching as it is filled with Jake’s boyishly absurd humor.
The episode seems very familiar as it parallels the heartfelt episode of Parks and Recreation, in which the show’s primary couple Leslie (Amy Poehler) and Ben (Adam Scott) exchanged wedding vows. Also co-created by Schur, Parks and Rec was also a workplace comedy filled with eccentric characters, had a loyal fanbase and was always on the bubble. You might even argue that the wedding episode is similar to when Jim and Pam got married on The Office. Bottom line: wedding episodes in workplace comedies are essential. They tend to bring a sense of warmth, humanity, and emotion amidst all the crazy humor surrounding it.
With Brooklyn Nine-Nine, it felt a little different as this could have very well been the last time we saw Jake and the gang. There was an authenticity with the “Jake & Amy” episode that was a testimony of how much the creators and cast cared for their characters and for the show. Dare I say that the episode can bring someone to tears?
Even so, the season five finale knew when to reel in the schmaltz with Jake’s vows that mixed his love for Amy with lines like “I’m worried about dancing in front of our friends.”
The episode and the show’s cancellation/renewal journey could best be summed up with Amy’s vows as she reflected on the disaster of a wedding day that could have sent her to the ER. “I’m here and I’ve never been happier,” she said. “Life is unpredictable — not everything is in our control. As long as you’re with the right people, you can handle anything.”
She punctuated that with: “You Jake Peralta are the right person for me” — but wait! That’s not the end of the episode!
As the Nine-Nine squad gets ready to make its move from Fox to NBC, the season finale left us with a bit of a cliffhanger.
Inspired by Amy’s vows, Captain Holt gathers the crew around to open the email he has been putting off the entire episode. As Jake, Amy and company wait with bated breath on whether or not he is the new Commissioner, Holt reads the email to himself and with his poker face says “From the look at my face I’m sure you can guess what it says.”
“Not at all! Just tell us, you monster!” exclaims Jake.
Thus ends the fifth season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, giving us something to graciously chew on until they come back to us with more Nine-Nine action for a much deserved season six.