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Brooklyn Nine-Nine Recap/Review: “Sal’s Pizza”

Shepard Price ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

The cold open sets up the episode with a comical look at the precinct’s web search history, which has been leaked to the public.

After the opening credits things quickly pick up, as it is discovered that Jake Peralta’s (Andy Samberg) favorite pizza place, Sal’s Pizza, has been burned to the ground.  Peralta is noticeably upset. When the Fire Department arrives on the scene to investigate the fire, Boon (the fire marshal, portrayed by guest star Patton Oswalt) clashes with Peralta, as the two have history. Oswalt is another guest star (the prior being Dean Winters in “The Vulture” and Stacy Keach in “Old School”) to have a scene stealing guest spot on the show.

Amy Santiago (Melisa Fumero) starts talking with fellow detective Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz) bringing up Diaz’s search for property in Ropesberg, New Jersey.  Diaz, unbeknownst to Amy, has been offered the job of Captain there. Amy is upset by when she gets this information. Being the competitive detective that she is she feels overlooked. This brings up a familiar aspect of her character, because she has been competing with Peralta for most arrests throughout the series.

Andy Samberg, Jo Lo Truglio and Patton Oswalt in the Brooklyn Nine-Nine episode "Sal's Pizza." Photo Credit: Eddy Chen/FOX.
Andy Samberg, Jo Lo Truglio and Patton Oswalt in the Brooklyn Nine-Nine episode “Sal’s Pizza.” Photo Credit: Eddy Chen/FOX.

Meanwhile Sergeant Terry Jeffords (Terry Crews) is assigned to find a new IT director after a hacker named Savant says that it was super easy to hack the Precinct’s system.  Captain Holt (Andre Braugher) orders him to utilize Gina (Chelsea Peretti), because he believes she will have something to offer.  Gina begins behaving very weird in the interviews.  This makes us question what Holt sees in Gina, especially because Gina has said multiple times as well as shown that there is nothing hidden about her character.  We will later find out this isn’t true.

As they come up empty on information on who could have lit the fire in Sal’s, Boyle and Peralta come up with a plan to distract the firemen so that Peralta can get into the crime scene.  The plan only winds up getting them caught red-handed by Boon.  As Peralta becomes frustrated, a fight breaks out between the firefighters and detectives.  This brings up the episode wide conflict of Police vs. Firemen, and especially Boon vs. Peralta.

Diaz drags Amy out to Ropesberg, explaining that the city is really boring.  The residents take pride in being the most boring place, because “you have to be known for something”. Diaz asks Amy why she was behaving like she was, and Amy tells the story of how growing up with seven brothers and being the only girl, she had to fight for her place, and Diaz responds in a rare moment of compassion.  This is a great moment of character development for each character as we have not heard much of Santiago’s backstory before.  The rare moment of compassion delves deeper into Diaz’s character. The relationship is also strengthened because of their bond as being the only two females detectives in the precinct.

When it is discovered that Peralta and Boon share a common experience, Boon agrees to cooperate with Peralta to figure out the crime.  While working together, Boon and Peralta figure out who burnt down the building. (Spoilers) It turns out that Geno, a competitor with Sal’s, burned down the building because of competitiveness, but made a mistake by also stealing Sal’s signature sauce and using it in his own pizza.

Patton Oswalt and Andy Samberg in the Brooklyn Nine-Nine episode "Sal's Pizza." Photo Credit: Eddy Chen/FOX.
Patton Oswalt and Andy Samberg in the Brooklyn Nine-Nine episode “Sal’s Pizza.” Photo Credit: Eddy Chen/FOX.

Back at the precinct, we find out that Gina’s acts of weirdness all had their purposes for testing interviewees in tasks they would have to perform at the office. Gina tells Captain Holt and Terry that the ideal candidate has been with them all along: the hacker named Savant.  This shows that there is hidden depth and indeed intelligence in Gina’s character, despite the fact that she is desperate to hide it behind quirk and sarcasm. Gina is turning out to be a really good character, and one with possibilities for later episodes (I really want to meet her dance troupe “Floorgasm”).

The episode was overall one of the better ones.  It leaves many doors open for exploration in the future, and hopefully at least some of these doors will be revisited.  The episode was a really good tool in the series for further character development, as we learn something new about almost every character. The episode also shows off more of the supporting acting besides the main talent in Andre Braugher and Andy Samburg.

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