Shepard Price ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Brooklyn Nine Nine‘s latest episode, “The Bet” main plot line focuses on Det. Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) getting the Medal of Valor for actions in a previous episode where he put himself in the line of fire for another officer (Det. Diaz [Stephanie Beatriz]). Boyle is also on pain medications, which means that he is telling the brutal truth to everyone without realizing it and without being able to control it.
The episode’s secondary arch focuses on wrapping up the bet placed between Det. Peralta (Andy Samberg) and Det. Santiago (Melissa Fumero), where the detective who places the most felony arrests wins, and the loser has to do what they hate most in the world. The bet is wrapped up with Santiago losing at the very last second. Peralta then asks Santiago to go on the worst date ever with him. What turns out to be the case, however, is that the date isn’t as horrible as Peralta planned, and is not the worst date either of them has ever experienced. The date gets canceled because Peralta and Santiago are assigned to a case.
Captain Holt (Andre Braugher) realizes that Boyle’s honesty condition could lead to trouble, and puts Gina (Chelsea Peretti) in charge of making sure Boyle is not hurt (which acts as a fourth episode arch). Sgt. Terry Jeffords (Terry Crews) shows up to the party with his wife in tow, where Captain Holt proceeds to inform the wife of how heroic Terry was in the field, with the wife not knowing that Terry was back in the field. This leads to the tertiary arch of the episode. With each moment between Holt and Mrs. Jeffords, it looks bleaker and bleaker for Terry, until Boyle resolves the situation by telling the complete truth about how valuable Terry is.
The fourth arch is Gina and Diaz, with Diaz wanting to hide from Boyle because of his condition in which he is bound to tell Diaz that he loves her. Gina agrees to keep Diaz away from Boyle as it is her duty to protect him from being hurt. Boyle escapes her sight, and instead of telling Diaz that he loves her, he tells her that he didn’t know whom he took the bullet for, and instead did what any good cop would do.
This episode functions more as a continuity episode for the season, as its main function is to wrap up things that have happened prior in the show like the bet and the actions taken by Boyle.
The bet is how the show began from the very start (its serves a function in the very first cold opening) and is therefore a key aspect of the first season. It follows characteristics we have learned about each character, including Peralta’s celebration after he wins, which follows suit with what we have seen from him so far, as well as Gina putting out a screen of sarcasm, but underneath, being caring and understanding, which makes her character so valuable. Also, running gags are continued, including Boyle being the butt of the jokes (sometimes literally).
However, that is not to say that this episode does not move the show forward as well. First, there is Peralta seeing Santiago in a newer, but not unexplored light, somewhat brought on by the growing wisdom of Boyle, who shows Peralta that Peralta actually cares about Santiago, in more than just a friendship or professional way. This new light should be explored throughout the rest of the season, as it offers new material for the writers. Also, we see Holt in a new way, in that we see a new flaw, that sometimes he says the wrong thing, and his inability to be quiet about that wrong thing. This brings him down from his usual position of power and authority, if even for one episode.
The episode shows that Holt doesn’t always know best, and that sometimes he errs as much as Peralta or any other character. The episode also adds depth to the continued Boyle-Diaz relationship, with Boyle telling her that sometimes it isn’t all about her in his eyes, and that he actually loves the whole precinct. While she will always hold a special place in his heart, even if that affection is not returned, sometimes injuries happen in the line of fire.
This is one of the better episodes in the series, and it is one that shows a good example of a midseason episode for any show, as it wraps up what has happened before, as well as brings the show past what has happened into new material and into a new future. This is also the first episode to air after Nine Nine won the Golden Globe for TV Comedy, and it lives up to the hype that the award has brought.