Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been off the air for what feels like forever now (the last episode aired back in December), but it returned in top form with “Safe House,” which found Jake and Holt’s husband, Kevin, locked together in a safe house for two months. This premise had a lot going for it, especially the largely untapped pairing of Jake and Kevin. We got a taste of their potential way back in season one’s “The Party” (to this day one of my absolute favorite episodes), and they definitely delivered here. From the episode-long Nic Cage gag to the pepperoni exchange that showed just how well Kevin got to know Jake during their time together, everything involving these two was pure gold.
It would have been easy for Jake’s conversations with Kevin to feel pretty similar to his with Holt, but leaning into Jake’s love of pop culture and Kevin’s of academia stopped that from happening. The funniest moment of the episode for me was Kevin asking Holt if he knew what a clapback was, something that wouldn’t have been possible if he hadn’t been, well, lying on the floor listening to Jake talk about pop culture for two months.
It’s a testament to how strong this episode was that the other elements weren’t completely overshadowed by what happened in the safe house. It helped that this was one of the usually pretty good single case episodes, so no one was off too far on their own. Everyone played their part perfectly in the cold open, and Stephanie Beatriz’s work in the beauty parlor was especially hilarious. I always love when she gets to do something totally different on this show, and the little moments where she let Rosa peek through—the slightly terrified “I’ve always wondered what I’d look like as a blonde!”—were pitch perfect. This was also a fun return to form for Gina and proved exactly how useful she can be to the team.
I felt like the precinct bit (I don’t know if it really qualifies as a C-story), with Amy, Terry, Scully, and Hitchcock piecing together documents could have used maybe one more scene to reach maximum potential, but I also don’t know that you could have done much more with it than having Scully be surprisingly useful and having Terry convince himself that “Apache” was a likely word. Plus, it worked out nicely that both teams provided valuable intel in the end, regardless of how much screen time they got.
Since it was his husband’s life on the line—as he pointed out numerous times—it made sense that this was a big episode for Holt as well. I don’t want to say it was nice exactly, but it was definitely appropriate that Holt was a little on edge here, particularly when it led to the humorously low-key “vicious fight” between him and Kevin. Zany as it is, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is always sure to add in at least one 100% believable moment, and this episode it came with Kevin telling Raymond that he might not have a husband when it was all over. Not only did that show the realistic strain on their marriage, it also led to Jake talking about how many failed marriages he’s witnessed, a beat that was poignant in the way his conversations with Holt often are.
Of course, because it is Nine-Nine, we got a happy ending here, with Kevin saving both himself and Jake and Holt from Seamus Murphy thanks to a well-timed throat punch. This felt like the right time to end this storyline, too; there were real repercussions to Holt getting Jake and Rosa out of jail, but next week we get to go back to business as usual. And presumably, the lead up to those long-awaited Santiago/Peralta nuptials.
What did you think of “Safe House?” And more importantly, yay or nay on Rosa keeping that perm? Hit the comments, and let me know!