“Gintars” takes aim at Jake’s well-meaning do-gooderism as Charles takes the spotlight, Terry shaves his eyebrows off, and Mad About You graces Latvian Hulu.
This recap of Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 6, Episode 10, “Gintars”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
As I’ve said before, and as is always pretty obvious, the beating heart of Brooklyn Nine-Nine is Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg). He’s the goofy, wisecracking sarcasm font, sure, but he’s also a genuinely good person whose always-magnetized moral compass keeps the show on the right (read: usually left) side of whatever social issues it’s wringing jokes from. “Gintars” messes with that formula slightly by having Jake’s well-meaning altruism backfire, damaging Jake’s relationship with Charles (Joe Lo Truglio), whose beloved son Nikolaj is introduced to his birth father, Gintars (Ike Barinholtz with a brilliant Eastern European henchman twang.)
Gintars is a nakedly shady “businessman” who wears all denim and runs a flagrantly counterfeit clothing line called “The Gape”, which eventually proves his undoing when Jake has him deported. But that turns out to be a hasty mistake. While Charles is initially skeptical and fainty terrified of Gintars’ involvement in Nikolaj’s life, he’s also a big, Disney-loving softy and wants what’s best for his son; by the time he realizes that Nikolaj knowing he hasn’t been abandoned is more important than his own protective instincts, Gintars is being bundled into a police car, courtesy of Jake.
This is a smart A-plot, as it allows the perennially second-fiddle-playing Charles to bask in some dramatic limelight, and it also prevents Jake’s do-gooderism from becoming too uncomplicated. Wanting to do the right thing all the time is admirable, but actually doing it, without properly understanding the situations you’re meddling in, can be just as harmful, if not more so, than leaving things to play out on their own.
The hysterical recurring slapstick bit of “Gintars” is Terry (Terry Crews) turning up in virtually every scene with mutilated facial hair – shaved and then drawn-on eyebrows, a bleached goatee, etc. – after having been told that tiny mites live on his face. This is brought up because Amy (Melissa Fumero) and Captain Holt (Andre Braugher) are unhealthily worshipping Reggie Lee’s Dr. Yee, a returning forensic “expert” who insists that a buzzing jar of flies can detect invisible blood.
“Gintars” didn’t tackle a hot-button issue with the same kind of sensitivity Brooklyn Nine-Nine has showcased throughout this season, but it didn’t necessarily need to. It was smart to rearrange the dynamics so that Jake wasn’t perfectly infallible for once, and Charles was allowed to steal the show, even if most of the laughs came from the titular counterfeiter’s timely jokes on immigration and sitcom remakes. A solid episode as ever.