Brooklyn Nine-Nine returns to its three-story structure in the “The Therapist” with funny but less memorable effect.
This recap of Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 6, Episode 11, “The Therapist”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
In a slightly busier twenty minutes than usual, Brooklyn Nine-Nine made an accomplished return to its three-story structure in “The Therapist”, getting virtually the whole cast involved in a consistently funny episode that was probably better for having less to say about complex social issues.
In the main plot, Peralta (Andy Samberg) and Charles (Joe Lo Truglio) tackle a murder that ties in some way to a therapist played by David Paymer. All this is really an excuse for Peralta to confront his lingering anxieties about his parents’ divorce and things he’s seen and done as a police officer, which of course he doesn’t want to do because he’s the show’s consistently happy-clappy comic relief, usually on-hand to add some needed sarcasm to more serious subplots. His dislike of therapy on principle and his immediate mistrust of the therapist leads to some of the episode’s best gags, but when he’s eventually forced to be the patient I’m not sure it really takes all that well.
This is partly because one of the subplots in “The Therapist” works much better as serious character introspection, and does so in a really clean and concise way with about half the screentime. Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz) is reluctant to introduce Captain Holt (Andre Braugher) to her girlfriend, Jocelyn (Cameron Esposito); he thinks because she’s embarrassed by him, but really because she respects his opinion so much that she’s scared he won’t approve of the relationship. This is funny too, of course, but it’s also a strong look at two of the show’s most buttoned-up characters, and it’s the best part of “The Therapist” by quite a stretch.
Elsewhere, in the obligatory just-for-laughs subplot, Terry (Terry Crews) and Amy (Melissa Fumero) argue over the ownership of a sex advice book, which Terry goes to great lengths to prove isn’t his. Brooklyn Nine-Nine has long made a point of poking fun at Crews’ uber-macho outward appearance, and “The Therapist” revels in doing so here.
Without Gina, the show is better able to balance these three-story episodes, but on balance I think this remarkably consistent sixth season has performed slightly better without them; devoting time equally between two parallel plots, giving them both room to be fleshed out more. “The Therapist” was by no means a bad episode — on the contrary, it was very good — but it also isn’t one you’ll remember for long.