“Captain Kim” unites Holt and Jake in their shared mistrust of the new captain, and Boyle develops an alter-ego.
This recap of Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 7, Episode 2, “Captain Kim”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Holt’s (Andre Braugher) demotion continues to be a major thread in the seventh season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine on NBC, and the second half of the two-part premiere hammers the point home with the arrival of his high-flying successor at the precinct. Captain Julie Kim (Nicole Bilderback), the first Asian-American woman to have a captaincy, spends her time doing charity work with marginalized communities. She seems genuinely interested in the team, she’s approachable, friendly and competent, and so naturally both Holt and Jake (Andy Samberg) irrationally mistrust her. Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz), who features in the cold-open but not the rest of the episode due to scheduling conflicts, wants her gone ASAP since she’s over meeting new people, and – spoiler alert – she gets her wish, though perhaps not quite in the way anyone expected.
As with the previous episode, Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 7, Episode 2 smartly gathers all the characters together in the same central location, which in this case is a swanky party at Captain Kim’s home. Only Jake and Holt continue to suspect the new Captain; Amy (Melissa Fumero) thinks she’s great and attempts to thwart their snooping efforts, Terry (Terry Crews) tries to charm his daughters into a prestigious education while avoiding presumed poisoning attempts from an ex-con he put away a decade ago, and Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) adopts a cool-guy maverick alter-ego and struts around wearing Rosa’s leather jacket.
Again, it’s the inclusion of all these characters that makes “Captain Kim” work so well, as they continue to meet in the middle and exchange banter before breaking off again to do their own things. Jake is able to distract Amy by introducing her to a woman who has revolutionized binders, giving him and Holt enough time to stage a hilarious distraction and pickpocket the keys to her locked bedroom, where a suspicious email from Wuntch suggests Captain Kim might have been lying about never meeting her, and a rescue dog is able to break free and wreak havoc on the party.
The team has just enough time to learn that Kim was telling the truth all along and actually joined the Nine-Nine out of admiration for Holt before Terry informs them the next day that she’s stepping down from her new position.
That was the A-plot of Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 7, Episode 2, but its star was arguably Boyle, or “Chuck”, enjoying the attention and admiration of his newfound badassery. Terry’s constant referencing of his kids is easily the weak point of this season thus far, and while his to-do with the ex-con built to a strong payoff, it had nothing on Boyle’s delight at being hit on by gorgeous women and invited to exclusive poker games. He was able to keep the shtick up longer than expected, too, even if he had to eventually give it up and revert immediately back to trademark Boyle-isms before the episode’s end.
Of the two episodes which kicked off this season, “Captain Kim” was probably the stronger one, though both largely worked on the same terms. The slapstick hijinks are as funny as ever, but Holt’s inability to accept his demotion makes for a good throughline, and having the characters temporarily switch roles and have to endure their own reversals of fortune is a smart way to keep the dynamics feeling fresh. Many would argue that NBC would have made a better home for this show all along, but very few could argue with the fact that now it’s here, it’s about as good as it has ever been.
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Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.