“The Jimmy Jab Games II” was a fun, knockabout episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine with some effective character beats and a surprise cliffhanger ending promising more hilarity to come.
This recap of Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 7, Episode 4, “The Jimmy Jab Games II”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words
When you have such a great cast of characters, it’s always a good idea just to have a knockabout half-hour like this one. It’s a team-builder, for both the staff at the Nine-Nine and the audience, who get to relax and enjoy them in increasingly silly circumstances, playing off and adding new wrinkles to their existing relationships, and making the odd nod in the direction of on-going serialized elements, such as Jake (Andy Samberg) and Amy (Melissa Fumero) still trying for a baby, Holt’s (Andre Braugher) demotion and his relationships with both Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz) and his new partner Debbie (Vanessa Bayer), and Charles (Joe Lo Truglio) embracing his inner greatest showman.
This is what happens, I suppose, when you leave Jake in charge of the precinct, but since Terry (Terry Crews) and Amy are supposed to be off for a day at a conference, there isn’t much choice. Besides, he’s older and more mature now, a wannabe dad no less, so Terry doesn’t think there’s any chance things will descend into chaos – which Jake naturally takes as something of a challenge. And thus, we have “The Jimmy Jab Games II”.
The games are obviously ludicrous, including throwing old meat at a window and fighting for places in the elevator while wearing bomb disposal gear. Debbie, now apparently a series’ regular, occupies a slot, giving her chance to be eliminated thanks to an allergy to turkey and then return for a spectacularly awkward solo performance after the fact. Amy also remains behind to ensure Jake wins since he bet their new sensible family car on the fact that Hitchcock (Dirk Blocker) can’t beat him despite being chemically assisted by Scully’s (Joel McKinnon Miller) limitless supply of pills and their varied side effects.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 7, Episode 4 is using an age-old formula here, but it still manages to find laughs every few seconds and some genuine surprises here and there. Most of the chuckles are courtesy of Charles, who channels PT Barnum to host the event in full Greatest Showman regalia while regularly breaking off for song-and-dance intermissions; I thought this might get grating but it somehow became funnier each time. Since Debbie is now the only character in the precinct square enough to think Charles is cool, he immediately takes her under his wing so that he can nurture her latent performer’s spirit – which turns out to be a success in more ways than one, since not only does she sing for everyone but, at the end of the episode, she feels bold enough to clear the evidence locker of guns and drugs. Oops.
Surprising is Holt and Rosa, who immediately form a monotone rivalry which Holt characteristically takes too far, digging into Rosa’s personal life with his assumptions to such an extent that she’s forced to tearfully reveal that her partner has dumped her. Even with these two being… you know, these two, this subplot still builds to a great payoff, with Holt sacrificing his chances of winning so he can be there for his friend, listening to music he obviously hates. It’s easily the best pairing of “The Jimmy Jab Games II”.
For what it’s worth, Jake wins the games with some help from Amy and one of Debbie’s Epi-Pens, ensuring that their growing family still has a car to drive around in. His childish competitiveness might not be gone just yet, but ultimately it’s rooted in his desire to be closer to his kid – providing he doesn’t bet that away too. Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 7, Episode 4 was a great, relaxed installment of the show which promises even more hilarity in Debbie’s turn to crime thanks to Charles. After all, what are friends for?
We are fast becoming the number one independent website for streaming coverage. Please support Ready Steady Cut today. Secure its future — we need you!
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.