Jake and Amy weren’t the only ones “Trying” in this funny and unusually busy episode that depicts six months of frustation.
This recap of Brooklyn NIne-Nine Season 7, Episode 6, “Trying”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
“Trying”, an apt title for Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 7, Episode 6, is about not just Jake (Andy Samberg) and Amy (Melissa Fumero) trying for a baby but the show itself trying new things. Rather than the usual A-plot and B-plot structure, a busier half-hour finds virtually everyone with things to do, most of which overlap in surprising and funny ways. It’s the stand-out episode of this season thus far, at least in terms of not feeling like any of the others.
It also plays with time in a fun way, spreading Jake and Amy’s attempts to conceive across several months. These efforts might indeed form what would ordinarily be the episode’s A-plot, but it’s more a way to push time forwards and see how the other subplots are affected by its passage. The sense of increasing frustration and desperation is mined for laughs and, eventually, poignancy in “Trying”, since the Amy Way, the Jake Way and the last-minute Hitchcock Way all fail to provide the desired results; what might have otherwise been an overly busy episode feels here like a smart point about life going on and moments continuing to tick by.
Of course, this is still Brooklyn Nine-Nine, so moments tick by in which Charles (Joe Lo Truglio) and Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz) inadvertently – and secretly – breed guinea pigs in the precinct, Holt (Andre Braugher) continues to walk the same boring beat for six months, learning things along the way, and Hitchcock (Dirk Blocker) attempts to match a missing tooth to the mouth of his true love in a city-wide search. Each thread continues to intersect with the others, but each, on their own terms, is intended to emphasize the passage of a six-month period fraught with annoyance and disappointment.
All of this is still funny – perhaps even more so thanks to the note of humanity in one failed pregnancy test after another, and the gradual deterioration of physical attraction that occurs when sex becomes a mandatory chore. Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 7, Episode 6 feels more truthful than the show often does, which I suppose is odd since it allows so many of its characters just to be goofy distractions in one increasingly ridiculous side-story after another. But after so long, this show knows and understands its characters better than most, and so do its audience. “Trying” is the best example of what that knowledge can provide for a sitcom that still wants to do new things. The results might not always be positive, as Jake and Amy learned – but at least they’ll be surprising.
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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.