April 30-May 6
“Moo Moo” | Brooklyn Nine-Nine
We went into another fantastic week of television with an emotional episode of Once Upon A Time. An intriguing hour of Madam Secretary. The Americans allowing us to see into the life of a character we’ve missed. Prison Break’s escape. Chicago P.D.‘s riveting hour of exceptional story telling. Black-ish presenting us with the fantastic spin-off Pilot that’d follow Zoey into college. And Superstore’s finale gave us an emotional, thrilling storm. But it was Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s “Moo Moo” that I can’t stop thinking about it.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine has always done an acute job of highlighting the crucial hardships in this world along with revolutionizing how we must move forward into a bigger, better tomorrow. But “Moo Moo” was the kind of episode that reminded us of the fact that there’s still cruelty in this dark world. Brooklyn Nine-Nine has focused on racial profiling before, but “Moo Moo” was something else. I could not stop thinking about this episode, and I still can’t.
Often times when comedies take on such vital subjects for discussion, they succeed in a way that’s perhaps a bit more cathartic. For instance, when Black-ish highlighted the terrors of police brutality in “Hope”, it resulted in one of the show’s most best, most memorable episodes, which truly had an effect on its audience. In the same way, Brooklyn Nine Nine allowed viewers to once again see the horrifying archaic mentality that has yet to change amongst some people, specifically police officers. And to have the racial profiling directly impact one of our own as opposed to something that’s viewed on the news by our cast, it allowed the series to express some of the heartrending emotions that come with watching someone we love suffer.
When Terry is stopped by a police officer at night during his quest to find his daughter’s fallen blanket, he begins to question the terrors his daughters may experience in the future as black women who cannot pull the police card. A performance which Terry Crews nailed masterfully through the poignancy in his words and expressiveness; allowing us to see that in this moment, whatever his character is feeling, he is, too. And although Terry is an officer, as he explains in his emotional monologue to Captain Holt, in that moment, he was nothing more than a “dangerous black man”. An image that has time and time again impacted black men and women who were going about their day when the color of their skin threatened someone strictly due to deeply rooted institutionalized racism. (A line delivered perfectly by Gina.)
“Moo Moo” not only exhibited the terrorizing effect racial profiling can have, but it tugged on our heartstrings a little bit more by having Terry’s daughters Cagney and Lacey start asking questions about the color of their skin. It brought the precinct closer together by having everyone’s riled up spirits come through in the form of protecting Terry. On that note, it was easy to understand where Holt, a homosexual black man was coming from in his advice to have Terry keep quiet for his career, but you could also understand Terry’s profound need to ensure that his daughters will be safer than he was. And when Holt came around stating that if he had not filed the complaint, he’d be betraying the very thing he worked hard to protect, he and Terry share a drink for their win. Though Terry didn’t get the liaison job, because of their choice to speak up, Maldack will think twice before stopping someone because of their skin color.
I also appreciated Jake and Amy’s inability to answer Cagney and Lacey’s question about race because when describing it to kids, it’s even more difficult than grasping it ourselves as adults. And in that moment, all they needed was hope — a hope the detectives weren’t sure how give but they managed to do so wonderfully through their desire to simply be there for the kids. Reminding them that they’re deeply loved and Maldack was wrong was all they needed in that moment. When kids know love, they know everything. And they could certainly understand that they have a lot of people in this world who care for them. (But you know, they also managed to tell them that orgasm means oranges … so, no one let them babysit for a while.)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s unique approach to story telling and the precincts closeness to one another resulted in an exquisitely powerful episode. And it’s episodes like this the world needs more of — the reminders that we are all human beings, no matter the color of our skin, who we love, or what we believe in. A little respect isn’t hard to give and kindness goes a long way.
What was your favorite thing you watched this week?