Scene Breakdown: Holt and Kevin’s Vows in Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s “Renewal”

Kevin Cozner and Raymond Holt in Brooklyn Nine-Nine's "Renewal"
Source: NBC

TV is fully back in action and that’s always a treat. Only Murders in the Building premiered on Hulu, What We Do in the Shadows returned on FX, What If…? gave us an achingly heartbreaking episode, Ted Lasso touched on the importance of self-care, and more. But after we watched the brand new episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, the choice was an easy one to make.

I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but I suppose I’m glad Brooklyn Nine-Nine had decided to put a rift between Kevin and Holt because if it weren’t for this break, we wouldn’t have gotten an exquisite reunion in the rain, and a celebration with their loved ones. I hate that it happened, but I’m grateful we got to see them reaffirm just how deeply they care about each other—the lengths they’re willing to go through for one another, and the detail that this is the forever kind of love.

This isn’t the story of a couple wanting one party to sacrifice for another, it’s a partnership with equality at the forefront of everything they do, and though they had to come to the realization during this separation, it makes them that much stronger as a duo.

There’s a lot we’ve always been told about their relationship, and any opportunity we’ve gotten to actually see their intimacy for ourselves has been delightful, but the work done through this final season has been most exemplary because it’s given us a front-row seat.

Both Andre Braugher and Marc Evan Jackson brought such achingly sweet vulnerability to each of their characters, you could feel just how much the love between them is a moving force that drives them as human beings. You felt every ounce of their pain in thinking it might be too late and you felt every ounce of their love. The characters were given the moment to reveal that love is a choice couples make each and every day, but more importantly, that no matter what else is at stake, Kevin and Holt would choose one another through it all.

The symbolism behind a kiss in the rain always marks a rebirth of sorts—a cleansing if you will of the pain, darkness, and loneliness, a reunion that allows for nature to be on their side, a reunion that says the hollowness is washed away in this intimacy. It was warm and vulnerable as a scene, but it was also so deeply moving, I can’t remember the last time an LGBTQ couple was given the chance to shine like this.

Whose reaction was more accurate to yours? Scully’s, Rosa’s, or Amy’s? As Amy says, it almost feels too personal—like we shouldn’t be watching it because it’s theirs and theirs alone, but the beauty in it was found in just how personal it felt. In the detail that for a moment, it was just the two of them. Kevin and Holt have always been extremely private as both individuals, and as a couple, but in this moment, it doesn’t matter who’s watching. It doesn’t matter who’s in on their reunion because their joy is so transcendent, it demands to be shared.

They’ve lost themselves in the other, in the moment, and in their love.

It gave audiences a glimpse into their lives that perhaps we would not have gotten, but in the same way that these characters were part of their growth and reunion, the audience was too. And though the wedding wasn’t as lush as they should have had it because the guests had left, this time, they weren’t rushing out of fear, but they were fully embracing the moment surrounded by people who care ardently for them.

Raymond Holt and Kevin Cozner get to live happily ever, and there is peace restored back in the precinct because of this. Because of them, because of everything they stand for, and because of the immense love that they share which is responsible for the hope the other characters have.

What was the most exquisite thing you watched on TV this week?

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