Cool cool cool cool, it’s the Nine Nine day. September 9 will forever be remembered as so. Brooklyn Nine-Nine might be ending soon, but it’s the show that deserves celebrations yearly and that will likely be the case as it’s one of the most binge-able shows to exist. When a show has too many amazing episodes to choose from, it’s the ultimate showcase of excellence, and that is most certainly the case with Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Season 5, Episode 9: “99”
While season five has a number of fantastic episodes like “Jake and Amy”, and “The Box”, the reality is, I don’t think I can write about their friendships enough. I’m not strong enough. And “99” beautifully encapsulates what makes the series so unique, and it does with raw, human moments that I firmly believe could melt even Scrooge’s heart.
When the team learns that Holt’s been the one sabotaging his own interview for commissioner, he finally reveals the deal he made to get Jake and Rosa out of prison, essentially solidifying that he is “Daptain.” In every sense of the word, “99” showcases that the precinct is home. It gives Amy the platform to show off her organizational skills fiercely under “The Final Countdown,” it gives Jake the platform to not only geek over Die Hard sets, but to learn how loved he truly is, it gives Rosa the platform to come out and feel good about it, it gives Terry mints, and it gives Holt hope in the fact that he wouldn’t deal with the aftermath of the deal alone. It reminds Holt that this is his family, his lifelong team. It’s a long, beautiful way from the Pilot. It does all this in an episode that had me laughing out loud from beginning to end. Jake’s “take my picture with it” is a mood. I think we’d all definitely do the same if someone ever let us near the Brooklyn Nine-Nine set.
Season 7, Episode 13: “Lights Out”
“Lights Out” is a masterpiece of an episode done brilliantly in a way that could only work on a series as distinctly established as Brooklyn Nine-Nine. (It’s also, my personal favorite episode now that I think about it.) Between the citywide blackout to Jake rushing to the precinct on horseback, the episode was already thrilling. Then we got a stressed Rosa helping Amy and a firefighter deliver the baby, which made for a heartwarming display of friendship to showcase just how far these women have come. And then Salt-N-Pepa’s “Push It” starts playing. From then, it is a whirlwind of emotions I still don’t know how to get through without blubbering. I don’t remember the last time I laughed and cried this hard simultaneously.
“Lights Out” is pure, incomparable joy that not only captures the heart of the series, but it reminds viewers why it’s so special. It’s the relationships. It’s Jake and Amy’s ardent adoration for one another, their realistic fears of not being good parents. It’s Rosa and Amy’s distinct dynamic as polar opposites who care about one another tremendously. It’s Charles trying to decide between what Jake’s baby will call him and once again, being the greatest cheerleader in doing everything he can to make sure they get to the birth on time. It’s Holt and Terry and their ridiculous choreography. It’s Hitchcock and Scully actually doing something good for once. It’s the added characters who are somehow so entertaining and so fitting for a series that’s always doing the best job of addressing real issues through comedy. It’s a lot and it’s everything.
Season 3, Episode 1: “Halloween III”
Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Halloween specials are the best Halloween specials and that’s a fact. But the third one when Amy Santiago is crowned Amazing/Detective might just be my personal favorite. It’s the special where the trajectory shifts from Holt and Jake to include the rest of the squad, giving others the opportunity to participate in the heist as well. It’s the episode that not only reminds us all of what a treasure Amy Santiago is, but it serves as a reminder that this series values its characters as individuals more than pairs. The third annual Halloween Heist proved that on this series, where this tradition is concerned, including everyone matters. (Even, surprisingly, Scully and Hitchcock.) It’s all about understanding the importance of a woman’s place in the precinct, and most important case in point, that Amy Santiago should always be someone who’s appreciated through everything.
Season 6, Episode 4: “Four Movements”
“Four Movements” is the episode that speaks most to who I am as a person—the episode I’ll always remember watching in real-time and having such a visceral reaction to, it was cathartic in every way. Gina Linetti isn’t exactly my favorite character, in truth, her exit was a lot easier to bear than Amy Santiago or Rosa Diaz’s would have been, which is largely why this episode is so special in everything that it conveys. It surprised me so much as a person, I suddenly missed Gina, and it’s because having someone like her tell Amy never to change—to embrace being a crier was everything I needed to hear too.
Because ultimately, what this episode reminds us all is though Gina has always appeared as though she’s better than everyone else, though she’s mocked people, she has always cared about them. It’s no excuse, but … it’s Gina. The same message comes through when she tells Jake that she never needed Mario Lopez to come to her goodbye party, she just needed them. They’re enough, perfect, and more than enough.
Season 3, Episode 22: “Greg and Larry”
I feel like this one should have been titled the one where we finally see Rosa’s house and the team reiterates they have each other’s backs. Because between this episode and “Game Night” where everyone knows where she lives and goes over to ensure she isn’t alone after her parents abandoned game night was a difficult one to choose. But “Greg and Larry” is the first time we really, truly understand the lengths the squad is willing to go for each other, the deep trust they have in each other, and the detail that they can each be trusted through everything.
It’s an episode full of heightened emotions that leaves almost everything on the table except for the fact that this squad will figure out a way to bring Holt and Jake home. There is loss at the end of it, but there is real, tangible hope, too that tells us everything is going to be okay.
Season 4, Episode 22: “Crime and Punishment”
In the same way that “Greg and Larry” does a tremendous amount of work to show just how much the squad is willing to do for each other, “Crime and Punishment” dives into what it looks like when the wrong people are trusted. And in this episode, there is hope—there’s the belief that there’s no way they could possibly lose, it’s happened once before, but the team rallying together to help Jake and Rosa continues to show that the squad is here for each other.
The adrenaline in this episode, the heartaches, and the emotions are a lot to bear in the best way when it comes to a TV show. In every way, all the performances are compelling. It’s packed with everything that results in superb storytelling and it works brilliantly to evoke what’s necessary when it comes to strengthening the team.
Season 5, Episode 4: “HalloVeen”
The one where no one wins, but Holt thinks he won and won’t let it go, but really, everyone is the winner because they unknowingly participated in one of the most intimate proposals on the show. (On any show, really.) The belt, Bill’s pyramid scheme, everyone thinking they’re one step ahead, the strategic planning and the work around it all—“HalloVeen” might objectively be the best of all the heists. No one is to be trusted, everyone is on edge, and almost everyone is participating. There is nothing imperfect about the episode, and the proposal is the icing on top of an already deliciously flavored cake.
Season 7, Episode 22: “Jake and Amy”
I don’t know what it says about me as a person because when it comes to TV weddings, I love nothing more than a “something goes wrong, the aftermath is better” because of it. Jake and Amy’s wedding day being threatened by a bomb is the last thing the two of them should have dealt with, but it resulted in the kind of episode that worked to tell a brilliant story about the lengths they’re each willing to go for one another to ensure the best result. And with almost all my favorite episodes with this show, the ones I appreciate most are the ones that show the 99th precinct working as a team to protect one another as much as they would with the oath they’ve sworn. And Holt officiating? There are no words. There is only perfection. And a bangin’ title of their sex tape.
Season 8, Episode 8: “Renewal”
I wanted to include the series finale in this list, but by the time the 99 day is before the finale would not have aired. And thus, it’s key to talk about what is the best of episode of season eight so far. The possible one final case, a wedding, news Amy Santiago cannot handle, and finally a lot of emotions. It’s the episode that reminds us all of the fact that Holt and Kevin have stood as beacons of hope to everyone, and the detail that their vow renewal reinstates those emotions beautifully. It cements it all through breathtaking fashion through moments that are as deeply moving as the show.
What are your nine personal favorite episodes from Brooklyn Nine-Nine? Let us know in the comments below.