Everything’s Cool, Cool, Cool: The Season 5 Premiere Of Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Big House

by Gary Catig

The new season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine premiered last Tuesday and it picks up after the events of the previous season finale. Both Jake Peralta and Rosa Diaz are incarcerated after being framed for bank robberies while working for an elite task force.

[*Spoilers for this episode below!!]

The opening has Boyle in a deep depression knowing his coworkers are in prison, but his spirits are soon lifted when he hears his best friend’s voice. It seems the police caught the real culprit of the bank robberies so Diaz and Peralta were freed. Alas, it was all a dream and two of Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s finest are still in The Big House, the title of this episode.

The two commanding officers, Terry Jeffords and Ray Holt, visit Diaz. Always the bad ass, Diaz does not show any signs that prison is affecting her. Still, Jeffords and Holt feel sorry for her since she is wrongly imprisoned. They offer to take care of anything she needs on the outside. It starts off with mundane tasks like putting her furniture in storage, starting her motorcycle so it does not remain idle, and doing her taxes.

Her requests become more bizarre like emailing her fiancé her sexual love letters and picking up her abuela at the Philadelphia International Airport, in Pennsylvania. One of the final straws was having them cancel her cable. They were unsuccessful, but at least she now gets Epix and the Toonz channel for only a two-year commitment. Diaz was only having them do the ludicrous tasks because she did not like the pity party. She needed the normalcy of Jefford’s and Holt’s visits as a brief respite from the horrors of prison.

On the other hand, the effects of prison were more visible for Peralta. He’s a more delicate flower and is staying in protective custody. His only friend is his cell mate and cannibal, Caleb, humorously played by Tim Meadows. Jake misses his colleagues, especially his girlfriend Amy Santiago. This leads him to purchase a cell phone using the surprising prison currency of picante beef ramen, since prisoners are not allowed to smoke cigarettes anymore. Unfortunately for him, that ramen is contraband and he is caught and sent to gen pop, where they don’t take too kindly to cops.

Peralta tries to join a gang for protection, but gets rejected by almost all of them, including ISIS.  In order to join the last possible gang, he has to get a prison guard fired. His plan is to be excessively beaten by the guard and have Caleb record the whole incident on the cell phone.  Jake can’t catch a break as the warden confiscates the evidence and blackmails Jake to be an informant on the gang’s activities.

How much longer can Diaz and Peralta handle prison?  Will they ever be freed?  I guess we’ll find out next week for Part II of The Big House.

My favorite three lines:

  1. Caleb: “Ok look, I’ve been in prison for fifteen years. I’m not good with new technology. You want someone to lure a kid to a park using a Lycos chat room, I’m your man.”
  2. Holt: “Oh yes. Oh yes, he wrote back right away. It wasn’t as graphic as I feared. He wrote the number eight, equal sign, equal sign, equal sign, equal sign, equal sign, equal sign, equal sign, equal sign, capital D”.
  3. Peralta: “What hurts the most is knowing that prisoners are treated like this every day in the penal system. Also, he kicked me in the wiener a bunch.”

Brooklyn Nine-Nine airs Tuesday nights at 9:30 pm on Fox.

Gary Catig

Gary Catig is west coast raised, east coast educated, and has a touch of southern charm. He has spent most of his adult life making science fiction a reality as an engineer conducting research in the military, microprocessor, and biotechnology fields. While currently living in San Diego, he enjoys all facets of pop culture including but not limited to comics, TV, movies, and music.