Brooklyn Nine-Nine 3.20: “Paranoia” Review

NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” are present in this review



Brooklyn Nine-Nine offered another great central hook to focus two sets of storylines around this week, as Pimento and Diaz announce all of a sudden that they are engaged at the start of the episode! Yes, it’s abrupt, random and doesn’t make sense, but that about fits for the relationship between these two, and even if this revelation comes out of nowhere, it lends itself to another reliably funny batch of shenanigans among the precinct this week.

The engagement also provided an excuse to found two solid plots between both Pimento and Diaz, one for Pimento’s bachelor party, and the other for Diaz’s bachelorette party. As you can imagine, the jokes just write themselves between both sequences, especially in Diaz’s plot, which has Santiago, Gina and Boyle competing to give Diaz the best bachelorette party out of three options, all done in succession. Yes, Boyle ended up on the bridal side, but are you truly surprised?

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Both storylines provided a great share of laughs, and give pretty much every character at the precinct something amusing to do. The only frustrating omission was Captain Holt, who sat out both storylines this week, and only really showed up at the end of the episode, to foreshadow events to come for the rest of Season Three. That’s rather annoying, since Holt would have been fun to have in either storyline, and his absence is certainly felt throughout the episode, even with the rest of it still being quite funny.

Despite both storylines complementing each other, the bulk of the episode’s plot seems to revolve around Pimento’s side, as he begins the party by hijacking the party bus, and immediately announcing that people are trying to kill him. This unfortunately builds upon a blunt distrust of the sudden engagement between Pimento and Diaz by Jeffords, which Peralta tries to contain at Diaz’s request. There’s not much time to dwell on Jeffords’ disapproval though, as it turns out that Pimento is right, and some unknown people are actually trying to kill him!

After getting information from an assassin that they manage to apprehend, the group decides to try and fool the bad guys by posing Pimento with a mess of ketchup and beans around him, essentially faking his death. Even for Brooklyn Nine-Nine, it’s kind of a stretch that the criminals would fall for this though, especially given Pimento’s erratic tendencies to begin with. Strangely, when they demand Pimento’s tongue, Boyle having a list of places where the guys can get convincing tongues to pass off as human tongues for meals, is far more plausible.

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While the main storyline unfolds on Pimento’s side, Diaz’s subplot mostly amounts to pure gags, but that’s fine, since this storyline is absolutely hilarious. The party suggestions only get funnier as they go on, and feel strangely true to the character of Diaz, suggesting that, even though the precinct knows nothing about her, they know enough about her to give her a good time. Even with all three parties sounding initially lame, and turning out to be Diaz-approved, this joke never got old. In fact, Santiago’s party, a quiz party, even capitalizes on the precinct knowing virtually nothing about Diaz, to create a drinking game where everyone drinks whenever they get a personal question about Diaz wrong. Naturally, everyone is hammered before long.

Before that, Gina offers a paintball party where Diaz and co. get to shoot at her nephew and his friends, which is amusing, if a little brief. The real winner, even in Diaz’s eyes, is Boyle’s party, where he initially suggests that they go to a restaurant that only serves small intestines, only to later reveal that the restaurant was closed a while ago, and that they’re actually able to help demolish it! This was a standout sequence of great laughs, especially when Diaz declares, “Love is beautiful” while swinging a sledgehammer and obliterating more stuff. The bridal side clearly had more fun than the grooms’ side, but that’s good, since this is where the episode’s laughs were often at their strongest.

Things get real however, when Pimento and the guys find out that the criminal trying to kill Adrian has a mole in the FBI, and Pimento is forced to disappear for an unknown amount of time. He and Diaz have an uncomfortable, but surprisingly heartfelt farewell the following day, and it’s legitimately sad to have Jason Mantzoukas make his exit, when it looked for a while like he’d be sticking around the Nine-Nine. I guess there’s always the chance that he could return later though. Either way, the ending setup, where the precinct will be trying to catch the criminals hunting Pimento for the small handful of episodes left in Season Three, is a promising one. It’s been a while since the precinct has all teamed up over several episodes to catch the same criminals, which the show hasn’t truly done since the Giggle Pig case from last season (and even then, Diaz and Jeffords seemed to headline that effort), but hopefully, it serves as a strong climax to cap off an especially strong season of this show.

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Regardless, “Paranoia” was a funny and satisfying episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, even if it cost the precinct its time with Pimento, who is no doubt growing on viewers as a new addition at this point. Still, the engagement hook between Pimento and Diaz was very inspired, and lent itself well to two equally appealing storylines, with Diaz’s plot especially bringing the laughs. It looks like FOX is positioning the show’s current season to have a big finish, as the precinct starts chasing down a criminal so powerful that he’s got a man in the FBI, but that’s fantastic, since it means that a standout season can hopefully end on a standout note in a few weeks!

Brooklyn Nine-Nine proved entertaining this week, as Pimento and Diaz announce an impromptu engagement, and all manner of shenanigans ensue!
Reader Rating1 Votes
Pimento's bachelor party gone wrong
The precinct resolving to tackle a larger case
Hilarious subplot with the women and Boyle
The criminals seriously fell for ketchup and beans?
No Holt in either storyline