NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” are present in this review
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is wrapping up its 2016 run a bit later than most primetime shows, so we won’t be seeing the midseason finale until next week. Still, “The Overmining” made for a pretty good episode this week, even if it was largely an excuse to restore the former status quo, after the interlude with Captain C.J. and the night shift.
Captain C.J. has been a very sporadic presence on the series, strangely, and it didn’t feel like Ken Marino’s comically inept new Nine-Nine captain fully loved up to his potential. Still, he was given a solid and amusing exit in this episode, when his ineptitude predictably becomes his downfall. This comes by way of a main Peralta/Holt storyline, where Holt decides to honour his duty in respecting the captain, even if he’s clearly a terrible captain, while Peralta starts trying to think of ways to get rid of Captain C.J.
A strange opportunity thus ends up presenting itself when Peralta initially tries to undermine C.J., after he misplaces a big backpack full of cocaine. When Peralta learns that C.J. was actually going to use his success on the drug bust to authorize a transfer out of the Nine-Nine however, Peralta reverses his stance to go from undermining to, “Overmining”, deciding to try and rope Holt into helping C.J. crack the case and take down the drug ring.
This mostly amounted to an effectively funny storyline, especially since most Peralta/Holt team-ups easily pay dividends, though C.J.’s ineptitude did get to be a bit much in a few scenes. Marino was pretty funny overall, though the episode did start veering C.J. pretty hard into inconceivable, excessively unrealistic stupidity at times, even by the standards of this show. As funny as it is to see C.J. blabbing incessantly over an earpiece, or getting distracted by an app that turns your words into burps, it sometimes stretches the realm of credibility too much. Nonetheless, C.J. being the instrument of his downfall when Holt arranges for him to earn a medal and make a speech was an incredibly satisfying final result, especially when the Nine-Nine can finally go back to the day shift for the midseason finale next week, and naturally for Season Four’s back half in 2017.
Aside from the C.J. resolution storyline, we got two subplots, and the Jeffords/Gina subplot was arguably the strongest storyline in the episode. Jeffords tries to announce a new green initiative for the precinct, though when he tells Gina to get rid of her space heater, Gina resists. Santiago also noses into the situation when she’s told she can’t laminate things anymore, though this provides a surprisingly unexpected and clever reason for Jeffords suddenly trying to assert authority at the office; Jeffords failed his lieutenant’s exam. It’s kind of surprising that the show took this long to bring up what happened with that, considering that Jeffords trying to make lieutenant was first brought up pretty much exactly a year ago during Season Three’s Christmas episode, though Jeffords having to face that failure this week made for plenty of laughs and heart.
What was especially effective here is that both Santiago and Gina end up becoming support figures for Jeffords in their own ways. Santiago outwardly takes Jeffords’ side and tries to help him dissuade Gina, though Gina instead asserts her iron will and knuckles down, to the point where she tries to hide the heater under a dress that catches fire, and doesn’t even care. Again, the final result of this already funny storyline was great, as Gina eventually admits defeat after Jeffords gives everyone a space heater, including Scully and Hitchcock, though she tells Santiago shortly beforehand that she is feigning loss to rebuild Jeffords’ confidence. This was surprisingly sweet, in a Gina sort of way, and hopefully, Jeffords will try the lieutenants’ exam again at some point, now that he’s found renewed resolve.
The remaining subplot revolves around Diaz and Boyle, and while it’s a funny subplot, it does feel noticeably overshadowed by the other two storylines. These two largely felt like they were stuck in a filler plot, which involves Boyle convincing Diaz to join him at a foot massage parlour, now that neither of them have an open case, and Boyle has found that he can combat the drain of the night shift this way. The two eventually discover that the parlour is a front for a money laundering operation and have to bust it however, which is very amusing, though like I said, this conclusion feels rushed and not as fleshed-out in contrast to how the other two storylines ended. Boyle and Diaz at least had something to do, but it’s a shame that their storyline didn’t ultimately have more impact in such a pivotal episode for the Nine-Nine.
“The Overmining” could have very easily functioned as a midseason finale, considering that it provided the resolution to the Captain C.J. conflict while also getting the squad out of the night shift, though perhaps something even more pivotal may happen in next week’s episode, which will be Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s last of 2016. Regardless of what ultimately happens next week, this week’s episode still happened to do very well overall. The return of the status quo was done in a clever and funny fashion, and even in the weakest Boyle/Diaz plot, the jokes were still amusing and sharp. It’s sort of tough to miss Captain C.J. when the show ended up doing disappointingly little with him in the end, but I doubt it will be long before the Nine-Nine runs into their next insufferable office mate.
- Amusing, satisfying exit for Captain C.J.
- Jeffords facing his failure of the lieutenants' exam
- Gina cleverly opposing Jeffords to rebuild his confidence
- Boyle/Diaz plot feels a bit rushed