NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” are present in this review
Brooklyn Nine-Nine had the titular precinct more or less doomed in this week’s episode, as Holt addresses the squad by saying that the precinct will be shut down… And obviously, there’s still a sliver of hope. Indeed, the Nine-Nine is being considering for closing alongside the Seven-Four, a precinct that has some sort of specialized anti-gang task force that ensures they will stay open. With the detectives deciding that it’s over, the episode thus unfolds from there, but obviously, you probably know how this episode is going to ultimately end.
“The Last Ride” nonetheless offered an interesting examination of how the detectives might make the most of their final day on the squad, and in a lot of ways, Brooklyn Nine-Nine maximized the humour in both playing to and detracting from expectation. The episode was a little bit scattered, trying to cover a lot of story ground in a constrained half-hour space, which short-changed a few characters in the storytelling, but the result was still consistently entertaining, as the detectives try to make the most of their supposed last day together.
Arguably the biggest storyline of the episode centers around Peralta and Boyle, who predictably try to do everything in their power to fight for the precinct. Deciding that they can make a major bust in just a few hours, thinking that this will somehow fix everything, they wind up on the trail of a notorious drug lord. Peralta has to win a BMX race to get into the drug lord’s good graces, and as you can imagine, that goes very badly, despite Peralta claiming that he used to be a BMX champ as a kid. Luckily, Boyle saves the day by planting a bug on the drug runner during the race that Peralta embarrassingly loses, which helps lead the NYPD straight to the bad guys.
The core Peralta/Boyle plot was one of the funniest storylines in the episode, if only because of how adorably Peralta and Boyle struggle with the prospect of being separated in the workplace. Things like the two using binoculars to hide their crying made for some great comedic highlights, as did the two coming up with some more embarrassing nicknames for their undercover personas for supposedly the final time. The storyline was also wrapped up on a very satisfying note to boot, as Peralta and Boyle opt to miss the hearing in order to bring in a dangerous criminal, seemingly sacrificing their precinct in order to do the right thing. As immature as these guys are, this made for fantastic proof that they still are great, noble cops at heart, and that was awesome to see.
Another standout storyline involved Santiago going to Holt to express that she’s sad about never being able to be properly mentored by him. To Santiago’s surprise however, Holt was actually mentoring her the whole time, revealed when Holt pulls out a massive binder to disclose all of the things he subtly taught Santiago without her knowing. Santiago’s childish joy at this revelation was funny enough, but the challenge of Holt trying to impart all of his wisdom on her in the space of just a few hours was also pretty hilarious, with Andre Braugher once again excelling as one of the funniest actors on the show here. The end reveal of Holt having an entire second binder to keep mentoring Santiago with later was also a funny and satisfying twist, proving that there’s still plenty of potential to mine from the Santiago/Holt mentorship that always existed, even if we didn’t know it.
The third subplot was reasonably funny, though not quite as funny as the other two. This subplot involved Jeffords revealing to Diaz that he was one arrest away from the ultimate Nine-Nine arrest record, with the record, strangely, being held by Hitchcock. Diaz does what she can to boost Jeffords’ ego, while Hitchcock predictably holds his rank over Jeffords in lots of amusing ways, but mostly, this storyline just filled in the gaps between two more effective storylines. It was still funny, but didn’t quite have the weight of the other storylines, since it was more about Jeffords specifically, rather than Jeffords trying to save the precinct with Diaz.
This just leaves Gina, who now seems to have fully recovered from her injuries, and thus, she’s back to harassing the squad at full tilt. Apparently, Gina also has a very active social media following, as she starts livestreaming herself pranking her co-workers as a way of starting a social media career after the precinct closes. Gina constantly recycling the same prank of having everyone drink cement was funny the first few times at least (where did she even get that much cement?!), but what really wrapped up the Gina material well was the revelation that Gina’s social media group are the ones that save the Nine-Nine in the end, after Gina records Holt’s speech about Peralta’s and Boyle’s selflessness. Yes, obviously the Nine-Nine doesn’t close, or else we wouldn’t have a show. The all too obvious way that the Nine-Nine stayed open, with the Seven-Four closing instead, did seem too contrived and easy, as the saving of the precinct is just tacked on at the end of the episode, with the hearing taking place off-screen. This largely makes the whole business with Santiago’s and Jeffords’ exes completely pointless, as well as the whole anxiety over the precinct closing as a whole, and that’s a bummer.
Still, even if the happy result is overly convenient and predictable, “The Last Ride” nonetheless gave us an interesting new look at all of Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s lead detectives, as they all try to cope with imminent separation in their own ways. Considering that the precinct is now saved, I’m not sure what else Season Four will ultimately pull out for a climax, especially since the latest season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine appears to be wrapping up with a doubled-up episode count over the next few weeks, but hopefully, the squad will have grown smarter and more enlightened by the precinct’s near-death experience. Hopefully. But probably not.
- Peralta's and Boyle's good old-fashioned undercover operation
- Santiago's crash mentorship with Holt
- Amusing little moments with Jeffords, Hitchcock and Gina
- The precinct's obvious and overly convenient save at the end
- Some characters suffer from the scattered storytelling