DISCLAIMER: This Brooklyn Nine-Nine recap of “Return of the King” contains more spoilers than the number of G-Hive members worldwide. Our favorite human form of the 100% emoji has a large following. You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution.
Welcome back, Nine-Niners! Brooklyn Nine-Nine blessed us this week with the grand return of one Gina Linetti. Praise be! Jake and Terry were tasked with tracking down the one responsible for making death threats against Gina. Meanwhile, Holt was utterly convinced that Nikolaj was a genius, and even attempted to persuade Boyle to send his son to a boarding school in Sweden. Oh, and Rosa opened a door with her chin. She’s Rosa Diaz, and she can do anything. Anything.
Alright, ready to delve into “Return of the King?” Just be sure to vigilantly adhere to Gina’s commandments. Your life will be the better for it.
We open with Jake (Andy Samberg) telling Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) and Terry (Terry Crews) that he recently spoke with Gina. Boyle and Terry are taken aback by this, especially since Gina has been difficult to contact given her meteoric rise to fame. Terry is reluctant to accept an olive branch of friendship from her. She’s brushed Jake off in the past. However, Jake urges Terry to join him for a reunion of epic proportions. This is Gina, after all.
Later, an assistant informs Jake and Terry that Gina’s photo shoot is running behind. We see the King herself (Chelsea Peretti) being photographed as Moses. Her accessory? Two slabs of rock presumably containing the Gina Commandments. Praise be to the one G! Post shoot, Gina reunites with Terry and Jake. She reveals that she’s received death threats and would like the nine-nine to look into them. Gina also has a speaking engagement the following day. Jake and Terry agree to stand guard as her protection should a would-be murder pop up, ready to murder. No one should be ready to murder!
Meanwhile, Holt (Andre Braugher) is explaining to Boyle his desire to better patrol city areas within their jurisdiction. Two dry erase boards stand before them, both covered in formulas scrawled by Holt himself. Nikolaj (Antonio Raul Corbo), Boyle’s son, scribbles a formula of his own next to Holt’s handiwork. Holt is astonished, under the impression that Nikolaj solved an equation that was stumping the former. He proclaims to Boyle that Nikolaj is a child prodigy, a genius whose young mind needs cultivating.
Next, we see Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz) waltzing into work with both of her hands bandaged. She is suffering from a nasty case of poison oak on both hands. Amy (Melissa Fumero) offers to aid Rosa with typing duties but the latter asserts her independence. She’s Rosa Diaz. She’s an independent lady! After spilling some soda, Rosa heads into a storage room to clean up the mess and inadvertently locks herself inside. Uh oh.
Then, Terry and Jake are at Shaw’s for some drinks. Gina promised to meet them for some good ol’ fashioned fun, sans shop talk. Not to mention, Jake and Terry have been hard at work attempting to unveil the perpetrator behind the death threats. However, Gina’s assistant enters the scene and claims that Gina is too busy with work to spend time with our duo.
Later, Holt offers to tutor Nikolaj in various studies – from math to science to music. He urges Boyle to take Nikolaj’s education seriously. Boyle reveals that Nikolaj is immensely gifted in art and loves his cartoons class. Holt suggests Nikolaj drop said course so he can focus on more serious subjects. He even urges Boyle to enroll Nikolaj in a special boarding school in Sweden. Well, that escalated quickly.
Meanwhile, Jake and Terry arrive at the location for Gina’s big speaking engagement. Gina reveals that she canceled their meetup the previous night due to food poisoning. Understandable. Then, while Gina is gracing her loving and loyal followers with a handful of new commandments, Jake and Terry spot a suspicious looking fellow in a hoodie. He appears to be a rival social media star that could be the one doling out the threats. Jake pushes Gina aside as one of her displays comes tumbling down. Gina had a brush with death, so naturally she proceeds to tell everyone about it.
Then, Jake and Terry overhear Gina having a conversation with her agent. She accidentally reveals what she was actually doing the previous night – and it didn’t involve vomiting from food poisoning. Jake leaves, upset that Gina lied to him. He accuses her of being a bad friend, and of putting her career above everyone else. While the two are arguing, someone runs by and stabs Gina in the back. Yes, it was a stab by. Terry takes off and jogs after the stabber. Jake takes Gina to the hospital.
Later, Holt finds Nikolaj doodling a familiar design – it’s the same pattern the little boy drew earlier on the dry erase board. Boyle informs Holt that said pattern is the costume for one of Nikolaj’s favorite superheroes. He’s Captain Latvia’s sidekick, to be exact. Holt comes to the realization that Nikolaj isn’t a genius – he’s just a kid who loves to doodle.
Meanwhile, Terry arrives at the hospital. Gina is hopped up on painkillers and Jake is by her bedside. Terry reveals that, unfortunately, he didn’t catch the stabber. Jake surmises that said stabber is probably the husband of one of Gina’s followers. This woman claimed to have left her husband at Gina’s behest. Perhaps the stabber wished to exact revenge on Gina, blaming her for his wife’s departure. Makes sense. Terry sets out to do some research.
Next, we see Rosa is struggling to escape inside the storage room. Amy is watching Rosa through surveillance cameras. She was planning on helping Rosa out, but now she feels inspired by Rosa’s tenacity. Amy switches gears and encourages Rosa to keep pushing, to find a way out. She’s Rosa Diaz, dammit! Finally, we see Rosa utilize her chin to open the door. Amy greets Rosa on the other side and the two hug it out. Who would’ve thought that Rosa getting stuck in a room with two bandaged hands would morph into a story rife with inspiration? Not I.
Later, Holt pulls Boyle aside and apologizes for claiming that the latter isn’t a good parent. Boyle is an excellent caregiver, nurturing Nikolaj’s artistic visions and dreams. Holt feels that Nikolaj is exceptionally gifted as an artist, and the two bond over artwork created by the little boy. How precious.
Then, Gina and Jake are living it up at Shaw’s. Gina’s back is now knife free, and she has a cool story to tell her followers. She’s still loaded on painkillers, though. Jake and Gina agree to be more involved in each other’s lives, and my heart grew three sizes today. Seeing our Denim Crew reuniting and solidifying their friendship is all I need in this world. Here’s hoping we get more recurring spots featuring Peretti.
“Return of the King” is Melissa Fumero’s directorial debut, and she knocked it out of the park. I love seeing the cast try their hand at directing – so far we’ve had Stephanie Beatriz, Fumero and Joe Lo Truglio direct various episodes this season. Perhaps Andy Samberg or Andre Braugher will step behind the camera next? We can only hope.
While I did enjoy Peretti’s return, I’m glad it was a guest spot. The episode felt bogged down a bit by Peretti’s over-the-top Gina, and sometimes she can be a hard pill to swallow. Personally, I can only handle her in small doses. This was the right amount of Gina for me…at least for a while. But I do love me some Denim Crew, and her friendship with Jake is all kinds of adorable.
Now, Nine-Niners, don’t forget to keep your eyes glued to this space as I continue recapping Brooklyn Nine-Nine here on Geek Girl Authority.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine airs Thursdays at 9pm on your NBC affiliate.