DISCLAIMER: This recap of the Brooklyn Nine-Nine episode “Renewal” is riddled with spoilers. You’ve been warned. Proceed at your own peril.
Welcome back, Nine-Niners! Episode eight brings us one step closer to the series finale, and I’m not ready to say goodbye to these dorks! “Renewal” surpasses “Game of Boyles,” in my humble opinion, namely because of the Holt retirement drama. What a bombshell!
However, Holt has decided to stay on the force, but the swanky new promotion makes me think we’ll see our squad fracture in the remaining two episodes. Amy’s promotion to police chief is another solid indicator of this.
Anyway, “Renewal” features classic Jake/Holt shenanigans, oodles of Cheddar being the best boy and romantic vows. It’s beautiful.
Ready to delve into “Renewal”? Let’s get to it.
We open with glad tidings: Holt (Andre Braugher) reveals that he’s back together with Kevin! They’ll be having a vow renewal ceremony.
Now, it’s time for the hard news — Holt is retiring. His relationship with Kevin takes precedence, so he wants to focus on that. His final case will be working on the police reform proposal with Amy.
Later, Kevin (Marc Evan Jackson) thanks our crew for arriving early to help with setting up for the ceremony. Jake (Andy Samberg) finds Holt hiding behind a table. He’s on his laptop checking work emails.
Apparently, the numbers on the proposal were tampered with. Holt believes Frank O’Sullivan hacked the system and fudged them. So, Holt assembles the squad for a game plan.
Terry (Terry Crews) will play Geronimo Rodriguez, a Billy Joel super-fan. O’Sullivan will purchase some BJ memorabilia from him. Amy (Melissa Fumero) will be listening in and feeding Terry Billy Joel facts. They’ll acquire O’Sullivan’s fingerprints from this interaction.
Meanwhile, Jake and Holt will break into O’Sullivan’s house and snag his laptop.
Later, Holt dictates what their undercover names will be — Mitch and Henry! Jake is Mitch, much to his annoyance. They work for the gas company, and they need to inspect the O’Sullivan household.
Next, Amy has a mold for O’Sullivan’s prints. Terry inadvertently discloses Holt’s plan to retire. Amy is utterly beside herself.
Rosa and Boyle attempt to evade Kevin’s questions at the ceremony while contending with Cheddar, the best boy in the land.
Then, Jake and Holt attempt to go into O’Sullivan’s basement. O’Sullivan’s mom asks them to return later when her son is home. That’s when Maxwell Maxwell, Holt’s latest playboy persona, comes out to play, much to Jake’s delight.
O’Sullivan (John C. McGinley) shows up to purchase Billy Joel memorabilia from Terry. He pays Terry 10 grand for an original draft sheet of “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” but, unfortunately, Terry cannot get his fingerprints.
Meanwhile, Jake gets what he needs after Holt effectively distracts O’Sullivan’s mother.
But mom isn’t buying the charade.
She brandishes a gun at them and locks them in her basement.
Mom attempts to call O’Sullivan on her landline, but Jake ties it up. Get with the times, lady!
Later, we learn that Cheddar barks when he’s worried about Holt. Rosa tries to put the kibosh on the doggie’s barking by rising victorious in a staring contest.
Next, Terry attempts to seize gum from O’Sullivan for the latter’s prints. Amy vents about Holt’s retirement on the other end. Fed up, Terry yells at her, temporarily forgetting that O’Sullivan can’t see her. O’Sullivan believes Terry’s ire is directed at him.
So, Terry gives Amy and O’Sullivan an encouraging speech about being your own person. Before O’Sullivan departs, Terry gets the coveted fingerprints!
Back in O’Sullivan’s basement, Jake and Holt are running out of options. For starters, Jake’s phone is dead. Holt only has Kevin’s phone number memorized, but he’s at the ceremony. Jake decides to call Mikey J, a friend of his from school.
Meanwhile, Kevin finds Cheddar next to the dry erase board the team was using earlier for the case. Uh oh.
Jake ends up chatting with Mikey J’s mom, which doesn’t go over well. The vow renewal ceremony’s about to start. Holt confesses that he’s terrified of retirement. He enjoyed being Maxwell Maxwell and working with Jake.
Suddenly, O’Sullivan is home. We see two cops descending the staircase toward Holt and Jake with O’Sullivan’s mom in tow.
It’s Kevin and Rosa in disguise!
Outside, Holt tells Kevin he’s retiring. Kevin reveals that he doesn’t want that for Holt. Now, they have to take O’Sullivan’s laptop to One Police Plaza to prove O’Sullivan meddled with the reform proposal.
But, first thing’s first — time for a vow renewal.
Holt and Kevin renew their vows, and it’s so stunning. I’m cutting onions!
Two weeks later, we learn that O’Sullivan wasn’t reprimanded. Quite the contrary; he was re-elected for life. The commissioner approved the police program, and it will be implemented citywide.
Holt warns of resistance against this program. There will be a lot of it. Thankfully, he’s been appointed to Deputy Commissioner of Police Reform. He’s not retiring, after all! Oh, and he’s promoting Amy to police chief.
“Renewal” is pitch-perfect. It encapsulates the best of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, from the tongue-in-cheek jokes to the lighthearted fun to the genuine sweetness that tugs at your heartstrings.
So, the two-part series finale is titled “The Last Day.” That can mean a variety of things. My guess is it signifies Holt’s last day as the captain of the Nine-Nine. There’s a theory floating around that Jake could be turning in his badge as well, but I doubt that.
I have two wishes for the finale: More Hitchcock and Scully and the return of Gina. This season has been sorely bereft of Hitchcock and Scully moments. Maybe a reunion at Wing Slutz?
As for Gina, she’s a Nine-Nine staple. Please bring her back for one final hurrah, you cowards!
Regardless, have a box of tissues on hand. We can all sob uncontrollably together.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine returns for its final two episodes on September 16 at 8 pm on your NBC affiliate.