The following contains spoilers for season eight, episodes one to four of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”
The eighth and final season of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” has finally started airing on NBC and streaming on Hulu. This season is set to have ten episodes, with two episodes being released weekly until mid-September. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” centers around a goofy detective named Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) and a group of police officers navigating their work and personal lives at a fictional precinct of the New York City Police Department.
This show has become one of my favorite American TV shows because of its hilarious and relatable characters. It also addresses important, real-life issues in a thoughtful and nuanced way, several of which we see in the first four episodes.
The first episode of the season includes a time jump from June 2020 to spring 2021. A lot of major events happen during this time, and they hit you all at once. First, Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz) resigns from the police force after the death of George Floyd. Next, the Covid-19 lockdown happens, during which Amy (Melissa Fumero) has a baby boy named Mac. First responders get vaccinated, and Amy returns from maternity leave after the time jump.
I like how “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” does not avoid conversations about the Black Lives Matter movement, given that it is a show about a police precinct. It addresses the performative activism coming from co-workers and how those in power choose to go with the easier route and do not try to change the flawed policing system. I would have liked for these events to be better paced because it feels like a lot to squeeze into a 25-minute episode.
After a challenging and draining year, Captain Holt (Andre Braugher) reveals that he and his husband Kevin (Marc Evan Jackson) have separated. In the second episode of this season, Jake hatches a plan to get his dads back together. This episode is more light-hearted and brings in more humor, providing an excellent contrast to the heavier themes in the first episode. Holt and Kevin later decide to go to couple’s therapy and try to rekindle their relationship.
In the third episode, uniformed police officers stage a walkout, pretending to all be sick, leaving Holt and Amy to deal with being short-staffed. The duo uses data around crime rates and a decline of complaints during the walkout to start a major reform program that would change how officers are deployed. I like that the issue of police reform continues throughout this season instead of being in one episode. I am curious to see where the show takes this part of the plot.
The fourth episode focuses on Amy and Jake struggling with work and parenting. Jake tries to catch a serial killer while Amy works on her pitch for the NYPD reform. They have no choice but to bring their son Mac to work after his daycare closed due to a lice outbreak. The show acknowledges that parenting is not easy, especially for two working parents. It is a relatable and touching episode as Mac passes a milestone in front of Jake.
Many viewers have been bashing “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” for being too political when the show has long used its platform to discuss complex topics like racial profiling, sexual assault and trauma. Other than the first episode feeling a bit rushed, I enjoyed the first four episodes of the season and look forward to the next few.
Watch the trailer for “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” Season 8 here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zbdtowum840&ab_channel=TVPromos