~ one of my favourite comedies is back for another season and I simply can’t wait. let’s speculate ~
Brooklyn Nine-Nine has long been one of my favourite comedy series. Its hilarious writing, comedically timed acting and that signature single-camera shooting style make it the perfect pick-me-up show. In May of this year, FOX announced that the cult favourite would be returning for a fifth season, but details around what these new episodes would entail have remained relatively hush-hush. That is, until Entertainment Weekly published some exclusive photos that gave us a little bit of insight into what-the-heck-was-going-on for the upcoming season. With the release of these photos came a flood of press interviews, fan speculation and interesting tidbits dropped by cast and creators alike. And by god do I want to discuss them.
WARNING: A LIL BIT OF SEASON 5 SPOILERS AHEAD. OBVS.
After a thrilling season four finale, there seems to be very little hope for our beloved detective ensemble – or certainly many obstacles in their path. With Jake and Rosa now holed up in two seperate prisons, and still no evidence against Detective Hawkins to help set them free, the stakes are pretty dire. Jake and Rosa’s dynamic is one that I’ve always loved – their light-hearted banter yet fierce loyalty to each other (1000 pushups – never forget) plays out beautifully onscreen – and has only been further developed by their plot lines in the second half of season four. Going into five, you would assume that this bond would only be strengthened – while they are facing hardships, at least they’re in it together. However, it has been revealed that Jake and Rosa are going to be residing in separate prisons. My visions of frequent exchanging of jail puns have been quashed, as this means that Jake and Rosa will get practically zero on-screen time together. I can’t help but feel that this might leave us bisexual-buds fans a little hungry, but I’m still interested to see how (if?!) they interact this season.
Another relationship that might be feeling a little worse for wear is Jake and Amy’s. While some of the promo shots show Amy visiting Jake in prison, I can’t imagine it will be easy for her to see him in such a dangerous environment. I’m expecting similar vibes to when Amy had to go undercover in a women’s prison with Jake as her handler, except multiplied by TEN MILLION BECAUSE IT’S A REAL PRISON AND HE’S ACTUALLY THOUGHT TO BE GUILTY. Again, I don’t know how I’m going to survive without seeing my favourite duo interact – their relaxed and loving dynamic is one of my favourite parts of the show. I also am aware that this situation would be ideal for the writers to introduce some strain on their relationship – probably their first major barrier thus far – and while plot-wise it would make sense, seeing their relationship deteriorate under the strain of a prison sentence is not something that would play well with my heart.
Speaking of how high the stakes actually are for Jake, some details have been revealed about the state of his entry into prison. Specifically the uneasy relationship he develops with his cellmate – who apparently is doing time for cannibalism? – and his attempt to gain protection from a thus far unnamed prison gang leader. From all the hints that have been dropped it seems like this season probably won’t begin that well for Jake, and I think we might see the series take a slightly darker tone as he deals with the realities of jail.
This leads me to a further concern about how much of the original comedic essence of the show will be retained in the upcoming season. While I don’t doubt Andy Samberg’s ability to make me laugh at literally anything, the events of the series leading up to this point are suggesting more of a dramatic take. It will be especially tough to maintain the signature light-hearted vibe if almost half the scenes of the season take place in a prison – an arguably less than light-hearted place. It will be interesting to see if the prison motif becomes a complete piss-take or if the show runners will try to combine this traditionally more serious setting with the show’s usual fun demeanour.
In order to do that successfully, I think it will be necessary to spend a fair bit of time outside of Jake and Rosa’s storylines – or at least their setting. While the show has primarily followed Jake as the main character thus far, I imagine a lot of the humour will come from the squad’s attempts to prove them innocent – and this will be another balancing act. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a cop show at its core, and I hope it can maintain that while following the main character into a new prison – a backdrop that has created a tv genre of its own. I trust the team behind B99 to not turn it into a prison show this season, because I really, really hate prison shows. (Sorry OITNB fans, but it’s just not my cup of tea.) But if done right, it will be fun to explore this new setting and balance out the humour and drama – as long as it doesn’t take away from the roots of the series.
I’m also excited to further develop Rosa’s character in this season. She will be occupying a separate prison to Jake – a specifically women’s prison. And I’m incredibly keen to see her kick every women’s prison trope’s ass – her dry demeanour makes her the perfect person to turn the stereotypes on their head. Rosa has always been a favourite character of mine – her complete take-no-shit attitude to life is something I aspire to have, and I think this will play out well in such a high-risk environment. In fact, it is this attitude that has and will gain her respect in this situation – sources have spilled that Rosa will have taken to prison life a little easier than Jake.
One person who hasn’t taken well to Jake’s prison life is Charles Boyle. Joe Lo Truglio, who plays the earnest and hard working detective, has told interviewers that we will see another cold open to rival the Matrix-inspired Viven breakup. Boyle and Peralta’s best friend status is no new concept to long time viewers – it’s something that has been established from the very first episode – but will it be another relationship put to the test in light of an estranged other half? Clearly Charles isn’t coping – and his depression at Jake’s absence will be further explored – but will we start to see the effects of the danger and distance begin to appear within Jake’s character as well? If Boyle’s new hair is anything to go off, their friendship could go through some interesting changes in this new season.
However, whilst Jake might be cooped up in the slammer with no one but a convicted child-eater to keep him company, Boyle will have the constant support network of almost the entire detective squad around him. This, I think, will be my favourite part of season five. The “team getting together to save the day” trope is always the greatest – it reminds you of why you love these characters and the way they play off each other so much. With Jake and Rosa still wrongly convicted, you can bet there’s going to be a whole heap of that. And which team better equipped to prove someone’s innocence than a detective squad? Except for a defence attorney gang, probably no one. From the sounds of things, it might be a long and difficult fight, however, as creator of the show Dan Goor still remains coy about whether or not Rosa and Jake will spend the entire season serving time. But regardless – I, for one, am 100% ready to see all these wonderful humans that I’ve grown to love so much unite as one and protect their own – and have me dying of laughter in the process.
Season Five of Brooklyn Nine-Nine premieres at 9:30pm September 26th on FOX. (or illegally on September 27th if you live outside of the States and can’t be bothered to pay for extra channels like me.)