Coral Palms Nine-Nine returns to Fox on Sept. 20 at 8 p.m. ET/PT with its season 4 prem— what’s that? Ah, sorry about that. Brooklyn Nine-Nine returns Tuesday and whisks us back to Florida, where the cop comedy ended its third season with a tropical twist after the takedown of Jimmy “The Butcher” Figgis’ mafia empire: Following a death threat from the criminal mastermind, Jake (Andy Samberg) and Holt (Andre Braugher) were sent into witness protection, given the names Larry and Greg, and relocated to Coral Palms, Florida. To find out how Jake and Holt are passing time in the Sunshine State, what you can expect from the stacked line-up of guest-stars (Maya Rudolph, Rhea Perlman, Ken Marino, Jim O’Heir, Eric Roberts), and how the gang from New Girl will find their way to New York, step out of your vehicles, drop your weapons, and slowly scroll down.
Jake and Holt are in a different state (of mind).
The season 4 premiere, which takes place entirely in Florida (and six months after the season 3 finale), finds Jake and Holt adjusting to their new life in different ways, and Holt doing a slightly better job of it. “Holt is a member of a power-walking group with several older ladies, and Jake has frosted tips and wears a sleeveless tank top,” says executive producer Dan Goor. “They’ve had no contact with the Nine-Nine in that six months.” Samberg tells EW of his character’s new look: “It’s not super extreme, but it’s very Florida. There’s a late-’90s boyband vibe to it.”
Holt is in the Zone.
Yes, the honorable Captain Raymond Holt has been reduced to working at a go-kart/arcade facility named Frank’s Fun Zone, and he’s trying desperately to getting into middle management. Alas, he is toiling for an extremely laid-back boss named Taylor (Jorma Taccone, Samberg’s Lonely Island cohort). “He’s proud of how hard he had to work to inherit the business from his father,” Goor tells EW. “No one in the history of television has misjudged someone as badly as he has misjudged Ray Holt.” Adds Samberg: “This is a man who has no ambition or really any focus of any kind. He misinterprets everything that Holt does… Holt can’t help but want to be in charge, and is finding that challenging because he’s so overqualified. It’s wonderful watching Andre play that dynamic.” Jake will wind up joining forces with Taylor at one point, but in the meantime, what is he doing for work? “I won’t say what Jake job is,” says Samberg, “but he is in and around the world of ATVs.”
My, oh, Maya: Holt and Jake have someone unexpected looking out for them.
A U.S. Marshal, played by Maya Rudolph, has been charged with keeping Jake and Holt safe. “That said, she has her own inner life and personality, and she’s willing to talk about it,” hints Goor. “She’s effective, she’s intelligent, she’s passionate.”
Meet the new captain. Not the same as the old captain.
Holt’s replacement at the Nine-Nine is not someone who instills a lot of confidence in the detectives. Meet C.J., played Ken Marino, who is is not big on discipline. “He got his promotion to captain because he transfers two numbers in an address when he was on the way to the dentist’s office and accidentally happened upon a major drug deal, which he busted,” says Goor. “Knowing that he’s in over his head and that the Nine-Nine is very capable, his philosophy is to give them everything they want, which is something that Gina (Chelsea Peretti) and the squad quickly takes advantage of.” Well, everyone but order-craving Amy (Melissa Fumero). “Let’s say his character is not the sharpest tool in the shed, but he is a figure of authority,” Fumero tells EW, “so that’s a really difficult position for Amy to be in.”
Hey! She’s walking here!
Cheers alum Rhea Perlman will guest-star in the season premiere as the ringleader of the neighborhood power walking group that Holt has joined. “She might have a little bit of a crush on Holt,” says Goor, “but he’s off-limits because he is ‘recovering from the death of his wife.'” Kevin will surely appreciate that one.
The second and third episodes of the season will be Jerry-rigged.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine co-creators Michael Schur and Dan Goor have deep ties to Parks and Recreation; Schur co-created the small-town government comedy, on which Goor was an executive producer/writer. (Samberg also guest-starred in season 2.) You saw Parks alum Nick Offerman pop up as Holt’s ex-boyfriend last season, and this season…. don’t have a fart attack, but Jim O’Heir plays Sergeant Reynolds, a small-town cop who matches wits with Jake and Holt in Florida. “Sgt. Reynolds comes off at first as a bumbling halfwit,” says Goor, “but he’s far more clever than he appears.”
Jake and Amy will reunite…. and it might be a little awkward.
The squad eventually will fly down to Florida to help Jake and Holt, setting up a reunion between the lovebirds in a stressful environment. “They’ve had zero contact for six months so when they see each other finally, they’re not in sync right away,” says Fumero. “And knowing who these two characters are, it’s very funny as well. The moment keeps getting interrupted by high-stakes stuff.” She adds cryptically of the precinct’s resident couple who recently exchanged “I love you so much”s: “I think a lot of fans have thought about, ‘Oh I can’t wait to see Jake and Amy go through blah blah blah,’ and I think that’s going to happen in season 4. Blah blah blah is going to happen in season 4. Get ready.” (In other reunion news, Jason Mantzoukas’ Adrian Pimento is slated to return, which could be good news for Stephanie Beatriz’s Rosa.)
After so many mentions of misdeeds meted out by the mob boss, you will get to meet the murderer, who is played by Eric Roberts. “Figgis becomes aware of their presence in Florida and the clock starts ticking,” says Goor. “They know that he is on his way down. Things come to a head with Figgis.” Roberts, who is familiar with the mafia boss role (see: The Dark Knight), “brought to the table an authentic intimidating presence that really justified the arc,” adds Goor.
There may not be be another Figgis-length story arc this season, though.
“We don’t have [plans] for as involved an arc,” says Goor. “The first part of the season is definitely witness protection and ending witness protection. And then the squad gets in trouble for leaving New York to help Jake and Holt, so then the next phase is that the entire squad is put on the night shift, which is a nightmare for all of them.”
Boy, oh, Boyle: Let’s hang out with more of his family members.
You’ve met Boyle’s dad and his ex-wife, and you’ve seen Grammy Nona and his sister in flashbacks. Will Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) introduce us to any more family members this season? He will. “We’re going to meet a bunch of Boyle cousins,” says Goor. “Stout young men.”
That girl crossing over into Brooklyn is, in fact, Jess.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine and New Girl will stage a crossover stunt that begins on Brooklyn and picks up steam a half-hour later on New Girl, where the majority of the intershow mingling happens. (Damon Wayans Jr., — who starred on New Girl and guest-starred as a different character on Brooklyn Nine-Nine — will not be popping up, though that would have been a logic-melter.) “Obviously it’s a flashy decision, an attention-grabbing kind of thing to do, but I genuinely am a fan of crossover episodes,” says Samberg. “I think they’re really funny and fun. And I love New Girl. Always have. I am excited to hang with those guys.” So, what brings the Jess (Zooey Deschanel) and her friends to New York? “Schmidt [Max Greenfield] is receiving an award from his old high school and the entire gang from L.A. has come to New York,” says Goor. “In our scene, Jake needs to commandeer a vehicle that’s driven by a girl. Who’s that girl? It’s Jess!” While only Jess will cross over to Brooklyn, Jake, Holt, Charles, and Chelsea Peretti’s Gina will be seen on New Girl. “My dream is that the crossover is a Mr. Robot episode,” quips Samberg, “and we find out that Jake and Schmidt are the same guy.”