Theirs is an odd romance. It began with ink blowing. Progressed to hole punching. Advanced to stapling. And then exploded in a smushed-up-against-the-side-of-the-car makeout. But on Tuesday night, things between diametrically opposed detectives Rosa Diaz and Adrian Pimento — she is repressed, he is possessed — truly went next level. The fourth episode featuring that volatile nutso detective (guest star Jason Mantzoukas) who worked undercover for a decade as a henchman for Jimmy the Butcher, “Paranoia,” opened with Adrian and Rosa gleefully recounting a big drug bust to their fellow detectives at the precinct, and Rosa casually shoehorning in the news that they had gotten engaged. Cue incredulous reactions and then a flashback of the “super romantic” moment, which was actually a shockingly matter-of-fact marriage proposal: Pimento briefly paused while running down a criminal to ask Diaz, “Okay, wait, you wanna get married?”; she responded with a “Yup”; they both resumed the chase. And so it set into motion a very entertaining episode involving their bachelor and bachelorette parties, with the Jake-organized outing ending in the beyond-buzzkilling revelation that not only was Adrian was right that Jimmy was trying to kill him, but that this hit was authorized by someone inside the FBI.
For whatever reason, the previous episode, “Terry Kitties,” missed the opportunity to further build/explore the brand-new couple’s turbo-charged, wound-too-tight connection before making this week’s crazy leap. (Instead it focused on Adrian being a terrible roommate to Charles — though that story did end with a fun, self-aware twist). But by the end of this episode, Brooklyn — and Stephanie Beatriz, in particular — managed to make you care a bit about this ridiculous romance (Piaz? Dimento? Yeah, definitely Dimento) with an emotionally charged scene: Feeling like he had no choice but to flee town after faking his own death, Adrian ran away without saying goodbye to his bride-to-be, leaving Jake to handle the fallout. But as Jake gently took Rosa for a walk to let her down, there did Adrian appear on the street in religious disguise, prompting Rosa to run right into his arms, an earnest, tearful reunion that was tempered with a face slap (Rosa: “You scared me — I thought you left!”), and comically balanced with another hit of their creepy flirtatious banter (Adrian: “I want to lick your whole body clean like a kitty cat”) that included his promise of a return one day.
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The episode split the gang in two for most of the episode without feeling disjointed (an occasional problem on Brooklyn), the action flipping smoothly back and forth between the two parties — or make that four, counting Rosa’s three parties. (The show’s creators had fun and success with this concept in the Parks and Recreation season 5 classic “Two Parties,” about Leslie and Ben’s bachelor/bachelorette adventures.) To kick off the boys’ night out, Jake hired a party bus, which Adrian promptly hijacked as he was convinced that someone was out to murder him, a theory that, like Adrian’s proposal, Terry was not a fan of. Adrian’s suspicion was debunked at first when he took the boys on a wild bus chase that dead-ended at a vacant building but later was validated when the waiter at dinner tried to draw a gun on him. “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you” is not just a saying; it’s a Pimento mantra.
Meanwhile, the girls — including Charles, who was totally fine with having been named a co-maid of honor with watered-down ice cubes, Amy, and Gina — had their own flurry of fun, throwing Rosa competing parties when they couldn’t agree on a a single theme. Gina took the group to play paintball, which meant viciously paint-murdering her nephew and his friends. Amy hosted a trivia game that ended with a drink penalty for every question about Rosa answered incorrectly, resulting in everyone getting blotto, given that her life is a question mark dipped in dry ice. And they saved the best for last, as Charles hosted a demolition party at the restaurant La Petite Colon, where the girls smashed plates and sledgehammered through the walls while Charles lost himself in a container of food. Rosa would declare him the bachelorette party victor, making Charles an unexpected winner in back-to-back episodes.
Some smaller-moment jokes were winners, too, be it the detectives asking the contract killer posing as a waiter if he also happened to be a waiter; or that contract killer confirming Adrian’s assertion that you do, in fact, pee yourself when you are shot to death, or even Jake commenting on the awkwardness of wearing the same ski mask to the man to whom he delivered Adrian’s (fake) tongue.
NEXT: Holt assembles the team
Speaking of missing tongues, our lone hit of Holt came in the final seconds (presumably Andre Braugher wasn’t available for this episode’s shoot), when he assembled the detectives in the file room and explained that they were going to embark on a top-secret mission to bring Jimmy to justice and figure out who his FBI connection was. (Looks like we now know some of the context in which we’ll meet one of Holt’s old colleagues.) As Jake offered his version of a “Go team!” rally by shouting “Nine-Nine!,” Holt cautioned, “Discreetly, Jacob,” to which Jake whispered “Nine-Nine!” and Holt & Co. followed suit by issuing a silent fist-pumping “Nine-Nine!,” a strong, off-beat, and nicely serialized exclamation point to this week’s adventure.
Now it’s time to get off to a rocky start, invite eight plus-ones, not show up for our own party, find out when the mashed potatoes are coming, get a different ski mask, and recap the best lines of “Paranoia.” (Unless you’ve heard differently. Why — what have you heard?)
9. “Look we’re all on your side here, Pimento. We all want to believe that you’re about to be murdered.” —Jake to Adrian, who is convinced that someone is out to kill him.
8. “That’s right! In your face! Someone’s trying to kill him! Woo!… I mean, a man’s life is in danger. Probably shouldn’t be so pumped.” —Jake to Terry, after he makes him admit that there is someone trying to murder Adrian
7. “I dunno. Everybody else got to go outside.” —Scully to Jake outside the party bus, after asking to speak privately with Jake outside, which Jake previously did with Adrian as well as Terry (Tied with: “Right. Just their boobs.” —Hitchcock, after he excitedly speculated that they’d be looking at naked ladies at Adrian’s bachelor party and Jake told him that wasn’t the case because they were going to “keep it classy”)
6. “I’m going to make this guy talk, okay? All I need is a car battery, jumper cables, and unfettered access to his nibs.” —Adrian, about the contract killer who tried to murder him
5. “Now before I tell you my idea, are you allergic to dolphins?” —Gina to Rosa, setting up her pitch for Rosa’s bachelorette party
4. “Fine, but for the record, I think I should have peed myself.” —Adrian to Jake, after Jake ignores the information that his crotch should be wet because people wet themselves after dying
3. “And how many of them are googly eyes?” —Gina to Amy, after Gina makes fun of her party idea by saying, “Um, I’ll take lonely arts and crafts for 800,” and Amy tells her that she has “made many friends through arts and crafts”
2. “Maid of honor??? Yes, a million times yes! It’d be a honor… Oh my God, that’s why they call it that!” —Charles to Rosa, after she asked him to be her (co-)maid of honor
1. “That was 18 days ago. He’s getting saner by the minute. In a month, he’ll basically just be Frasier.” —Jake to Terry, after Terry was concerned about Adrian’s stability, to which Terry sternly warned, “Don’t use Frasier’s name in vain.”