You can rip on Florida all you want to. The heat. The people. The crime. Plus, the people. And in “Coral Palms Pt. 2,” Holt and Jake do just that: During a car ride in what they hope will be their final minutes in the state, the pair toss out creative ways to insult the place that has been all but holding them hostage in the Witness Protection Plan. “Adios, weird Juggalo encampment!” yells Jake out the window after encouraging Holt to take his best shot at the Sunshine State, which yielded a surprisingly juvenile and funny, “See ya never, drive-through vape station!”
As viewers, though, we’re not ready to pack up our Oakleys and mandals just yet. We’re basking in a bit in this Greg and Larry chapter. This change of location/pace has been an enjoyable detour before the inevitable return to cop business as usual in Brooklyn. The writers are committing to the promise (and comedy) of the season 3 finale’s final joke, and exploring what laughs might lie in unfamiliar territory.
The story for the second episode of the season featured the pair bracing for a showdown with Jimmy “The Butcher” Figgis and arming up for confrontation, but winding up arrested with a bucket of bullets and guns in their back seat by a small-town sheriff (Parks and Recreation’s Jim O’Heir, following in the footsteps of Parks alum turned Brooklyn guest Nick Offerman). O’Heir was a nice fit for the role, playing a not-as-dumb-as-you-think authority (“No one has ever beaten The Newlywed Game,” he noted of his interrogation style. “No one!”) but one whose ignorant prejudice proved to be his downfall (see: his disapproval of Jake planting a kiss on Holt, a distraction tactic that led to their jailbreak).
Meanwhile, we got our first peek at the precinct under the new leadership of as-dumb-as-you-think C.J. (Ken Marino), who was promoted to captain following a thoroughly accidental takedown of a badass criminal that involved him transposing some numbers in the address for his dermatology appointment. (“It’s like, numbers are so crazy, am I right?”) Are we pushing the bounds of plausibility here? We are. But after the precinct endured a few absurdly hardcore bosses (see taskmaster Dozerman, the Vulture), it was amusing to watch them deal with the opposite in C.J.: a happy-go-stupid boss who let his underlings do whatever they wanted to — especially Gina (who went so far as to get an assistant, and then an assistant for her assistant), but not especially Amy, who craves a lot of order with her law.
Ultimately, Amy persuaded her friends to eschew the pampered environment they had asked for, leading Terry to tell C.J. that he shouldn’t bow to their every demand. And of course, when Holt and Jake did finally reach out for help, that was the moment that C.J. opted to flex his discipline muscle, denying their request. Which means the Nine-Nine is about to run some kind of rogue mission to Florida as Figgis makes his big entrance, because these story lines —and this cast — must become one again. But until then, let’s allow our entire body to be on fire, play Pacman with a stapler, form our very own Suicide Squad, and try not to totally biff it as we recap the nine best lines of “Coral Palms, Pt. 2.”
9. “He’ll know what it means.” —Rosa to Amy, after Amy asked the squad if they have anything to share with Jake in a letter and Rosa said, “Yeah, tell him I said…” and gave a slight head nod, to which Amy said, “You want me to write that you nodded slightly?”
8. “Figgis has no idea what’s about to hit him! Also, it probably goes without saying but it’s chill to whiz in this thing. I mean, I have been. You can if you want. I haven’t been if you haven’t. Have you? I haven’t. Have you?”—Jake to Holt while they were in the hot tub
7. GINA: Emily what was that burn I had you write down for Amy because I didn’t want to forget it.
EMILY: Why so sad? Did you just find out American Girl doesn’t make clothes in adult sizes?
EMILY: Steven Seagal called and he wants his ponytail back?
EMILY: “Hey, Amy, what did one graphing calculator say to the other one?” Amy: “What?” Gina: “Why does this sad lady own two of us?”
GINA: That’s it!
6. “You know me: I see a pair of thick weighty breasts and all logic flies out the window.” —Holt, after asking a member of his walking group to borrow $3,000, pretending to be straight
5. “And I have agreed to fire my assistant… ‘s assistant, Dana. Emily had a lot on her plate.” —Gina, as they all explain to Amy how they are giving up the perks that they acquired under C.J.’s reign
3. “Tell that to the Dutch Hookbill!” —Holt to Jake, after he said, “This is bad. Figgis has the marshal, and now he knows where we are. We’re sitting ducks! That’s the worst kind of duck!”
2. “Cool. Cool, cool, cool, cool, our country is broken.” —Jake, muttering under his breath after the gun shop owner said the federal database is down — wink, wink — and he didn’t need to see their IDs and then asked them if they’d like their ammunition by the box or by the bucket
1. “Ugh, it’s so much dryer than I thought!…. Did I want it to be wet?” —Jake to himself, after the glass-eyed guy handed over his glass eye