Charles' ex-wife from hell has something that Charles wants
Credit: John P Fleenor/Fox

Brooklyn Nine-Nine closed out 2015 with a hostage situation — and promptly opened up 2016 with an extremely different kind of one. Coming off the holiday humdinger “Yippie Kayak,” which could have been titled “Sorta Die Hard in a Department Store With a Bad Guy named Matt,” the year’s lively first installment teamed up Charles with Jake again so he could rescue his little guys from the ultimate bad guy — or bad girl: his infamous but up until now unseen terror of an ex-wife, Eleanor.

Why was Charles on a mission to find his, um, emission? (Sorry, that’s almost as bad as calling it “Boyle Oil.”) He was trying to deepen his relationship with Genevieve (the returning and underused guest-star, Mary Lynn Rajskub), and not just by wearing the same scarf at the same time: They want to have a baby. Alas, HellEleanor was out for blood. Or rather, sperm. Charles, who is now shooting dust (shudder), needed to wrest possession of his frozen seed from his former spouse — and was even willing to give up custody of their former hairdresser to try to get it. (FACT, apparently: You can go sterile from someone comically and repeatedly hitting you in the crotch with a stick.)

Who could play such a beast with convincing malice? This is, after all, someone who had just hit a 90-year-old, park-bench-sitting priest with her car and wanted Charles to intimidate the poor guy with his badge and gun into dropping his lawsuit. Enter Kathryn Hahn (an occasional guest-star on Parks and Recreation, co-creator Michael Schur’s other show), who gamely fit the bill (but, sadly, did not get the chance to throw down with Genevieve). The story, which ended with Charles seeking alternate paths to fatherhood (a plot that will hopefully be continued soon), provided fun fodder for Charles and Jake to match wacky wits as Jake tried to steer him to sanity and away from priest-bullying.

The episode’s two other stories also featured various members of the Nine-Nine coming to the aid of their precinct mates. The more unpredictable — and amusing — one saw Gina called in to interrogate a shoplifter-turned-credit card cloner because she went to high school with him, which resulted in his confessing all to Diaz after bonding with her over Gina’s boundless narcissism. In the other plot, Amy asked Terry to write her recommendation for a mentoring program for up-and-coming detectives. After accidentally breaking his nose and scalding him with hot liquid, she accused him of tanking her application, when in fact he penned a stellar recommendation but to the wrong part of the program: He felt she should be a mentor, not a mentee. Scully, meanwhile, proved again that he was just plain mental. (See quote below.)

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Oh, did we forget to mention that the opening scene of the episode featured Holt (and, fine, a stunt dancer) laying down some street law in the form of fresh dance moves? Gina culpa. Now let’s open a Roth IRA, eat some wheat toast, stay straight in 4,000 feet, take three of our grandparents off life support, and recap the funniest lines of “Hostage Situation.”

9. “Steven, Steven, Steven, I have one question: Who on the basketball team was into me? I want names.” —Gina, interrogating a criminal who was her former high school classmate

8. “Thankfully my ex-wife Eleanor made me get a vasectomy a year before that. As a precaution, I froze some sperm. A lot of sperm. Guy going in after me was like, ‘Whoa. Nice.’” —Charles to Jake

7. “Me neither… Oops. Did you say ‘rejected’ or ‘ejected‘? I’ve been rejected a lot… You know what? I’ve also been ejected. Flume ride. Topeka, Kansas.” —Scully to Amy, after she says she’s never been rejected from anything

6. “I don’t just think it will… I know it might!” —Jake, cheerily to Charles, when asked if his grab-the-sperm-and-run plan would work

5. “On more than one occasion, she’s called me Gina. That’s her own name.” —Diaz to the criminal who was bummed that Gina didn’t remember who he was, even though they used to be good friends

4. “[Sigh] My wedding day. I should have known it was a mistake when she said, “I suppose,” instead of “I do.” —Charles, about his ex-wife

3. “Oof. When he started doing the silly voice I thought it was going to be more fun, but….wasn’t.” —Jake after Charles started imitating Eleanor in a high-pitched voice, “Oh hey, Charles! I’ll never have a baby with you because I don’t love you! And a child’s not going to fix that!

2. “…I have a biological father and he’s a nightmare. I mean, he never played catch with me, he never taught me how to ride a bike. I had to learn how to shave from watching Home Alone.” —Jake to Charles, who responded, “It makes sense, it’s like Die Hard for kids.”

1. “Well, first, Steven, we’re going to fill out 38E-J1 stating noncompliance. We send it to the DA, but do they process it right away? No, because they’re overwhelmed because Deborah’s on maternity leave. So your court date won’t be set for six or eight weeks, and even then you’re going to have to block out the whole day because they don’t give a specific time. Oh, no — it’s a window.” —Holt, playing hard ball with the criminal

Episode Recaps

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

A group of ragtag cops — led by Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) — run the 99th precinct of the NYPD.

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