Jake and Amy take their first vacation together...with the Pontiac Bandit
Credit: John P. Fleenor/Fox

In this week’s episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Jake logged some quality time with that special someone, which allowed the couple to strengthen their undeniable bond while sailing the seas of adventure. And all their little bickering only made this pair that much more adorable.

Oh, right — it was also good to see Jake get some alone time with Amy.

“The Cruise” brought us the welcome return of the slippery charmer Doug Judy, a.k.a. the Pontiac Bandit, who is known for stealing cars, scenes, and Jake’s heart, even though the clown detective hates to admit it. The episode proved to be an entertaining off-shore romp, as Jake was given free tickets to a cruise (little did he know, by Doug himself), which he turned into his first big trip with his precinct rival-turned-mattress mate, and once onboard, he quickly spotted his hated arch-nemesis that he didn’t really hate, Doug, who was masquerading as Horatio Velveteen (amazing name), the ship’s piano lounge entertainment.

Turns out, Jake and Amy couldn’t arrest Doug (they were out of their jurisdiction, and the only person who could slap on the cuffs was the tax-evading captain — played by the underrated Paul F. Tompkins — but he needed the probably high Horatio to distract the passengers with smushing songs so they wouldn’t revolt over the lack of ranch dressing). So instead of straight-up living that slug life, eating unlimited shrimp, and sipping on a beverage adorned with a potato skin, he (and Amy) reluctantly kept an eye on Doug, who’d lured them onboard to protect him from a hitman, a story Jake didn’t buy. But their re-bonding on the high seas began anyway — Sandy B. in a sarong in Speed 2! — and the Bandit even dropped some helpful advice on Jake about meeting the needs of his woman, whose needs were non-stop scheduled fun.

Ultimately, and fittingly, Doug was shown to be truthful and not trustworthy: The hitman did come after him, Amy took the hitman down, Jake issued the last of the over-easy shuffleboard slang jokes (“You just got tanged by my girlfriend! Sorry I know that sounded really gross, but it was actually awesome!”), and Doug jumped ship and escaped on a life raft, surely to resurface in season 4. He left the frustrated detectives with a romantic parting gift, though: the Boom Boom State Room. But it was the state of their relationship that they would truly upgrade as Amy said “I love you” to Jake, which he did reciprocate (well, after trying the more non-committal response of “Noice! Smort!”) That they took their relationship to the next level in a dance class for widows felt tonally appropriate for this kind of moment on this kind of show.

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While Jake ran around the ship with his two lovers, Holt sought solace in seltzer as his sister, Hurricane Debbie (played by Niecy Nash, another great comedic force), blew into town for a six-week visit. While our buttoned-up exec captain’s ex-boyfriend Frederick (Nick Offerman) was introduced as a foil with a similar temperament, Debbie was much more of an “I-can’t-even” emotional force. In truth, she wasn’t any more difficult than the messes he cleans up in the precinct every week (would love to see Holt mediate that fight between Debbie and her trainer of a stolen-but-not-really hairbrush), but her drama was magnified through his distorted lens of pathological stoicism. First, Holt rebuffed her attempts at bonding in front of his underlings, denying her claims that he was “fun” as a child. Then, wanting her to do an about-face and leave town again, he took Gina’s ill-conceived advice to fight drama with drama, which begat several amusing line deliveries (“Everything in my life is a hot mess right now,” Holt told Debbie in a semi-stilted manner). But in the end, after he learned that she had been cheated on and dumped, he surprised her by building a childhood call-back fort in his office, where he invited her in literally and metaphorically. As the episode went on, I worried that this plot wouldn’t really pay off, but when Holt sat under that shrimp-free tarp and said, “I would love to be all up in your life,” we had our burst of B-story emotion.

NEXT: “At least I’ll die doing what I love. Getting people horny at sea.”

And over in a perfectly adequate C-story plot, Charles and Gina squared off while they investigated the death of an 89-year-old woman, who had left behind an apartment boasting 1,800 square feet of space, exposed brick, and a gas range. Their intense contest to see who could butter up the landlord and be chosen as the apartment’s next tenant ended in a no-win tie, which seemed…fitting, if predictable, as they should have been more focused on figuring out that the landlord had poisoned the old lady so he could release those rent-control handcuffs. But there was a bit of extra fun in seeing Charles flex his normally weak backbone while butting heads with Rosa. (And apparently those funeral warm-fuzzies at the end of last week’s episode didn’t last.)

All right, not to rock the boat here, but what do you say we cook up some baby eels, contact some next of kin, half-heartedly exclaim “I love Carousel Cruises International, LTD!” and ENAC this b!@&$ by recapping the funniest lines of “The Cruise”?

9. “The cruise offers 77 activities, and I signed us up for 76 of them. Speed Dating for Widows seemed like a bummer.” —Amy to Jake (before she confirmed to Doug that her itinerary would take them all over the boat by saying: “Oh yeah, that’s an ENAC sitch right there. Every nook and cranny”)

8. “I cannot. Even.” —Holt to Debbie, after she tells him a crazy story and finishes that story with “Can you even, Raymond?”

7. “Ooh, that’s even worse! That’s where my shrimp live.” —Jake to Doug, after learning that the toilets flow not into the pool but into the ocean

6. “He’ll probably try to hit me at my show this afternoon. At least I’ll die doing what I love. Getting people horny at sea.” —Doug to Jake (and, later, when his suspicion proved to be right, he pleaded: “Jake! Help me! I don’t want to die! I’m still on the second season of Game of Thrones!”)

5. “I smiled at you. FOR WHAT???” —Rosa, angrily to the landlord she’s been buttering up after he tells her that he rented the apartment to someone else

4. “You caught me — drinking seltzer in the shadows.” —A despondent Holt to Terry and Gina. (An honorable mention goes to Holt for “I’m sure she has her complicated relationship with them,” his response when Terry asked him how Debbie feels about balloon animals, which he could use as a distraction tool)

3. “This protection scam is a scam. Do you honestly think you can fool me again because you’ve successfully done it numerous times before?” —Jake to Doug

2. “Why not??? Why shouldn’t — oh, yeah yeah yeah, yeah, totally, yep, mm-hmm, right, smart, good.” —Charles to Rosa after he says, “Looks like you and I are in a good old-fashioned suck-off,” to which she responds, “Don’t call it a suck-off”

1. “You have a pretty low bar for what you consider drama. Once I used an exclamation point in an email. You called me Diana Ross.” —Terry to Holt

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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