Dan Goor says tonight's episode gives you resolution on the Gina cliffhanger within 30 seconds
It’s time to get back on the Brooklyn bus — even if it is the one that took out Gina. Brooklyn Nine-Nine returns to Fox tonight at 8 p.m. ET/PT for the final part of its fourth season. The cop comedy’s spring premiere will not only tackle the question that’s been hanging in the air since New Year’s Day — Who survived the collision, Gina or the bus? — it will introduce a wrinkle that could actually fold the Nine-Nine. Before Jake (Andy Samberg) and his partners in crimefighting friends hit the streets again, series co-creator Dan Goor tells you what to expect from this next batch of episodes.
1. The spring premiere opens with the revelation that Gina (Chelsea Peretti) is dead. Or it begins the revelation that she is alive. It’s one of the two, for sure. “We find out almost immediately,” says Goor. “Within the first 30 seconds, there is resolution.” And how would he describe said resolution? “I would say it’s shocking. It’s an appropriate payoff for what happens when you get hit by a bus at 40 miles per hour.”
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2. The Nine-Nine is in danger of being 86’d. “It’s out of the frying pan into the fire,” warns Goor. “One precinct is going to get shut down in Brooklyn and the person who’s making that decision is Amy’s ex-boyfriend – oh, and Jake broke them up. Jake and Amy [Melissa Fumero] are freaked out; the squad is freaked out. I like this type of episode because everyone in the squad has a common purpose, the stakes are shared, the stakes are real and high and, as a result, you get really fun pairings and heightened comedy. And because it’s Teddy [Kyle Bornheimer], an ex-boyfriend who Jake knew, we get to do a Jake-Amy relationship story [with] work stakes.” Warning: The most important meal of the day for the deadly boring Teddy is jazz brunch. “We’ve wanted to bring back Teddy for a really long time because Kyle is so funny as Teddy — and I think this may be his best performance,” says Goor. “The jazz brunch sequences and him talking about jazz brunch cracks me up every time.”
3. The premiere has the possibility of turning into a highly engaging event. “Things definitely become competitive between Jake and Teddy — and a proposal or two may occur,” teases Goor.
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4. Terry tries to break through the language barrier. After Teddy questions the need for a $20,000-plus copy machine in the Nine-Nine, says Goor, “Terry [Terry Crews] attempts to speak Japanese to a photocopier.” Then things get really messy.
5. Boyle may save the day as Catwoman and/or he may sink to a new low. “It should be pointed out that Charles [Joe Lo Truglio] spends most of the episode dressed in a catsuit, complete with a tail, and ends up getting stuck in the ceiling,” says Goor, adding, “The fate of the precinct may depend on Charles Boyle’s personal bottle of wolf urine.” Yet another comedy trying the ol’ save-the-day-with-wolf-urine plotline….
6. In the following episode, Terry’s romantic past also factors into the audit. “The threat is even greater in the second episode as the audit continues, and a new auditor comes in who turns out to be, in an incredible coincidence, Terry’s ex-girlfriend,” says Goor of Veronica, played by Kimberly Hebert Gregory. “The fun of the episode is nobody hates Terry; it’s impossible to hate Terry. So when one person doesn’t like Terry, it drives him a little bit crazy.” To figure out what Terry did to upset their auditor — he claims the break-up was handled with the utmost care — two members of the precinct play good cop, bad cop during in an interrogation with Terry.
7. TV cop comedy, meet TV cop drama. When Jake and Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz) are called in to investigate a stolen laptop on the set of the hit series Serve & Protect, Jake gets swept up in the glitz — and Rosa will have to do her best to pull him out. “This is Jake’s dream assignment,” says Goor. “The only thing he likes more than being a cop is movies and TV shows about cops, so when he gets to dive into that world, his head explodes. It gives him the opportunity to try out all of his terrible catchphrases — ‘Lead the way, hombre,’ for instance — badge flip moves, and intense stares. But as we often do with these Jake fantasies about the police and show business, I think they’re quickly and frequently deflated by reality.”
8. You’re about to get your fill of Fillion. In that episode, Nathan Fillion plays Serve & Protect star Mark Devereaux, who believes that playing a detective makes him thoroughly qualified to lead Jake and Rosa’s investigation. “He has clearly lost the ability to differentiate between the real world and his role, and he pisses off Jake and Rosa when he begins dusting for fingerprints himself and when he begins interviewing PAs,” says Goor. “He’s a little out of touch, thinking at one point that a PA makes ’30 hundred thousand dollars’ a year.”
9. The Nine-Nine tackles racial profiling. In a different episode, the show takes on a serious topic: stop-and-frisk. Terry is subjected to the controversial program by an NYPD officer when he’s out searching for his daughter’s cow-shaped blankie. “He tries to work it out with the cop by going out to dinner with him, but that doesn’t work out, and he has to decide to whether or not to file a formal complaint,” says Goor. “To a certain extent, it’s the question of: Am I blue or am I black?” It’s been challenging for the show to find a way into this subject matter, “because our heroes are the police, so it’s difficult to talk about the police in an abstract way,” he adds. “We’ve talked about a million different stories and I think this one really works. It felt very natural and real, but at the same time we’ve managed to make it as funny as any other Brooklyn Nine-Nine episode.”
NEXT PAGE: Holt’s mother arrives, Hitchcock gets a tattoo, and Scully gets a “She-Scully”
10. Cover your eyes: There’s one episode with a very revealing story about Hitchcock. “Hitchcock [Dirk Blocker] gets a tattoo of himself with a gun in his mouth,” says Goor. “You see a lot of Hitchcock’s naked chest, naked stomach, and naked arms.”
11. Now uncover your eyes and rub them in disbelief. “Scully [Joel McKinnon Miller] finds his She-Scully — and falls in love,” says Goor. Are there any words to describe this love? “It’s intense,” says Goor, “and sincere.” It’s also a massive source of friction between Scully and Hitchcock.
12. A little fright turns Charles white. “Charles becomes so worried, his hair turns completely white as he becomes wheelchair-bound,” hints Goor. “That’s how high the stakes are toward the end of the season.”
13. Gina wasn’t (or isn’t, if she’s alive) the only Nine-Niner with killer dance moves. Hints Goor: “We see Terry dance to ’90s hip-hop on a fake MTV Beach House show called Da Basement.”
14. There’s an action scene that might take your breath away. Or at least Jake’s. “Jake ties a fire hose around himself and Die Hards off a roof,” says Goor. Let’s hope that goes okay for Peralta. “It doesn’t,” he responds. “But it doesn’t go as badly as it could.”
15. Will Jake and Amy’s relationship pass the test — if Amy passes hers? “Amy takes the sergeant’s exam, and the two of them have to talk about what it would mean,” says Goor. “She worries that if she passes and becomes his boss, it will mess things up with her and Jake.” In other Amy news, she “tells a child that ‘orgasm’ is another word for orange juice.”
16. If you thought Rosa’s ballet past was embarrassing for her… “Rosa is forced to admit that she went to a La La Land singalong,” says Goor. “Voluntarily.” In other Rosa news, her fiancé, Adrian Pimento (Jason Mantzoukas), sacrifices his body to help Rosa and Jake impress Lt. Hawkins (Gina Gershon), who runs an elite NYPD unit that both detectives are eager to join.
17. Meet mom, also known as “Your Honor.” Lost alum L. Scott Caldwell takes on the role of Laverne, she who birthed one Raymond Holt (Andre Braugher). A federal judge whom Holt called “Your Honor” while on the phone with her in season 1, Laverne shows up at the precinct after she is the victim of a burglary. “Holt comes out to ask a detective to help, and Amy freaks out so hard after seeing Holt’s mom that he is quickly forced to choose Jake.” Here’s how he describes the Raymond-Laverne dynamic: “They have a very formal relationship as you would expect. The apple does not fall far from the tree. At one point she says in the flattest, most deadpanned way, ‘Ah, yes, humor. There’s nothing more that I love than laughter and laughing,’ as she stands cross-armed next to a cross-armed Holt.”
18. Oh, and Holt onto your hats: Our Captain was a skilled mixed media artist in his early years. “We see a piece of macaroni art that captain Holt did as a child,” says Goor. “It’s a macaroni infographic about the educational spending habits of the Johnson administration.”
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