They had Nine-Nine problems, but a fervent fan base wasn’t one. When Fox canceled Andy Samberg’s police comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine in May, upset viewers (including Lin-Manuel Miranda and Mark Hamill) shorted out the internet in protest. “It felt like Tom Sawyer watching his own funeral, although Tom Sawyer knew he wasn’t dead and we didn’t,” sums up co-creator Dan Goor. “It was fun to be able to hear people eulogize you in a positive way — and then to not suffer the ramifications of actual death.” The following day, NBC decided that the silly-smart show wasn’t too old for this shift and ran a rescue op by ordering a sixth season. “It was the most intense and emotional 36 hours of my life,” star Melissa Fumero says. “And I’ve given birth!”

“Everyone was turbocharged because we were back from the dead,” Samberg says of the cast’s return to the beat. “It was like that Flatliners rush.” Not to mention, a wave of relief for anyone who loathes an unresolved cliffhanger. In the season 5 finale, Jake (Samberg) and Amy (Fumero) were thrown a surprise precinct wedding after a bomb threat foiled their ceremony plans; later that night, Captain Holt (Andre Braugher) left the squad and the audience hanging with his stone-faced reaction to the email that indicated whether he had landed his dream job: NYPD commissioner. The season 6 premiere immediately answers that mystery with good and bad news. “Even when it’s revealed what happened, the outcome is still not going to be what you expect,” says Fumero. “And we will get to see a whole new side of Holt.” The episode also whisks you away on Jake and Amy’s tropical honeymoon, where a highly unromantic complication arises. On the plus side? “Even though Jake’s Die Hard wedding cake got ruined, some Die Hard-related fantasies come true on the honeymoon,” offers Goor.

Sometime after their trip, though, there will be a split: Chelsea Peretti’s Gina will exit partway through the season, which means the Nine-Nine will be down one scene-swiping, razor-tongued, 100-keepin’-it civilian administrator. (Peretti will return as a guest later this season.) “It’s brutal in that we love Chelsea and she’s our dear friend,” shares Samberg, “and it’s also a huge loss because she’s a killer when she shows up in any scene and is hilarious.” Her two-part farewell arc “contains some poignant and touching moments,” says Goor. “Her decision to leave is done in a Gina-esque way, and her second episode is four Gina stories that are all very Gina-y.”

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season 6
Credit: Vivian Zink/NBC

The show will strive to offer up the occasional out-of-the-box episode, including one in the spirit of last season’s interrogation-room-set installment titled, well, “The Box.” This time, “we spend an entire episode at a crime scene as Jake and Rosa try to figure out how a murder occurred,” says Goor. Brooklyn also will continue to tackle topical issues, from exploring how Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz) handles her disapproving mother after coming out as bisexual, to delving into #MeToo as Jake and Amy investigate a case involving a superior and underling in the financial world. “The writers handled it really brilliantly where it’s still funny and humorous but we still tackle this issue and we also tackle the nuance of it and how complicated it is,” says Fumero of the latter episode. “There’s a brilliant scene between Amy and Rosa where they don’t agree necessarily how to proceed, because of how hard it is to prove these cases and protect women.”

In less serious matters: Terry (Terry Crews) may or may not lose his eyebrows; Charles (Joe Lo Truglio) dons a disturbing Gina mask; a flashback episode reveals the shocking history of Hitchcock (Dirk Blocker) and Scully (Joel McKinnon Miller); Holt’s nemesis the Disco Strangler makes an appearance; and “Rosa has 14 haircuts over the course of the episode,” shares Goor. In addition, Drunk Amy returns (pay attention to the background, advises Fumero), and the slippery Pontiac Bandit (Craig Robinson) makes his annual re-emergence as well. “Is the Pontiac Bandit back to his car-stealing ways, or is there a copycat out there who’s stealing his moves?” teases Goor. And there’s this from Samberg: “Jake does his best impression of James McAvoy in Split. Situationally it’s organic, so wrap your head around that.” In other words, Brooklyn‘s crazy ride continues well into the new year.

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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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