Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Unsolvable (1×21)
Summary: Feeling restless after a hot streak and seeing Santiago with her boyfriend, Peralta decides to reopen an unsolved case. Diaz helps Boyle with his Vivian issues by showing him the best kept secret in the 99. Santiago lies to Holt and accidentally digs a bigger hole because of it.
First off, I’m going to say that the beginning and end of this episode made me laugh so hard I choked. I’m not sure what was funnier: Holt completely torturing Peralta with the real reason he sprained his wrist (I’m not going to spoil it if you haven’t seen it because it’s beautiful and proves why Andre Braugher needs an Emmy) or Jeffords and Peralta drunkenly singing ‘Whatta Man’. If you only watch a few minutes of this episode, make it the first two minutes and the last five.
Peralta hits a hot streak with a new arrest record for the 99, which Holt rewards him with the weekend off. However, noticing that Santiago is preparing to go on a weekend trip with her boyfriend Teddy, Peralta decides to forgo the weekend and dive into work. Because Peralta uses work to distract him from feelings apparently. Good thing Holt hasn’t found out about this.
Needing a real challenge, Peralta decides to reopen Case 52ABX-32QJ, an unsolved murder case involving a man named Nate Dexter with very little evidence outside of a melted torso and a severed finger. Besides the personal styles of the detectives on the case, nothing much has changed. Though, I want to know why Peralta and Jeffords looked like they were straight from the late 90s/early 2000s in 2006, but whatever.
After some digging at the prison, Peralta and Jeffords stumble across a lead about Dexter owing a man named Edward Bunsen money. However, it seems dead in the water when Bunsen’s wife claims she hasn’t seen her husband in eight years and passes the polygraph test five times. Peralta is convinced that it’s broken, but it’s working just fine when he admits that Taylor Swift is his favorite artist because she makes him feel things. Jake, I expected better of you.
Frustrated with Peralta and the case, Jeffords decides to go home to his family instead of spending all weekend with Peralta at the precinct. When he comes in the next day, Peralta is completely sleep deprived, but he managed to solve the case in a Leslie Knope with the flu style play. It turns out that Bunsen’s wife hadn’t seen him in eight years because Nate Dexter killed him and chopped off his own finger to mask his path. And all because he was sleeping with Bunsen’s wife.
The 99 goes to the bar to celebrate Peralta’s accomplishment, but he’s still unhappy because he’s jealous of Amy and Teddy. Jeffords, being the good friend and commanding officer that he is, reminds Peralta that solving a case won’t make it better, but drinking with a friend might.
And then ‘Whatta Man’ happens and it’s beautiful.
Unfortunately for Santiago during all of this, her romantic getaway looks in jeopardy because she forgot she volunteered to help Holt with a presentation he was planning for the same weekend. Teddy offers to postpone, but Santiago insists that she can just talk to the Captain. Of course, the moment she does, she craps out, listens to Gina instead and lies about having a dental emergency. No Amy. Why did you make life decisions based on Gina’s suggestions? DON’T DO THAT.
Well, it seems to work a little too well because Holt calls in a favor to Kevin’s brother, who is the best dentist in the quint state area, to look at Santiago’s teeth so she can still make the presentation. She tries to back out, but Holt insists and even offers to take her to and from. It isn’t until she’s in the dentist’s chair that she admits that she lied and that her teeth are perfect. Holt gets mad at her, but is immediately relieved when he finds out that Santiago has seven cavities. Well, relieved may not be the right word, but he certainly thinks she deserves it.
At the bar, Santiago apologizes for lying. Holt forgives her, saying she can just talk to him in the future. Santiago, of course, picks that moment to ask about taking her vacation, but Holt says yes with little hesitation. All’s well that ends well to a painfully stereotypical sitcom plot.
For the second week in a row, my favorite plot thread goes to Diaz. After finding Boyle in the janitor’s closet trying to have a private phone conversation with Vivian about Canada, Diaz makes a promise to him that she’ll make it better. She argues it out with Gina, but the two decide to take him to “Babylon.”
…Okay, that sounds dirty, but it’s not. It turns out that “Babylon” is a secret bathroom that Diaz found in the basement of the station that only her and Gina know about. They’ve put a lot of work into making it nice and it shows because it’s WAY nicer than my bathroom. I love that Diaz was serious about making it feel nice too and not just Gina. She use to be a ballerina. You know she’s all about aesthetics behind closed doors.
The two make Boyle promise not to tell anyone else about it, which he agrees to, especially after Gina pokes him with a safety pin in an attempt for a blood pact. However, for once in their lives, Hitchcock and Scully decide to be good detectives and bully the location of Babylon out of Boyle. It’s kind of disconcerting, but also awesome to see what the two can do when they really put their minds to it. Too bad it’s over a bathroom.
Gina catches Hitchcock and Scully in the bathroom and yells at Charles about it, but Diaz tells her to back off because Charles needed it, he saved her life, and that his life sucks right now. This leads to Gina making a deal with the two inept detectives trading her chair and her beloved wolf nap blanket in exchange for them staying out of Babylon. The two agree to it (well, rather, Gina does) and Babylon is safe once more. Plus, Gina has moved on to angry unicorns for her cheesy nap blankets, so Wolfy won’t be missed too much.
As stereotypical as it could be at some points, ‘Unsolvable’ was a fun episode full of awesome character moments and interactions that I have no problem watching over again in the future. Mostly for that beginning and end, but there are some excellent parts in the middle worth watching too.