Summary of 2×08: While investigating Giggle Pig, Peralta and Boyle get saddled with overbearing USPIS Investigator Jack Danger (Ed Helms). Holt, Jeffords, and Gina try to help Santiago quit smoking.
I’ve never met anyone who worked for the United States Postal Investigation Service, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were as lame and annoying as they were presented in this episode.
After a cold open of Hitchcock and Scully conning the rest of the force for money to make up for a birthday that never happened, we find out that Diaz’s Giggle Pig task force is starting to make strides, with a few dealers being arrested so far. Two of them have had strange keys that belong to the US Postal Service on them. Diaz orders Peralta and Boyle to go speak with USPIS to figure out what’s going on, urging them to be diligent because the task force needs a win.
Peralta and Boyle go to USPIS to meet with an agent named Jack Danger, which gets them excited. However, their excitement turns to disappointment when “Danger” turns out to be pronounced “Donger” and Danger turns out to be a total donger. He’s boring with an inflated sense of self-importance. This just emphasizes how much I love Ed Helms because he plays that character up SO well. Oh my god, I wanted to punch him in his perfect teeth.
Danger traces the keys back to an old type of mailbox that hasn’t been used in years. Peralta and Boyle go to investigate, but Diaz informs them that Danger will be joining them for the time being. That further annoys Peralta, who desperately tries to keep Danger from taking point on the case. This made worse when after discovering Giggle Pig in one of the mailboxes, Danger and Peralta spot a dealer about to make a drop and Danger keeps Peralta from chasing after him because he fell over.
Completely done with Danger, Peralta tries to convince him to narrow down who would have had access to those keys. Danger finds five names, but refuses to look into them and insists that a stakeout of the boxes would be better and only investigating the names as a last resort. Certain that the dealers are going to leave if they do that, Peralta grabs the list of names when Danger is out of the office and goes out with Boyle to find them. They eventually find the dealer that got away and make an arrest as well as find out about a massive delivery that’s happening, but Diaz is furious because they went against her orders, took advantage of her friendship and pissed off a federal agent. Now USPIS will be taking over the investigation and the task force will lose all the credit.
Upset with himself, Peralta decides that he has to do the worst thing ever to make it up to Diaz: apologize to Danger and let him bore them with the history of postal investigation. After an hour of that, Danger relinquishes control back to the 99, admitting he can’t crack the code that was written in the obtained books anyway. Peralta spots two zip codes in the book and with Danger’s infinite knowledge of zip codes, they narrow down where the Giggle Pig drop will be happening. Peralta officially apologizes to Diaz, the 99 busts the delivery, and Danger gets to be a part of it. It’s a win for every one.
In the b-plot, Santiago finds herself struggling to quit her addiction to smoking. Having history with food, gambling, and shopping addictions, Jeffords, Holt, and Gina try to help her in their own ways. Jefford’s solution is for Santiago to “reset her brain” whenever she’s craving cigarettes, which is to stick her head in ice water. This leads to some hilarious shots of Terry Crews and Melissa Fumero sticking their heads and screaming into water. When that doesn’t work, Holt takes her jogging, which just ends with her smoking in a Port-a-Potty. Finally, when Gina’s meditation attempt fails, Santiago declares that she’s quitting quitting because this clearly doesn’t work. Holt tells her that the first step to actually getting over it is to stop beating herself up as a perfectionist. Santiago takes this advice to heart, hopefully getting her on a road to getting over her addiction.
This was a pretty fun episode. Helms was so painfully, wonderfully annoying as Danger that it made his performance alone and with Samberg a highlight of the episode. In terms of character moments, I really did appreciate the back and forth between Peralta and Diaz as well. I kind of wish the smoking plot had ended a bit stronger with Amy finding something that works for her, but the encouragement from her coworkers was especially heartwarming.