‘Brooklyn 99’ series finale leaves viewers feeling bittersweet

The entire squad squeezes into the elevator one last time. For some, it’s their last time leaving the precinct as a detective.

Screenshot from the official season eight trailer of "Brooklyn 99"

The entire squad squeezes into the elevator one last time. For some, it’s their last time leaving the precinct as a detective.

Genny Kootsouradis, Staff Writer

If you’re looking for a comedy sitcom about police mixed with a touch of realism, then season eight of “Brooklyn 99” might be the show for you.

NBC just released the eighth and final season of “Brooklyn 99” at the beginning of August. Although many of their previous seasons had 20 episodes, this season was short and sweet with only nine episodes.

After the murder of George Floyd, NBC decided to scrap their previously written episodes in order to incorporate aspects of the Black Lives Matter movement, which I really respected.

We’re introduced to Frank O’Sullivan (John McGinley) who has an obsession with Billy Joel and is this season’s ‘villain.’ He plays the head of the police union and turns a blind eye to all of the brutality and unfairness occurring. His character is very rushed to be in practically every episode of the last season.

Even though I felt like this character was rushed, it gave the viewers a look into different situations that actually happened during this movement. For example, episode three, “Blue Flu” tells the story of how a cop found a dead mouse in his burrito and went on strike, with many other officers, because he believed that it was a form of retaliation from the citizens. The writers revealed later that this episode was based on real-world articles that they’ve read.

“Brooklyn 99” also addresses smaller issues that occur with the Black Lives Matter movement along with police brutality – things like having friends that go through these terrible things but not feeling like you can do anything to help. I think including these smaller conflicts makes the show more relatable as a viewer.

NBC received lots of backlash by incorporating these realistic aspects into the show. However, senior Shelby Segall believes that it’s important for them to be included. She said, “It can show that even though it is a fictional universe, these things affect everyone.”

However, since they added new details to the show, it leaves viewers with a few loose ends. For example, one of the members ends up leaving the task force in the very first episode because she believes that she can do more without a badge. She starts her own business and I would’ve liked to see more of it.

Since this show is a sitcom, there aren’t too many other loose ends or plotlines to tie up, so the show ends with one of their annual Halloween heists which senior Megan Linsky loved. She said, “I think that it was a good thing to end the entire series because although it was sad, you kind of had closure with that… It’s such a big part of the show, and it’s something that’s consistent throughout all of the seasons.”

The final episode is double the length of the typical ‘Brooklyn 99’ episode. Brian Tallerico, a writer for New York’s ‘Vulture’ magazine, thinks this final episode is one of the show’s best. He said, “It peppers this final adventure with a ton of nods to the history of the show, some of them in the blatant form of returning guest stars and some more as Easter eggs for the hard-core fans.”

Not only is the final episode an intriguing heist episode, but it also includes different characters and memorable scenes from previous seasons. It really reminds the viewers of everything that they loved about the show. This episode marks the ending of a great show but it also shows that although everybody on the task force is moving on to do bigger things, they plan on returning every Halloween to continue the tradition of the Halloween heist.

Another episode that I particularly liked was episode seven, “A Game of Boyles” because it was loosely based on the 2019 film, “Knives Out.” Critics think that the season was released too late for this reference to be relevant, but I think it gave more viewers the time to watch this movie and enjoy the episode more. It also featured Detective Charles Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) and it added a specific depth to his character that we didn’t experience in past episodes.

One smaller part of the show that I enjoyed watching was how Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) and Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero) took care of their newborn. They struggled with balancing their child and their jobs and I think that’s something that a lot of viewers can relate to.

This season, Captain Raymond Holt (Andre Braugher) and his husband Kevin Cozner (Marc Jackson) got a lot more screen time together which I really enjoyed. In previous seasons, Kevin would only show up once or twice and we’d be lucky if he stayed throughout the entire episode. Holt is known for being somewhat robotic and Kevin adds a little more depth to his character.

All of the main actors of this show get a pretty even amount of screen time throughout the show, but I think the relationship between Jake and Holt is one of my favorites. Jake is supposed to be portrayed as a childish but intelligent detective and Holt is practically the complete opposite. Both Samberg and Braugher played these roles extremely well, and I really enjoy watching episodes that center around the two of them together.

“Brooklyn 99” has always been one of my favorite shows and although they added a few too many new details to this final season, I enjoyed this final season thoroughly. Overall, I’d rate this season four out of five Billy Joel CDs.