Even though it’s still in its first season, Brooklyn Nine-Nine seems to have already developed a solid formula for each of its plots. Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) gets too cocky about his abilities, he screws something up, Captain Holt (Andre Braugher) admonishes him, the whole precinct comes together to fix Peralta’s mistake, and he solves the crime at the last second with a burst of genius. As a far as formulas go, it’s a pretty fail-safe one, as it still allows all of the character to act out in different and hilarious ways every time. But while a formulaic plot has been easier to ignore in previous episodes, “48 Hours” brings it to the forefront simply by showcasing Peralta’s dumbest mistake yet.
Peralta is a little too convinced that he knows who robbed a jewelry store, since the M.O. perfectly matches a robber he apprehended a while back for a similar crime. However, instead of waiting until he had enough evidence to support this theory, Peralta jumps the gun and arrests him anyway, giving the precinct 48 hours to find something that will tie him to the robbery before the perp can walk. This forces everyone to cancel their plans and spend the weekend helping fix Peralta’s mistake. The problem with this episode is that it undoes a lot of the progress that was made with Peralta’s character in “The Vulture” and “Halloween,” and goes back to showcasing the stupid mistakes he makes while claiming to be the best detective the precinct has ever seen. The episode is still successful, and very funny, but after waiting so long to see Peralta prove his smarts and competence with the elaborate heist in “Halloween,” it’s hard to buy that he would be reckless enough to arrest someone without any evidence.
However, having all of the characters together and working on one case is entertaining enough to help suspend your disbelief. Brooklyn Nine-Nine has one of the strongest casts on television right now, so the more screen time they get, the better the episode tends to be. “48 Hours” is another particularly strong episode for Melissa Fumero, as Santiago and Peralta bond after she forgives him for forcing her to cancel a date. The scene where Peralta pretends to be her “future husband” while she gamely strokes the soul patch of the photo Peralta is holding up to his face is not only one of the best scenes of the night, but also helps lay the groundwork for a possible future romance between the two. Fumero and Samberg have great chemistry, and they seem to have a lot of fun playing off each other, which makes their scenes together fun to watch.
Meanwhile, Gina and Diaz have recruited Charles to settle a debate on the best pie in New York. It’s a bit of a disappointment considering the subplots that Brooklyn Nine-Nine has had in previous episodes, but Charles’ outburst at the very end, when he declares both women to be wrong and presents them with what is actually the best pie in the city, almost makes up for it. Joe Lo Trulio is at his funniest whenever Charles gets to be triumphant, and he perfectly delivers both his “boo-yah” statement and the subsequent apology.
Terry Crews also gets his own subplot in “48 Hours,” in which Terry’s been working overtime to avoid going home and dealing with his brother-in-law. The problem is, of course, that he’s falling asleep on the job, and Holt is determined to send him home to get some sleep. Crews gets to show off his skill with physical comedy this episode, between his sleep-workouts — “Tired Terry gets after it.” — and trying to hold back a yawn in front of the Captain. However, the best visual gag of the night comes when his brother-in-law opens a jar of pickles for him while towering over him from behind the fridge. It’s hard to make Crews look like a weakling, but the show nailed it, and the way Crews cowered in front of his massive brother-in-law was the perfect touch.
– Santiago asks a prostitute in the holding cell for makeup tips because she “just wanted to know how she got such smokey eyes. Turns out it was an STD rash.”
– “First, I met our night janitor, Ronald. If anyone’s missing hand sanatizer… he drank it.”
– “You’re a blind cop! How has there not been a made-for-TV movie about your struggles?”
– Peralta, frustrated by the suspect refusing to talk: “You’ve changed! You used to go straight to prison!”
– Santiago once found a guy on the subway with a bag full of ears, which raises so many questions I’m not sure I want the answers to.
– Holt, to Terry: “You’re a grown man, and a police sergeant. Now take your nap, and if I see a light on in here, I’m going to be very disappointed.”
– There isn’t enough of Holt in “48 Hours,” although his delivery of “What are you talking about? My hair’s a mess.” after spending the night in his office almost made up for it.