Photo Source: FOX // Brooklyn Nine Nine

Going into this new season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, I was concerned the writers intended to follow the same pattern they’ve followed for the last two seasons: Jake gets in “trouble”, his world is turned upside down, and then he returns to the 99 like nothing ever happened. But “Kicks” showed some growth in Jake’s character and a break out of the traditional 99 storytelling method.

Jake has been assigned to desk duty while he adjusts to life outside of prison. The last thing he wants in life is to become Hitchcock and Scully; even the mention of  Grand Larceny by Boyle caused an excited (and slightly violent) outburst. Jake decided he would rather risk failing his field duty evaluation and just take it early. The good (and bad?) news…Holt is his evaluator. Holt thoroughly follows Jake and Boyle as the investigate the robbery of some expensive Weezy sneakers from a fancy shoe shop. It doesn’t take Jake long, at all, to crack the case, but when they arrest the culprit and the man swears he didn’t do it, Jake falters. As he explains to Holt later, now that he knows what prison is like, he just can’t imagine sending a man who may be innocent there. Holt sees this as a strength, not a weakness. Jake is maturing and honing his skills as a detective–things are not always in black and white. So while that means Holt passed him, Jake realized he’s not ready to be back in the field. Prison changed him…and it’s something he needs to work through before he gets back to his normal life.

Prison also changed Rosa. She spent the episode thinking Adrian cheated on her and followed him around, all the while being supported (and sometimes discouraged) by Amy and Terry (who’s been scorned by a cheater before)! When she finds out Adrian was just learning Spanish to impress her father, she’s weirdly disappointed. This helps her realize that she doesn’t care for Adrian the way she once did, and she breaks up with him.

So, some major changes are afoot at the 99. Will this pattern continue? Or will we shift back to “normal” soon? Let’s hope it continues!