Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 6, Episode 6 recap: A locked room whodunit

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE -- Photo by: Evans Vestal Ward/NBC -- Acquired via NBC Media Village
BROOKLYN NINE-NINE -- Photo by: Evans Vestal Ward/NBC -- Acquired via NBC Media Village /

Brooklyn Nine-Nine delivers a focused and funny locked room mystery that highlights one the show’s best pairings.

One of the many praises heaped upon Brooklyn Nine-Nine over the years is how the show has such a talented ensemble at its disposal. That sometimes works against the show as some episodes tend to pack too much story in a tight runtime. Each week, it’s not uncommon to see three or four different storylines play out in a single 22-minute runtime to give everyone a little bit of the spotlight, leaving a lot of stories rushed and incomplete.

Last season’s “The Box” was an all-time great, stripping away all other storylines and focusing on Jake and Holt’s attempts to get a confession out of the cold and calculating Sterling K. Brown, while also examining their own relationship in the process. The latest episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, titled “The Crime Scene,” sets to replicate that structure, this time revolving completely around Jake and Rosa as they race to solve a mystery before the case grows cold.

While not as effective as “The Box,” this episode makes the case for why Jake and Rosa are the show’s best pairing. Let’s find out why!

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE — Photo by: Evans Vestal Ward/NBC — Acquired via NBC Media Village
BROOKLYN NINE-NINE — Photo by: Evans Vestal Ward/NBC — Acquired via NBC Media Village /

Someone call Sherlock Holmes!

Jake and Rosa are called to a murder scene to investigate a strange death. Any episodes revolving around these two tend to be some of the show’s strongest. They’re perfect foils to each other, but also have a deep plutonic friendship that goes back years. Having been cops for so long, they wonder if the job has made them numb to the horrors of the world. Stepping into the blood-splattered apartment without missing a beat seems to prove that’s true…

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The victim was found in his locked apartment stabbed to death, with no way in or out. Classic locked room mystery! Jake’s always been obsessed with impossible cases (sorry, I should say dope cases), so it’s not a surprise watching him get excited over a new challenge. Even meeting the unbearable CSI tech Franco McCoy (an always-excellent Michael Mosley), isn’t enough to deter Jake and with the seeming abundance of evidence everywhere, Jake’s sure they can handle it.

He’s so positive in fact, that he breaks the number one rule of dealing with a victim’s family member: do not give them false hope. They meet the victim’s mother who’s so distraught and reminds Jake so much of his own mom, that he can’t help himself. He promises to catch her son’s killer no matter what…much to Rosa’s dismay. They’re friendship works because Rosa is unafraid to call Jake out when he’s done something wrong, so she flat out tells him giving a family member false hope can be dangerous.

The blood stains in the room suggest there were three people present at the time of death. Talking to a delivery guy, they confirm someone ordered three beetroot zucchini wraps around the time of the murder but using the victim’s smartwatch to track his heartbeat (honestly, I’m surprised Jake knew enough about this app, given his love of sour straws…), they determine the victim died before the order was placed, meaning whoever the delivery guy gave the food to was the murderer! Case solved?

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“The only thing that needs patching…is that theory”

Not so fast! Turns out it’s realllly hard to identify someone when high all the time. The delivery guy is unable to give the sketch artist a proper description and now Jake and Rosa hit a wall. As the days go on, Jake starts to crack under the stress:

Day 8: Jake thinks the upstairs neighbor and his best friend drilled through the hole, murdered the victim, and climbed back up.

Day 14: Jake is getting so desperate he even tries the beetroot zucchini wrap to get inside the mind of the killer. Now we know Jake is cracking!

Day 21: Could we have a Looper situation going on here? Jake is willing to consider all options.

Day 36: Jake thinks the blood splatter looks like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. What could it mean??

Day 50: When a pantsless Jake starts claiming threes are the key to solving everything, Rosa knows this is a dead case. She gives it away to Major Crimes so they can do more with it.

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE — Photo by: Evans Vestal Ward/NBC — Acquired via NBC Media Village
BROOKLYN NINE-NINE — Photo by: Evans Vestal Ward/NBC — Acquired via NBC Media Village /

Jake can’t let it go

After giving the case away Jake, being Jake, can’t move on. He goes so far as to recreate the crime scene in the Nine-Nine (with Charles playing the ketchup-covered dead body, naturally). Rosa and Terry are understandably concerned and tell him that he needs to let it go. Even Charles agrees, and you know Jake has gone off the deep end when even Charles thinks he’s gone too far.

By Day 52, Jake is standing over Amy’s body in the middle of the night with a knife in his hand and covering her with red post-it notes while Franco watches and by Day 53, he’s recreating the miniature version of the crime scene at the bar, complete with Olive Rosa who he talks to in an alarming capacity.

His behavior is crazy-enough where Rosa must intervene. She helps Jake admit that he needs to break it to the victim’s mother that he can’t find the killer.

But of course, there’s a complication. While talking to the mother, she reveals that she had a huge fight with her son almost a year ago and never got to make amends. Surprisingly, it’s Rosa who backtracks and promises they’ll find her son’s killer no matter what.

Rosa admits she still hasn’t talked to her own mom since coming out as bisexual. Rosa’s been waiting for her to call, but she hasn’t yet and it’s tough on her. Rosa feels she shouldn’t have to be the one who initiates contact, but she misses her mom, so she can’t help but break the rule and promise that they’ll solve this case.

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Things wrap up…a bit too easily?

Jake and Rosa go back to the apartment one last time and find the crime scene is completely clean. No more evidence to analyze and examine. They think they’ve reached a dead end until they hear a rattling in the vents.

The air conditioner hasn’t been turned on since the murder in order to preserve evidence, but now that it has, it’s creating an odd sound. The detectives look through the vents and find a little stash of food and water.

They deduce that the killer murdered the victim and left a ton of blood and forensic evidence on purpose so a lot of CSI guys would show up. He then hid the vents until CSI showed up and escaped while wearing a hazmat suit. With the new information, they’re able to identify and catch the guy easily.

This is the one questionable part of the episode. In 55 days of investigating the apartment, no one bothered to check the giant vent on the wall for evidence? It doesn’t matter too much though, as the episode needed a resolution to the case, but it just seems like an easy way out.

But that’s not even the best part. This case inspired Rosa to finally be the one to call her mother and the episode ends with them meeting for lunch at the Nine-Nine. Their relationship is far from fixed, but at least Rosa is taking the first steps toward reconciliation.

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE — Photo by: Evans Vestal Ward/NBC — Acquired via NBC Media Village
BROOKLYN NINE-NINE — Photo by: Evans Vestal Ward/NBC — Acquired via NBC Media Village /

Crime scene notes:

  • With last seasons “The Box” and this episode “The Crime Scene,” I hope next season we get another pairing of Jake and someone else for a full episode. My hope is that it’s Terry and the episode is called “The Yogurt Shop”
  • A fun running gag throughout the episode is Rosa’s different hairstyles every day. She’s dating a hairstylist-in-training and Rosa is nice enough to volunteer to be her test dummy. The funniest one? Probably the one that according to Jake makes her look “like a freshman in an all-girls college”
  •  “When you talk to the room, I lose even more confidence in you.”
  • “Okay, you’ve lost your mind.” “What? Who told you that? Was it room?”
  • “Sgt. Coldheart, the man who bleeds ice.”
  • Special shout out again to Michael Mosely as Franco McCoy. Just the perfect amount of unearned bravado and mustache. Give him his own show stat!
  • “Well okay, it’s been sorta okay meeting you. We’re going to turn our backs and ignore you now.”
  • “Just so you know Franco, we’re not responding positively to you as a person.”

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What were your favorite moments from Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s locked room whodunit? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Brooklyn Nine-Nine airs Thursdays on NBC.