TL;DR – Brooklyn Nine-Nine delves into the Me Too era in an episode that shows that B99’s consistent strength in drama still shines.
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Over the last few years, we have seen an outpouring of discussion from a number of industries about the toxic workplaces that exist, especially for women. We have seen big-name Hollywood producers, politicians, comedians, and members of finance be called to account for their behaviour, and the Me Too movements has spread across the world and into every industry. This is such an important issue that when you first hear that a comedy show is going to tackle the issue you take pause because this is not an issue that you should be making light of. However, when you hear that show is Brooklyn Nine-Nine you give it a pass because B99 has shown in the past it is able and willing to tackle important issues like this.
So to set the scene, in the morning briefing the team find out that there has been an investment banker admitted to hospital with a broken penis, which leads to an array of amusing wonderings as to which drug-fuelled shenanigans lead to such an injury. Only for them to then find out that it was alleged that he tried to attack a colleague only for her to protect herself from assault with his golf club. Amy (Melissa Fumero) and Jake (Andy Samberg) are put on the case and so they interview both sides. Seth (Jonathan Chase) has no idea why she would do such a thing, maybe she’s just crazy. Well Kari (Briga Heelan) has a very good idea why it happened, but there is no evidence creating a ‘he said, she said’ situation. Meanwhile, Captain Holt (Andre Braugher) gets the news he has been dreading the Disco Stranger (Richard Finkelstein), his first big collar, has died and now he has to evaluate what that means for his life. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
you have something that is in the social consciousness, like Me Too, there is a
draw to it and shows will (or in some case get forced into it from management)
often do an episode on it to capitalise on it. Indeed the old Law and Order (a show I really liked)
would often claim that its stories were ripped straight from the headlines.
However, in most cases they were shallow experiences hitting all the big
features, but with none of the understanding that would have made exploring the
issue worthwhile. Well, this is a space that B99 has found itself in before when it tackled Stop and Frist and
racism in the police force in their episode Moo
Moo in Season Four. So I have confidence that they would be able to do the
same here, and that confidence was not misplaced.
On show is the complete hypocrisy that happens when an incident like this occurs, with the business looking to protect its reputation first and its employees second or maybe a bit further down from second. Kari is first bribed into keeping silent, her co-workers are coached as to what to say to the police, and then she is fired because of the violence she used to defend herself from assault. What makes matters worse, even after everything worked out in the end, Kari still had to leave her job (the one where she makes hundreds of millions of dollars for her employers) because she had been cut out of the social fabric of the company for going to the police. Even the evidence that was finally found to convict Seth, didn’t come from someone doing the right thing, it can because another of his co-workers realised that they would get a promotion if Seth was fired.
is important about this episode is that the story gives us a moment to explore
the different characters on the show a bit more. You have Rosa (Stephanie
Beatriz) who lays it down raw as to what might happen to Kari and the fact that
maybe taking the money payout might not
be the worst thing to do. This is deeply upsetting for Amy, but there is a cold
unfortunately logic to it. Also at this point,
we should note that Stephanie Beatriz directed this episode and did an amazing
job for her first time behind the chair. We also got to see a bit about what
drives Amy, and even Jake discovers important things about her he didn’t know because she had hidden them to protect herself. It is a powerful episode, and it does not hold back its punches. At least
at the very end, there is some hope that even if you take two steps back you
are still making progress, but it should be a damn sight better.
In the end, do we recommend He Said, She Said? Absolutely. It has been one of the best episodes so far this season, taking a very complicated issue and being able to explore it within such a short time. It was powerful, emotional, and confronting, and I hope a lot of people get to watch it. Oh, also there is that Disco Strangler B-story that is a bit of fun as well.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Trailer – Click Here to View (all trailers have heavy spoilers)
Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Directed by – Stephanie Beatriz
Written by – Lang Fisher
Created by – Dan Goor & Michael Schur
Production/Distribution Companies – Fremulon, Dr. Goor Productions, 3 Arts Entertainment, Universal Television, NBCUniversal & SBS Viceland.
Starring in Season Five – Andy Samberg, Stephanie Beatriz, Terry Crews, Melissa Fumero, Chelsea Peretti, Joe Lo Truglio, Dirk Blocker, Joel McKinnon Miller & Andre Braugher with Briga Heelan, Jonathan Chase, Gabe Liedman, Matt Lowe, Michael Albala, Hardy Awadjie, Mark Beltzman, EJ Callahan & Richard Finkelstein.