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“M.E. Time” included some great running jokes and showed new characters interacting to form what has been the best episode since “Pilot” of the fledgling Brooklyn Nine-Nine. While it is still trying to find itself, both main plots were equally as important and, more importantly, equally as funny to make “M.E. Time” a very cohesive episode. It also feels like the writing has started to find the right proportions to keep the characters and situations funny without being too ridiculous.
The two plots focused on some of the relationships around the precinct. Peralta was forced to be second banana for Boyle’s case while Santiago and Jeffords both tried figuring out how to read Holt’s emotions. What ended up transpiring was pretty funny in both plots, although the reading Holt story line offered more laughs than Peralta’s.
Peralta was given yet another goofy situation where he ended up finding himself hooking up with the new medical examiner that seemed to find her job a little too invigorating. The funniest bit for Peralta came while he was asking Santiago and Diaz’s advice on whether or not his first hookup with the examiner was weird or not. Each flashback to the night before got progressively weirder for Peralta as it went from her wanting his lips cold to them role-playing an entire scene where Peralta was a dead body at a crime scene giving her hints as to how he died. The girls ended up declaring the relationship too weird. Peralta also was very proud in making as many fat jokes as he could, as the case revolved around the murder of a very obese man. Peralta asking permission of Boyle to make a fat joke while interrogating the cadaver’s wife and murder suspect was probably the funniest of the bunch.
Meanwhile, Santiago needed someone to draw a sketch of a suspect for a case she was working and luckily Jeffords was revealed to be quite the artist in a nice wrinkle to Jeffords’s character. Santiago, who is still trying to curry the favor of Holt, ends up thinking that Jeffords should paint a portrait of Holt since he was not pleased with the photo hanging on the wall. What made this story line so funny were the multiple instances of Santiago and Jeffords swapping stories about how hard it is to read Holt’s inexpressive personality. It was a smart move to comment on the too straight Holt while also allowing his character some humor even when he wasn’t trying to be. In the end, Holt does warm up to Santiago because of her filing a report on time and combing through statistics that showed Holt had done a good job in his first month as captain.
“M.E. Time” felt like the show’s most cohesive episode yet. It allowed Peralta to be stupid and silly without sacrificing believability or his silliness wearing thin. It also gave Santiago’s character a new level of competence that had yet to be shown. The pacing of the comedy was pretty good and it really felt like Brooklyn Nine-Nine had made its first solid stride into becoming a must-see show every week.