'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' Says Goodbye to Gina Linetti in 'Four Movements' (RECAP)
It's really happening, Brooklyn Nine-Nine fans: our beloved Gina has handed in her two weeks' notice and is preparing to move on.
Though her departure is undoubtedly heartbreaking (after all, how many iconic one-liners has Chelsea Peretti's wisecracking secretary coined?), fans can take solace in the fact that "Four Movements" places Gina directly in the spotlight and celebrates every aspect of her personality and humor. It gives her time to shine and — most importantly — reminds us of all the reasons she was a true treasure for Brooklyn's 99th precinct.
The episode opens with Gina calling a meeting for the squad, to give them "It's Time For Gina's Opinion" hoodies and to inform them she's handing in her two weeks' notice. Because she's Gina, she does it in style, complete with confetti and backup dancers. She gets settled in to perform a four-movement dance for the squad (in typical Gina style, each movement is 45 minutes), but perhaps more importantly, she lets them know she'll be leaving them each with an unforgettable "Gina Moment" over the next two weeks.
The first Gina moment involves Captain Holt, and the weekly chess matches he and Gina play. Holt teaches Gina the game, and she in turn teaches him to trash talk ("The hospital called. Your test results came back positive...for a stage five dumbass"). This match ends up being different than the others, or so it seems — Holt asks Gina if she's really thought her move through, and brings up some of the major concerns inherent with leaving her job; concerns like healthcare, the feasibility of her dreams and her daughter's wellbeing.
Holt says he believes she's smart enough to do what she wants, but she needs to have a plan. As an example, he tells her about his life plan, ending with his current job as captain of the Nine-Nine. This then leads to Holt's Gina moment, when she points out that there was another step in his life plan — to become commissioner — and that didn't work out.
"Just because you want to do something doesn't mean you get to do it," Gina tells her boss, who eventually accepts her decision. "Life is chaos, success is completely arbitrary and confidence is everything."
The episode's second Gina moment involves Amy — or rather, Amy's emotions. She's heartbroken about Gina's impending departure and wants to take Gina out to lunch — Gina then offers to teach her how to be "cool and detached" like her and Rosa.
At lunch, it becomes clear just how emotional and non-detached Amy really is. She's excited and proud to give her soon-to-be-departing friend a bound book of all of Gina's tweets, remembering that the secretary once asked for that exact thing in case of her death. Instead of being grateful, and much to Amy's displeasure, Gina says she's horrified. She takes Amy to burn the book in an on-fire garbage can in order for her to become her inner Rosa, but Amy just can't let go. She starts crying and says she likes having emotions — and that Gina leaving is a really big change.
That, as it turns out, was Amy's Gina moment. Gina wants Amy to be herself, and encourages her to embrace her emotions. With that, Amy starts crying again — and so does Rosa. Seeing that Rosa's started to feel her feelings, Gina counts this as a two-for-one Gina moment and they all hug.
Jake's Gina moment comes next. He's looking for a venue and a celebrity guest for her going away party, but hasn't been able to secure either one. This leads them to The Manhattan Club, where they're hoping to chat with Mario Lopez and secure his attendance at the event. Of course, one does not simply walk into The Manhattan Club, so Jake and Gina have to get dressed up — and panic an unsuspecting attendant who believes he's about to be fired by their non-existent wealthy "daddy" if they aren't allowed in right away.
They devise a plan to get Mario to come to the party by telling him Gina's party is a benefit for "malnourished malaria monkeys," and Jake distracts the security guards while Gina sneaks into the VIP lounge. Jake takes a bit of a beating, but it's all worth it when Mario shows up to Shaw's Bar later for the party...or is it? Once he arrives, Gina quite pointedly and rudely turns him away. Jake, a Mario Lopez/A.C. Slater fan, is sent into a panic by Gina's actions. Eventually, she explains her reasoning and arrives at the third Gina moment: she tells Jake she wanted him to understand she didn't need a celebrity or a crazy venue for her party — she just wanted to spend time with her friends.
And turning a celebrity away from her party? That, she said, was her own Gina moment.
Things take an unexpected turn at the precinct. Gina doesn't leave her post after her party; she takes days to clean out her desk and perform menial tasks. This leads Terry to assume she's getting cold feet, but Gina argues that she spent so much time giving everyone a Gina moment that she didn't have time to take care of other things. And a few more Gina moments arrived in those final days. Gina gave Boyle the "motherdough starter" she made to replace the one from the Boyle family's will that she toasted with a space heater, a gift for which he's quite grateful.
The final Gina moment comes when the squad walks into the precinct and doesn't find Gina, but they do find a life-sized gold statue of her and a video of their former secretary. Gina thanks them for encouraging her, and she gives Terry the final Gina moment — a membership to an international "yogurt of the month" club. She also reveals that her stalling wasn't because she was getting cold feet; rather, it was because there was a shipping delay with her gold statue. She tells the squad she's going to miss them, then says, "I'll hold for a five-minute applause break."
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And with that, Gina Linetti's time at the Nine-Nine comes to an end.
- What a great way for Gina to leave. I was hesitant about her departure when it was announced, largely because I wasn't sure whether the series could find a way to make it seem realistic. I should have known better.
- I'm a little sad that Rosa didn't really have a Gina moment? She did have the brief time where she started crying, but that hardly seemed insightful enough to serve as her entire moment. Maybe there was something in the orchid Gina gave her?
- It's nice that this leaves the door open for Peretti to return in some capacity later on, should she choose to do so. Maybe Gina will invent something the Nine-Nine will want to use, or she'll wind up giving a presentation to the NYPD!
- Speaking of the NYPD, it was nice to have a break from Holt's war with John Kelly during this episode. While that conflict is interesting and timely, this was a nice pause in the action and a great way to send off a character who'd been in the show since its first episode.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Thursdays, 9/8c, NBC