Jake & Rosa Realize the Perils of Promises on 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' (RECAP)

Emily Hannemann
Spoiler Alert Evans Vestal Ward/NBC

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 6, Episode 6 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, "The Crime Scene."]

When an investigative reporter is murdered and there seems to be a ton of evidence to close the case, Jake makes a pretty huge mistake — and that mistake serves as the central conflict for this week's Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Confident they'll be able to solve the case in no time, Jake promises the victim's mother that they'll bring her son's killer to justice; thus, he breaks the "number one police rule," and his partner, Rosa, is none too pleased. For good reason, as it turns out — the case ends up being more complicated than they thought, Major Crimes wants to take over, and Jake must face the increasing likelihood that he can't keep his word.

A Dangerous Promise

The episode opens with Jake and Rosa investigating the murder of a reporter named Andrew. His apartment was locked from the inside and the security system was disarmed, but no one was seen coming in or out, so whoever committed the crime was "a ghost."

A man named Franco McCoy is investigating the case for CSI and tells Jake and Rosa they can't turn on the air conditioning in the apartment. Jake and Rosa work together in the sweaty conditions to figure out some clues, and they rock-paper-scissors to see who has to talk to the victim's mother. They end up talking to her together, and she insists everyone loved her son — she's heartbroken about his death, and makes them promise to find her son's killer. Jake promises her they'll bring the killer to justice. It was a promise he never should have made, but Jake couldn't help it because the woman reminds him of his own mother.

Rosa's not too happy, and her displeasure ends up being justified. The team hits roadblock after roadblock. They find Andrew held a party before he was killed, but everyone in attendance had alibis. Interviews are going poorly. Franco tells them there's no matches for anything on any criminal database, further complicating Jake's promise.

Evans Vestal Ward/NBC

No Leads, No Hope?

Franco tells them there were three individuals in the apartment; the victim and two others, which gives Jake hope. Jake tracked down the man who delivered Andrew's final meal and says he might be able to lead them to the killer. The delivery driver says Andrew ordered three veggie wraps, further evidencing that there were three people in the apartment. Jake and Rosa deduce based on information from the victim's smart watch that his heartbeat stopped before the food was ordered; so, the killer ordered the food. They think that'll be a sure lead in the case, but it isn't — they still have no idea what the killer looks like.

Evans Vestal Ward/NBC

Holt stops by the crime scene to say Major Crimes wants the case, and Rosa and Jake are forced to tell him they have no leads. Jake begs him for more time, and Holt grudgingly obliges. They investigate the scene over and over again on different days throughout several weeks, but make no headway. After slowly watching Jake go insane trying to solve the case (he's referring to the apartment as "Room" and making erroneous connections to the number three), Rosa eventually tells her partner she gave the keys to the apartment to Major Crimes. He's not happy about Rosa's decision, and it doesn't look like he'll be able to keep his promise.

Back at the NYPD, Rosa finds Jake carrying a suspicious amount of ketchup. She discovers Jake is still trying to solve the case by re-creating the crime scene at the precinct with Charles' help. Terry walks in and agrees with Rosa: Jake shouldn't have promised the victim's family anything. Even Charles sides with them, and Jake storms out.

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Starting Over

It becomes clear that in his pursuit of justice, Jake is losing his marbles. One night, Amy wakes up to find Jake standing over her with a knife and red Post-Its all over her. Jake later tries to solve the case at Shaw's, with food. Rosa interrupts his ill-fated attempt at the bar and says she's worried about him. When he says he doesn't know if he can tell the victim's mom he can't solve the case, Rosa says she'll be there for him when he breaks the bad news because he was there for her when she came out to her parents.

They meet with the victim's mother and she says she understands, but Major Crimes has labeled it a cold case and told her not to hold out hope. She begins to cry as she tells Jake and Rosa that she and Andrew weren't on good terms when he died. Visibly affected, Rosa then promises that they'll solve the case... because the victim's mom reminds her of her own mother.

Evans Vestal Ward/NBC

Jake and Rosa talk about Rosa's reaction, and Rosa says she made that promise because she's still struggling with the fact that she and her mom haven't really talked since she came out as bisexual. When they go back to the apartment they find Major Crimes has since cleaned it out, seemingly securing the final roadblock in their case. Then, they hear a rattling. The air conditioning had been turned off, but now that it's back on, they discover the noise is coming from food in the vents; they figure out the killer arrived during the party, hid in the vents and survived on the food there until the body was discovered, and spilled blood he'd stolen from a blood bank to make the crime scene as messy as possible. The killer then snuck out of the apartment as a CSI official with a costume he'd bought online. They look at the security tapes and find the man, who later pleads guilty; he says he was hired by a chicken farmer who didn't appreciate Andrew's investigative reporting into the industry.

Evans Vestal Ward/NBC

Case Closed

The pair talk with the victim's mom at the precinct, who is emotional and grateful for their help. Jake then tries to make plans with Rosa for later, but she tells him she's busy — he at first assumes this means he'll be able to meet her girlfriend, Jocelyn, but he's mistaken. Instead, Rosa tells him she's finally meeting to talk with her mom. The episode ends as her mom arrives at the precinct and tells Rosa it's good to see her, and they seem to be making steps toward being on good terms again.

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Other Observations:

  • While I love Rosa and appreciate getting some more info on her personal life and her relationship with her parents given the way that storyline was left in "Game Night," I really missed the rest of the Nine-Nine squad. This almost felt like a bottle episode, which the show rarely does.
  • WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH HOLT'S WAR ON THE NYPD? The show has dropped this storyline consistently for several episodes now, which is a bummer because it was so, so interesting. Here's hoping we get some more insight on that conflict next week.
  • I loved seeing Rosa's crazy hairstyles throughout this episode — for a while, it was making more progress than Jake and Rosa were. With the way she looked, I can only imagine what her girlfriend Jocelyn's hair must look like.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Thursdays, 9/8c, NBC