Lin-Manuel Miranda Is Amy’s ‘Golden Child’ Brother on ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ (RECAP)

Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season 6
Spoiler Alert
Tyler Golden/NBC

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 6, Episode 9 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, “The Golden Child.”]

Fans of Brooklyn Nine-Nine didn’t have too long to “wait for it,” considering an incredibly beloved — and famous — face was “not throwing away [his] shot” to guest-star on a show he helped save from the jaws of cancellation.

Lin-Manuel Miranda was one of Nine-Nine‘s most integral and endearing celebrity advocates when he campaigned to get the show revived last May (he, Mark Hamill, Seth Meyers, Guillermo Del Toro and Sean Astin started a group chat dedicated to saving the comedy). In “The Golden Child,” he plays just that: Amy’s competitive, ultra-perfect, golden child brother, David. Anything Amy can do, it seems he can do better… which causes no small amount of frustration for the driven, hardworking officer of the Nine-Nine.

So it causes her no small amount of joy when David’s arrested for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. But there’s a catch — David says he’s being framed by dirty cops. He has to clear his name, but will Amy be able to get over her jealousy and help him do it?

An Awkward Dinner

The episode opens with Jake consulting Amy about his wardrobe, since they’re going to dinner with her mom that night. Amy says it doesn’t matter, because her mom invited her brother, so the night is already ruined. She wants to call and cancel because she doesn’t want to deal with her mom “fawning all over the Golden Boy.” Jake insists David might be perfect, but so is she, and he still wants to go to the dinner. At his encouragement, Amy relents.

They might have been better off canceling. Amy’s mom indeed does fawn over David, and an increasingly frustrated Amy clearly isn’t having a good time. Jake and Amy talk alone after she goes to the bathroom, and she says she can’t be around her brother. Their dinner is interrupted by the captain of David’s precinct, who says he had to place David under arrest because a large quantity of cocaine was found in his desk. “Oh nooooooooo,” Amy says, smiling. Safe to say this wasn’t bad news for her!

Dropping the Act

Amy’s in a great mood after her brother’s arrest, and she and Jake go to bail him out of jail. David ends up telling them about how he got into drugs; he says he started as a teenager because of the pressure his and Amy’s parents put their kids under. When they get into the car, David drops the act — he says dirty cops with ties to the Brazilian mafia planted the drugs in his desk, and he needs to clear his name.

At the Nine-Nine, a frustrated Amy laments David’s clean blood test. Jake tries to talk some sense into her and says if something happens to David as he tries to clear his name, Amy will never forgive herself. Amy’s more motivated by the thought that her parents’ mantle in their home will become a shrine to David if he gets killed by the Brazilian mafia, but either way, Jake has convinced her to help her brother.

A Santiago Family Dance Off

Jake and Amy go with David to a club where they’ll investigate the cops and the mafia and try to find a ledger of dealings that could clear David’s name, but their efforts are derailed by Amy’s anger at David for his continual bragging. The siblings end up having a dance-off, which comes to an abrupt end when Amy injures herself. Her injury distracted the guards enough for them to sneak into the back office, where Amy finds the ledger. Unfortunately, Jake gets caught before they can all escape.

Amy and David get out, and they watch as Jake’s loaded into a car. She says they can’t call for backup, and though they argue about who should shoot out the car’s tires to save Jake, Amy sets her pride aside and leaves it to David to take the shot that’ll save her husband’s life. He succeeds, and they place the baddies under arrest.

Lights, Camera, Action…?

Meanwhile, Boyle has a case for Holt. He wants to send someone into holding to get a perp to open up about the drugs he was dealing, and while Boyle can’t go undercover himself, someone else could. At first Boyle says Terry could do it, but Holt volunteers. Boyle says competition could be good, and Holt and Terry will compete for the “role.” He has them audition for the role through improvisation, then calls in a third party: Scully!

Boyle ends up casting Holt in the role, which offends Terry. In holding, Holt acts exactly as he did in the audition — he’s robotic and emotionless. That, as it turns out, was Boyle’s plan. He wanted Terry to feel devastated and betrayed in order for him to play a new “character,” who will go into holding and talk to the dealer. Terry barely gets into holding before Boyle pulls him out and tells him to change the way he’s playing his character. This pattern continues, and an enraged Terry ends up blowing his cover when Boyle goes into holding to pull him out again — and the perp has already guessed Holt’s a cop, so his cover is blown, too.

That was Boyle’s plan all along — he had Rosa go undercover, but he had to create a scene with Holt and Terry first. Rosa’s learned everything they need to know, and although Terry tries to hide it, Boyle says he can tell Terry’s impressed. Terry enthusiastically agrees, and all is well.

A Second Awkward Dinner

Jake and Amy wind up having dinner with Amy’s mom again after her brother’s name is cleared. David proposes a toast to Amy for saving him, but their mom still only recognizes him and his accomplishments. Again, Amy goes to the bathroom. Again, Jake meets her before she gets to the table, and again, they talk. She says she’s okay; she spent her whole life trying to be better than David at something, but when Jake’s life was in danger, she didn’t care.

“I may never have the mantle, but it doesn’t matter, because I have you,” Amy says. But unfortunately, Jake’s already loudly and publicly roasted her mom on a range of topics from how she treats Amy to how she talks about the size of his nose… so instead of going back to dinner, they decide to sneak out the back of the restaurant.

Other Observations:

  • How awesome was Lin-Manuel Miranda? Nine-Nine has a long history of excellent guest stars, but he fit in so well with the cast that it’s hard not to wish he was around for longer. Maybe we’ll see him again in a Thanksgiving episode? And this poses the question… when will we see Mark Hamill, Seth Meyers, Sean Astin or Guillermo Del Toro on the show? :)
  • Boyle’s plan was genuinely unpredictable, and I enjoyed that twist. Plus, it was just good to see Boyle again — he’d been a little neglected this season.
  • Now that the John Kelly storyline is (presumably) over, I can’t help but wonder where Nine-Nine is going next. This episode didn’t exactly plant any seeds of a larger conflict, so it’ll be interesting to see where the overall plot of the show goes next week.

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