'Brooklyn Nine-Nine': Little Debbie, Big Problem (RECAP)

Emily Hannemann
Spoiler Alert John P. Fleenor/NBC

[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 7 episode 5, "Debbie."]

One of the most unexpected bright spots of Brooklyn Nine-Nine's seventh season has been Debbie Fogle. She's self-depricating and utterly hilarious (hey, she's played by Vanessa Bayer!), always ready with the wrong thing to say or an awkward comment that raises eyebrows. She's something of a Boyle without a Jake, and because of those similarities, it's not too shocking that no one takes her seriously... but maybe they should.

At the end of last week's episode, meek Debbie walked out of the NYPD precinct with a ton of stuff from the evidence lockup, reiterating Charles' earlier point that she could "do anything [she] put her mind to." This week, it becomes clear just why she did what she did — and Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz) and Jake (Andy Samberg), in an attempt to take down her boss, end up in a dangerous situation.

Jake's Plan

Debbie’s acting super suspicious, so the squad figures out she took the drugs and guns right off the bat. They figure she’s working with a notorious crime boss named Nucci, but they can’t get her to admit she’s working for him.

Jake advocates for the timid cop and says they should try to help her, but Rosa, unmoved, says she should find her way out of this situation herself. Nonetheless, Jake persists; he “breaks Debbie out” under the guise that he and Rosa work for Silvio Nucci, too — that way, they can let her lead them to Nucci.

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Debbie's Unfortunate Superpowers

They all head to a hotel, where Debbie claims she stole the drugs so she could afford an experimental surgery for her sick dad. After they all chat for a bit, Rosa and Jake meet in the hallway for a second. When they head back into the room, Debbie’s sampled some coke — and as one might suspect, she’s acting pretty unhinged.

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That unhinged-ness continues, and Rosa’s this close to bringing Debbie in instead of going after her boss. Things escalate and eventually, Rosa does try to place Debbie under arrest, but she knocks Rosa out. “The cocaine has given Debbie superpowers,” Jake notes. “Coolcoolcoolcoolcool.”

A New Tactic

Debbie shoves Rosa in the trunk, and they all head to the drop site. Turns out, the drop site is a mansion… and Debbie’s not using the money for her dad’s surgery, she’s using it to pay the rent for the place. She makes a phone call to her mom, too, and she comes over, so now Debbie has turned this into a family affair.

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A tied-up Rosa tells Jake she needs to get the gun from Debbie, but Jake is stumped on how to do so. “She clearly has a thing for you,” Rosa says, and as it turns out, she’s right. Jake tries pretending to be her boyfriend in order to get close enough to take the gun, but that ends with him getting knocked to the ground much as Rosa had been earlier. Uh-oh.

Rosa’s Change of Heart

Meanwhile, at the precinct, Holt, Amy and Terry rifle through Debbie’s diaries to find anything that could lead them to Nucci. This leads to Amy and Holt having a little “speed-reading” competition, but Boyle, through taking things “slow and steady,” makes a discovery — Debbie tells her mom everything. With his tidbit of info and everything Holt and Amy have read, they’re able to figure out where Jake and Rosa are being held.

 

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Debbie ties up Jake, too, so now her mom, Rosa and Jake are all helpless. In that situation, her mom begins to tell Debbie how worthless she is, and she disowns her. This strikes a chord with Rosa, who had the same thing happen to her when she was young. “You are not a bad person,” Rosa tells Debbie. “If we get out of this alive, I promise I’ll help you however I can.”

Nucci arrives, but thankfully, so does the NYPD, so Jake and Rosa are saved. They bring Debbie in, but Rosa makes good on her word: as she tells Jake later, she asked the DA to go easy on Debbie. There’s something else on Jake’s mind, though. “We can never let anyone know we got beat up by Debbie Fogle,” he says. Rosa wholeheartedly agrees, and they opt to take that unfortunate fact to their grave.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Thursdays, 8:30/7:30c, NBC