Spoilers below for anyone who hasn’t yet watched the Season 3 premiere of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is known for a lot of things, such as silly bets and Charles’ esoteric tastes, but I don’t think anyone out there would call it the most surprising comedy on TV. Boy, did it swing for the fences for its Season 3 premiere, though, and it not only featured some minor shocks in the burgeoning romance between Jake and Amy, but it gave its new captain plotline a twist worthy of old school M. Night Shyamalan. Brooklyamalan Night-Nine? I’ll work on that.
When Season 2 ended, Captain Holt was promoted outside the Nine-Nine and joined the public relations sector of the NYPD, which meant that the show’s central squad would have a new leader. It was somewhat surprising when it was revealed that Bill Hader was joining the cast as new captain Seth Dozerman, as it seemed like the kind of surprise that creators Dan Goor and Mike Schur would want to hide from audiences. But it became obviously clear why they let that news leak ahead of time, because Hader was only meant to be around for roughly half of an episode, with the ACTUAL new captain being revealed as Dean Winters’ Detective Warren “The Vulture” Pembroke. This was a better shock than almost anything in other modern-day cop shows.
Dean Winters is one of my favorite actors out there, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine fans know him from his two Season 1 episodes, in which he definitely wanted to make people smell his farts. His addition to this crew is perfect, and his semi-antagonism with the Nine-Nine should make for some interesting plotlines as the season goes on, especially if he holds to his word that this are going to get rougher for everyone else.
That is, assuming the writers don’t end up killing him off as well. Dan Goor revealed to EW that the original plan for this story was to kill off a new captain right before each of the episode’s commercial breaks, but they decided that it wouldn’t be that fun for viewers. That might have been weird all at once, but I’d be perfectly willing to watch a half-season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine where each episode ended with the death of a new captain, proving to the powers that be that only Holt can run this precinct. Granted, the Vulture’s douchey behavior probably will be what gets Holt back to the Nine-Nine, but I wouldn’t be against seeing several more excellent cast members popping by for a week at a time.
Here’s how Schur explained getting Winters involved on a more long-term basis.
We love Dean Winters. And we really enjoyed working with him in Season 1. In every episode he was so funny and such a great actor. And then last season he had his show on CBS, so he was unavailable to us. But the reason we chose him for that role specifically was the character has such a strong dynamic with Jake and with the other characters in the office, so it felt like a short cut to comedy to have him in a position above Jake — and the squad.
It’s a shame that Battle Creek had to fail in order to get Winters back on Fox, but we’ll take it.
For next week’s episode of Brooklyn Nine Nine, fans can expect to see Dozerman’s funeral, which should be extremely uncomfortable. Somehow I expect it to be a closed-casket funeral, with a Dozer Pad set up in front of the coffin and calling all the mourners “numbnuts.”