'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' Boss on Those Surprising Exits — and the Big Kiss

As the cops of Brooklyn's 99th precinct bid two farewell and another couple lock lips for the first time, THR catches up with show co-creator Dan Goor to tackle the finale's biggest questions.
Courtesy of FOX

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from the season two finale of Fox's Brooklyn Nine-Nine.]

Hello, goodbye.

The second season of Fox’s cop comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine wrapped Sunday with new beginnings and two potential farewells, as the cops of the 99th precinct said goodbye to two of their own — the formidable Captain Holt (Andre Braugher) and his lovely and occasionally crazy assistant, Gina (Chelsea Peretti).

"The philosophy that [The Office creator] Greg Daniels passed on to [Parks and Recreation and Brooklyn Nine-Nine co-creator] Mike Schur, who passed it on to me, is that when it comes to these finales, you write as big and exciting a finale as you can,” Nine-Nine co-creator Dan Goor tells The Hollywood Reporter about the finale’s big twists. “[You] paint yourself into the furthest corner and then you spend the offseason trying to get out of that jam.”

The episode starts out simply enough, as Jake (Andy Samberg) and Amy (Melissa Fumero) are tasked with tracking a criminal deal and taking down an elusive, big-fish buyer. As Jake reveals his feelings for his co-worker, despite her recent “no dating cops" rule, their case complicates matters further and requires them to go undercover as a newly engaged couple — PDA distractions and all — to monitor the deal.

Meanwhile, as Holt is still reeling from his nemesis, bureau chief Madeline Wuntch’s (Kyra Sedgwick) latest power play — promoting the stoic captain to a desk job with the Department of Public Relations — he employs Terry (Terry Crews) and Gina to help blackmail Wuntch and save his position.

However, Wuntch turns the tables on Holt, threatening to essentially disband the entire precinct. Holt is forced to take the promotion, leaving the Nine-Nine with a (controlled) emotional goodbye as Gina joins his side and leaves with him.

Jake and Amy, dancing around their mutual feelings, finally share a real, non-undercover kiss. However, before they can talk it out, the rest of the gang calls them to the floor as they wait for the elevators to open to reveal their new captain.

So who’s behind the door? What’s next for Jake and Amy? And what does Holt and Gina’s departure mean for their future on the show? THR caught up with co-creator and showrunner Goor to get all the answers to the finale’s burning questions and preview what’s to come in season three.

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The finale saw the Nine-Nine say goodbye to Holt and Gina. Are they leaving the show or will we see them again next season?

If we got rid of them, Fox would have the right to call the police, handcuff us, and throw us off of cliffs. They are critical, wonderful castmembers who are incredibly funny. They are still regulars and we will be following them. The idea behind Gina going with Holt was to make it as clear as possible that Holt was not leaving the show, but they will be leaving the Nine-Nine for the beginning of the season. You’ll see a new captain of the Nine-Nine and you’ll see Holt and Gina in their new jobs.

What can you tease about this new captain? Do you have any idea about who will play him or her?

We haven’t cast anyone yet, but we have some really exciting ideas in a lot different directions. There’s a chance that it’s just a new captain and there’s a chance there’s a new captain and a new Gina. It’ll be very cool to see how the new captain acts like a stone tossed into a lake and see what ripples come from that. And there’s also a chance to meet some new people in Holt’s new office as well.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is such a funny show, but that last moment when Holt says goodbye is really quite dramatic and emotional. How do you negotiate those more serious moments in the show? Do you feel you have to work extra hard to earn those moments?

One of the big arcs we’ve done over the first two seasons is Holt’s inclusion in the group and Holt becoming part of the family. When he left, we knew what he meant to each of those characters and we know what each of those characters meant to him. Also, we had the luxury of having one of the finest actors on the planet delivering those lines, and when [Andre] is saying and believing those words, it’s very hard not to get caught up in the moment.

In terms of negotiating the comedy and drama, that’s something we talk about the entire time because it is a comedy at the end of the day, and, even when there are these heartfelt moments, you want to try to sprinkle a little bit of comedy in there. I have to give Luke Del Tridici [the episode’s writer] credit: That scene worked from the first draft on. Then we came up with this idea that Gina would volunteer to go with Holt and then we would undercut the whole scene by having Scully [Joel McKinnon Miller] volunteer and having Holt say it’s not necessary. The trick of it was to blow up that emotional balloon, then pop it at the very end.

With this latest move in a long game of chess between Wuntch and Holt, is it fair to expect that Kyra Sedgwick will be back in season three?

Kyra Sedgwick is an incredibly talented and in-demand actress, but we want her back and she’s definitely in the DNA in the show at this point. Nobody gets what she gets out of Holt.

Are there any other characters/guest stars you’d love to come back?

The people we’re really 100 percent hoping to get back are Craig Robinson [the Pontiac Bandit], and Boyle and [Gina] Linetti’s parents, Sandra Bernhard and Stephen Root. We take a page from Parks and Rec, who took a page from The Simpsons, which is that once somebody is in our world, we like for them to stay in our world, and we want to see them as much as possible. Any one of our characters can come back as long as they are still alive.

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The other big development of the finale was the kiss between Amy and Jake. Will that just be a moment between the two of them or will they actually explore a romantic relationship in season three?

We will definitely explore that moment. It wasn’t just a thing for the finale, and it’s not a thing that we’re going to have them say in the first episode, “I can’t believe that happened, let’s never talk about it.” We’ll definitely explore what it’s like for those two characters, who are very different people but clearly are attracted to each other and who work together, to have had that.

Did you always know that you wanted that relationship to get to this point so early in your run?

We have really tried to play it by ear and be observational about the characters and the actors and see how the chemistry developed. It was a natural place to get to. There is a lot of comedy to be played between these two characters trying to figure out what is happening between the two of them now that they’ve kissed and they work together and there’s a new captain. That was an important aspect in bringing them together: "Can we make them funny if they’ve kissed?"

As a showrunner, what are you looking forward to most in season three?

I have a Prius, and when you get to 15,000 miles, its efficiency, miles per gallon, goes way up, because all the parts of the engine wear down enough so there’s less friction. There’s an element of that that is like being a showrunner. Once you’ve logged 15,000 miles, there’s a little less friction, so I’m hoping that season three will be even greater.

There has been a lot of heated debate about police in the news of late. Is that something that’s been discussed in the writers room? Does that conversation pose any challenges to writing a comedic cop show?

It’s a difficult question to answer, and it’s something we’re trying to figure out. At the end of the day, this is a goofy, funny sitcom. We are interested in these issues; we talk about them and we try to figure out stories and ways of dealing with them. The obstacle is we don’t want to in any way minimize the stories, but also, in trying to get laughs, make it seem like we don’t take these issues seriously. Our dream would be to find a way to deal with some of these issues, give them their proper gravity, have a story that is satisfying to the viewer and is funny. These issues require a lot of thought and conversation and we don’t want to shortchange them by the physical fact that the show is only 21½ minutes. That said, this is the world we chose to set our show in and these issues are undeniably in that world now. I ran into Norman Lear sitting on a bench at LAX and I introduced myself. He’s a god in this industry and his shows dealt with all of the issues of the day. So, yes, we would like to address these issues but we will only do so if we feel that we can do so in a way that doesn’t shortchange or diminish those issues at all.

What did you think of the finale? Excited by the prospect of a Jake and Amy romance? Did you tear up at Holt’s farewell? Sound off in the comments below. Brooklyn Nine-Nine returns in the fall on Fox.

Twitter: @NotPhelan

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