[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 8 Episode 4, “Balancing.”]
It’s an episode many a sitcom arrives at: New parents, overwhelmed with the responsibility but desperate to cling to their pre-baby lives, maintain that everything is fine and that they can have it all.
That’s exactly what happens to Jake (Andy Samberg) and Amy (Melissa Fumero) in “Balancing.” Jake has a once-in-a-lifetime shot to take down his “nemesis,” a serial killer who’s been taunting him for decades. Meanwhile, Amy has to prep for a presentation to the NYPD board to hopefully get funding for their pilot program about how uniformed officers get deployed. But they can’t both chase their work-related dreams — someone has to watch Mac. And thus, the balance starts to slip.
Jake’s biggest concern is catching the killer. He and Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) track a series of elaborate clues that prove it really is the guy Jake’s been trying to put away, but just as the investigation starts to get interesting, Jake has to step away to take care of Mac. Meanwhile, Amy experiences the same thing as she tries to prepare for her presentation, but she can’t get everything down before she, too, has to step away. At one point, both Amy and Jake realize they forgot their son at daycare!
Jake says they could just leave Mac watching TV for a while, but Amy’s reluctant to leave care of her child to a screen. All their babysitters are busy, and so are their family members, so they’re forced to look to the public for babysitters — and all the applicants are darned creepy. Meanwhile, the killer Jake’s been trying to catch goes after Boyle, leaving clues for him to find and breaking into his house. Boyle’s not in danger, really, though, and Jake’s mostly just bummed that his nemesis seems to have moved on. Oh, and the family winds up getting lice, because Mac’s daycare had a lice problem.
Things come to a head (ha!) as the duo bring Mac into the precinct and leave him in Hitchcock’s (Joel McKinnon Miller) care. Jake and Boyle get a recording of Mac crying from the killer and realize they know who it is — it was one of the creepy applicants for the babysitting job. Boyle says they have to go get him, but Jake stays behind to be with his son.
For Amy, things aren’t going so well. With everything falling apart she hasn’t had time to dress or prepare much for her presentation, so it seems funding will go to the uber-attractive competition. Or at least, that’s how it would’ve happened if Terry (Terry Crews) wasn’t there to spill some strategically-placed water all over the guy, making it look like he had an accident. Thanks, Terry!
While all of this is going on, Holt (Andre Braugher) and Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz) have a heart-to-heart about Holt’s marital problems. Or at least they do once they’re both drunk… and Holt realizes the next day that he sent his ex-husband an, uh, inappropriate photo. He and Rosa go to his house to delete the photo from his email before Kevin (Marc Evan Jackson) can see it, but in the end, it doesn’t matter — Rosa points out that Kevin seemed to want Holt to stay when they were inevitably caught in the house, and the couple ends up exchanging sexy texts anyway.
In the end, all is well and Mac even hits a milestone: He stands up, which was something Amy was worried about (he was behind other kids his age). The parents are overjoyed, and work takes a backseat as they celebrate their family.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Thursdays, 8/7c and 8:30/7:30c, NBC