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"Unsolvable" is the 21st episode of Season One of FOX television show Brooklyn Nine-Nine. It originally aired on 18th March 2014 to 2.50 million viewers.

Episode Synopsis[]

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Flashback to 8 years ago

Jake and Terry try to solve an unsolvable case that they worked on eight years ago while Amy lies to Captain Holt about pulling out her wisdom teeth to get out of a community organization so that she and Teddy can go on a romantic trip to Berkshires. Charles and Vivian are trying to decide about moving to Ottawa, but it is hard for Boyle to find some privacy at the precinct so Rosa and Gina let him use their secret bathroom, Babylon, but Hitchcock and Scully also want to be in on the secret.


Captain Holt enters the the precinct wearing a wrist splint, so Amy inquires what happened. He declines to answer, causing the detectives to speculate the cause of his injury. Jake is sure it had to be something embarrassing or else Holt would have told them what had occurred. Holt soon notices the detectives gossiping and to put an end to it, he claims that he tripped over uneven sidewalk and sprained his wrist. When the detectives return to their work, Holt privately reveals to Jake that he actually injured his wrist while hula hooping in a fitness class. Jake, amazed by this news, asks Holt why he shared this information with him. Holt says it’s because no one will ever believe that story if Jake decides to share it with anyone.

Later, Jake brings in a perp, making it his 23rd arrest that month. This is a new precinct record. Because of all of his hard work, Holt gives Jake the weekend off of work. Jake thanks him, and says he’ll spend the weekend sleeping and doing laundry.

Amy enters the precinct with an overnight bag. When Jake asks her what it’s for, she tells him that she and Teddy are heading to the Berkshires that weekend for a romantic getaway. Amy asks Jake about his weekend plans, and despite having been given the weekend off, he tells her that he will be spending the entire weekend working.

Rosa walks in on Charles, who is on the phone in the janitor’s closet. He tells her that he was trying to find a private place to talk to Vivian. The couple is still discussing whether they are going to move to Canada. Rosa promises to help him find a better place to talk on the phone.

Teddy enters the precinct and tries to play a prank on Amy by pretending his finger is a gun pointed at her back. Unfortunately for him, Amy springs into action and restrains his arm behind his back. Once she releases him, Teddy explains that he just wanted to stop by and see her before they went away for the weekend. Gina overhears and asks what their plans are for the weekend. After Amy describes their itinerary, Gina reminds her that she promised to help Holt with his community outreach meeting that weekend.

Amy is upset that she forgot that she promised to help Holt, so Teddy tells her that they can reschedule their weekend. Gina suggest that instead of canceling, that Amy should just lie to Holt. Amy, refusing to lie, tells Gina that she’ll just be honest and tell Holt she made a mistake.

Jake approaches Terry’s desk with an an old case file in his hand. The case 52ABX-32QJ, which the two detectives previously worked on together, is notoriously unsolvable. Jake tells Terry that he plans to spend this weekend solving the case and eventually Terry agrees to help.

As Jake briefs Terry on the case, they realize that there is no new information since the last time they looked at it eight years ago. They only know that Nate Dexter was a criminal who made someone angry enough to blow up his boat but nothing was found except for his finger and melted torso. Jake suggests that they start at the victim, Nate Dexter’s, apartment. When they arrive, they discover that Nate’s building had since been demolished.

At the precinct, Rosa confronts Gina about sharing their secret bathroom, Babylon, with Charles so that he can call Vivian from there. Gina is reluctant, but agrees when Rosa threatens to shred her favorite wolf blanket.

Jake and Terry head to the New York State Penitentiary to interview Nate’s last known associates. Despite Jake's optimism, the detectives learn no new information. They then prepare to visit the last suspect, Frank Williams, in the infirmary.

Amy tell Holt that she won’t be able to help him with his meeting. When he asks her why, she lies and says she has a dental emergency. She needs to get her wisdom teeth removed. Holt is concerned that she’s been suffering through that sort of pain, but Amy claims to be strong.

Gina and Rosa lead a frightened Charles through a decrepit hallway of the precinct. Rosa pulls aside a stack of boxes to reveal a pristine private bathroom. The two women tell Charles he has to promise not to reveal the bathroom to anyone and Gina forces him to make a blood pact.

In the infirmary, Jake and Terry question a badly beaten Frank Williams. When the two detectives promise to move Frank to a new cell block where he’ll be less likely to be attacked, Frank reveals that Nate owed money to a man named Sam Bunsen. This is the detectives first new lead.

Captain Holt checks up on Amy dental pain. She insures him that she can tough it out until tomorrow, but he insists that she visit his brother-in-law, who is a dentist, immediately. Holt informs her that he already set up an appointment for her later that evening. He also offers to drive her to and from the dentist office.

Jake is unable to find Sam Bunsen in the database, but Terry informs him that he has tracked down his wife, who hasn’t seen him in years.

Scully and Hitchcock confront Charles in the copy room. They reveal that they have been watching him all day and have deduced that he has been going to a secret bathroom. They demand him to tell them where it is.

In the interrogation room, Terry and Jake have Sam Bunsen’s wife hooked up to a lie detector. She tells the detectives with certainty that there’s no way her husband killed Nate Dexter. She passes the test, but Jake refuses to believe that the lead was a dead end.

At the dentist, Amy is being examined as Holt sits close-by. When the dentist suggest they take a look at Amy’s x-rays, she fesses up to Holt that she had forgotten agreeing to help him that weekend. She apologizes for lying, but comforts herself with the fact that she has great teeth. The dentist interjects saying that over brushing has resulted in her having seven cavities. Having been lied to, Holt shows no remorse.

Gina verbally attacks Charles when she discovers Hitchcock and Scully in Babylon. He apologizes for being weak, but Rosa stands up for him because he’s having a hard time with Vivian.

When Jake won’t drop the case, despite having proof that the lie detector test was working fine, Terry goes home to spend time with his family. The next morning Terry arrives an hour early to meet Jake, who didn’t sleep at all last night. He says that he re-watched the interrogation tape and found something interesting. Jake leads Terry to the interrogation room where he reveals Nate Dexter, who is alive.

It turns out that the burnt remains found years ago belonged to Sam Bunsen. Nate and Sam’s wife were having an affair. When Sam found out, Nate killed him. The remains were thought to be Nate because his severed finger was found at the scene. Nate had cut off the finger himself. Jake had tracked down Nate by asking his informants about a nine-fingered man.

Gina lets Rosa and Charles know that through negotiations she was able to get Hitchcock and Scully to promise to never use Babylon again.

At Shaw’s Bar, Jake is surprised to see Amy there. She informs him that she had a dental emergency. He is again surprised by this as he knows that she is a really good brusher. When Teddy joins them, Jake becomes visibly uncomfortable and hurries away soon after.

Amy confronts Captain Holt at the bar. She apologizes for lying and asks his permission to take off the following weekend with Teddy. Holt agrees.

Terry joins Jake at a corner table. He noticed that Jake had been acting oddly and tells him he needs to deal with whatever is bothering him. Motion to Amy and Teddy, Jake lets Terry know that he can’t deal with it at the moment. The two detectives agree to get drunk and three hours later are seen dancing and singing around the bar.


Actor Character
Andy Samberg ... Jake Peralta
Stephanie Beatriz ... Rosa Diaz
Terry Crews ... Terry Jeffords
Melissa Fumero ... Amy Santiago
Joe Lo Truglio ... Charles Boyle
Chelsea Peretti ... Gina Linetti
Andre Braugher ... Captain Ray Holt
Dirk Blocker ... Michael Hitchcock
Joel McKinnon Miller ... Norm Scully
Kyle Bornheimer ... Teddy Wells
Heather Olt  ... Sophia Bunsen
Dan Donohue ... Dr. Martin Cozner
Richard Lee Burch ... Old Mobster
Jack Nathan Harding ... Frank
Pete Hulne ... Nate Borgio
Robert Michael Lee ... Abel
Ingo Neuhaus ... Alfonso
Tim Perez ... Tattooed Con
Big Spence ... Muscular Con
William Watterson ... Sinister Con

Cultural References[]

  • Gina suggests that Holt may be in a fight club. This is a reference to the movie “Fight Club.”
  • The unsolvable case is actually a reference to the conclusion of the show Dexter.
  • Jake mentions that there's no more Blockbuster anymore, in the 8-year gap since looking again into the old case.
  • As Amy enters Holt’s office to inform him she won’t be able to help him with his weekend meeting, she greets him with “Hello, Captain my old friend. I’ve come to talk with you again.” This is similar to lyrics from “The Sound of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel.
  • When Amy claims to be quietly suffering through dental pain, she says “I am a rock. I am an island.” These are lyrics from “I Am A Rock” by Simon & Garfunkel.
  • Jake reveals that through a previous game of “lie detector truth or dare,” Charles admitted that he had a crush on the cartoon teapot from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
  • Charles admits to being terrified by the talking monkeys in Planet of the Apes.
  • The lie detector test reveals that Jake’s favorite musician isn’t actually Jay-Z, but instead Taylor Swift.
  • Nate cutting off his finger to fake his death is a similar plot point to Peter Pettigrew from the Harry Potter series.


  • Charles plays "Whatta Man" by Salt ’N’ Pepa to celebrate Jake’s arrest record, which Terry and Jake sing along to after a few drinks.
  • Jake sings an impromptu song titled “Beatdown Boulevard”:
Ohhh, Beatdown Boulevard
Is the toughest street in town
And if you step to a gangsta crew
You’re bound to get beat down
Ah ha ha ha ha