The episode escalates to a somewhat contrived situation where there are two parties – a fun one in the basement, a flat one in the den with the captain – and everyone has to take shifts between the two. While the captain’s ideas of fun discussion and activity flummox the rest of his precinct, the alive party gives way to two rather good subplots sandwiched in the middle of a stuffed episode.
The first is Gina’s (and the audience’s) interest in seeing what happens to Amy when she reaches six drinks. (A terrific bar-set montage shows that her first five states of intoxication per beverage go, in order: spacy Amy, loud Amy, Amy Dancepants, pervert Amy and weirdly confident Amy.) Considering how much Gina likes to mock Amy’s goody two-shoes routine, the need to bond the characters closer over a weekend getaway was inspired. Unlike some of the harsher retreats from character we have seen with Amy earlier this season (regarding her smoking and inept relationship skills), it was nice to see the oft-excellent Melissa Fumero go gradually through many stages of delirium this week, instead of going immediately into overdrive.
Meanwhile, Rosa’s awkward transition from her regular rough demeanor to blushing over a growing romance with Marcus gets a strong ally in Boyle. He tries to help her craft some texts to Marcus that reject her thorny impulses and are more aligned with Hallmark-like sentimentality. (According to Boyle, texting is the most intimate thing you can do to a lover with your fingers – other than washing their hair, of course.) The best part of this subplot is how it brings Rosa and Boyle together without having to refer to how he clumsily pursued her romantically last season.
However, upon its last scenes, “Beach House” comes to a conclusion that would have been better to acknowledge as soon as Jake arrived at “Chateau Boyle” with Cpt. Holt in tow. One can only imagine the loose, manic fun that this episode could have been if Cpt. Holt had just surrendered to join in on the games and gossip, which he inevitably agrees to. The giddy contest in the last scene could have extended into the entire episode. In this conclusion, Jake tests how well the group knows Cpt. Holt by seeing if they can spot his fake one-liners. Unfortunately, episode scribes Lakshmi Sundaram and David Phillips do not know the Nine-Nine’s captain well enough to just let him loose for a winter weekend of fun with his precinct.