SPOILER ALERT: This story contains plot details from Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s spring premiere, “The Audit,” which aired Tuesday night.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine came back to life Tuesday night — and so did Gina Linetti.
The Fox cop comedy’s spring premiere resolved the hanger that had been cliffing over fans ever since New Year’s Day, when Gina (Chelsea Peretti) was run over by a fast-moving bus. In the opening scene, Captain Holt (Andre Braugher) addressed the Nine-Nine with what appeared to be glum news about the bus accident that swept her off-screen in the fall finale, but the news quickly turned good as he turned out to be reading a 10-page statement from the victim herself. Back for her first day of work post-accident, she sported a medical halo and fielded questions from her colleagues — turns out, getting hit by the bus was awesome, she was legally dead for two minutes, and she saw God, who is “ethnically ambiguous” — before trying in excruciating pain to dance to “Push It.”
The story idea with the not altogether surprising resolution came out of a meeting with Peretti at the beginning of the season. “We were just talking about funny ideas and funny things to do with Gina, and a couple of the ideas that came out of that were ‘Gina gets hits by a bus,’ and ‘Gina wears a medical halo,’” Brooklyn co-creator Dan Goor tells EW. “Both of those just seemed such funny things for Chelsea to be doing. And while we were breaking [the fall finale], we were talking about the text chain that Charles has been left off — which was based on a true life event, which is that all the writers have a text chain that I’ve been left off of — and somebody pitched a joke where Gina said, ‘I’d rather get hit by a bus than receive another text from you.’ And immediately we remembered that we had the whole bus thing and the medical halo, and that joke sparked the story.”
The news that Fox would put Brooklyn Nine-Nine on hiatus until the spring wound up helping the story line, allowing for a logical time jump. “I don’t know what we would have done if it the next episode had been the next week,” says Goor. “We talked about having her in a hospital and we talked about having her at home or living with Charles [Joe Lo Truglio], and Charles having to deal with her. The truth of the matter is, once we decided to do the audit, it became clear we needed all hands on deck for the A and B story, and we also really loved the idea of the halo. Someone pitched that cold open idea and then it all gelled around that.”
Peretti is pregnant in real life, but that did not factor into the accident arc — and it will not be addressed at least in the next few episodes. “With Melissa [who gave birth last season], we had to deal with it because Amy is a cop and she’s running around, but it’s not a thing we have to deal with in a pressing way,” says Goor. “She sits at a desk, so she’s behind a desk a lot. We shot our episodes several months ago, so it’s not a thing that as pressing as it might seem if you’re seeing pictures of her.”
The next time you see Gina, she’ll have graduated to a neck brace, and she’s back on everyone’s case, especially Terry’s. Some context: The Nine-Nine’s audit continues on April 18 as the NYPD looks to close its poorest performing precinct. The new auditor used to date Terry (Terry Crews), and she seems hellbent on revenge, prompting Gina and Amy (Melissa Fumero) to launch a mini-investigation. “The fun of the episode is nobody hates Terry [Terry Crews]; it’s impossible to hate Terry,” says Goor. “So when one person doesn’t like Terry, it drives him a little bit crazy. Amy and Gina play ‘Good cop, bad cop,’ with Gina playing the bad cop as they interrogate Terry.”
For much more season 4 intel from Goor, click here.