Warning: spoilers ahead for the April 11 episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Fox has one of the most consistently funny sitcoms on the airwaves with Brooklyn Nine-Nine, but it occasionally toys with plots that aren’t quite hilarious. The Season 4 winter finale featured Gina Linetti getting hit by a bus, and it… well, it was pretty funny, but it also looked an awful lot like she was tragically killed off. Luckily for Gina fans, the spring premiere of Brooklyn Nine-Nine revealed almost immediately that she survived the traffic accident. Co-creator Dan Goor has revealed why the Brooklyn Nine-Nine team realized they had to save Gina, saying this:
We were a little bit surprised by the level of Internet concern about her survival. Not because we didn’t think people loved her — we knew people loved her — but it just felt clear to us that we would never kill off a beloved character. So I think once we read [the fans’] tweets… we realized we really should pay it off almost instantly and let people know what’s going on.
Let it not be said that Twitter is a total waste of time! It seems that the social media reaction to Gina getting smacked by a bus was enough to convince Dan Goor and Co. that they had to bring her back as soon as possible in the spring premiere. Goor explained why Gina’s fate was revealed in the cold open in a chat with TVLine, and it goes to show that fans can indeed influence the direction of TV at times.
The social media reaction may be what motivated the crew at Brooklyn Nine-Nine to dedicate the spring premiere’s cold open to revealing Gina’s fate, but it turns out that her Salt-N-Pepa “Push It” dance in her medical halo was planned well ahead of time. Dan Goor went on to share the inspiration for the medical halo dance:
At the beginning of the season, Chelsea [Peretti] came into the writers’ room and we discussed different ideas. One of the things we talked about… was putting her in a medical halo, and so in a way, the tail was really wagging the dog. She got hit by a bus because we wanted to put her in the halo.
Just think – if not for Chelsea Peretti‘s willingness to strap into a medical halo and the fans’ enthusiasm on social media, we might never have gotten to see Gina bust a move in the spring premiere. Thankfully, Brooklyn Nine-Nine spared the character’s life and gave away the game right off the bat, and we got to see some of the surprisingly heartwarming ridiculousness that fans have come to expect out of cold opens. As far as I’m concerned, the only way it could have been better is if Captain Holt would have yelled “Hot damn!” at some point, if only because Andre Braugher losing his composure as Holt is unfailingly funny.