Welcome back to my weekly review and recap of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” To catch up on previous coverage, click here.
Your enjoyment of Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s latest Halloween Heist endeavor will depend on how much pure silliness you can handle as the series allows all of the characters off the rails or reality. The Halloween installments of the series have always been best digested as a separate entity to the rest of the series as there is typically little to no logic involved in just how the team is able to get away with the heist and how disruptive it is in the first place. Joke heavy with all of the characters being dialed up to ten, “Halloween IV” is by far the funniest episode of season four so far and a strong reminder of just how superb these characters are that we can watch them do nothing but goof off for 20 minutes and end the episode no less engaged or wanting more.
Here are some things I liked.
*Amy and Rosa are a pairing that has always excelled when written together because of how much they differ in just about everything. Amy is neurotic while Rosa is mysterious, Amy desperate to please and Rosa to be left alone. When they come together for a story line the audience should always expect some comedy gold and this weeks episode is no different, especially since, much to Amy’s delight, it offers Rosa a chance to fully climb aboard Amy’s train of logic when it comes to winning the heist. Rosa tells Amy that she has a night where she won’t make fun of any of Amy’s ideas because she wants to win. This means that Rosa goes above and beyond the line of duty and reads Amy’s favorite books, The Babysitters Club. It’s nice to see two powerful women working together but also getting to funny all on their own in their own part of the plot. Another highlight is the call back to Amy being a smoker, as we find where she stashes her stress cigarettes. A character as tightly wound as Amy is sure to have her own vices and this gives the show a needed touch of reality.
*Holt is absolutely ridiculous. Each week I wonder just how Andre Braugher is going to out do himself from the week before and this season we’ve already gotten the delightful gems of him power walking, “boost my bottom” and his forced laughter from the episode “Night Shift”. This week he again manages to find a way to surprise, both with his wickedly demeaning nick name and delivery of it, “Pork Chop” to Boyle but also the sheer feral rage that he embodies as Holt ludicrously breaks through the glass after Jake has locked him in his office. Captain Holt and his monotonous delivery still offers a lot of hilarity in and of itself but what’s better is seeing him get swept up in the mayhem that in the past he might have simply ignored. He doesn’t take part in office shenanigans as much as the rest of the cast, but as the seasons have progressed and he’s developed relationships with the characters we’ve been treated to Holt that once in a while is just as ridiculous as Jake. It’s a nice reminder that our two leads are more similar than they may appear on paper.
* Similarly it was nice to see Jake play the “straight man” character this week as Boyle, Holt, Gina and even Bill, the male hustler he picked up off the street to play Boyle’s body double, all get to play heightened versions of their character. Andy Samberg playing exasperated to Bill was just as funny as Boyle waging an internal war with himself regarding double crossing Jake to prove to Holt that he was a good pick as a partner.
*Gina stole the show. Sure, once Gina ran head first into a beam and “supposedly” lost her two front teeth it was pretty obvious that she was going to be the mysterious puller of the strings, especially since the show was hinting too hard for it to be Terry, who ended up being a red herring for the squad. Instead it was Gina, whose main gripe was that the trophy said best detective/genius, making it exclusionary to her. Her winning the heist means that going forward the award will be called best human/genius, perfectly befitting someone as self-involved as Gina. Finding out that her two front teeth were false due to a bowling ball to the face on the fifth minute of a seven minutes in heaven gone awry only made it better.
It will be curious to see if after this season the show continues with their annual Halloween installment. This feels as if it could be a natural culmination of a storyline but it allows for a lot of hilarity in a small space of time. If Brooklyn Nine-Nine continues season four the way it has been in the last few weeks we should find confidence in the fact that even after a few years the writers, creators and actors don’t appear to be slowing down.