Sunday, October 25, 2015

REVIEW: 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' - Jake & Holt's Annual Heist Continues as They Attempt to Steal a Crown in 'Halloween, Part III'

FOX's Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Episode 3.05 "Halloween, Part III"

The third installment of Captain Holt and Jake's Halloween heist culminates with a tie-breaking competition to claim the title of "amazing detective slash genius." This year, Jake and Holt split the squad into two teams to help them win.

The Halloween heist episodes have become a staple on Brooklyn Nine-Nine during the first part of its seasons. The first one showed that Jake was capable of beating Holt in some aspect of their jobs together while the second one showed just how far their dynamic had developed since those early days. Now, the two of them are coming off solving a serious case together. They stopped a serial killer and got Holt reinstated as captain of the Nine-Nine. That was a major victory and it was only made possibly because the two of them understand each other so well now. Both of them take this year's heist very seriously because it's the tie-breaker. This one will determine who really is an "amazing detective slash genius."

Overall, these heist episodes are a ton of fun - especially in repeat viewings once one is aware of what the big twist is. The setup this year is slightly different than the previous two. Both Holt and Jake are trying to steal the same object. It's much more complicated than Jake simply trying to take something from Holt. It's a prize that both of them want so much and will do anything in order to get it. It's a lot of fun to watch even though the big reveal with Amy was pretty apparent as soon as Jake and Holt started isolating her from the game.

A crown is the prize to be won this year. It is locked in a briefcase which is locked in the interrogation room. Jake has Charles and Rosa on his side while Holt has Terry and Gina. It's understandable how the teams were divided like that. Those character dynamics work so well. That makes them easy to work together in the hopes of winning the prize this year. It's amusing to watch as Jake and Charles distract Gina while Rosa retrieves the crown. She does all the hard work. All the guys had to do was be a diversion. But that victory is short-lived because they fell into a sense of overconfidence. Holt wanted them to break the crown out so that they could get it to the much more accessible new target: Jake's filing cabinet. Terry brings his family in as the distraction while Holt unscrews the cabinet from behind. The best part of that sequence is Holt getting done in time to photo bomb Jake's picture with Cagney and Lacey. But again, this plot is short-lived because Holt has to ditch the crown quickly in the trash can. It's all a part of Amy's grand plan to steal the crown right from underneath both of them. She outsmarted both Jake and Holt and came out victorious by sending them on a hopeless chase after a janitor.

Amy winning is great because it shows that this isn't just a game between Jake and Holt. It started out as that. They have gotten help in the past but it was all about ensuring either Jake or Holt would win. This year Amy decides to disrupt the game so that she could walk away with the top prize. It was her way of being victorious after Jake and Holt sidelined her - along with Hitchcock and Scully. This competition is no longer just about the dynamic between Jake and Holt. Amy is a crucial part of the show as well. Her dynamic to those two characters is different now than it was in the past. It feels right that they would both over-analyze the situation and be mean to her. It also feels right that she would take the crown for herself. This is now a game that anyone in the Nine-Nine can get in on. That will surely complicate things in the future where it could be an every man for himself situation. That's an enticing prospect. It's all capable of happening because of how strong this ensemble has become. As Amy points out in her victory speech, she is so much more than Holt's protégé and Jake's girlfriend. She is a great detective too.

This episode is largely about the big heist that captivates the precinct. It doesn't really have time to be distracted by any subplots. However, there is enough time for Gina and Charles to talk about other things as they stand on lookout duty for a part of the heist that is not the big destination for very long. He has a new guy who he wants to set her up with. She's skeptical and thinks it's just a play to distract her from the mission at hand. But he is very serious. That wasn't the distraction she needed to be worried about. This guy, Leo, is someone who she would be interested in. But that makes her wonder how Charles knows him in the first place. It's all a setup for the final reveal of the episode that Leo is Genevieve's twin brother. Charles has committed to the sibling relationship much more than Gina has. And now, he wants them to date a pair of siblings too. This could get uncomfortable and very funny very quickly.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Halloween, Part III" was written by David Phillips and directed by Michael McDonald.
  • Again, the teaser followed a predictable pattern to the previous season's Halloween episodes. But it was still very funny. Charles didn't want to dress up because the rest of the squad always ridicules him for his costume. But he arrives only to see everyone else in costume, quickly leaves and comes back to a room where he is once again the only person dressed up.
  • What was your favorite Halloween costume in that opening scene? I loved that both Hitchcock and Scully were dressed up as mustard.
  • As the cherry on top of her master plan, Amy got the rest of the squad to run up 31 flights of stairs despite a perfectly working elevator. That was a genius move.
  • So Terry's wife and kids came to the precinct at 9:30? Isn't that a little late for toddlers that age plus a pregnant woman on bed rest to be out?
  • Charles: "Sir, permission to sprint to my car and get my emergency costume?" Holt: "Does it matter if I say no?" Charles: "No!"
  • Terry: "Is this meeting about anything?" Jake: "It's about everything!"
  • Holt: "Hold on Santiago, I'm not sure I can trust you. You're Peralta's... paramour. Maybe you should be on his team." Jake: "No, no, no. Amy would do anything to win your approval - including pretending to be in a relationship with me for the past few weeks only to betray me now."
  • Amy: "Why does everything think that's where a camera would be?" Holt: "Because the cleavage cloaks the camera with its curves."
  • Jake: "When did you come up with all those code names?"
  • Jake and Holt: "Amy Santiago is an amazing detective slash genius."