Nov 28, 2013

TV Recap: Brooklyn Nine-Nine - "Thanksgiving"

Left to right: Terry Crews, Dirk Blocker, Stephanie Beatriz,
Joe Lo Truglio, Andre Braugher, Joel McKinnon Miller,
Chelsea Peretti and Melissa Fumero
Welcome to a weekly recap of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which is one of the funniest and freshest new comedies currently airing on TV. Follow us every Thursday as we break down the episode into all of the important beats from the plot to character moments that are worth giving another shout-out. With an all-star comedy cast, this recap series will hopefully give you the information you need as well as reason to watch Fox on Tuesdays.

Crime of the Week: Somebody steals money from the police department and it is up to Peralta (Andy Samberg) and Holt (Andre Braugher) to figure out who did it.

Andy Samberg
Peralta Problem: Due to unknown reasons, Peralta hates Thanksgiving and finds every way possible to not get wrapped up in Santiago's (Melissa Fumero) dinner party.

Subplot of the Week: Santiago throws a Thanksgiving dinner party that goes horribly wrong and forces everyone to find other ways to celebrate the holiday.

Best Joke: Because Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) is such a predictable character, the crew decides to hold "Boyle Bingo" by marking off his traits. It is a running joke that pops up at unexpected points and reflects just how confidently the show is on both the character dynamics and how they can be ridiculous without being degrading.

Michael Marc Friedman
Culprit: Donny (Michael Marc Friedman) was the brother of someone who got out of a holding cell and stole the money to pay off a Pai Gow bookie.

Resolution: Holt convinces Peralta to find new traditions to enjoy Thanksgiving instead of wallowing in his past. Boyle saves the day by getting all of the best foods from places open and having dinner at the station. Terry (Terry Crews) finally stops complaining about being hungry and enjoys eating all of the food that he can.

Verdict: Even if the overall premise is familiar, these characters have impressively grown over the course of the show's first 10 episodes. From the Boyle Bingo to Terry arguing about food all of the time, this is an episode more about spending time with the crew than taking sides and going on quests. It is endearing that we know who these people are and can understand their struggles. We feel bad for Santiago's inability to cook and Boyle's ability to find the best food spots in Brooklyn. Even Holt's continuing exploration into his family (his mother is called "Your Honor" adds absurd realism to the show. Peralta's prejudice towards the holiday may be a tad familiar, but it does make for an exciting moment when Holt is convinced to follow Peralta's lead and tell people about his fake wife's death by a man in a yellow sweater. Even if they still aren't on the same page, they understand each other well enough to work as a unit. This is the show working at all of the characters' best, and with only 10 episodes it is pretty impressive of how confident it is.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Bonus: There is overlap between Bob's Burgers episode "Turkey in a Can" and this week's Brooklyn Nine-Nine. It is strange that two Fox shows both feature a gag in which a turkey is thrown into a toilet. It almost seemed to come out of nowhere and while it was fitting with the story, almost seems like too much of a coincidence for it to be just that.

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