It’s once again Halloween heist time in the Nine-Nine, and Holt and Peralta’s battle of wits, tied 1-1, has now entered its third (and, according to the show’s publicity materials, final) edition. Though Peralta and Holt are much more buddy-buddy than when the tradition started, the rivalry is still intense: “Last year, I let the captain win because he’s old and sad,” Peralta says at the opening meeting, leading Holt to immediately respond: “Sad because the competition was so dismal.”
The writers were particularly smart to shake up the format from Peralta robbing Holt to both men attempting to steal the same crown, allowing the whole precinct to get involved — a great decision, since all-hands-antics episodes are where the show shines brightest. That also made for a lot of fun, nimble physical comedy, from Rosa going full Mission: Impossible to steal the crown (but, being Rosa, slicing the briefcase open instead of picking the lock) to Holt somersaulting behind Jake to open the back of a file cabinet while he was distracted by Terry’s adorable twins in their cop costumes.
One distraction, though, had nothing to do with the heist: Boyle went out of his way to set up Gina with the handsome Nadia (Josh Casaubon) so that she wouldn’t be alone during slow-dance nights at the ever-somewhat-creepy Boyle-Linetti parental home. Gina, whose idea of a good start to a relationship involves meeting at an underground dance-off or having her love be a prize in a drag race, rebuffs Nadia, thinking he’s a male prostitute being used as heist bait. (“Bye, whore!”) Of course, she gets a second chance — only to discover that he’s actually Boyle’s girlfriend’s twin brother. And so Boyle and Gina’s weird sexual and familial ties become even weirder.
As for Holt, his transition back to the precinct appears to have been pretty seamless — although it would have been nice for the show to at least drop a mention of the fate of Dean Winters’s Vulture, who was undoubtedly less than pleased to cede the captain’s chair. I’m curious to see if his time away will shake things up in any way for the show (who’s going to answer all those emails on the NYPD billboards now that he’s changed jobs?), but I think it’s likely that things will just return to the status quo, at least until the next evil plan Wuntch manages to hatch.
Of course, the true winner of the night was Amy, who was confronted with the realization that no one wanted her on her team for fear she would be a mole, since she’s Jake’s girlfriend and desires nothing more than Holt’s approbation. The twist of her striking out on her own and doing them both one better could be seen coming from a mile away (“Al” the janitor has a rather petite stature), but it was executed with a lot of spirit and fun, and it was nice to see her take the crown in the end after making everyone else race up 31 flights of stairs and puke a few times along the way. Even though Amy is the “brain” of the group, it’s often Peralta and Holt who are the ones seen cracking big cases, including last week’s serial-killer doozy that brought Holt back into the fold at the precinct. So it’s nice to see the show take a moment to recognize that Amy’s no slouch, and that, as she says herself, she has an identity beyond Jake’s girlfriend and Holt’s protégée. If this is the last heist, then it’s a good way to go out. All hail the queen.
- In case you missed it, here’s my interview with Andy Samberg from Friday, in which he discusses the Halloween episode and other stuff related to the show.
- Impressive of Boyle to put roaches in his pants in order to scare Gina, who has only one wish in what she believes to be her final moments: “If I die, turn my tweets into a book!”
- I loved the secret handshakes between the various team members. Andre Braugher gives the most dignified secret handshake ever.
- Boyle once again got razzed for his love of Halloween costumes via an elaborate prank in the cold open. I particularly liked that everyone pretended to not know what is costume was. “He’s Elvis! Elvis Stojko, the Canadian figure skater!”
- Peralta trying to say he and Amy were in on it all along was not a good look. “Get back over to the losers’ side, loser!” Also, he both told her he loved her and attempted to propose to her in the course of wheedling her — that’s gonna be a fun conversation later on.
- Andy Samberg freaking out every time he set off the electronic cackling witch was pretty great. “Scary witch! Scary, so scary.”
- No B99 next week because baseball. See you November 8!