By Mina Haq
Halloween at the 99th precinct can only mean one thing: ridiculous costumes and absurd bets with minimal actual crime fighting. On this week’s episode of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” Jake and Captain Holt recreate their bet from last year’s Halloween, but with a lot of new twists, and Gina struggles to balance her dance group “Floorgasms” rehearsals with her new secret time commitment (no, it’s not Boyle).
For those of you who don’t remember or haven’t seen last year’s Halloween episode, it involved Jake and Holt making a bet that Jake could steal Holt’s highly protected medal of valor, with the loser having to do the other’s paperwork or work overtime for a week. Jake won in a strange twist of events last year, causing Holt to increase the stakes. This time, Jake bets Holt that he can steal the watch right off his wrist by the end of the day. If Jake wins, Holt does his paperwork for a week and if Holt wins, Jake has to work overtime for five weeks. Jake obviously gets Boyle on his team and they plan elaborate heist with the rest of the precinct while Holt literally locks himself in his office.
Meanwhile, Gina has been flaking on work more than usual. After she abandons Terry’s safety Halloween pumpkin initiative, he confronts her and tells her that she needs to get her act together. Gina’s excuse, which is actually mildly shocking, is that she’s had difficulty managing her time since she recently decided to go back to college and is taking night classes to get her Bachelor’s degree. Her new hectic schedule makes it impossible for her to attend any Floorgasm rehearsals and go to school (she unsurprisingly doesn’t factor her full-time job into the equation). Terry, Amy and Rosa all agree to help her manage her time and Terry even goes as far as helping her dance in the competition after Floorgasm brutally kicks her out.
As expected, Jake’s heist doesn’t go as planned when the criminal he hired –who goes by “Fingers”—to steal Holt’s watch (in a very elaborate scheme that involved smoke and
somersaults) keeps it for himself instead. Jake and Boyle, feeling defeated and probably a little foolish, then set out to retrieve the Captain’s watch, which they eventually find out was given to him by his husband’s late father. After receiving a cryptic text from Fingers, they attempt to meet him but are distracted by a huge mob of costumed strangers. In the end Jake somehow ends up in jail, where Holt interrogates him and he confesses to everything.
Obviously it doesn’t stop there and Holt reveals he was actually behind the whole thing. It turned out he had his watch the whole time, even getting Fingers and the rest of the precinct (they were the costumed strangers!) on his side to distract Jake until he ran out of time. It turns out that after suffering from last year’s brutal and humiliating loss, Holt started planning for the next year immediately and led Jake into the bet, planning everything down to the watch Jake would attempt to steal as well as the criminal he would try to use.
All I got out of this episode is that “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” can somehow manage to make an old storyline even more interesting a second time around, that Captain Holt is an evil genius, and that I want every episode to somehow include Terry dancing. I’m already excited to see what Jake and Holt come up with next Halloween, although I’m struggling to see how it could possibly get any more elaborate.