By Mina Haq
It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving at the 99th precinct if something didn’t go disastrously wrong, and this year that disaster takes place under Jake’s command. When Terry and Holt go on a charity break, they leave Jake in charge of the precinct over the holiday and chaos predictably ensues.
Obviously, Jake has a pretty terrible leadership history and Amy was Holt’s first choice, but her plans with Teddy kept her from accepting (which I thought was super out of character). Either way, things seem to be going just fine until everyone plans to leave for the day, when a mysterious package of white powder falls from Boyle’s backpack. Since it could be anything from flour to anthrax, the precinct goes into lockdown while Hazmat runs tests.
Apparently three other precincts also received this threatening package and it turned out to just be baking soda, but lockdown is still necessary. Since police precincts are usually filled with a strange mixture of people, the dynamic in the building is a little unstable during the lockdown and Jake has to fight to keep morale up between what Boyle calls the different “factions” of people: Perpetrators, lawyers, unlucky civilians, gang members, and police officers. Or, as Jake likes to call them, a “happy group of unlikely friends.”
Meanwhile, Holt and Terry have to stop at Terry’s house so they can monitor everything from a computer, meaning Terry has to deal with his insufferable brother-in-law Zeke who calls him “Tiny Terry” and borderline bullies him. However, in an unlikely twist, Terry ends up bonding with Zeke over how “terrible” his boss is.
The vibe at the precinct isn’t improving much, as Hazmat has confirmed that the substance isn’t baking powder but Jake refuses to tell anyone because he wants to keep the room happy. The factions are growing restless either way, since there are minimal resources to deal with their hunger and the cold.
Boyle is too exhilarated from being appointed Jake’s right-hand-man to be of any actual use, Rosa is just making fun of Gina for being melodramatic about the whole situation, Scully is terrified because Hitchcock is locked out on the balcony, and Amy tries to be the voice of reason and tells Jake he needs to take charge and be a real leader for these people.
One of the lawyers announces to the room that Jake’s been lying to them and it causes a riot, which leads to a minor fire and Holt expressing his disappointment in Jake. He tries to give up command to Amy, who’s having none of it. She convinces Jake that he just needs to be more authoritative and his leadership style immediately changes.
In the end, the white powder turned out to be a hoax from a former employee who was fired from all three precincts and everyone gets to go home for Thanksgiving, meaning Gina gets to stop writing her will and Hitchcock is freed from captivity out on the balcony (well, not really, as Scully accidentally gets them both locked out there during their heartfelt reunion). Terry never stands up to Zeke, but Holt plays along and acts like an awful boss in front of his family for show. Jake ends up not being the worst leader in the world when he stops trying to please everyone.