Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Special Recap: Brooklyn Nine-Nine: "Lockdown"

“You’re still trying to make people happy. Don’t apologize to me. Be a leader and tell me what you need me to do. Tell everyone what you need them to do. You’re the Captain, Jake.”

I usually do classic recaps for the fall and winter holidays, but I really enjoyed this Thanksgiving episode of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” when I watched it the other day, so that’s what you’re getting this year! It was a different take on Thanksgiving from what most shows do, and there was a guest spot from the always dryly funny Jeff Lewis (Vork from “The Guild). I think “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” appeals to me overall because of my workaholic tendencies. It’s a show about a bunch of odd coworkers who genuinely seem to enjoy their jobs and (mostly) each other’s company. I too mostly enjoy my day job, and my coworkers are most definitely awesome. We’re all close because of the amount of hours we put in during the busy season. Anyway, in this episode, it’s Thanksgiving, and Jake has volunteered to take command of the precinct so that everyone else can either go to a charity event or home early to celebrate the holiday. Naturally, things don’t go quite as planned.

Like I said, this episode takes place on Thanksgiving, although Boyle insists on calling it Turkey Day. I’m not really sure what the joke was there that the writers were going for. Maybe a riff on the whole Merry Christmas v. Happy Holidays debate? Anyway, Captain Holt and Terry are going to a charity event in Brighton Beach, and since everybody else is planning to leave at noon, the Captain leaves Jake in charge of the precinct. Jake is a people pleaser at heart (a characteristic w share in common and probably another reason why I like this show), so his first act as acting Captain is to basically let all the other detectives do whatever they want. The oddest thing is giving Boyle permission to say the word “succulent.”

Good times are had by all until its noon and it is time for most of the detectives to leave for the holiday. As he is leaving, a package of white powder falls out of Boyle’s bag. Jake has to put the precinct on lockdown immediately. There have been several similar pranks at other precincts in the past couple weeks, so Jake is sure it will just turn out to be something harmless like baking powder. He tells everyone in the precinct (some officers, folks in lockup, randoms, and lawyers) not to worry, and as soon as the preliminary hazmat tests are done, they will all be able to go home. He keeps the party going with Boyle doing the “Single Ladies” dance and food from some delivery guys who are stuck inside the precinct too.

Jake calls Holt to tell him about the package, and Holt decides that he wants to monitor the situation instead of going to Brighton Beach. The closest place form which Holt can monitor is Terry’s home office. There is just one problem. Terry’s brother-in-law Zeke is staying in the home office while he visits Terry’s family for the holidays, and Terry is terrified of Zeke. Terry is a big guy, but Zeke is even bigger and calls him names like “Tiny Terry” or “Little Dum Dum.” He even calls Terry’s house “Tiny Terry’s Hobbit Hole,” which I thought was kind of awesome. Zeke isn’t happy that his room has been commandeered, but Zeke and Terry bond when Terry blames all the disruption on Hold. Zeke has a mean boss, and he assumes Captain Holt is similar, even though he really isn’t. Terry uses this to get himself a bunch of turkey sandwiches and a whole pumpkin pie.

Back at the precinct, Jake gets some bad news. The preliminary tests show that the package definitely isn’t just baking powder. They will have to call in some folks and open up the public health lab to get some answers, and since it’s Thanksgiving, that could take hours. Amy suggests that Jake start rationing food and putting anybody rowdy in detention, but Jake doesn’t want to cause alarm. He tries to appease the folks in the precinct however he can. When they start yelling for heat, Jake goes and finds some faux fur coats in the evidence locker. Unfortunately, there are only five coats, so there could be a fight over them. He also makes the mistake of giving the lawyers a megaphone to do stand-up. The leader of the lawyers is the character played by Jeff Lewis. I’ll just call him Jeff, since I don’t think the character ever gets a name in the episode.

Jeff starts making an even bigger fuss. He doesn’t see why they need to stay at the precinct for silly procedural reasons. He just wants to up and leave. Jake decides to deal with this by taking Jeff into another room for a private conversation. He very calmly tells Jeff what is going on and asks him to keep it quiet. Jeff, of course, immediately goes out into the main room of the precinct, gets on the megaphone, and tells everyone that the powder is probably anthrax after all. Needless to say, panic ensues. The situation hits rock bottom when somebody lights the precinct napping couch on fire. At that moment, Jake calls Holt and tells him just how bad things have gotten. Holt’s one direction before leaving was to not burn down the precinct, so he’s very disappointed in Jake. He and Terry head back to Brooklyn, thinking they’re going to need to clean up the mess.

Jake pulls aside Amy to ask for some advice. She’s been kind of annoying and bossy all episode, but Jake needs all the help he can get. She actually ends up giving him some good advice. Jake apologizes for not listening to her sooner, but Amy says that all the apologizing is the problem. He needs to stop only being a people pleaser and start telling people what they need to do to help the precinct get through the crisis. Jake takes Amy’s advice to heart, and the tide turns. He gets Boyle to go through surveillance footage and figure out who dropped off the package. It turns out that it was their disgruntled former IT guy who also had done work at the other precincts that received the suspicious packages. This helps speed up the investigation overall, and it turns out that the package was harmless. Holt and Terry are happy to see things back under control when they arrive. Jake then confidently tells everyone they can head home for the holidays if they don’t have anything more productive to contribute at the precinct.

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