Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Brooklyn Nine-Nine 5x16 and 5x17 Recaps: “Nutriboom” & “DFW” (Creepy Cults and Secret Sisters) [Contributor: Alisa Williams]

Original Airdate: April 15, 2018

We were treated to back-to-back episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine last week, so let’s dive right in, shall we? In the first episode, Jake’s shipment of Nutriboom has just been delivered by Boyle-lookalike, Bill. If you’ll recall, in this season’s Halloween Heist episode, Jake made an ill-advised agreement with Bill to buy $8,000 worth of the nutritional shake. It’s clearly a pyramid scheme and Jake wants out, but Bill shows him the contract (written in white ink on white paper) where Jake agreed to be charged quarterly for the next 85 years. Jake and Boyle decide to head down to the Nutriboom corporate office. Jake has an added incentive for wanting out of the contract — he needs that $8,000 to pay for his and Amy’s honeymoon.

Speaking of Amy, she is super excited to be a newly minted sergeant. Holt and Terry give her some tips for gaining respect around the office. While Terry’s advice is a bit vague, Holt’s is downright intimidating. He basically tells her she has to be perfect, succeed at all her goals, and to remember that she now represents all Latina police women everywhere. No pressure at all!

Because of all the pressure, her first briefing does not go well. There’s a know-it-all officer named Gary who keeps interrupting with useful tips and suggestions which irritates her. She assigns the squad the job of revamping the precinct’s filing system, but Gary keeps sending her emails with suggestions on how to do stuff better. When Amy complains to Gina, Rosa, and Terry, they laugh and tell her she has an “Amy” on her team. She’s incredulous and doesn’t think the overeager, people-pleasing Gary is anything like her, but finally has to admit that yeah, he’s exactly like her. She doesn’t want to go to Holt for advice because he made it clear that success is the only option and she doesn’t want him to think she’s failed on her first day as sergeant.

Over at Nutriboom HQ, Jake’s feeling a little pressure, too. Turns out that if he wants to cancel his Nutriboom contract, the cancellation fee is $10,000. Or, he can sign up to work off his contract in “labor hours” for the founder, Dr. Stovelman, through Nutriboom’s charity. While Boyle is ready to sign a check for the full amount, Jake refuses. He’s mad and wants to take Nutriboom down. He just needs to prove the company is a huge financial scam. They enlist Bill’s help. Since he’s a high level Nutribroom associate, Boyle will impersonate him and infiltrate the inner circle, with Jake tagging along as a new recruit.

Once inside the cult-like gathering, they’re surprised to see Hitchcock and Scully there, but not all that surprised because Nutriboom does seem like just the thing they’d be involved with. Fortunately, they think Boyle is Bill and don’t recognize Jake, so their cover is still sound. They wait for a distraction (the over-the-top introduction video for Nutriboom) and then sneak over to the employees only section.

Jake quickly finds the company’s financial documents but as they’re downloading, Boyle sees another Nutriboom employee approaching. He runs out to distract him, but the employee proves more difficult to distract than he originally thought. While everyone else easily thought Boyle was Bill, this guy isn’t so sure. He says Bill seems really off and even though Boyle is using all the knowledge Bill gave him about himself, the employee still isn’t convinced. Finally, Boyle pulls out the cringe-worthy factoid that Bill likes to give neck massages to his coworkers, and offers this guy one. He readily accepts, and Jake is able to sneak out with the downloaded files. Boyle, however, is suddenly stuck giving neck massages to a line of eager employees. When he finally meets back up with Jake in the lobby, he is traumatized from the experience. Turns out, Bill gives his neck massages from the front, while maintaining eye contact with the person the whole time. Just a little creepy, even for Boyle.

They dig through the files, but don’t find any evidence of wrongdoing. They do, however, find a $100,000 payment to a black-ops-type firm on the same day that Dr. Stovelman’s wife, Debbie, mysteriously vanished. It’s long been rumored but unproven that Dr. Stovelman had her murdered. While not enough to arrest him, this could be the clue they need to get facetime with him and make him nervous enough to confess something. But to get to the founder, they first need to get to Nutriboom’s celebrity spokesperson, Jay Chandrasekhar.

Meanwhile, Amy asks Terry, Gina, and Rosa for advice on how to deal with her “Amy.” Terry doesn’t have any advice, because he never succeeded in figuring out how to deal with her. Gina says the secret is to start rambling on about a topic that Amy doesn’t care about until she walks away. Amy decides to give this a try with Gary, but it doesn’t work. They end up talking about bodies of water for hours. Finally, Rosa tells her the true secret is to always be on the move, like a shark. That way he can’t even get her attention in the first place. Amy puts this new plan into action as she’s installing a new shelf. Gary approaches her but she distracts him and dashes off. She manages to avoid him at several turns and then circles back and gets her shelf installed. Unfortunately, the whole wall collapses under the weight of one shelf. Gary had been trying to tell her that that particular wall had water damage and shouldn’t be used.

Amy finally confides in Holt about the situation and he tells her she should have come to him in the first place. He has a lot of experience managing an Amy. He asks if the ideas Gary kept giving her were any good and she admits she didn’t even listen to what he had to say because she was just so irritated. Holt says she should always listen to her Amy’s ideas, because managing an Amy is a pleasure, not a chore. And if the ideas are good, using them will only make the precinct better. So, she shouldn’t be intimidated by her Amy; she should consider him a valuable asset.

Jake and Boyle manage to track down Jay Chandrasekhar, who is overjoyed that the NYPD is investigating Nutriboom. They’ve basically been holding him hostage and making him promote their products. They even kidnapped his dog to keep him on the line. He agrees to help with their sting operation. But things don’t go according to plan. Jay is suddenly kidnapped and thrown into a van by two Nutriboom thugs. Jake and Boyle dash into Nutriboom HQ and demand to know where he is. They find Jay in the basement and he’s acting like he’s been brainwashed. He’s also been reunited with his dog, who he now claims was just lost in a park for a year. He says Nutriboom found the dog for him and is a great company.

Jake says this still doesn’t explain the disappearance of Debbie Stovelman... but all of a sudden she walks into the room! It turns out she went off the grid and started the rumor of her murder because the feds were investigating Nutriboom. But their case fell apart when she went missing. She tries to bribe Jake but she has underestimated him. Jake refuses the bribe and goes to the feds with what he knows. Unfortunately, the feds say they may eventually be able to take down Nutriboom a few years from now, but in the meantime, there’s no money for Jake and Amy’s honeymoon and they now have a Nutriboom thug who’s been assigned to follow them at all times.

Bullets on the Bulletin Board:

  • “Jake, a piece of advice: just give up. It’s the Boyle way. That’s why our family crest is a white flag.”
  • “‘Doctor’ is spelled with an ‘e’?” “It’s the British spelling.” “That can’t be right.”
  • “Remember: failure is for failures.”

Original Airdate: April 15, 2018

In the second episode of the night, Jake is meeting his half-sister for the first time. In the Thanksgiving episode earlier this season, we learned that Jake’s promiscuous pilot dad fathered several other children in various cities with major airports. Jake has three half-siblings out there, and one of them responded when he reached out. She’s flying to New York and Jake and Amy are off to the airport to meet her.

While Jake and Amy head out, Terry walks into the breakroom and finds Holt and Boyle doing yoga. Holt’s doctor told him he needs to get more exercise, so Boyle agreed to teach him the basics of yoga, but Terry’s insulted and wants to know why Holt didn’t come to him to learn about body building. Boyle says it’s okay — Terry may have a lot of muscles, but through yoga, Holt will gain bone strength which is far more important. Terry says anybody can do yoga and quickly tries to strike the warrior pose Holt and Boyle are currently in. His back makes an awful cracking noise and he quickly hobbles out of the room, pretending everything is fine.

Meanwhile, Rosa confides in Gina that she and her girlfriend broke up, and Gina says she has the perfect girl for her. Rosa’s dubious because Gina’s tried to set her up before and it was terrible, but Gina says it’s different now that she knows Rosa’s bi. Before, she was only setting Rosa up with men, and all men are secretly monsters, Gina says. But she knows tons of fabulous women. Rosa reluctantly gives in.

Over at the airport, Jake is freaking out about meeting his half-sister, Katie (played by the amazing Nasim Pedrad). He’s afraid they won’t bond and the whole thing will go horribly wrong. Well, it doesn’t go great. Katie comes out in handcuffs, escorted by two police officers. She tells them she was just so nervous about meeting Jake, that she went into the airplane bathroom and started vaping. When the flight attendant told her to stop, she punched her. Jake and Amy are horrified and Katie’s afraid she messed up meeting her brother and offers to leave. Jake tells her its ancient history and quickly changes the subject to Diehard, but Katie’s never even heard of Jake’s favorite movie. What they do, however, have in common is a fondness for their dad’s copilot, Steve, who their dad often sent to hang out with them on his behalf. Finally, they’ve found something to bond over.

Back at the precinct, Terry’s back has gotten even worse. He can barely stand. Boyle tells him to just admit he can’t handle yoga, but Terry says he can handle it fine. Terry gets Scully to tell him where his and Hitchcock’s secret nap room is so he can lie down. The only problem is, when Terry wakes up, he can’t get up, and the nap room is sound-proofed so no one can hear him calling for help.

After a great evening of bonding over their absentee father, Katie admits to Jake and Amy that her life hasn’t been so great. She just lost her job and the love of her life broke up with her. But, she’s here in New York now and ready to take in the sights. She even offers to take care of the meal... by putting a piece of glass in her food and making a scene so the restaurant comps it.

After they get home, Amy tries to gently tell Jake that his sister is kind of awful but he won’t hear it. What they do hear is a crash from the living room and when Jake goes out to investigate, it turns out Katie has brought home one of the living statue people from Times Square. Jake quickly goes back to bed, thoroughly grossed out.

The next morning, Jake’s sister surprises him and Amy by telling them she’s decided to move to New York. What was supposed to be a three-day meet-and-greet may turn into a life with a scheming sister in the same city. This seems like a very bad idea and so Jake and Amy decide to fly Katie’s ex-boyfriend, Kurt, up to New York and get them back together so Katie goes back to Dallas like she’s supposed to.

While Jake and Amy put their plan into motion, Holt calls Boyle into his office to ask if he’s heard from Terry, who didn’t make it home last night. They know he’s probably still at the precinct because his car is still there, but they’re worried. Scully overhears them discussing it and admits that Terry is probably still in the secret nap room. He accidentally tells them where it is (supply closet F), and they find Terry lying there, unable to move. Boyle offers to carry him, which Terry thinks is impossible, but Boyle says yoga has given him excellent bone strength and proceeds to carry Terry out of the supply closet and through the precinct.

That evening, Jake, Amy, and Katie are out for a walk through the streets of New York when Kurt just happens to appear in front of them. He professes his love to Katie and says that even his probation officer back in Dallas couldn’t stop him from hopping a plane and reclaiming his love. Oops. Back in the apartment, as Katie’s packing up and Jake and Amy are getting to know the gem that is Kurt, things suddenly turn from bad to worse. The silver street performer from last night shows up to look for his wallet, which he thinks he lost in the couch cushions. Kurt gets mad at Katie for cheating on him even though they were broken up, and Katie reminds him that he cheated on her like 10 times. He says it’s only because she was sad all the time after her mom died. Jake gets mad and defends his sister, saying she’s too good for the likes of Kurt. As Jake’s pushing him out the door, Kurt lets it slip that it was Jake who paid for him to fly up here and take Katie back so she wouldn’t move to New York. Katie gets mad at Jake and storms out.

Rosa’s not faring much better in the love department. She meets up with Gina’s friend at a bar, but the girl is instantly awful. She’s on some weird diet where she only eats clear foods. When she asks for a skinny margarita, Rosa refuses to order it just on principle. But all hope is not lost. Rosa has a great connection with the cool bartender and they end up hooking up. When Rosa strolls into work late the next morning, Gina tells her that the bartender, Aubrey, was actually the real person she wanted Rosa to meet. But she knew Rosa would reject anyone she put directly in front of her, so the awful skinny margarita friend was just a decoy. Rosa has to admit, it was a great plan and Gina really is a good matchmaker after all.

Meanwhile, Jake realizes he was being just like his dad by only wanting a relationship with his sister on his own terms, from a distance. He races to the airport and apologizes to Katie. She accepts the apology and says even though she’s returning to Dallas and her life there, she still wants them to keep in touch.

Bullets on the Bulletin Board:

  • “Becky and I broke up. She eats soup too much.” “What, like every day?” “It happened twice.”
  • “Also, I slapped a stewardess. Real hard. With my fist.”
  • “What?! Then why did you make me feel so bad?” “To teach you a lesson about the destructive power of word play.”


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