Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Brooklyn Nine-Nine 3x04 "The Oolong Slayer" (Have Some Tea) [Contributor: Connie]

"The Oolong Slayer"
Original Airdate: October 18, 2015

This week's episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine was not only hilarious and focused on the Jake/Holt dynamic, but also brought things back to the status quo for the characters.

The Vulture forbids the squad from working real cases –– in fact, they're to hand any good case off to major crimes so they can win a bet against another department. "Only misdemeanors, wieners."

Of course, Jake catches a serial killer case. When the perpetrator sets up tea parties in his victims' apartments, Jake realizes he's the infamous Oolong Killer! Since the Vulture won't let him work the case publicly, he consults Captain Holt, who immediately wants to help. Wunch is making his work life awful; she's relishing in the fact that he can't do actual police work. So Jake and Holt have secret meetings where they discuss the case.

There are two things that I want to note about the framing of this episode:

I loved all the secret meeting spots Jake chose. The bathroom scene was especially funny, in the way the camera held for an extra moment on the closed door with the two of them squeezed inside. Second favorite? The Batman alley. Especially because it could be the actual Batman alley set from Gotham (it's just the kind of joke they would make). Anyone happen to have a side-by -to compare?

I think this episode spans the longest period of time for an episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine (dare I say, the oolongest time), or any television, really. Most shows generally stick to a three-days-in-a-row maximum rule (which helps with managing lighting and wardrobe during shoots), but this episode spans the course of 25 days (10 days, then 9, then 6).

Of course, this a more realistic time frame for solving crimes than Brooklyn Nine-Nine or even most cop shows usually follow, so it's interesting that this particular episode takes so much time (I doubt it’ll continue). It does, however lend more time to the end result of Jake and Holt solving the case, meaning...

Holt is BACK, BABY!

Holt’s tenure in the PR department caused him a lot of depression. Both in the pilot and in this episode, he second-guessed his place in the world because he wasn’t where he was meant to be: the Nine-Nine. So I am glad he’s back. And I wonder if some of this deeper character exploration will continue with him back at the helm.

Holt being back, of course, means THE VULTURE IS GONE! He spends the episode trying to get Amy and Rosa to plan him a proper surprise birthday party that he wants to know everything about. “Did you choose us because we’re women?” “Women love planning parties. It’s in the Bible.” Gross. The episode didn’t deal with the aftermath of Holt being back as Captain, so we’ll see if the Vulture pulls a temper-tantrum at his removal. I wouldn’t put it past him.

We get a minor Terry/Boyle storyline in "The Oolong Slayer," where Boyle introduces Terry to cocao nibs and Terry gains weight because he stress eats them. It wasn’t my favorite storyline, but it did pull some great Terry one-liners, and gave us a direction for Terry as a character. With the baby on the way and Cagney and Lacey getting bigger, he is under a lot of stress, so Charles offers to have the squad help him out when he needs it. I can’t wait to see the new Jeffords baby (and find out what it will be named! My personal favorite options: Matlock (awkward, but so is Cagney), Jessica (as in Fletcher), Columbo, Agatha (as in Christie), or Quincy (as in M.E.).

So far, this season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine has had a lot of solidly funny moments, great character dynamics, and is fantastically setting things up for future storylines. I can’t wait to see what’s in store in episodes to come.

Bullets on the Bulletin Board:
  • Gina’s double wolf sweater was fantastic.
  • “Why do you follow people’s directions when you could literally pick them up and throw them out the window?” This is an excellent point, Boyle. Terry does have a rule following streak that rivals Amy’s. Boyle references Terry’s size, but it’s actually probably due to his size that he under-compensates? I think I just made that up, but he balances his size with being really nice and going against the stereotype of someone so muscular and large.
  • “Do I look like a man who snacks?” “You look like 8 circles with suspenders on.”
  • “Looks like we both got a pretty bad case of jerk-boss.” “Yes, yours is an idiot and mine is a fork-tongued lizard witch.”
  • “What? I hang out in the men’s room all the time. The acoustics are amAYzing!” Gina, never change.
  • “You’re going to bed for an oolong time.”
  • Holt’s toast: “To catching a serial killer.” Gina: “To Rihanna, because I love Rihanna.” 
  • “Now I feel objectified by your male gaze! You are trying to shame me and that will not fly.”
  • “Amy’s been doing her best to cheer me up. She gave me this sticker this morning just for waking up.” “Ew, it’s like you’re dating your teacher.” “I know, it’s so hot.
  • “Did one of you order the hot plate of justice?” 
  • Gina’s return to the 99 was, of course, fantastic. I want to appear somewhere in an explosion of confetti, phone in hand. She probably Snapchatted it. 
What was your favorite part of this week’s episode?


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