Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Brooklyn Nine-Nine 4x07 Recap: “Mr. Santiago” (Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner) [Contributor: Alisa Williams]

“Mr. Santiago”
Original Airdate: November 22, 2016

Thanksgiving has arrived for the Brooklyn Nine-Nine squad and Amy is prepared as always. The whole team is coming to her apartment for dinner, and her dad is flying in for the holiday as well. This will be Jake’s first time meeting Mr. Santiago and for once, Jake’s feeling just as prepared as Amy. He’s crafted himself a “Jake Peralta’s Guide to Tricking Amy’s Dad” binder that includes everything about the man — even down to the minutest details, so that he can gain Mr. Santiago’s approval.

As Amy explains, her father can be just a bit uptight about things — he’s the type of man who arranges all the money in his wallet according to serial number. He’s also an ex-cop. Everyone is keen on offering Jake advice about meeting Mr. Santiago for the first time, but Jake’s not worried. He has is trusty binder and that’s all he needs. Even Boyle’s advice to just be himself falls on deaf ears. Jake’s plan is to pretend to like all the same things Mr. Santiago does, naturally.

Each member of the team has been assigned very specific roles in Amy’s perfect Thanksgiving. Boyle, of course, has been assigned turkey duty. When they reach Amy’s house he informs them the turkey should be delivered any minute. The live, yet-to-be-killed, turkey. Which is why Boyle also brought an axe to this shindig. Gina is horrified at the prospect of Boyle murdering a turkey right in front of them but Amy, concerned that they’re running behind schedule, tells Boyle to get on with it.

While the rest of the team is embroiled in the turkey debacle, Holt is engrossed in the National Dog Show, talking to himself about the qualities of each dog (he finds the wire fox terrier very impressive). Just then, Pimento walks in, visibly upset. He sits down next to Holt and confides his woes: he’s been told he can’t rejoin the police force, since he just up and disappeared for three months and that’s rather frowned upon. Holt suggests he become a private investigator, but getting the license is expensive and Pimento doesn’t have any money. Holt offers to lend him the couple thousand it costs and whips out his checkbook. This cheers Pimento up and he rushes out to cash the check.

Meanwhile, Jake is at the airport waiting to pick up Mr. Santiago, who we find out is played by the amazing Jimmy Smits. Jake has successfully reinvented himself — at least on the surface. He’s rented a brand new car, is holding a sign printed in Mr. Santiago’s favorite font (Garamond), and is even wearing a sweater. He spends the car ride back discussing mutual funds, and by the time they arrive at Amy’s apartment, Mr. Santiago is sufficiently impressed.

Shortly after they arrive, Pimento gets back, too. He rushes into the living room to ask Holt how the fox terrier is doing. Holt is surprised by Pimento’s interest, and says he doubts she’ll even win the group, let alone the whole show. Pimento is horrified — he admits he bet Holt’s entire check on the terrier for the win. Holt is outraged and says they’re going to pay Pimento’s bookie a visit right now and get the money back, but they better not miss the end of the dog show!

As Pimento and Holt rush out, the turkey arrives. Boyle is all decked out like Dexter in order to massacre the turkey but Gina stands her ground, saying it’s wrong to murder the turkey. She announces that she’s naming the turkey Nikolaj (after Boyle’s son), in the hopes that will prevent Boyle from killing it. Rosa is also upset about killing the turkey, but for different reasons. She doesn’t think it’s a fair fight for Boyle to kill and unarmed turkey and lobbies to give the turkey a weapon. Amy is upset that they are far behind schedule now and says they’re going to murder the turkey and be done with it. In a last-ditch effort, Gina and Rosa stage a coup and lock themselves in Amy’s bedroom with the turkey.

Though the turkey wars rage on, things are going great with Jake and Mr. Santiago. They’ve bonded over carrots, dry Riesling, and favorite watches. Jake fakes bathroom breaks every five minutes or so in order to rush out and check the binder for more information each time he and Mr. Santiago have a conversation. He left the binder on the front stoop, hidden behind some trash cans. Unfortunately, Mr. Santiago has a secret of his own: he sneaks outside to take smoke breaks. It’s during one of these smoke breaks that he discovers Jake’s binder. He confronts Jake about it, but says he’s impressed with the amount of research Jake did. The only thing Mr. Santiago takes issue with is the part of the binder about his old cases. There was a bank heist that he never solved, and Jake has scrawled a note on this one that reads, “Contractor did it. So obvious.” Mr. Santiago is dubious. He interviewed the contractor and he had an alibi. Jake counters that though the contractor had an alibi, the contractor’s sons did not, and so they are the culprits. Mr. Santiago says he can’t believe he missed that and they should go talk to the sons right now.

When they reach the sons’ house, Peralta starts to interrogate them, but it becomes clear they had an airtight alibi as well, which Mr. Santiago already knew about because he interrogated them thoroughly 20 years ago. Jake realizes he’s been set up to look foolish, and when he confronts Mr. Santiago about it, Mr. Santiago tells Jake what he really thinks about him: the binder was sloppy and subpar, his investigation was lazy, and he’s definitely not good enough for Amy.

While Mr. Santiago and Jake duke it out, Holt and Pimento arrive at the bookie’s place. It’s a college dorm room (the bookie is a freshman). Allen, the bookie, explains that he’s already placed the bet online. While they walk back to Amy’s feeling defeated and broke, Holt gets a text alert that the terrier is in the lead! They rush into a nearby bar and demand the bartender change the channel from the football game to the national dog show. They have to threaten violence to get the bartender to do it, but it’s worth it to see how the dog show turns out.

Back at the apartment, things have gotten out of hand with the turkey. Amy has taken the door to her bedroom off its hinges in order to get to Gina, Rosa, and Nikolaj the Turkey. Gina quickly opens a window, telling the turkey to fly away but since the turkey can’t fly, it just starts walking toward them menacingly. They all make a run for it, racing down the hall, and locking themselves into the other part of the apartment to keep the bird at bay.

Amy calls Jake to let him know about the turkey situation. Jake and Mr. Santiago are in the midst of a very tense and silent drive back to her apartment. Jake tries to get Amy to takes sides in their argument, but she informs them she’s mad at them both — she a grown woman who can decide for herself who she dates and they need to get over themselves. As Amy takes a stand for feminism, Jake suddenly realizes who committed the bank heist — it was the contractor’s daughter! He hangs up on Amy and he and Mr. Santiago head back to arrest the daughter.

The team tries to figure out who should take care of the turkey situation. Boyle says he’ll handle it. He gears up, and disappears. He’s gone for a long time, so the rest of the team comes looking for him and finds him feeding Gouda to the turkey. The turkey attacked him pretty viciously and his back is all gashed but he’s discovered as long as he feeds it cheese, it’s happy. He’s also decided he can’t kill it.

Jake and Mr. Santiago arrive back at the apartment, happy to announce they’ve solved a 20-year-old case together. Holt and Pimento arrive back — $70,000 richer because the wire fox terrier won the show! And as everyone cheers, Boyle announces he’s run out of Gouda.

Bullets on the Bulletin Board:
  • “That concludes our briefing. Now, on a personal note, I have some thoughts on Beyoncé’s Lemonade I’d like to share.” 
  • “Don’t be late or I’ll slit your throats, hehehe.” “You don’t have to fake laugh. We know you mean it.” “Good.” 
  • “What do you guys like better? Classic bishop hat fold or crown fold? Now, the crown fold is more showy but the bishop hat has a certain dignity.” “I’ll kill myself if it’s not the crown fold.” “Oh... okay. Thanks!” “Sometimes you have to pretend to care about napkins to stop hearing about napkins.” 
  • “Don’t make a mess.” “Relax. It’s not the first turkey I’ve killed in a friend’s bathroom.” “It isn’t?!”
  • “I printed out a sign especially for him, using his favorite font: Garamond.” “Who has a favorite font?!” “The Santiagos do. All of them.” 
  • “I think all of this research is actually going to work. Should I prepare for things all the time?” “Yeah.” “Nah, that’s crazy.”
  • “No, no. I don’t mess with computers anymore. Ever since I died of dysentery on the Oregon Trail, I was like, ‘No thank you. I’m done with this.’”


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