Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Brooklyn Nine-Nine 4x08 Recap: “Skyfire Cycle” (We Write Our Own Stories) [Contributor: Alisa Williams]

“Skyfire Cycle”
Original Airdate: November 1, 2016

On the latest Brooklyn Nine-Nine, the team is still stuck on the night shift thanks to Captain CJ. Things are pretty dull at night, but where others see boredom, Jake sees opportunity. They discover the janitor waxing the floor one evening and Jake decides to do the “FBP.” Which basically means he slides the “Full Bull Pen” in socks. He’s just completing his slide when the elevator doors open, causing him to slide right in and crash into Holt. Even Holt is excited that Jake is now master of the FBP.

Meanwhile, a neighboring precinct has made the local news for investigating death threats against a famous author. Jake, having never heard of the author, is unimpressed. Terry, however, is beyond excited. The author — DC Parlov — is one of his very favorite writers, and the author of the 12-book series Skyfire Cycle. Who knew there was something in the world that could excite Terry as much as yogurt?

Apparently, when Terry was young, he was lonely and overweight. Reading DC Parlov’s series is what got him through adolescence. He wrote the author for advice and Parlov sent him back a copy of the first book in the series, signed and with a nice inscription saying that Terry will always have him as a friend.

After seeing how passionate Terry is about Parlov and the effect he had on Terry’s life, Jake decides he’s going to snag the case from the other precinct so they can crack it and Terry will have a chance to meet his hero.

Gina is dealing with her own threat to survival: the Boyle family reunion. Because her mom is still with Boyle’s dad (we haven’t addressed that in a while!) she’s been officially invited to Iowa to attend the reunion. She tries to convince Boyle that they should all go to Aruba instead, but because Iowa is the “ancestral homeland of the Boyles,” Aruba is out.

While Gina and Boyle work out reunion details, Holt pulls Amy into an argument he’s having with Kevin, who’s stopped by the precinct for a visit. It seems that when he and Kevin went out to dinner the night prior (for the first time in two weeks, thanks to the night shift), they were discussing a math problem and have come to different conclusions about the solution. When they pose the problem to Amy, she sides with Kevin, causing Holt to promptly tell her she’s fired and walk away.

Meanwhile, Jake has returned with the Parlov case file from the neighboring precinct and tells Terry the good news. Terry, however, doesn’t want to meet his hero. It was 30 years ago that Parlov wrote him that letter and he’s afraid it’ll be dumb if he brings it up. Jake assures him that’s not true and before they can discuss it further, Parlov arrives, sending Terry into a sweaty panic.

When Terry is introduced to Parlov, he suddenly turns meek and timid, which is really hard for someone who’s basically a literal wall of muscle to do. Terry’s super bashful, but with Jake’s encouragement, he tells Parlov about the book inscription from 30 years ago and how it changed his life. Parlov says he does indeed remember Terry and he’s so glad to see that Terry has gone on to make something of his life.

Now it’s time to get down to business. They have to figure out which of Parlov’s fans is sending him death threats. Parlov believes the threats are because he recently revealed one of the dragons in his story is female and that has a lot of the male fans upset. Terry and Jake craft a plan to get all the fanboys (who have been camped out for three days to hear Parlov speak) to sign a petition to turn the dragon back to male. This will allow them to compare the handwriting on the letter to the signed petition.

Jake worries that they won’t exactly fit in with the fanboy crowd dressed normally and Terry’s eyes light up. Apparently, this is the moment he’s been waiting for and he has just what they need to fit in. When they arrive at the crowd of fans, there’s no doubt they belong: Terry is dressed as a warrior, complete with fur leggings and a sword, while Jake is a “noble squire” in a hooded cape.

Meanwhile, one of Boyle’s cousins shows up at the precinct to say hello, and Boyle quickly introduces him to Gina. But it turns out they’ve already met. In fact, they just came back from breakfast together — where Gina has convinced the Boyle cousin that Aruba would be a way better reunion spot than Iowa. This still leaves the vote for Iowa at 13-2 in favor, but Gina’s not worried. She has a full day of meetings lined up with the cousins. In a panic, Boyle calls a “Council of the Cousins,” to discuss the matter with everyone. He and Gina debate back and forth in front of the cousins. After they’ve finished, the cousins agree both made compelling arguments and that they’ll sleep on it and vote in the morning.

The next morning, the cousins call Boyle and Gina to deliver their verdict — they’re going to Aruba! Gina’s elated that she “won” but Boyle is not so quick to concede. He says that, while trying to get her way, she learned everything there was to know about the cousins and really became part of the family in the process. So much so that the cousins voted that she can be buried in the family plot with them when they all die. So, in the end, I guess it really was Boyle’s victory.

After a night of arguing about math, Holt and Kevin are nowhere close to resolving their conflict. Amy is beside herself, convinced that she needs to get Holt to understand his faulty math in order to save the relationship. Rosa wisely points out that the argument isn’t really about math — it’s about the fact that Holt and Kevin hadn’t seen each other in two weeks and they really just need some romantic alone time together. Amy remains convinced that she can fix it, so she creates a scale model of the math problem and tries to show Holt. But Rosa jumps in and tells Holt he and Kevin just need to sleep together.

Holt is outraged that Rosa would say this and spends the next 40 minutes yelling at her in front of the whole precinct. Amy is traumatized, but Rosa’s unfazed, claiming that now Holt realizes how pent up he is. Turns out Rosa was right, of course, and the next morning Holt is in a MUCH better mood.

Jake and Terry return to the precinct, with a page full of signatures for their fake petition to compare to the death threat. None of them match. Then Jake spies the open copy of the signed book Parlov gave Terry 30 years ago. Parlov’s handwriting matches the death threats perfectly. He’s been writing the threats to himself!

Terry can’t bring himself to believe it. Jake points out that thanks to the threats, Parlov made the news and he’s on the bestseller list for the first time in years. Terry still refuses to believe it but they agree to go to Parlov’s house and talk to him about it. When they confront Parlov with the evidence, he reveals that he didn’t actually write the inscription in Terry’s book. Terry is devastated, but Parlov tells him to grow up: does he really think he, a famous author, has time to write back to every lonely, fat kid who contacts him? Terry persists, asking why Parlov said he remembered him and Parlov says he just didn’t want to upset the cop assigned to his case.

After taking a look at the handwriting in the book, Parlov says the guy they’re looking for is his ex-assistant, Edmund, who he had to fire after he slept with Edmund’s wife and then Edmund’s sister. Parlov closes the door so he can get back to some lady companions he has waiting, and Terry immediately rips the book in half and storms off.

The next day, Terry’s still feeling down about the situation, but Jake delivers what was probably his sweetest pep talk ever. They go to Edmund’s house and arrest him, and Terry decides that from now on he’ll write his own story and be his own hero.

I really love the episodes where Jake and Terry work a case together. They’re hilarious together and seeing them dressed up as ridiculous fantasy characters from a fake book series was everything dreams are made of.

Bullets on the Bulletin Board:
  • “The Skyfire Cycle. Sand Into Glass. The Reckoning of Kalar. Man, that is a long book. Is the rest of it just more of the title?” 
  • “Boyles don’t do beaches. We’re not swimmers. We’re burrowers.” 
  • “This is the best day of my life!” “You have three kids, Terry.” “I said what I said!”
  • “You think you can pick us off one by one?” “Yeah.” “Well... you can. Boyles are very weak as individuals.” 
  • “There’s already enough female characters. We don’t need a third!”
  • “Halitosis Frodo has gotta be our guy, right?” “Oh yeah.” 
  • “Do we really wanna go where Pirates of the Caribbean took place?” “YES!” “NO! That movie gave us nightmares for months!” “Ohhhh.” 
  • “You’re who I want to be when I grow up, Terry. And you should know that some dumb inscription in some book isn’t what made you who you are and it bums me out that you can’t see that.”


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