Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Brooklyn Nine-Nine 4x14 Recap: “Serve and Protect” (Blackmail and Break-ups) [Contributor: Alisa Williams]

“Serve and Protect”
Original Airdate: April 18, 2017

Veronica Hopkins has taken over the audit of the Brooklyn Nine-Nine precinct this week and things are not looking good for the team. Her sordid past with Terry could mean the Nine-Nine gets shut down. During the morning staff meeting, Terry hesitantly brings up the conflict of interest but Veronica says even though it took her years of intense therapy to get over Terry and she  hasn’t had a successful relationship since, she is NOT biased against the precinct. Yikes. Who knew Terry left such a path of destruction, broken hearts, and empty yogurt cups in his wake before meeting his wife?

The whole team is feeling rather gloomy about the prospect of being shut down, but no one more so than Rosa, who hates people and the idea of having to start all over in a brand new precinct with brand new people. To cheer her up, Jake tells her about a case he’s snagged involving Cassie Sinclair, the lead star in their favorite cop show, Serve and Protect. Apparently, the actress’s laptop was stolen and she needs the Nine-Nine’s help in tracking it down.

While Rosa and Jake track down leads on the set of Serve and Protect, the rest of the team tries to figure out what Terry did to Veronica to leave her so bitter and vengeful. Terry has no idea, so Amy tries a little “girl talk” with Veronica but fails miserably. Boyle and Captain Holt hatch a plan of their own: they’ll appeal to Veronica’s boss, Deputy Commissioner Grayson, about the situation. He’s vacationing in the Poconos with his family, but that won’t stop them. Time for some undercover hijinks.

Back on the cop show set, Rosa smells something fishy with the executive producer, but Jake is too enamored with his offers of free food and a possible consulting gig. They also get a bit side-tracked by the co-star on the show, Mark Devereaux (played by the adorable Nathan Fillion), who thinks he’s a real detective because he’s been playing one on TV for 15 years. He meanders into Cassie’s trailer to chat with Rosa and Jake, and picks up the laptop case, not realizing he’s supposed to wear gloves in real life.

The executive producer continues to distract Jake, who ardently refuses to believe such a nice man had anything to do with the stolen laptop. While Jake chats with the writers and gives them tips on how to write their characters, Rosa tracks down video surveillance that clearly shows the executive producer breaking into Cassie’s trailer and coming back out with a backpack full of something – presumably the laptop. Jake is super bummed.

They barge into the producer’s office with a warrant. A very hurt and embarrassed Jake tells the producer the show sucks and he hates it while Rosa locates the backpack. But when they open it, there’s no laptop, just a bunch of pills. It seems Cassie has a prescription drug problem and the producers are intent on saving her from herself, which is why he broke in and stole them. The producer is pretty mad and tells them to get out and that Jake can forget his cushy new job as a consultant on a show he says he hates.

Meanwhile, Amy and Gina decide it’s time to interrogate Terry about his failed relationship with Veronica. Terry still claims there’s absolutely no reason for Veronica to be angry with him. According to him, he planned and executed the perfect break-up at a mid-range restaurant (nice enough she knew he cared but not so nice she thought a proposal was coming) and he even bought her a break-up gift (with gift receipt in case she didn’t like it). In his recollection, afterward Veronica thanked him and the other restaurant patrons clapped their approval. Amy and Gina aren’t buying it.

After hours of questioning, it finally comes out that Terry had planned to break up with Veronica earlier but then her mom passed and so he waited until she’d had time to grieve. He stayed with her another 18 months, even though he didn’t want to — but he claims she had no way of knowing that. Amy asks when he purchased the break-up gift and he admits he bought it when he originally planned to break up with her. Which means the gift receipt had an 18-month old date on it so Veronica knew exactly how long he’d been planning their break-up. Oh, Terry.

Boyle and Holt aren’t having as much success in the Poconos. They track down Deputy Commissioner Grayson, who is completely unsympathetic and a bit of a jerk, but just as he’s snubbing their attempts to talk, a young, attractive woman (clearly not his wife) walks up and asks if he’s ready to go. Grayson’s a philanderer and this has Boyle’s brain spinning with all sorts of blackmail opportunities. Holt is completely against this plan at first, but Boyle explains they won’t really be blackmailing him — they’ll be getting him to blackmail himself by pretending they know more than they do and letting Grayson come to his own conclusions. Holt is more agreeable to this circular logic, but such nefarious dealings are not his strong suit, so Boyle gives him a crash course in insinuation with eyebrow raises and subtle pauses between words.

When Holt tries to confront Grayson, it doesn’t quite work out as planned. Grayson just thinks there’s something wrong with Holt’s face because he keeps raising his eyebrows between each word. Before Holt can make his point, Boyle rushes out of the room to call the whole thing off. Grayson leaves and Boyle tells Holt that he’d rather the precinct be shut down and the team split up then have Holt compromise his morals.

Back at the precinct, Rosa and Jake are still feeling really bummed about not solving the case, when they suddenly realize that maybe the other lead actor — Mark Devereaux — fumbled the laptop case in front of them to cover up the fact that his prints were already on it. They confront him and he does a pretty good job of denying it until they tell him they already found the laptop in the trunk of his car. Then he admits everything. He was jealous of Cassie’s success and wanted to see her humiliated and kicked off the show.

Meanwhile, Terry, with some newfound wisdom about what he did wrong, offers Veronica a real apology and says he hopes that she’ll give the precinct a chance. She accepts his apology and says she’d love to give the Nine-Nine the chance it deserves — but she’s already turned in her report and it was really bad. We’ll have to wait until next week to find out the fate of the Nine-Nine.

Bullets on the Bulletin Board:
  • “Why are you being such a Gloomy Gus?” “I’m a Realistic Randy.” “Didn’t go with Rosa, huh?”
  • “Captain, can we talk?” “Boyle, you know my feelings about bathroom conversations.” “Steadfastly against.” 
  • “I’ve been broken up with six times.” “Really? Only six?” “Yep. Oh wait. Does it count if they end the relationship but still want to be friends?” “Yes.” “Oh. Then 210.” 
  • “Listen to yourself. You’re letting all this cloud your judgment.” “I love clouds. They keep the sun away on hot days.” “He doesn’t want us to solve the crime so he’s buying us off. It’s shady.” “I love the shade. It keeps the sun away on hot days.” 
  • “I didn’t do anything! I respect women! I’m a feminist! I believe women should be on all the money. I want to pay for a sandwich with a $10 Ellen DeGeneres.” 
  • “You’re right. No matter what happens, we’ll feel better knowing we didn’t resort to blackmail.” “I agree. From now on, the only black male I want anything to do with is you.” “That was incredibly inappropriate.” “I know, but I had thought of it and I was so proud I just had to say it out loud.”


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