Saturday, October 21, 2017

Brooklyn Nine-Nine 5x04 Recap: “HalloVeen” (The Best Day of the Year) [Contributor: Alisa Williams]

Original Airdate: October 17, 2017

It’s the annual Brooklyn Nine-Nine Halloween Heist! Arguably the best episode each season, the Halloween Heist pits the squad members against each other in their quest to conquer Halloween. This year, the prize they’re competing for is a “championship cummerbund,” as Captain Holt has christened it, inscribed with the words, “Amazing Human/Genius.” Whoever has the cummerbund in their possession at midnight is the winner.

The great thing about the Halloween Heist is everyone plays dirty and the claws come out. Amy’s not afraid to use the knowledge she’s gleaned from living with Jake this past year to defeat him. Holt and Rosa make it clear they’d rather see Jake back in jail than win. Basically, everyone wants to win but more importantly, no one wants Jake to win.

The plan is to suspend the cummerbund from the ceiling, in the center of the bullpen. But as soon as Amy places it on the ceiling hook, the lights go out. When they come back on, the cummerbund is gone! Everyone on the team is still in the room, so who took it?

All of a sudden all of the computer monitors flicker on and a person wearing a wolf mask claiming to be Gina (who’s been out on maternity leave) tells the team that she stole the cummerbund. If they want to know where it’s stashed, they’ll have to assemble all of the baby stuff she didn’t want to put together, which she’s conveniently left for them under her desk. Each assembled item will gain the assembler one clue.

But! Just as with any heist, the twists and turns aren’t done. Jake and Boyle scamper off with a couple items to assemble but it’s just a ruse. They’re really meeting up with Bill, Boyle’s body double who’s helped them with past heists. It turns out Bill snuck through the vents and grabbed the cummerbund when Boyle used an app to turn off the bullpen lights. It was also Bill posing as Gina in the wolf’s mask.

Just when Jake thinks he’s won, Boyle turns on him! Jake thought they were working together, but Boyle, Bill, Rosa, and Terry all forged an alliance. Boyle has named their team the “Tramps.” Now, Jake finds himself handcuffed to a filing cabinet while the four of them make off with the cummerbund. Amy wanders by and Jake pleads with her to help him out, but she refuses. He thinks he can lure her in with his secret intel on the Rosa-Boyle-Terry-Bill alliance, but she already knows all about it. Meanwhile, the Tramps hide the cummerbund in the server room, under one of the giant servers that only Terry is strong enough to lift. For some added protection, Rosa’s outfitted the door with a laser sensor alarm.

The Tramps are no match for Captain Holt, though. Using an elaborate pulley system that runs through the precinct walls, Holt is able to lift the server off the ground a few inches by peddling on an under-the-desk cycle. His dog, Cheddar, races into the room without triggering the laser sensors, and retrieves the cummerbund. Holt then lowers the server back in place.

Unfortunately for Holt, when he goes to meet up with Cheddar outside, a different dog holding a regular cummerbund is there to greet him. Where’s Cheddar?! More importantly, where’s the championship cummerbund?!

The entire time these shenanigans have been going down, Jake’s been working hard to convince Bill to let him out of his cuffs so he can rejoin the heist. Finally, after agreeing to buy $8,000 worth of “NutriBoom” from Bill, Jake is free! Boyle walks in at just that moment and Jake quickly cuffs him. After telling Bill to keep watch, Jake heads out to check the security tapes and get caught up on what he’s missed so far.

He spies Amy sneeze, which is a clear indication that her dog allergies are flaring up and she must be the culprit who intercepted Cheddar. Sure enough, as he keeps watching, Holt storms into the bullpen with faux-Cheddar, demanding to know where his real dog is. While Holt yells, Amy uses the distraction to sneak the cummerbund into an under-the-desk safe via remote control car.

Suddenly, a group of handmaids enter the squad room, causing an epic distraction. Rosa thinks it must be Amy’s doing because she loves The Handmaid’s Tale, but Amy swears it’s not her. While the handmaids circle, Rosa whispers to Terry that they should check on Boyle because he hasn’t been around for a while. Holt overhears and tells them not to worry because he stole the cummerbund from under the server an hour ago. Amy tells them she has the cummerbund in her safe under the desk.

Finally, Amy yells for the handmaids to stop circling. She removes the headdress from the leader and it’s Jake! She says his distraction didn’t work. She knows he was trying to steal the key for her safe. He says he DID steal the key! Amy’s not convinced because she’s had the key in her shoe the whole time and pulls it out. Jake tells her to try using that key and see if it works. It doesn’t!

Amy’s key is a fake. Jake uses his to open the safe — but the cummerbund isn’t there! Suddenly, Terry’s phone starts beeping. He tells the team he put a GPS tracker on the belt and the signal is showing it’s moving fast. He and Rosa take off to catch it. After they’re gone Holt starts laughing and tells Amy and Jake that he put a GPS tracker inside of Terry by sneaking it into his yogurt. Amy and Jake admit they also put GPS trackers in cups of yogurt for Terry. After a quick discussion on whether all that radiation is bad for him, they take off to catch the cummerbund.

Holt races out of the precinct after Terry and Rosa, but Jake circles back to the evidence room where Amy is already waiting. She’s figured out that during the handmaid distraction, Jake and Bill must have swapped her safe for a different one. Then Bill broke into her safe while the rest of them were still in the bullpen, and hid the cummerbund in one of the evidence boxes.

After spying a box with a different dust pattern from its neighbors, and pulling the cummerbund out of it, she gloats to Jake that she’ll always be one step ahead. He tells her maybe she should read the inscription to make sure it’s the right cummerbund. It’s not, because this one reads: "Amy Santiago, will you marry me?"


After swearing this is not part of the heist, Jake launches into a very Jake-like and super adorable proposal. Amy, of course, says yes!

Later, as the team’s celebrating in the bar, Holt informs the team that technically, no one won the heist this year because Jake altered the wording on the cummerbund, so the original “Amazing Human/Genius” one was never claimed by midnight. No one else cares, but the lack of winner this year will undoubtedly play a part in next year’s competition.

And let’s be honest, Jake came out the real winner this year, because AMY SAID YES!

Bullets on the Bulletin Board:

  • “Some of you have asked me what got me through prison. Was it my family? Don’t be stupid. Was it knowing my friends would eventually get me out? Of course not. I never believed in any of you. No, the only thing that kept me sane was planning for the Halloween Heist those many years doing hard time.” “It was eight weeks.”  
  • “Letting me into your life was the worst mistake you ever made!”
  • “Everyone stop undressing! We just had harassment training!”
  • “This isn’t Bachelor in Paradise — it’s Survivor!”
  • “Alright fine. It looks like I’m going to have to 127 Hours this sitch.” “You’re going to cut off your own arm?” “Is that how it ends?! Oh, man, I got busy and my rental period expired. I thought he just wiggled out.” 
  • “I couldn’t bring myself to neuter Cheddar, but I will neuter you all.”
  • “Romantic epiphanies are dope.” 


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