Brooklyn Nine-Nine season 6 episode 16 review: Cinco De Mayo

Brooklyn Nine-Nine's annual Halloween Heist comes late this year, but still absolutely delivers. Here's our review....

This review contains spoilers.

6.16 Cinco De Mayo

One of the things that I love about Brooklyn Nine-Nine is the way that it has made you come to expect certain season traditions. Even as the show plays with new formats and even filming techniques, you can always rely on Brooklyn Nine-Nine to deliver a Pontiac Bandit episode or Thanksgiving instalment. Last week’s Gina-centric episode also seems like it could be a recurring bit. Obviously, the best among these are the annual Halloween Heists, but with Brooklyn Nine-Nine now on NBC and filling a mid-season spot on their schedule, Halloween came and went before Season 6 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine even aired an episode. Luckily, the writers not only found a clever way to give us a new heist episode anyway, but upped the already ridiculous ante of the heists themselves.

Acting almost as a skeptical audience surrogate, Rosa suggests that there’s nothing new that can be brought to these heists, as last season’s outing climaxed with Jake using the game to propose to Amy. It was a sweet way to handle their engagement, rewarding the fans that always look forward to the heist episodes, but it turns out that the rest of the precinct didn’t enjoy the way that Jake nerfed the game. Watching the entire cast be brutally honest and pooh-pooh one of the series’ most heartfelt moments had me rolling laughing, and that heartless display let me know that we’d be in for an extra-intense heist.

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Using Terry’s nerves over his upcoming lieutenant’s exam as an excuse, Jake suggests that they spend Cinco de Mayo distracting Terry with their heist game. Five heists in, the entire precinct has gotten wrapped up in the double-crossing, twist-heavy, overly-competitive game, except for Terry. Always the most level-headed member of the Nine-Nine, Terry usually sits the heists out, but here Jake drafts him as an accomplice early on.

However, these heists have become so toxic and extreme, that Jake quickly double-crosses Terry. Angling Jake as a selfish, unthinking friend who was supposed to be helping Terry take his mind off his stressful exam seemed to be the MO for this instalment of the heist, and it was complimented by the borderline horrific extremes that all of our characters go to here, like Rosa shipping Boyle in a box to Newark, Jake and Amy tasing each other, and Boyle faking his doppelgänger Bill’s death. Even Kevin starts to worry that Holt is taking the whole affair entirely too far, but it turns out that it’s Terry that’s really behaving like an evil genius.

Terry reveals that he masterminded the entire day, going back months to show how he sowed the seeds for an especially vicious version of the game, even faking a chemical explosion to ensure that the heist took place on a day that he could completely control. Furthermore, Terry didn’t even have an exam that day; he actually took the lieutenant’s exam weeks ago and passed. Lieutenant Jeffords wasn’t going to take the rest of the crew’s insults lying down, and he won the heist by pretending to be sensitive, even though he secretly loves how ruthless the game has become. By the end, even Kevin gets wrapped up in the crazy nature of it all.

The Cinco de Mayo heist was a clever way to explain why the game wasn’t taking place on Halloween and proof that these reoccurring episode formats still have plenty of life left in them. There were more surprising twists and turns in this episode than there have been in the entire season so far. God bless the Halloween Heist, and hopefully with the show coming back for season seven, will get another at the correct time of year in five months.

Read Nick’s review of the previous episode, Return Of The King, here.