This BROOKLYN NINE-NINE review contains spoilers.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 7 Episode 11
With everything that’s happening right now with the coronavirus pandemic, it’s nice to know that some traditions are still being observed. In the real world, we may not be able to celebrate Passover or Easter in a normal fashion. However, in the fictional version of Brooklyn on NBC’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine, there’s no virus putting the brakes on the annual heist. Well, ok, there are multiple breaks put on the Halloween Heist during “Valloweaster” but that’s all by crafty design.
Being our seventh installment of the heist, the whole endeavor runs the risk of growing stale, so new elements must be thrown in to keep things fresh. This year, within the show, that fresh element is random, handcuffed partners, while the writers take advantage of the season’s schedule no longer lining up with Halloween by spreading the heist out over a six-month period. That means we get multiple heists on top of the regular sniping and Cheddar the Dog appearances that we’ve come to expect.
The heist episodes always have the difficult task of working as a twisty caper while also needing to be genuinely funny. This year has a high joke ratio (Bill’s life getting progressively worse over the course of the six month and Jake sneaking in hard-to-hear “observations” about female cartoon characters to his fake therapist are highlights), while the heist element feels fresh and new. Wanting to immediately catapult herself to the top of the heist leader board, Rosa sets up three consecutive heists using little more than her own smarts and some ham to notch three heist victories on Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and Easter.
Perhaps the funniest joke that the heist episodes repeatedly exploit is the lengths all of these people go to win a silly, meaningless competition. Our central characters become relentless, plotting snakes capable of getting a dog fat shamed on Instagram or hiring a pretend therapist. The reality of the show’s already slightly cartoonish world bends toward chaos, and it’s fun to see our favorites at their most devious. At the beginning of the episode, Jake pitches a friendly, less venomous version of the game, but that idea is immediately torn apart by the competitive nature of the precinct. Terry even vows to sit the heist out, but he’s inevitably pulled into its orbit.
I’ll spare recapping each step in Rosa’s bonkers plan, but I will mention that Cheddar’s entrance to the Stooges and Amy firing the first shot, calling Holt a “dusty old skeleton” deserved to be mentioned. Also, this episode means that the only main cast member, barring Hitchcock and Scully, to go without a win in the Halloween Heist is Boyle, which could be a catalyst for a fresh direction for the episode come season eight.
Maybe a POV Boyle episode where we watch him pull off the heist from his own perspective, a la It’s Always Sunny’s “Being Frank,” taking things to ridiculous new lengths, could be an idea. No matter what the Brooklyn Nine-Nine team decides to do, we’re on board. It was nice to know one annual event this time of year went on as planned and delivered.