Brooklyn Nine-Nine: There’s a heist in the (zeit)geist in “Valloweaster”

Brooklyn Nine-Nine Valloweaster BROOKLYN NINE-NINE -- "Valloweaster" Episode 711 -- Pictured: Andy Samberg as Jake Peralta -- (Photo by: John P. Fleenor/NBC)

The Halloween Heist takes a decidedly bunny-like direction.

It’s that time of year again! Halloween Heists are the episodes that both perfectly encapsulate Brooklyn Nine-Nine as well as give the entire cast an excuse to be completely over-the-top and terrible to each other in the best ways. As with every week, spoilers abound, so enter at your own risk.

Despite the weirdness of seeing a Brooklyn unaffected by COVID-19 in April, it’s a lot of fun watching the heist spread out over the course of six months with Holt (Andre Braugher) participating as both officer and captain, reappearances by both Cheddar and Bill (Winston Story), and some pixelated dirty hand gestures. 

We’ve already seen both a heist and a “Who Has Done It” this season with “The Takeback” and “Dillman,” but it probably wouldn’t feel like a complete season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine without a Halloween Heist episode (or in the case of season six, a Cinco de Mayo heist). As much as I love the pageantry that comes with Halloween, it’s becoming something of a treat to see how the writers are able to make the concept work for other holidays — in this case, the three most showy holidays of the year. 

Brooklyn Nine-Nine Valloweaster
BROOKLYN NINE-NINE — “Valloweaster” Episode 711 — Pictured: (l-r) Andy Samberg as Jake Peralta, Andre Braugher as Ray Holt, Winston Story as Bill — (Photo by: Jordin Althaus/NBC)

After an intro in which two uniformed officers come into the precinct to find it swarming with people in bunny costumes, we cut back to six months earlier, the opening of the 2019 Halloween Heist. Jake (Andy Samberg) has decided to mix things up this year, and instead of a belt—or cummerbund, depending on who you ask—the winner will need to capture the three gems of the Infinitude Gobbler, Russian eBay’s answer to the Infinity Gauntlet. 

Each gem represents an aspect of the winner: amazing, human, and genius. This year there’s a twist: they’ll all be handcuffed to a partner. Jake is partnered with then-Officer Holt, Amy (Melissa Fumero) with Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio), and Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz) is unfortunately partnered with Scully (Joel McKinnon Miller).

Right off the bat, things go sideways when a dieting Cheddar swallows the three gems. The group agrees to wait for the gems to pass before the heist can resume, which brings us to Valentine’s Day. Holt is still an officer, Terry (Terry Crews) is still happy to not be participating, and Bill has seen better days. 

While a floral-themed take on Jake’s pizza delivery ploy (used in the very first Halloween Heist) distracts everyone, Rosa and Scully get the gems… which Scully also swallows. After another visit to Cheddar’s vet, the group agrees to wait for the gems to pass… again.

it’s becoming something of a treat to see how the writers are able to make the concept work for other holidays — in this case, the three most showy holidays of the year. 

This brings us to Easter. Terry is still out and now Scully has been ordered not to participate by his doctor as he is a high risk for shenanigan-related death. Rather than accept Hitchcock’s (Dirk Blocker) offer to partner up, Rosa elects to spend the rest of the episode handcuffed to a filing cabinet.

When I say the heist gives the group an excuse to be over-the-top and terrible to each other, this is what I mean: Holt has a security camera installed in Jake and Amy’s bedroom, Amy has been paying an actress to pose as Jake’s therapist while she listens in on the sessions to glean clues to the Holt/Peralta heist plan, and Rosa has been secretly feeding ham to everyone including Cheddar. 

Taken outside of the bottle episodes that are the Valloweaster/Cinco de Mayo heists, this kind of behavior would normally ruin both friendships and marriages, and in Rosa’s case, cholesterol counts/vegan diets. In the end, all is fair in love and heist, and when Rosa emerges as the squad’s first three-time champion (having switched all the original gems for fakes at every holiday) she is properly toasted as this year’s Amazing Human/Genius. About damn time. 

Random Observations: 

  • I’ve always wanted to see Nine-Nine from the eyes of one of the officers who aren’t part of the core group, and really is there any better time to do it than a heist? 
  • It seems everyone has their own idea of what the 1992 dream team was
  • I need to hit up Russian eBay to see if I can find a copy of Avangaboys vs. Thaboo.
  • Strong disagree with Holt and Kevin for putting Cheddar on a diet because someone on Instagram called him “A thicc king.” Don’t they know that’s a compliment
  • Thanks to Amy Santiago we now know that Lincoln has the same essential plot as X-Men: Days of Future Past.
  • So Jake is turned on by both Betty Rubble and Joan Jetson, but no word on how he feels about the Groovy Ghoulies yet. 
  • How can Bill be both my favorite and least favorite recurring character? He’s like if Boyle and Pimento had an incredibly horny, creepy baby. And why did his pocket squeak? 

Brooklyn Nine-Nine “Valloweaster” Trailer:

Beau North
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