Brooklyn Nine-Nine S01E16 Recap: "The Party"

This week on Brooklyn Nine-Nine: an adult party, the squad meets Captain Holt’s husband and Gina is a marvel of psychological abnormality.

The squad has been invited to Captain Holt’s house to celebrate his birthday by his husband Kevin Cozner. (Don’t worry, Jake couldn’t resist making an Kevin Costner joke.) This is essentially Amy’s wet dream as she believes she can bond better with the Captain once she has a chance to go through all his things, while Jake is set on winning over Holt’s husband.

Upon hearing of their plans, Terry decides to lecture the squad on how to behave at an “Adult Party”. However after a few minutes it becomes clear that the squad sticks out amongst the Holt and Cozner’s intellectual friends so Terry limits everyone to one intellectual topic each.

Boyle’s love of fancy and often disgusting food (this episode there is talk of Moss Salad) wins him affection from a scholar of prehistoric, sorry paleolithic food. Scully entertains the party with his operatic stylings and Gina fascinates the psychologists with her immense and prolific ego.

Most of the plot centres around Peralta trying to deduce the contents of a New Yorker article he mentioned to Kevin in efforts to bond with him. After being caught with Jake and Terry in the Captain’s off-limits bathroom (sounds sexy with our context), Jake realizes that Kevin’s lack of warmth is not a result of his snobbishness but his protectiveness of Holt against a previously hostile environment- the NYPD.

I liked the concept of this episode: Jeffords having to teach the childish detectives how to pretend to be grown-ups, and the desire to bond with your boss and his partner are relatable to be sure. Who hasn’t tried to make smart words come out of their mouth and found their foot there instead? In other words, we all say dumb things when trying to look smart. Like I did just then.

It was also nice to see the crew outside the office and acknowledge that their behaviour is not… let’s say average. Forcing these caricatures of people to pretend to be different, namely ‘deep’, does slyly address the fact that they aren’t really round characters without making that comment to heady or pretentious.

But in the end, this episode falls flat. I found myself not really caring about the story except for Boyle and Gina’s respective subplots. Boyle is so damn weird, this time back to the weird food thing, that I actually found myself excited by his disposable romantic plot. It’s probably just a case of rooting for the underdog. And Gina’s narcissism is so cartoonish that I appreciated the attention to how preposterous she is as a concept. This and the caricatures-in-a-real-life-setting thing is almost, dare I say, meta. Or at least thoughtful.

However, overall this episode was forgettable.

Notes & Quotes
-re the Captain’s house: “I bet it’s real fancy. Like Beauty and the Beast fancy.”
- “I met my wife at an orgy, well she was leaving an orgy and we bumped to each other on the street. Real meet-cute.”
- “Raymond! Those slacks are a knock-out. [to self] Come on Amy.”
- “Ah look you brought us some wine… drink. This is legally called wine drink.”
- after a group huddle “Now break it up, we look weird.” [all slowly walking together] “Don’t move as a group! You’re not gazelles.”
- “Chew on this shiso leaf. It’ll give our kissing umami flavour.”
-“At any given moment I’m thinking about one thing: Richard Dreyfus hunkered over eatin’ dog food.” And all quotes of Gina being nutso.

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