Shepard Price ’17/ Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
The Christmas episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine shows that the show keeps getting better as the season progresses. As the cast builds chemistry and shows off a broader range of skill, the show will continue to improve week to week.
The episode’s primary arch features Captain Holt (Andre Braugher) and Det. Peralta (Andy Samberg) trying to work as a cohesive unit. After a death threat is made against Holt, Peralta is assigned to be in charge of his protection. While Holt plays coy about the death threat, Peralta takes it seriously, something Holt was not expecting. Peralta convinces Holt to allow him to take him to his mother’s house, in order to keep him safe. He tricks him into going to a safe-house, where Peralta handcuffs Holt to himself to prevent him from leaving. As minutes turn to hours in the safe-house, more and more is explored about Holt and Peralta, specifically the relationship between the two. After Det. Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) shows up, he too becomes handcuffed to Holt. The trio figures out who is trying to kill Holt. After Holt agrees to utilize the whole precinct, the leave the safe-house to track down the criminal.
The secondary arcs are Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero) and Gina (Chelsea Peretti) trying to get Det. Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz) to smile for the precinct’s Christmas card and Sgt. Terry (Terry Crews) trying to get cleared psychologically for field work. Santiago and Gina attempt numerous different unsuccessful ploys to get Diaz to smile, and Terry associates everything the psychologist says to death. The duo of Santiago and Gina eventually get Diaz to smile in a picture in the end. Terry fails every psychological exam, but is saved by Gina interrupting. He takes advantage of the situation, and gets back in the field just in time to save the day.
A tertiary arch is Det. Boyle panicking about getting to a singles cruise on time. He asks Gina if he should be five or seven hours early for his flight, and leaves the office early before Santiago takes the precinct’s Christmas Card to try and get to his flight eight hours before. He becomes sidetracked by the Holt situation, and eventually does not make it to the flight because of an injury he sustains in the field.
The episode is a particularly good one, mostly because the numerous reoccurring gags that the show uses particularly pay off this episode. The scenes where Holt and Peralta are alone work particularly well, because the relationship between Braugher and Samburg has the best chemistry on the show. The episode ends by showing how the whole cast can work off one another, and this is another thing that makes this one of the better episodes. The writing is what makes the episode especially good, specifically the dialogue between Holt and Peralta and the cold open. The episode develops the characters way more than “Thanksgiving” did, and is rivaled only by “Sal’s Pizza” as the episode with the most character development. There is a lot of story development as well, as Sergaent Jeffords is finally off desk duty and back on the streets. This changes the office environment, maybe for the worse now that it’s only Holt and Gina, but also changes the field environment for the better.