The Side Dishes Shine at ‘Brooklyn Nine Nine’s ‘Thanksgiving’ Table

by Jessica Kane

The November 26 episode of Brooklyn Nine Nine, titled Thanksgiving, was full of laughs and a few heartfelt moments. The majority of the Brooklyn Nine-Nine crew experiences what can best be described as a nomadic Thanksgiving, travelling from Santiago’s house, to a bar, and finally back to the police station in search of edible food.

Holt and Peralta are absent for most of this journey, instead attempting to track down 10,000 dollars that got stolen out of the evidence locker earlier that day. While the guest stars have been fun so far this season, I was glad to see an episode where the main focus fell on the ensemble of characters that the audience is still getting to know. This cast has great chemistry, and much like watching Arrested Development or Modern Family, the audience has the most fun when we get to see all of the characters’ crazy personalities clash against one another.

I love Peralta and Holt, but I thought it was a smart move to separate them from the rest of the group to let some of the supporting characters shine (Sully and Hitchcock had some amazing moments, from taking Peralta’s random scatting as an invitation to sing opera to eating dinner with no shirt on so it doesn’t get dirty).

Giving the stars of the show (Samberg and Braugher) the chance to play off each other for almost the full episode was brilliant: not only are they hilarious together, but Holt brings out the humanity in Peralta that no other character seems able to. Peralta’s reasons for hating Thanksgiving are sad/funny at first (I will never, ever try his traditional Thanksgiving meal of mayo-nut-spoonsies – spoonfuls of mayonnaise with peanuts in them), but by the time Holt gets Peralta to reveal he always spent the holiday alone I was feeling full-out sympathy.

Peralta can come off as an annoying goofball at times, so it’s important when he has humanizing moments. I was genuinely touched at the end of the episode when Peralta showed up at the precinct for Thanksgiving dinner and gave a toast to his “new family.” If the more emotional stuff didn’t do it for you, then at the very least you got to see Detectives Bart Barley and Gerald Gimes (a.k.a. Peralta and Holt) show off their skills. I really hope we get to see this duo again, but if we don’t then I’d at the very least like an update saying that Gimes caught the yellow-sweatered bastard who murdered his wife.

The B story flowed nicely as Santiago’s dinner party tries to find food after the detective disastrously attempts to make Thanksgiving dinner. We get to see Terry freak out while trying to fulfill his daily 10,000 calorie intake requirement, Diaz grow frighteningly happier the more things go wrong, and Gina order a “rough night” (tequila with a nicotine patch – yum!). Overall, not bad for a holiday that started out with mashed potatoes seasoned with baking soda.

Amazing image(s) of the night: Terry dancing in the evidence locker room/Terry trying to shove a turkey carcass down Santiago’s toilet. I think it’s safe to say the “amazing image” award will usually go to Terry, but hey, the guy deserves it.

Follow Jessica Kane on Twitter (@jesskane31). You can read all of her Brooklyn Nine Nine recaps here.

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