Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Operation: Broken Feather (1×15)
Summary: In this special post-Super Bowl episode, Peralta tries to convince Santiago to stay at the 99 after she reveals that she has an interview with Major Crimes. Holt and Jeffords try to make the 99 more efficient. There are also ALL the guest stars.
Along with The New Girl, Brooklyn Nine-Nine received the coveted post-Super Bowl episode! Which is awesome because, hey, more people watching. However, it also ends up proving what is also known about those episodes: post-Super Bowl episodes are WEIRD.
I’m going to refer back to last year when Elementary aired it’s post-Super Bowl episode “The Deductionist.” It still had some great character moments, but the whole thing felt off. The case was bloodier than the show’s usual fare (not unlike an episode of CSI) and Joan’s whole plot line revolved around her trying to get her apartment back after she found out her renter shot a porn in it. The show isn’t usually sex and violence, but the pressure to appeal to a broad audience sticking around after all the game coverage certainly showed.
It shows in this episode too. It opens with the 99 playing against Fire Marshall Boone (Patton Oswalt) and his fire men in a game of flag football. Of course, since the 99 has Jeffords, it’s a much easier win. However, I can’t be mad at this scene. Terry is just too fantastic with his dancing and carrying Jake to score.
After that, there’s a series of scenes where the 99 has to relay a series of distractions to stop The Vulture (Dean Winters) from stealing Peralta’s murder case that he’s been working on for three months. Operation: Broken Feather almost fails due to The Vulture’s inability to give a damn and Scully’s distraction tactic of tear gas, but thanks to team work, Peralta gets the confession in time.
The episode then moves into the main plot with Santiago and Peralta investigating a string of hotel robberies. While in the middle of watching surveillance footage, Santiago reveals to Peralta that she has an interview for a data analysis job in Major Crimes. Peralta is taken aback that Santiago would even consider working with The Vulture and sets out to prove that Santiago loves being a detective more than being behind a desk. It’s a Peralta Guarantee! (Of course, it’s worth noting that the last Peralta Guarantee ended with him falling off a ladder.)
The two canvas the hotel, meeting Melipnos (Fred Armisen) again and getting word of someone throwing their bellhop uniform in the trash, which leads to them digging through the hotel’s massive dumpster. Peralta tries to play up that meeting other cultures and getting dirty is part of the work Santiago loves, but she mostly wants to know why Peralta is so adamant about her not leaving. This is probably where I started expecting a confession of love to drag new viewers in, but Jake admits that he just doesn’t want Amy working for the Vulture and wouldn’t care if she went elsewhere.
Peralta and Santiago eventually find the uniform and dust a receipt in the pocket for prints. After some questioning of hotel employees, the two eventually put it together that the robber is targeting a Greek antiquities auction to find the richest guests of the hotel to rob. This leads to Peralta having to go undercover as a really terrible auctioneer to try and catch the guy without much suspicion.
I have to admit, I would have probably enjoyed the following scene a bit more if it was in a stupid comedy directed by Akiva Schaffer or something, but it feels slightly off for this show. As Peralta fails at being an auctioneer, he gets called out by Adam Sandler for how much he sucks. Yep, THAT Adam Sandler. Even Peralta is surprised. The two trade barbs and Sandler eventually starts an auction to stick a sock in Peralta’s mouth, which is bid on by former Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann. During this insanity, Peralta and Santiago spot the perp and tackle him, breaking Theismann’s other leg in the process. And Sandler got it all on camera.
I should note that I had to look up everything about Theismann for that paragraph. I’m sure some rando viewer/football lover tuning in after the Super Bowl would appreciate those jokes, but it was a bit lost on me. The best I can do is make fun of the Atlanta Falcons defense, but it’s not THAT hard.
Peralta is ecstatic about the way the case has turned out, but Santiago tells him she’s still going for the interview. She believes it would be a great opportunity, but Peralta gets mad and tells her she’s being a bad partner. He talks to Holt about it later and Holt mentions that he knows Santiago wants to be Captain one day and supports her decision to interview with Major Crimes. Because, y’know, good partners support each other.
Thinking it through, Peralta runs to where Santiago is having the interview. I expected another love confession, but instead, he apologizes, tells her that she’s a great detective and that he even wrote her a recommendation letter riddled with spelling errors. Santiago tells him she already turned down the job because she didn’t want to be stuck behind a desk and that she likes being in the 99. Peralta tries to take back what he said, but Santiago teases him and the two run out of the office after leaving The Vulture with a gift of tear gas.
Meanwhile at the 99, the precinct is knee deep in trying to turn it arrest reports. However, due to various factors (include Boyle’s inability to let anyone use a toaster), productivity is way down. Jeffords comes to Holt with his findings about what causes the most distraction and what could lead to more productivity in the office. This includes moving the toaster to the break room, pissing off Diaz to the point no one wants to walk by her desk to use the bathroom, putting a mirror on Gina’s desk so she won’t make fun of the stupid fringe jacket Boyle found somewhere in the precinct, and separating Hitchcock and Scully. Jeffords is satisfied by their results, but Holt thinks they could do more. Jeffords warns him of flying too close to the sun like Icarus, but Holt is convinced he can make it work like Moneyball. He also cried at all the statistical analysis in Moneyball and that made me love Holt even more.
However, Terry’s prediction literally comes true after due to an accident with the toaster in the break room that causes Boyle’s fringe to light on fire and Diaz can’t put him out because she used the fire extinguisher in her rage fest earlier. Jeffords tries to convince Holt to stop what he’s doing, but it isn’t until Gina presents the fact that everyone now realizes what the two of them were doing that he agrees to finally stop and let things go back to normal.
This episode was not terrible, but it did feel a bit off. Probably because the writers were essentially tasked with creating an episode that was generic enough to appeal to a ton of viewers, but still create the show they are known for. I love that Holt cried at Moneyball, but I feel like in any other episode, he would have been a bit more sensible when he noticed how the efficiency meddling was turning out. I like that Peralta was mad about Santiago potentially transferring, but I don’t remember him being that idiotic.
If there are more people watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine after this episode, it certainly achieved its goal, but it’s definitely not one of my favorites.