Brooklyn Nine-Nine: The Party (1×16)
Summary: Captain Holt’s husband Kevin invites the Nine-Nine to Holt’s birthday party, where the detectives have to learn a thing or two about how to behave at adult parties. Peralta sets out to impress Kevin while Santiago tries to use this as her chance to bond with Holt.
Now this episode is definitely everything I love about Brooklyn Nine-Nine. For the first time in a while, all the detectives are in one place and get to have a bit of the episode to themselves. We also get a peek into what Holt’s life is like outside of work.
The precinct receives a last minute invitation from a Kevin Cozner to attend Captain Holt’s birthday party. Yep, it’s Holt’s husband Kevin. Santiago is excited, but Peralta wonders why Holt didn’t want them at his party. Still, Peralta is determined to bond with Kevin and sets out to tell his most gruesome cop stories at the party. This causes Jeffords to have a talk with everyone about what is and isn’t appropriate at an adult party. Though, I do think Peralta has a point about adult parties being orgies. Because I don’t think I’ve ever actually been to one of these supposed fancy adult parties.
Everyone arrives at the party almost on time with their “eight dollar-est bottles of wine” and greet Kevin and Holt at the door. Eagle eye viewers will recognize Kevin as the overly serious lawyer from Parks and Recreation and his character here is very similar. He’s not very impressed by Peralta’s “wine drink” and establishes a No Shop Talk policy for everyone. Meaning that Peralta can’t talk about those cop stories. He’s also very confused about why people are calling Holt funny and what Kevin means about “teaching the Classics.” Jeffords gathers the cops and assigns them to stick to their strengths and be appropriate. Of course, that means Peralta and Hitchcock can’t talk to anyone.
The rest of the party from here ends up being pretty damn hilarious. Let’s start with the minor plots and build out.
Since Scully’s one strength in this situation is his knowledge of opera, he manages to impress everyone with his singing. Hitchcock gets emotional and some of Kevin’s coworkers ask him how long they’ve been together. Hitchcock thinks they mean as police partners and responds with 30 years, and the others soon ask about discrimination they’ve faced as a gay couple in the NYPD. Hitchcock stands slack jawed at the question.
Needing to keep an eye on Gina so she won’t continue to steal from Holt and Kevin, Diaz (in her fantastic dress) decides to bring the party to Gina. Finding a professor of abnormal psychology, she shows Gina to him and pretty soon, every psychologist at the party is marveling over just how strange Gina is. Gina eats it up and Diaz just stands off to the side amused as hell. Frankly, so am I. Good play, Rosa.
Boyle is only allowed to talk about food and ends up striking up a conversation with a woman about relish. It turns out that she’s a coworker of Kevin’s and is a writer of one of Boyle’s favorite books about Paleo. The two strike up a lovely conversation and eventually end up making out in the coat closet with a leaf that tastes like umami between them. Umm… okay.
Desperate to get close with Kevin and Holt, Peralta and Santiago try their best to come up with ways to impress the couple. Peralta talks himself into a corner by trying to cite an article he saw in the New Yorker while at the dentist’s office while talking to Kevin, but can’t remember it beyond the title. He desperately searches around the house for a copy of the magazine and even tries to order a digital subscription and fails. Holt tries to tell him to stop trying so hard to impress Kevin and Jeffords tries his best to keep him in line, but that fails and he ends up going up the blocked off stairs to try and find the magazine.
At the same time, Santiago is trying to bond with Holt over things in his kitchen that he knows nothing about and decides to do the same thing as Peralta to sneak a look at his DVR. Jeffords catches both of them and follows them upstairs to reprimand them. However, before they can finish, the three of them hear Holt and Kevin coming to the room arguing. They hide in the bathroom and it’s revealed during their argument that Holt did actually want them at the party because he thinks the 99 are good people. It’s Kevin who didn’t want them there. Of course, I was slightly distracted during this scene because Amy is having an allergic reaction to THE MOST ADORABLE DOG EVER. KEVIN AND RAY’S DOG CHEDDAR IS A CORGI AND I WAS SO HAPPY IN THAT MOMENT. HE’S SO CUTE AND TERRY HOLDS HIM LIKE IT WAS NO PROBLEM.
Well, thanks to Amy’s allergic reaction, the three of them are caught and kicked out of the party. There’s a lot of regret at the station the next day and Santiago and Peralta wonder why Kevin didn’t want them there and why he doesn’t allow cop stories in the house. That’s when Peralta puts it all together and visits Kevin at work. It turns out Kevin doesn’t have anything personally against the 99, but against the NYPD for the way Ray has been treated over the years. Peralta apologizes to Kevin and tells him that he wants to make it up to him.
Later that evening comes one of the sweetest episode endings I have seen in a long time. Peralta and the other cops have brought the couple to a restaurant for the Captain’s birthday dinner. They have prepared the menu, brought the champagne, apologized profusely, agreed to never speak about the New Yorker again, and even have Scully sing opera for them. It’s a beautiful moment that shows how much the 99 has come to care about Holt and go out of their way to make sure his husband sees that. I may have teared up like Hitchcock as Scully sang and the two of them held hands. It’s something I never expected to see on a show on Fox, let alone one so well written.
Unlike the Super Bowl episode, this episode quickly became one of my favorites for this first season. It was super funny with the characters struggling to be appropriate at a fancy dinner party and super sweet to see how much they care about Holt versus how he was treated in the past. It really was an example of everything I love about the show in one glorious episode.