Brooklyn Nine-Nine 5.5 Recap: Gambling Addiction, Murder Truck And Buttlympics.

by Gary Catig

Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been on a two-week hiatus because of the World Series, but it returned this week with a new episode. After the events of the previous episode, Jake and Amy have to start planning their wedding. Boyle is hoping to be given BM, or best man, duties and is filled with excitement when Jake wants to speak with him in private. Unfortunately for Charles, his best friend only needs him to switch shifts and he can’t hide his frustration. As they enter the office, it was all a fake out as a whole spectacle greets them and Jake asks Charles to be his BM. Of course, Charles enthusiastically accepts.

[*Spoilers for 5.5 ahead!]

The main case this week involves trying to bug a big-time arms dealer, Dan “Daniel” Valdano, in order to gain intel on his operation. In order to do so, Jake and Terry have to enter a high stakes poker game and lose a bugged watch to the criminal. Before he approves the operation, Holt wants to test their poker skills to see if their up to the challenge. Both fail miserably, either not grasping the concept of the game (Peralta thinks “snake eyes” and “hit me” are poker terms), or having a noticeable tell (Terry’s right pec twitches when he as a good hand).

Obviously, Holt has the skills with an excellent poker face and knowledge of the math. However, he’s hesitant to join the mission because of a prior gambling habit. They develop a work around as Jake will be the player and be outfitted with surveillance equipment to allow Holt to see each hand. Since Holt isn’t the person actually laying down the bets, it shouldn’t trigger his gambling addiction.  After a minor setback, Holt is able to get into the zone and they finally earn a seat at the table with the targeted criminal the next day.

Playing through Jake was enough of a taste, that Holt begins the downward spiral back into degenerate gambling. From playing multiple games of online poker and betting on a children’s beauty pageant or the NLCS (whatever that is), Holt is out of control. In order to get him to stop, Terry and Jake threaten to inform his husband about his relapse. This is seemingly enough to calm Holt’s habit.

The next night, the two officers see their captain playing in the same poker room they’re running their sting in, and scold him in the bathroom. Regrettably, no one checked the stalls for poopers and one of Valdano’s henchman figures out Holt is a cop and kidnaps him. As Valdano is leaving with the kidnapped Holt, the captain receives a call from Jake, but tells him everything is ok. Jake notices Holt’s tell of lying and come to his rescue and arrest their perp.

One of the subplots has precinct loaf abouts, Scully and Hitchcock, locked in a fierce competition with Diaz to see who can stay in their office chairs the longest. The dubbed “Buttlympics” come to an end when Hitchcock inadvertently leaves his chair to catch a napkin blown by the wind while eating hotdogs. In the end, all three have gained a mutual respect for each other and agree there is no loser.

Meanwhile Boyle is pursuing his culinary dream of owning and running his own food truck with the help of investor, Amy. Charles finds a good deal on a food truck through a police auction and buys a food truck associated with drug dealing and a double murder. He even embraces the food truck’s notoriety and names his business “Murder Truck”. On the other hand, Santiago feels it will be a financial disaster and works on getting a refund. Boyle is disappointed in Amy’s lack of faith in the business and dissolves the partnership. After Amy samples some of Boyle’s food, she realizes that Charles has a gift and they decide to go back into business together.

This week’s episode was a good way to showcase the ensemble as a whole. I always feel the show is better when everyone is involved and it’s not just the Jake show. Sometimes managing three different plots in a single half hour show can be too much, but it worked out well here and allowed everyone at least a few comedic moments.

My favorite three lines:

Hitchcock:  She’s right.  The only thing holding us back is society!

Jake:  Damn Cap, are you secretly cool?

Holt:  Well, poker is just math so I guess it depends on if you consider the mathematician, Carl Friedrich Gauss, cool.

Hitchcock: Yup, it’s what we call an all-dayer.

Diaz:  How long did it take you two to come up with that?

Scully: That was a two-dayer.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine airs Tuesday nights at 9:30 pm on Fox.

Gary Catig

Gary Catig is west coast raised, east coast educated, and has a touch of southern charm. He has spent most of his adult life making science fiction a reality as an engineer conducting research in the military, microprocessor, and biotechnology fields. While currently living in San Diego, he enjoys all facets of pop culture including but not limited to comics, TV, movies, and music.