In preparation for the holiday, Brooklyn Nine-Nine begins with the return of Tommy Gobbler (Boyle in costume) trying to spread some Thanksgiving cheer. Just his luck, Charles’ tail becomes stuck in the elevator door and he’s lifted off the floor until his tailfeathers rip and he falls to the ground.
[*Spoilers for 5.7 ahead!]
Amy and Jake are preparing for the special Thanksgiving dinner with both sets of parents. They want to ensure the first time their parents meet goes smoothly and without a hitch. Unfortunately, things go wrong from the start when Amy’s mom, Kamila (Bertila Damas), brings a second turkey for the dinner and Jake’s dad, Roger (Bradley Whitford) greets his guests without any pants. They even exhaust all the preplanned conversation topics including the bottom of the barrel, the shared fact they all have hair.
To relieve some of the tension in the room, Jake and Amy decide to liquor everyone up with wine. At first the plan works, as the parents become looser and more social to the point where Amy’s dad, Victor (Jimmy Smits), begins scat singing while Roger plays the piano. However, the young couple could see things turning worse when Victor brings out the rum. The two dads drunkenly try to one up each other as they give toasts to the soon-to-be-married couple.
The competition soon spreads to the dinner table as Roger and Victor try to prove who is the better turkey carver. As they are cutting, the fathers exchange barbs and insults, even boasting about their sexual prowess. The competition comes to an abrupt halt when Roger accidentally slices his thumb off. At the hospital, despite their previous differences, Victor sticks up for Roger and demands he be treated in the emergency room. Afterwards, the two families reconcile. Because of his fractured upbringing, Jake never had a big family Thanksgiving dinner until now. Even with the setbacks, the day lives up to his expectations and as an added bonus, he even witnesses an awkward hug between the dads.
Meanwhile, at the precinct, Holt is working on a very important case, the case of his missing pie. He’s narrowed down the culprit to three people, Diaz, Terry, and Charles. Also known as Lady Dipstick, Mr. Fib, and The Milk Man. Each suspect takes turns in the interrogation room where the captain breaks them down and figures they are all lying. However, they only lied about their Thanksgiving plans since they were all ashamed of the truth and did not steal the pie. Impressed by their earlier deductive skills determining a pie was in the box, Ray enlists Scully and Hitchcock to aid in his case. The pair soon find the pie thrown away and Holt realizes his husband was guilty since he didn’t like the taste of the pie.
Jake and Amy’s family foundation is not as shaky as it appears. Despite the Thanksgiving dysfunction, not once did any parent speak poorly of either child or express any reservations about the upcoming marriage. They are more than happy to accept both children into their family. Furthermore, during drastic times like the carving fiasco, the parents are accepting of each other as Victor steps up to help Roger.
With regards to the B-plot, it was great to see Holt’s policing skills in action and see why he is worthy of being Captain. When up against veterans like Diaz, Terry, and Charles, Holt was able to uncover evidence, intimidate the suspects, and decipher the truth. In addition, it’s good to see that Hitchcock and Scully aren’t always the lazy, inept, desk jockeys everyone thinks they are. When they’re invested in the case, they can detective with the best of them. Now only if all of the precincts cases involved food, the pair would have one of the highest clearance rates in the city.
My favorite three lines:
Amy: I wouldn’t say I’m controlling. I would say I’m type-A. You should write type-A there instead of controlling.
Diaz: There’s crumbs all over your desk.
Hitchcock: These aren’t pie crumbs. Bread. Cookie. Pizza. Sandwich. Blintz. And one good old fashioned potato chip. There’s no pie here. I just humiliated you.
Jake: Oh no! There are downsides to alcohol.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine airs Tuesday nights at 9:30 pm on Fox.