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Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Two Turkeys - Roundtable Review

23 Nov 2017

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Laura: Brooklyn Nine-Nine may be renowned for its Halloween episodes, but there’s another holiday that they excel at crafting outings around!

Bradley: Too true. And I must say: I sure am thankful that it is so good at crafting outings around this particular holiday.

Laura: I think the world would be a more thankful place if we all thanked this great show for its great work that it does on this great day. Great.

Bradley: Well, that's what we're here for. This was another impressive episode, and the show has very quickly, very easily, and very admirably shrugged off any restart jetlag and is now back in a rhythm similar to that of last season, knocking it out of the park week after week.

Laura: After week after week after week. Okay, I’ll stop that now.

I mean, jeez, this season is on fire. Literally, its pants are on fire. There’s pretty much no way this won’t be the greatest season if they keep giving us gifts like this episode. From start to finish I had such a magnificent time.

Bradley: It's weird, because there were times during it where I couldn't help but cringe at the awkwardness of it all; that's a feeling I've not had for quite some time. Yet it worked because you knew the next joke or emotional beat was about to hit, and so it was worth enduring. The episode itself was pretty simple in its idea: the Santiagos and the Peraltas have Thanksgiving dinner, and chaos ensues. There were plenty of various threads that weaved their way in, from Jake's desire for a family dinner, to Jake and Amy's need for the parents not to fight, and the dads' and ultimately Jake and Amy's competitiveness shining through. Plenty to love just in that alone.

Laura: Mr. Peralta was the cringe-giver in pretty much every scene, and yet it worked every single time for me. The West Wing reunion was adorable enough, but the stories here between the blending of these two families was great. I loved Mr. Santiago’s bird-watching competitiveness, and Mrs. Santiago speaking Spanish. And I can’t help but hear Leela every time Katey Segal speaks. I thought this plot was fantastic and I could not predict how it was going to go. And then it just kept going, and going, and it ended so well.

Bradley: Jake's dad losing his thumb wasn't quite how it seemed things would pan out from the beginning, was it? Even if during that scene, it was the only outcome. Bradley Whitford, incidentally, was terrific too - given the last time I saw him, he was playing the creepy father in "Get Out", this role made for a nice change of pace. The concluding idea, that Jake shouldn't wish too hard for a big family Thanksgiving, was probably the only conceivable ending right from the get-go, but it still made for a nice way to round things out, particularly given the events of the afternoon.

Laura: Yep. I think everything has been said about this plot.

Now, the moment everyone has been waiting for. I get to cry about Marc Evan Jackson to anyone brave enough to read this far into the review! Oh Kevin, my dear Kevin, I was not expecting you to have such a crucial role in the subplot, but there you were, saving the year like I predicted you would.

Bradley: His involvement was great. I'm not convinced that any moment of his was better than his dismissal of Scully and Hitchcock from sharing their plans - although I'm sure you'll disagree - but his pair of scenes were superb. It was quintessential Kevin and quintessential Kevin's relationship with Holt, and that was very satisfying.

Laura: Indeed, however all of his scenes were my favourite ones. Fans on Tumblr are actually giving his dismissal scene its well needed moment in the sun, which is great because it was so fantastic. At that point I remember immediately being pulled out of my, “Oh my god, it’s Kevin, time to cry” numbness and then immediately turning away so I could take a moment to laugh. My SOTW is going to be his final scene, but it doesn’t take away the excellence of what he did in his first scene.

As soon as Holt started interrogating everyone my mind jumped to thinking that it was Kevin who threw the pie out. Low and behold, I was correct, and only the purest man would throw out a pie so nicely.

Bradley: I assumed the same in regards to him being the culprit. It was just going to be too perfect for that to be the case that it simply had to be. The misdirects did allow us some very strong moments with the other three, too, both in terms of humour and depth. Rosa, in particular, benefited from that, and it built nicely upon the foundation set in the two-part premiere.

Laura: Everything about Rosa here worked for me. I’m so happy they touched upon how her time in prison affected her, even if it was merely just a line. And having her talk to the picture of Kevin and Cheddar? Literally priceless. I finally had all three (four) of my favourite characters technically in the same room!

I don’t know if you’ve familiarized yourself with the press releases for the upcoming episodes, but boy oh boy am I intrigued for what they could have in store for Rosa this season.

Bradley: I have not. As I mentioned back in that two-part opener, we desperately needed more from Rosa to make the whole thing worthwhile. Aside from the Pimento breakup in the third episode, we've not really seen that to now, and it has, to a small extent, held the season back a touch. But getting to see how she's coping in the weeks after her release is an important move by the show, and one that is already working wonders.

Laura: You should have a look after this review, then. It’s really mouthwatering, at least for me, to think of the potential storyline. Stephanie’s tweets about it certainly aren’t helping quench the thirst either.

I think everyone played their part very well, especially Hitchcock and Scully of all people! These are my favourite kind of episodes: the ones where everyone gets a role and they all feel like they had equal screen time. It’s so comforting to have a show like this that can reliably provide episodes that deliver everything you could ever want, and things you didn’t know you wanted!

Bradley: I believe I said last week that the use of Scully there was the perfect way to deploy him. Well, colour me corrected, because this was the ultimate way to utilise their skills. Seeing the pair deduce exactly the type of desert in the box and then treat the disappearance of said desert as an actual crime to be investigated was something I never knew I needed to see until it happened.

Laura: Agreed. It was a flawless execution of their talents and I think Holt would concur with us on that.

And let’s mention that oh so wonderful cold open. Gobble gobble!

Bradley: Boyle as a turkey is another thing the world needed. Although I take issue with the scene after the cold open, in which he calls Thanksgiving by its actual name while Kevin calls it "Turkey Day". That was your phrase, Boyle! Your phrase!

Laura: I gotta admit, I miss Boyle Bingo a lot, and you bringing up the Turkey Day reminded me of it! [sigh] perhaps one day they will find it in them to bring it back.

And I have to mention this before I go: the only thing I was disappointed by, just so happens to be in my SOTW. So, Kevin and Holt are going to Kevin’s parents for Thanksgiving. Apparently, they take this trip every year, but they’ve never bought the pie before. Did someone forget about the nugget of info that Kevin’s parents are supposed to be homophobic? They don’t speak to Holt? That trip must be awkward. In all seriousness, though, I was able to look the other way because their relationship is so pure. But I am a bit sad because the potential to bring it up again was right there.

Bradley: I think a sigh is a square on Boyle Bingo, too.

That's an interesting point, which I had exactly no recollection of. It was, instead, just a nice relationship moment to end the plot.

Laura: Hilarious. And also, probably what happened with the writer of the episode as well. It’s okay. I still enjoyed that scene all the same.

Any final thoughts? Or are we ready to stuff this turkey?

Bradley: It's just worth remembering that we all have hair.

Laura: We all have hair. And the Santiagos are Type As. And Holt and Kevin left the precinct and immediately went to go bone. The end.