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Brooklyn Nine-Nine - The Venue - Roundtable Review

16 Nov 2017

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Bradley Adams: The Vulture is back! And Vulturing things up as much as ever.

Laura Markus: Indeed he is. This was a much better appearance than his last one, which is saying something, since here we learned he’s a cheater.

Bradley: That wasn't the most surprising revelation, was it? Even though it did somewhat come out of nowhere, at no point did I question whether this was his character. But for a story that began about Jake and Amy going through 94 meetings to plan their wedding, there was a surprising amount of depth to the half-hour.

Laura: Surprising, no, in character, yes, but still awful? Absolutely.

Yeah, there was a lot of depth to be found here. A lot of good character work for Boyle, Rosa, and Terry.
Bradley: Oh, absolutely terrible. We've come to expect this sort of slimy behaviour from the Vulture now, but this is a new low, especially given how genuinely nice Jean was. I was fond too of the character work with Jake and Amy. It wasn't a massive amount - though they possessed the A-plot, there was more development elsewhere - but the scene in the restaurant, particularly, was a nice one, even in its brutal awkwardness.

Laura: It was nice to see the struggle of Jake and Amy deciding what to do with the information they had. It was a similar situation to that of “The Audit” and Teddy. And Jean was really, really nice. I feel so bad for that poor woman.

Bradley: A very similar situation, working out in something of a similar way. Despite them not getting the venue out of their catfish plan (it was a distant second priority), it was probably better for them that things worked out how they did. Also, I, like Jake and Amy, am fascinated by whatever prompted her to think anything of the Vulture. She works feeding rice to children in other countries!

Laura: A particular line that Amy said of the Vulture really struck me. “You once told me that marriage is for women and gays.” How can this one revelation be so Vulture-esque but also…not like the Vulture at the same time? This episode did a lot of curious things.

Bradley: I can see the motivation behind that line, but you're right, it was a very curious choice for him to have said that.

Laura: Let’s shift gears to the Sergeant Peanutbutter beats, because The Vulture was not the only familiar face of the episode! It was so funny to see the resentment Boyle still harbours for this horse. And it only made his decision to save him from the fire all the better. I love what Rosa did for him, and I love Terry changing the party and throwing it for him. After getting his BM last week, I hope this means more good things are in store for Boyle.

Bradley: This really was another great episode for Boyle. It says plenty about him not only that he still dislikes the horse, but that he went to save him regardless. Boyle can hold a grudge at times - even last week, his frustration at Amy might not have been short lived but for her change of heart - but it's great to see him get past it to do the right thing. Plus, getting to see him dragged along the ground by a horse is never not going to be funny.

Laura: Agreed. And Boyle and Rosa, in particular, have been through a lot so to see her send the footage to the media at the end was really great. Despite it all, those two have a great dynamic.

Bradley: It would be nice to see them working together on a more regular basis, because their dynamic is very strong. (Again, remembering that every dynamic the show has is strong.) It was very Rosa to leak that footage and allow Boyle the recognition he deserves. And, to get back to your previous point - and transition into the other plot - Terry's party was a nice touch for both characters.

Laura: Mhm. I loved the development of Terry’s character in this episode, and I love that Holt was the one to be the outlet. “Terry loves to be loved.” So much so that it physically pains him to be disliked, even if the person in question has the same name as him. It really was a great plot and the scene at the party where Holt says, “I like you a lot. And I always have.” just ruined me. On top of that, they ended it with a hug. I am a ruined person. These two, man. Talk about a perfect union.

Bradley: I'm still thrilled at the mention of his insistence of talking about himself in the third person. It's one of the best running gags (if we can call it that, given that it's probably moved past gag stage now) the show has, I think, and so for him to become unstuck by using it was pretty great. Exposing Terry's love for being loved - Terry loves love, incidentally, for those who remember - was exposing something about him that serves both as a character flaw and part of what makes his character so great. His inability to accept that someone might not like him was almost sad to watch, even amid the humour, because we know what sort of person he is, even before he specifies.

But it's important growth - and it is growth - for him to accept Holt's comment that there are always going to be people who don't like you, and to instead be more concerned with ensuring those he truly cares about are happy. It made for a superb end to that plot.

Laura: Yes to all of that. And from this plot we had the comment - “Don’t people call you Ray?” “How dare you.” which was flawless.

Back to Jake and Amy for a second, I loved the fast-paced nature of their work. Listing off the pros of the venue choices (their dream one and the one they are actually going to use), and then of course the montage of them doing the wedding-y things. The have a drink called the “Peraltiago”! That had to be a nod to the fans, which was lovely. And then of course we had the huge Harry Potter reference. Why on god’s green earth Jake would ever compare himself to Snape is beyond me, though.

Bradley: I wonder if the Peraltiago is any good. Of course, as someone with negative interest in Harry Potter, while I understood the reference on a vague level, I have no idea as to the implementation of it here. But I digress.

Laura: Just trust me when I say there are practically no viable comparisons to be made to Severus Snape and Jake Peralta. Amy calling herself Hermione is pretty spot on, however.

Bradley: Fun. Anyway! I though the cold open was pretty great again. It surprises me not a bit that Jake is nearly flawless at catching food in his mouth from Rosa's throw, nor that they've been doing it since the Academy. That being said, Scully catching the one that went off the balcony was so joyful.

Laura: I’m glad you brought up the cold open, because I could not stop thinking about “The Bet” and how Jake and Amy sat on that roof doing the exact same thing too. It’s a nice little hobby of Jake’s that has carried on throughout the years. And that was a near perfect integration of Scully!

Bradley: I'd forgotten about that connection. No wonder he was so good four years ago. If you have nothing really for Scully and/or Hitchcock to do in an episode, something like that is all you need.

Laura: You bet’cha.

Anything else to add? I myself really enjoyed: the Die Hard cake for Jake, Holt wearing glasses (always a favourite), when Jake and Amy are looking through the pictures that The Vulture was sending to them, “Yeah, he put a little hat on it.“. And something else - Holt was voted Least Friendly in High School? I don’t know if I agree with that assessment. Sure, we haven’t seen what he was like back then but there are certainly other traits he is lacking that have nothing to do with friendliness.

Bradley: All of those things were great. In addition to the Least Friendly thing, Mr Popularity, Vincent Mondale, being a sociologist was funny. I thought it was convenient that May 15th, Jake and Amy's wedding date, is a Tuesday in 2018. And, finally, I'd like to end with a question: you're on Tinder, and you see Dave, aged 28. Which way do you swipe?

Laura: I wonder what that could possibly mean! *thinking emoji*

And I hate to give you a Holt-type loophole, but the answer is simple. I’m never on Tinder.

Bradley: Ideal answer, well put.

Laura: Thanks.

And I can’t leave here without saying: watch the promo for next week (and then watch the episode)! My actual father Raymond Holt will be united with my other actual father Kevin Cozner! Kevin is home from war! IT’S HAPPENING!

What did YOU think of "The Venue"? As always, feel free to sound off in the comments below. Thanks for reading, and we'll see you next week with the review for "Two Turkeys"!