BROOKLYN NINE-NINE Review: “Halloween IV”


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In this week’s episode of , it’s Halloweeeeeeeeen, y’all. “Halloween IV” has the nine-nine facing off yet again in the annual heist to defend or regain the title of “Ultimate Detective Slash Genius.” There’s action, there’s deceit, there’s a blindside! This year’s Halloween heist was creative, if not a total surprise. At this point, the show’s exhausted all of the obvious options: Jake wins, Holt wins, or a random member of the nine-nine surprises everyone and wins. This year was the latter, again. That’s not to say that the episode wasn’t entertaining, or that the show didn’t lend itself to some surprises, but it was relatively easy to guess this year’s winner, whereas in past seasons, most of the fun in the episode came from the uncertainty of the winner.

The show, like every year, is about the heist, from beginning to end. Our cold open starts with Jake, then Amy, then Holt announcing the heist. And then Hitchcock announces that his ex-wife just died and he doesn’t have to pay alimony anymore. The nine-nine splits up into teams. Terry has a lot of work to do and decides he doesn’t want to participate in the heist, because heists are stupid. So the groups splits off into teams of two. Amy picks Rosa and Holt blindsides Jake by picking Boyle, leaving Jake with Gina and foiling Jake’s original plan.


Jake isn’t about to give up that easy, though. He’s hired a body double for Boyle, but slaps a wig on him and calls it good. Meanwhile, Boyle discovers that Holt has no real plans for him, Holt just wanted to throw a wrench in Jake’s plans. Amy and Rosa are getting along swimmingly, as Rosa wants to win so badly she’s done the homework surrounding Amy’s plan, including the recommended from The Babysitter’s Club. 

Jake attempts his plan first. Using the body double to deceive the other teams, he sneaks Gina out into the bullpen to lock everyone else into their offices. He then boldly takes the trophy right before the other helpless team’s eyes.  His plan hits a couple of road bumps, though: Gina rollerskates her way into a wall and knocks her two front teeth out, and Jake underestimates Holt’s willingness to break his office window for the sake of the heist.

With Gina heading off to the dentist and Holt’s window broken, much to Jake’s objection the nine-nine decides to reset the heist. The trophy gets re-locked up in the middle of the bullpen and the teams are back to square one. Except, not for long because suddenly the office is filled with dozens of pizza delivery people with pizza for Captain Holt. When the room is finally cleared, the trophy is gone! Turns out this was Amy and Rosa’s plan, and Amy stashes the trophy in her hiding spot in the vent of the women’s restroom.


Unbeknownst to her, Holt is already on top of the game. He could tell that Rosa was hiding the trophy because of the way she favored her leg when she walked. He’s brought a secret weapon to sniff out the trophy: his dog, Cheddar. He sticks Cheddar, who he’s been training to sniff out the trophy, in the vents, and sure enough, Cheddar retrieves the trophy. He tells Boyle that he’s stashed the trophy in the evidence locker room.

Holt’s plan to foil Jake by taking Boyle onto his team backfires though when Boyle caves and tells Jake where Holt’s stashed the trophy. Jake goes to the evidence room and sure enough, there’s the trophy. With only minutes to spare before the final deadline of the heist, all three teams emerge, presumably victorious. But, much to everyone’s surprise, all three have a trophy. Apparently, even though each party thought they had deceived the other two, all three teams had been duped.

As they each realize this, the lights in the bullpen go out and black lights are turned on, revealing the words “Heists Are Stupid” across the three trophies. Terry! The team rushes to the interrogation room where Terry has sought refuge to finish his work, and where Hitchcock and Scully were supposed to be keeping an eye on him. But this isn’t a mastermind plan that Terry’s put together – he’s been working on paperwork the whole time.


Before the nine-nine can come to this conclusion and leave the room, however, the door is locked from the outside, and the two way mirror goes clear. Gina! She never went to the dentist. Turns out she lost her two front teeth when she was a kid, and has had removable front teeth ever since. She faked the whole thing so she could steal the real trophy and win the heist herself. Why? Because she wants to change the wording in “Ultimate Detective Slash Genius” to be more inclusive, since she herself is not a detective. So, with another year of the heist under the nine-nine’s belt, the team goes to their local haunt to rightfully celebrate a much-deserved win by Gina and her new title as “Ultimate Human Slash Genius.”

This year’s heist wasn’t as much of a guessing game. Because this season’s Halloween episode operates mainly like a bottle episode, there’s a lot less distraction for the viewer to get caught up in. Therefore, it was pretty easy to figure out that Terry was the false target and Gina, being the only absent character, would likely be the one to deceive the rest of the precinct. In that regard this heist episode was less exciting than previous seasons, but the humor was still on par and I’ll still be looking forward to next week’s episode! Perhaps Pimento will finally return!


Season 4, Episode 5 (S04E05)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine airs Tuesdays at 8PM on Fox

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Tasha is a freelance writer currently based in . Originally from Kansas, when she’s not writing about or watching , Tasha is searching for the best BBQ place in LA to fill the KC BBQ hole in her stomach.
Keep up with all of Tasha’s reviews here.

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