TV Review: Brooklyn Nine Nine: ‘The Vulture’

Brooklyn Nine Nine

S1, E5: ‘The Vulture’

In which Peralta learns about teamwork again, some more.

Grade: B+


Brooklyn Nine Nine is not shy about the themes of its episodes. In general, Holt seems to be around to scold/cajole/teach Peralta to grow up. This episode keeps the basic pillars: Holt cajoles, Peralta needs to learn a lesson. But it mixes things up a little: Peralta learns his lessons without Holt, and Holt extends his Maturity Sensei powers to another pupil: Sgt. Terry Jeffords.

Terry, if you recall, has taken himself out of the field. Holt convinces Jeffords to accompany him and Gina to a shooting range, to give them some pointers. Between Holt’s anal-retentiveness and Gina’s apparently unshakeable belief that striking a Charlie’s Angels pose is the same thing as great shooting, Terry gets so fed up that he elbows them aside and fires an almost perfect round into the silhouette at the range. Then an outburst from Gina makes him realise that Holt was trying to get his marksmanship re-certified by stealth, in order to get him on the road to getting back out in the field. He is furious, and then panics, but ultimately gets the shots needed to start himself back. Not right away, though: he needs to go hold his baby girls. Awwww, Terry.

In the A-plot, Peralta’s stalled on a murder case, but refuses to take any help despite Holt – and the squad’s – offers. This is completely in keeping with the Die Hard-loving lone wolf, of course. Even though one would hope that he’d learned a little bit of a lesson about his own fallibility last episode. But it backfires when the case goes so long without being solved that the Major Crimes Unit swoops in. Specifically, ‘the Vulture’ – a gleefully cartoonishly alpha-male jock arsehole (Dean Winters) – swans in, perves on the women (and Charles), smacks Peralta’s rump, and leaves. The team stews over a beer or five and brainstorms revenge strategies, finally deciding that the best revenge is to solve the case and ‘out-Vulture the Vulture’.  Santiago cracks the case, Boyle retrieves the evidence, but the gang is busted for tampering with the scene of a crime over which they have no jurisdiction anymore. The Vulture gives Holt and Jeffords a bollocking, and Peralta glumly intercedes, giving the Vulture the key to the mystery – and credit for cracking the case. Not only that, he takes sole responsibility for despoiling the crime scene. Sniff – they grow up so fast!

Odds and sods

  • ‘Her replacement hip gave her some serious torque.’ Loved the cold open where the gang’s talking about oldest ‘bags’ (meaning arrests) and Boyle walks in midway with his contribution – except that he misunderstood what ‘bags’ meant.
  • In general, Boyle was on fire this episode, from his genuine pride at Holt’s ‘Congratulations, Detective Boyle’ to his extolling of Nancy Drew.
    • Also: ‘Little trick I learned in gift-bag-making class.’
    • Also also: ‘Yes! Winnin’ by default.’
    • Also also also, his tipsily delighted: ‘I LOVE THE BUS!’
  • That said, Boyle is still mooning over Diaz. Whatever.
  • ‘The cops in my precinct are very bad.’ ‘You live in our precinct.’ [Making the face of someone covering someone else’s faux pas] ‘Yeah, I know.’ It’s predictable, I know, but the expressions are what make it.
  • Diaz has….worrying……taste in men.
  • Holt has seen Top Gun, and Gina hasn’t? I call shenanigans.
  • ‘Stay foxy.’ ‘Die lonely.’ He will, Santiago. He will. Just…just keep him away from Diaz, all right?
  • ‘Dr Jacob Peralta, who has a PhD in Slow Jam Studies from Funktown University..’
  • Crews and Peretti really are wonderful physical comedians. Check out Terry forgetting the correct sequence for breathing.

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