Since the holidays this year seem to be even more jumbled together than usual, Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been celebrating them back-to-back — although "Christmas" delegated the holiday spirit to the subplots, focusing instead on the death threats that Holt has been receiving from an anonymous criminal. He chooses Peralta to handle his security detail, thinking that he will slack off and allow Holt to investigate the incident on his own. But Peralta relishes the opportunity to command Holt, and handcuffs himself to the captain for his own protection. Meanwhile, Santiago is trying to get a picture of Diaz smiling so that she can give Holt the perfect Christmas card, and Terry undergoes a psych evaluation to determine whether or not he is fit for field duty again.
As we say every week, the best thing about the show is its cast, and therefore we like to spend some time every week focusing on the people who made us laugh the hardest. So, have Hitchcock put that Sumatra blend in a thermos, return the six presents you bought your boss, and check out the MVPs of Brooklyn Nine-Nine's eleventh episode, "Christmas."
Captain Holt and Jake Peralta
Any episode that focuses primarily on Holt is a good episode, because Andre Braugher is so magnificent. This week relies very heavily on the dynamic between the two of them as they are literally stuck with each other for most of it, but "Christmas" showed a different side to their relationship by placing Peralta in a position of authority and having Holt be the one refusing to follow the rules.
- Peralta assigns Holt code names: Stone Eagle, Cold Mountain and Ice Veins.
- After Peralta tricks Holt into going to a motel instead of going back to his apartment, he declares "It's a safe house, son! You've been protected!", to which Holt replies "Don't say 'son'."
- One of Peralta's safe house rules is that "A safe house watching Safe House is a safe Safe House... house."
- After Peralta handcuffs himself to Holt, he holds up a piece of paper between their heads to give him some privacy while he texts his husband.
- Holt, catching the Free Style Killer, who took out a whole relay team: "Marco. Now, you say 'Polo', punk." The Holt flashbacks are probably the show's best running joke.
- Peralta: "The coolest name of anyone I ever brought in was 'Narrow Shoes Sam,' because—" Holt: "Because he had narrow shoes and he was named Sam. I got it."
- Holt smells like sandalwood, and his cutesy nickname for his husband is "Kevin."
- Thank you, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, for gifting the world with Braugher pop-and-locking. It's a Christmas present that will be hard to top.
After taking the backseat last week to some of the other characters' craziness, Boyle is back in full force this week, and the addition of Joe Lo Truglio is the perfect way to balance out the later scenes between Holt and Peralta and kept the dynamic from ever getting stale.
- After Boyle and Peralta break up a fight between two Santas on the street, Boyle triumphantly yells, "I kicked Santa in the testicles!" to a horrified crowd of children.
- Arriving to rescue Holt from Peralta's handcuffs: "It's me, Charles! From work!"
- Instead of un-cuffing Holt from Peralta, Boyle handcuffs himself to the two of them. His reasoning? "I couldn't decide. I love both of you too much."
- Boyle's parents eat their Christmas dinners in separate dining rooms, forcing Boyle to have to choose between them every year.
- Peralta, reading Holt's death threats: "I would have gone with the whole 'I'll staple your face to my face' thing." Boyle: "Human skin mask. Classic."
- Boyle smelling Holt after Peralta says he smells like sandalwood is perfect.
- The slow-motion shot of Boyle complaining about getting shot in the butt made that stupid joke worth it.
Sgt. Terry Jeffords
Terry probably has the least amount of screen time this week, as he is regaled to a psychologist's office for his psych evaluation. But it is pleasing to see that he's just as insane by himself as he is when surrounded by the other cops, and the growing look of horror on the psychiatrist's face is the perfect counterpoint to Terry's weirdness.
- After finding out that they would be fixating on his fears during the session: "I popped your pillow."
- Word association with Terry: "Bottle." "Liquor store. Hold up. Gun. Death." and "Cat." "Kitten. Cute. False sense of security. Gun. Death."
- The call back to Terry's artistic talents with his terrified and terrifying self-portrait is hilarious.