‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Recap: Who Were the MVPs of ‘The Party’?

Brooklyn Nine-NineEddy Chen/FOX

After a massively successful Super Bowl episode, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is ready to party. Unfortunately, that party is for Captain Holt’s birthday, and none of these people know how to behave in a rational, appropriate manner in any situation. Therefore, it falls to Terry to keep the rest of the precinct from embarrassing Holt by showing up late, spending the whole evening on their phones, wearing shorts, or forgetting to bring a bottle of wine. But since this is Brooklyn Nine-Nine, they interpret those instructions as “embarrass yourself trying to impress Holt’s husband, take photos of the inside of their cabinets, steal things, and massively violate their privacy.”

But in an episode filled with great one-liners and weird, childish behavior, which one of the weirdos at the 99th precinct managed to be the life of “The Party?”

Terry Jeffords 
This week’s episode belongs almost entirely to Terry, who has the thankless task of attempting to get the cops to behave like functional, respectable adults for one evening. With all of the focus that the show has placed on Terry’s fears, it is a nice change of pace to see him be the mature, responsible one for a change (though still highly anxious).
– After telling Boyle to only talk about food: “That’s great stuff. So boring. Don’t waste it.”
– Helping the group play to their strengths: “Amy, you studied art history. That’s… interesting. Scully, opera. Hitchcock, nothing. Talk about nothing.”
– He leads the group in a hands-in cheer of “Be appropriate!” Quietly, of course. And then tells them, “Break it up, we look weird.” 
– Key party advice from Terry Jeffords: “Don’t move as a group! You’re not gazelles!” “STOP EATING CRAB WRONG!” and, when in doubt, “Keep a low profile, chuckle at anecdotes, and try not to start any conversations.”
– Terry breaks his cell phone with his bare hands while threatening Peralta: “It’s okay. I’m due for an upgrade, and my babies are on the cloud.” 
– There was a great callback to Breathless being Terry’s favorite cop film, and he argues with two of Kevin’s colleagues about whether or not films are a “writer’s medium.” Terry is a big fan of the French New Wave. 
– To Santiago and Peralta: “I cannot believe you would both violate the ‘Please stay downstairs’ rule, which was prominently posted!” 
– Terry holding Cheddar in his arms was almost as wonderful as Holt carting around those two small dogs a few weeks ago. 

When it comes to being inappropriate, nobody is better than Gina, which means that she gets her own personal babysitter for the evening in the form of Diaz. Luckily, the writers come up with a great way to keep Gina incredibly weird without making everyone at the party uncomfortable: plop her down in the middle of a group of psychologists, and just let her talk. 
– After Terry instructs the group not to war shorts: “What about fancy shorts, like the kind Jen Aniston would wear?” 
– Terry: “Diaz, you stick with Gina and make sure she doesn’t say anything insane or steal something.” Gina: “Too late. What? It’s mostly scarves and hats.” 
– Diaz: “Gina, what are you thinking about right now?” Gina: “I was thinking about how I would make the perfect American president, due to my skill set, dance ability, and bloodlust.” 
– She introduces herself to one of Kevin’s colleagues with “Ashanti.” 
– The montage where Gina dazzles a group of psychologists is the best visual gag of the night, with the crowd around her getting bigger and bigger every time she opens her mouth. Highlights include: “All men are at least 30 percent attracted to me,” “My mother cried the day I was born, because she knew she would never be better than me,” “At any given moment, I’m thinking about one thing: Richard Dreyfuss, hunkered over, eating dog food,” and “I feel like I’m the Paris of people.” 
– Gina’s contribution to Holt’s birthday dinner is bringing back all of the silverware she stole from their house. And a crystal clock that doesn’t belong to them. 

Boyle and Vivian Lutley 
Boyle meets someone who might be the woman of his dreams at Holt’s party, food writer Vivian Lutley (Marilu Henner!). They bond over their love of fine dining and make out in the closet like teenagers. It’s great to see Boyle put aside his crush on Diaz for a while, as it was starting to move from “awkward and funny” to “awkward and creepy.” Hopefully, Henner stays around for a while longer, because we’d love to see what Boyle’s like in a real relationship. 
– Terry: “What happened to your shirt?” Boyle: “I spilled a wonderful winter salsa.” 
– After Boyle describes Vivian’s book as having the best recipes for making moss salads, Vivian replies: “The trick is to lean into the dirt taste.” 
– Boyle, winking: “There is nobody in my life. That’s sort of a sad thing to wink about, I realize.”
– The “umami” make out scene in the closet is both wonderfully gross and hysterically funny. These two should stay together for a long time. 
– Boyle: “Frenching in a closet? I feel like a teenager again!” Vivian: “I feel like I’m 40 again!” 

Kevin Cozner 
He might not be the star of Danzes with Wolvez, but having Holt’s husband be even drier and more buttoned-up than the captain is a surprising choice, and one that works really well for the show. 
– To Peralta: “Ah, you’ve brought s some wine… drink. This is legally called Wine Drink.” 
– “Could I get you some Wine Drink? Perhaps, all of it?”
– Holt: “You’ve been needling poor Peralta so badly all night that you might as well have made him a new suit.” Kevin: “Needling him a new suit? Even when we’re fighting you’re hilarious. Stop it. Stop it.”
– After Kevin asks Peralta to call him “Kev”: “Well, you are always playing pranks on me, Raymond. Just once, let me be the funny one.”