Brooklyn Nine-Nine, “The Oolang Slayer,” (3.4) – TV Review

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B99 Oolong

October 18th, 2015, 8:30 PM, FOX

Jake asks Holt for help on a case, and it turns out his thick, complex serial killer file is connected to a long-simmering problem, a tea-related serial killer who’s long plagued the department. With Gina’s help the two men start staking out tea shops and following leads, their hunches just heating up when their bosses catch them trying to solve it. Dismayed, they still vow to bring the perp to justice in spite of the fact that the Vulture only wants Jake to solve problems involving misdemeanors because he wants to win a tattoo bet with the head of another department, and Wuntch has limited Holt to importing fraud – but when Jake goes on his own to bring the perp to justice he might be in hotter water than he thought, and Holt must overcome his stuck-in-public-relations doldrums to help out. Elsewhere, Amy and Rosa deal with demands made upon them by The Vulture and finds themselves force to plan a “killer” birthday party for a man they both hate, who explicitly assigned them to the project because they’re women and who derides their every single suggestion until they figure out a way to appeal to his ego and Terry gets a new obsession to deal with his work and baby-related stress: eating caco nips. Charles soon regrets turning his friend onto the little chocolatey delights when Terry’s nervous nibbling makes him chubby and makes him incredibly neurotic.

The heart of this week’s episode circles around the dynamic duo of Holt and Jake, whose partnership has been a sorely missing over the past few episodes. There was a solid combination of good police work, good action…and perfectly ridiculous one-liners. I wish they’d utilized Gina a bit more; she has a batch of funny moments in this episode but doesn’t get to do a whole heck of a lot. Nonetheless this part provides us with a solidly important plot twist, and one that will hopefully continue to resonate.

Amy and Rosa’s plot is hampered by the inclusion of the ever-annoying Vulture, but we do get to see the two women bond more, which is a nice treat. Female friendship is never and overlooked factor in the 99, and while we’ve had more of a light shown on Gina and Amy’s interaction lately it’s fun to go and see how well Ross and Amy, two polar opposites, play with one another – it turns out they have a good chemistry that ought to be examined more often.

As for Charles and Terry’s subplot, while it still packs some funny moments in and does a great job making Charles less of the precinct buttmonkey, it still suffers from the fact that it employs a lot of fat jokes. The show handles them with some semblance of taste compared to other sitcoms, and it’s nice that Charles describes Terry’s body as gross no matter what shape it’s in (well, not really, but yes) but it just feels strange; Terry could’ve gotten addicted to something that didn’t require a fat suit.
Plot twists make this one essential, even rousing viewing, but a couple of points have been dinged off because of that.

The Roundup

  • “Man, you’re really stupid in the morning.” “God Yeah.”
  • Low points in Charles’ life: Is the subject of The Vulture’s “Your Mom” joke; is the subject of Terry’s anger when he suggests Terry’s getting bigger due to his snacking.
  • The Oolong Slayer is so named because he sets up a little tea party at the scene of his crime.
  • ”Terry loves responsible agricultural practices!”
  • “Yes, yours is an idiot and mine is a fork-tongued witch.”
  • Gina hangs out in the men’s room, where the acoustics are amazing. Also: crime scene selfie!
  • ”I think this is where Batman’s parents got killed.”
  • ”WESTERN MEDICINE RULES!”
  • Amy gives Jake a sticker just for getting out of bed in the throes of his depression. Gina notes it’s like he’s dating his teacher. Jake: “I know. It’s so hot.”
  • Holt got Jake hooked on drinking port wine.
  • The Vulture’s in a band called “Fantastic Jack and the Junkyard Rats”. The footage we see is from Dean Winters, The Vulture’s portrayer, with his actual band.
  • This episode takes place “well into October”, which is when it airs – even though Peralta thinks it’s May.
  • Hitchcock offered to massage Holt’s wife. Charles pepper sprays him in response.
  • Next Week: Holt and Jake continue their annual competition for theft-related bragging rights, this time the title of “Amazing detective slash genius” is on the line in “Halloween, Part III.”
8.4 GREAT

In spite of the unfortunate fat jokes involving Terry, there’s a lot to recommend this episode, and important plot points make watching it a necessity.

  • GREAT 8.4
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About Author

Staff Television Critic: Lisa Fernandes, formerly of Firefox.org, has been watching television for all of her thirty-plus years, and critiquing it for the past seven. When she's not writing, she can be found in the wilds of the Northeastern United States.