NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” are present in this review
Brooklyn Nine-Nine aired a Thanksgiving-themed episode this week, and one that also represented a big new step for Peralta in his ongoing relationship with Santiago. “Mr. Santiago” introduced Santiago’s father, Victor Santiago into the show’s canon, a rough former detective with the same uptight, super-analytical and organizational disposition as his daughter. Meanwhile, Thanksgiving shenanigans ensue when the predictable mistake of Boyle being put in charge of food duty is made.
Jimmy Smits of Star Wars prequel fame portrayed Santiago’s father in this episode, and the clever emotional roller coaster that was employed with Peralta, as he compiles a binder full of facts to impress Santiago’s father with, was consistently engaging and very funny. It was even funnier when this scheme naturally blows up in Peralta’s face, and Mr. Santiago discovers the binder that Peralta had put together on his girlfriend’s father. Compounding this great turn further was Mr. Santiago putting his own binder together on Peralta, and, predictably, this leads to him deciding that the messy, immature and disorganized Peralta is not good enough for his daughter.
This was overall a superb episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, though Mr. Santiago and Peralta getting into a conflict did feel rushed-through and overly brief in the end. The two end up solving a decades-old case that Mr. Santiago was vexed on during his former career as a police detective though, leading to the two accepting each other fairly reasonably at the episode’s conclusion, or Peralta at least accepting Santiago’s father. The father despising his daughter’s boyfriend is a little cliched, and it might have been more interesting to have Santiago’s father end up liking Peralta for who he is in the end, after he’s inevitably caught with the binder, but that’s ultimately a pretty minor quibble in such a strong episode.
The episode’s other subplots also nicely kept pace in terms of laughs and appeal, with plenty going on in Santiago’s apartment, a setting that has already served as a hilarious Thanksgiving backdrop in Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s former seasons. After Boyle brings in a live turkey to slaughter, most of the precinct decides to put up with it, even Santiago, though Gina and Diaz take a stand, and lock themselves in Santiago’s bedroom with the wild bird. Diaz and Gina being the two that end up advocating for the turkey’s survival was a fairly shocking surprise, since they were the two that you would least expect to be against the slaughter, but this nonetheless led to lots of great humour, especially when the turkey gets loose, and Boyle has to try and subdue it. That works about as well as you would think.
Arguably one of this episode’s best storylines however had to belong to Holt and Pimento, as Pimento reveals to Holt that he isn’t allowed to work as a detective again, due to his prolonged absence from the force. Holt decides to lend Pimento money to get a P.I.’s license, only to then learn that Pimento bet the money on a dog show that Holt was watching, because he wanted to pay Holt back quickly. This leads to a mostly detached set of events, though all of them led to really standout humour, whether it was Pimento having a bookie because he’s afraid of computers, or Pimento and Holt successfully threatening the Nine-Nine’s favourite barkeep into switching the sports game to the dog show for the big climax. Pimento and Holt is a really unexpected team-up, for a subplot but it worked to sublime effect here, and Pimento winning enough money to take Diaz on a romantic vacation was a really satisfying result. Man, I really hope that Pimento isn’t dropped from the show, even if he’s a background presence from here on out, because Jason Mantzoukas fits really well in this ensemble!
“Mr. Santiago” felt like a creative, inspired episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine overall, and delivered a very appealing Thanksgiving episode for the show. The introduction to Santiago’s father, beyond the slight cliche of him inevitably disliking Peralta in the end, was a lot of fun, and the other subplots also provided plenty of quality laughs. The humour in general was really standout this week, and I’m happy to see that Pimento hasn’t walked out of the series again, despite apparently not being allowed to work as a cop anymore, in any capacity. Maybe Pimento and Diaz will have that off-screen wedding in Tampa? That’s probably too easy, but hey, any excuse to keep Pimento around the Nine-Nine is a welcome one!
- Peralta's hilarious research efforts on Santiago's father
- Turkey shenanigans at Santiago's apartment
- Pimento and Holt losing and then gaining a lot of money
- Santiago's father hating Peralta is rather cliched