Welcome back to Nerds Gets Spooky, where we take a look at some of the best episodes of different television series set on or around Halloween! Today, we’ll be taking a look at “HalloVeen” – the best of the annual Brooklyn Nine-Nine heist episodes.
Any fan of the show knows that in the Nine-Nine, Halloween is a sacred day. It is the day when the competitive natures of normally exuberant (read Jake Peralta) and conservative (i.e. Captain Holt) personalities alike erupt with complicated schemes in the hopes of winning the annual Halloween Heist.
Started by Jake Peralta back in season 1, the annual Halloween heist was originally a bet between him and Holt back during their more antagonistic days. The Heist quickly turns into an annual ordeal that most of the precinct comes to participate in as well as a fan favorite that is highly awaited every year.
The episode opens with an alarm clock going off. Jake wakes, ready to kick off the Heist and discovers Amy is also already up and dressed. The two playfully bicker and discover that Captain Holt is also ready for the Heist, as he is sitting in the couple’s room and has eaten Jake’s pre-prepared breakfast. Jake yells “I love Halloween” before the catchy theme song starts playing along with the opening credits.
Jake starts off the morning meeting with a speech about all of the time he had to plan this year’s heist during his stint in prison (the others are not impressed — the competitive streaks are already coming out). This year’s prize is a championship belt (cummerbund, according to Holt) inscribed with “Amazing Human/Genius”; whoever possesses the cummerbund at midnight wins. This year’s heist is open to anyone, not just past winners. Terry declares he’s not playing –which no one believes.
Amy places the belt on the ceiling in the bullpen in plain sight before the lights blackout. When they come back on, the cummerbund is gone! People begin to rip dress shirts open to check who has it before Gina appears on computer screens chastising the squad for thinking they could do the Heist without the reigning champ. She tells the group that in exchange for assembling her baby furniture, she’ll give them clues on where the belt is. Everyone races to begin.
Jake and Charles go into a side room and rejoice that their “plan” has worked. Bill, Charles’ doppelgänger, walks in, and we find out he moved the belt into the vents during the blackout and pretended to be Gina to throw the others off their scent. Right before Bill hands Jake the belt, Charles handcuffs Jake to a file cabinet, having created an alliance with Rosa and Terry behind Jake’s back (and recruited Bill under the condition of buying into his pyramid scheme). Jake begs Charles not to do this, citing he really needs to win this year, but the underdogs are tired of Jake, Amy, and Holt winning.
Jake flags down Amy through the window and she laughs at his misfortune. He tries to barter with her to let him out, but Amy is already privy to what’s going on, having given Charles the idea to form “The Tramps” right after the previous heist. She leaves Jake stranded. Meanwhile, Terry, Rosa, and Charles hide the belt under a heavy cabinet that no one but Terry can lift. Jake agrees to invest in Bill’s Nutriboom scheme in exchange for being let out of the cuffs.
Hitchcock and Scully try and barter with Holt for information and notice that he is sweating. Holt brushes it off, but the audience is shown that he is pedaling on a pulley system that is lifting the cabinet that the belt is hidden under. Cheddar, Holt’s corgi, is seen retrieving the cummerbund. Holt escapes outside where he blows a dog whistle summoning Cheddar — or so he thinks. The dog runs to him and brings him a common cummerbund, prompting one of the series’ most iconic lines,
You’re not Cheddar, you’re just some common bitch.
Jake escapes from his cuffs and traps Boyle in his place. He then goes and checks the security monitors to find the belt. Seeing Amy sneeze while talking to Terry, Jake realizes she has Cheddar and the belt. Holt storms in looking for his dog. After Cheddar is found, smoke starts coming from the break room. A group of people dressed like The Handmaid’s Tale stream out of the room and start circling everyone. Amy de-hoods one of them to find it’s Jake, who has successfully stolen the key to the safe where Amy was keeping the belt.
Jake opens the safe only to find the belt (cummerbund) gone! Terry has a tracker on the belt and he and Rosa leave to find it. Holt diabolically reveals that he put a tracker in Terry using yogurt (Terry loves yogurt) as a cover; Amy and Jake reveal they did the same. They dash off, but Jake hangs back and runs into the storage room — where Amy is waiting for him.
Amy figured out Jake’s plan. He had Bill, dressed as a handmaiden, switch out the safe and remove the belt’s tracker, leading the others on a wild goose chase. Amy easily guesses which box Jake stored the belt in, claiming that she knows Jake too well and engaging in their banter lingo telling him, “ya boring.” Jake acquiesces before telling her to read the belt’s inscription. Amy panics, thinking she’s lost the heist; when she reads the inscription, the words say “Amy Santiago, will you marry me?” She turns to find Jake down on one knee.
Amy is overwhelmed, shocked, and confused, telling Jake that she will “dump him so hard” if he’s joking. Jake assures her that he isn’t and launches into a typical Jake speech, heartfelt yet humorous, about all the reasons he loves Amy, asking Amy to marry him; she says yes.
Charles barges in ready to steal the belt but quickly realizes that Peraltiago have just gotten engaged. He promptly passes out. We cut to a bar, where the squad is celebrating the couple’s engagement. Of course, Holt can’t resist saying no one truly won the heist because Jake tampered with the belt — we’ll have to wait to see how the next heist plays out.
Every Halloween Heist episode is truly magnificent, but this pivotal Peraltiago moment will always push this episode into the forefront of fans’ hearts. Make sure to check out our other Nerds Gets Spooky articles as we lead up to Halloween!