How Brooklyn Nine-Nine Is Pulling Off A Halloween Episode On NBC


During its five-year run on Fox, Brooklyn Nine-Nine developed a reputation for being one of the silliest comedies on TV, thanks in part to its annual Halloween-themed episodes. Fans were worried that shifting to NBC as a midseason entry would eliminate Brooklyn Nine-Nine's shot at tackling a Halloween entry, but fear not. Another round of twisty fun is going down in Season 6, only this year, the episode itself will be disguised as "Cinco de Mayo."

Rather than messing with timelines or dipping back to the past for another flashback-fueled episode, the Brooklyn Nine-Nine creative team came to the wise decision to just make Halloween happen earlier in the year than usual. (I'm not against making that a nationally recognized change, either.) Here's the synopsis for the "Cinco de Mayo" episode, which is set for a post-holiday airing of May 9.

In order to distract Terry from the stress of his upcoming lieutenant’s exam, Jake, Holt and the squad decide to hold the annual Halloween Heist on a new date, Cinco de Mayo.

Bringing the Halloween festivities to an early May fiesta is a pretty solid way to reroute Terry's overabundant energy away from the pressure of the lieutenant's exam that he's been keen to conquer for a while now. Perhaps Terry Crews' Terry can dress up as someone who's already passed the exam, for that extra bit of confidence-boosting oomph. Not the most exciting costume, to be sure, but one that at least speaks to the goals of the person wearing it.

Terry might need whatever help he can get in that respect, because let's get real here. If Jake & Co. are able to successfully pull off a hilarious Halloween heist in the spring, then that might be too strong of a distraction for Terry. He could easily get too wrapped up in trying to prove himself an "amazing human/detective/genius/athlete/husband/father" during the in-house shenanigans, and might somehow botch his shot at securing a promotion. After all, where there is Jake, there is trouble.

Last year's themed episode, titled "HalloVeen," featured the most dramatic resolution of any so far, and not only because the episode ended without anyone technically winning, much to Holt's dismay. Rather, Jake used the "belt"-hiding heist to precede his eventual proposal to Amy; he'd had the belt inscribed with the message: "Amy Santiago, will you marry me?" The couple later wed in the Season 5 finale, which was Brooklyn Nine-Nine's final episode on Fox.

In the pair of prior Halloween-friendly episodes, Brooklyn Nine-Nine took what was initially Jake and Holt's battle of wits and expanded it to include more of the surrounding crew. Amy was the first mastermind to twist things around for the third outing, while Gina showed off her own expectation-defying skills in "Halloween IV."

It's unfortunate that former star Chelsea Peretti likely won't be around to take part in this year's Halloween fun, though it's wouldn't be impossible for her to make an appearance. It was revealed recently that Peretti's workplace superstar Gina Linetti would be returning for the May 2 episode. It's probably too much to ask for Peretti to return to the Nine-Nine in a full-time capacity, but it sure would be nice to see her immediately surprising fans again with another appearance the next week.

With or without Peretti around, it'll be hard for Brooklyn Nine-Nine to step up its Halloween-inspired chaos in terms of game-changing moments like a proposal, but showrunner Dan Goor and the writers have rarely disappointed in the past. Plus, I'm not alone in thinking that the move to NBC was just the jolt that Brooklyn Nine-Nine needed to keep moving forward without covering the same narrative tracks. As such, its first Halloween ep on the network should appropriately be a doozy. (Don't anybody go and screw things up for Terry, now.)

Brooklyn Nine-Nine airs Thursday nights on NBC at 9:00 p.m. ET.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.