Brooklyn Nine-Nine Christmas episodes never cease to amaze, from the original Season 1's "Christmas" from Season 3's love letter to Die Hard. With that said, "Captain Latvia" doesn't exactly keep the streak going as it's nowhere near as entertaining as the past three.
The A-plot involving Jake and Charles bursts with so much potential as they attempt to track a down an action figure for Boyle's son. Sure we do get some comedic moments, most notably Boyle's face-off with the Latvian gangster, but it essentially feels like a retread of Season 3's "Hostage Situation" which involved Jake and Charles and their quest to take Boyle's sperm back from his ex. My biggest problem with this plotline is that there's no pay-off, we never get to see them face-off against a Latvian criminal ring as the synopsis said so. Brooklyn Christmas episodes have always had an end face-off scene but this one cuts off just when things are about to get good. While I do appreciate Boyle's determination to please his son, the poor execution led it to be rather mediocre.
The B-plot isn't exactly better, the squad gets ready to sing Christmas carols but they face off against the MTA who always sing much better. The competition between the two groups feels forced and it's a trope this show has used before and better in Season 2's "Windbreaker City". One thing I liked about this storyline is the introduction of a drunk guy in the holding cell, the 9-9 rarely utilizes the criminals for comedy so it's nice to see them do so, almost reminiscent of how Barney Miller would use criminals. Nevertheless, there's little to like in this side plot aside from that, and Holts remark about the clock bomb, and there's even less to like with Gina's little tidbit with Hamilton which comes off as a shoehorned last minute gag.
Ultimately, "Captain Latvia" really let me down, what sounded as an amazing Christmas episode similar to the first three ended up falling victim to old tropes and not having any real action. I'm hoping the 2-part episode can fill the void because this was not a great episode.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine returns January 1st for a 2-episode winter finale from 8:30-9:30pm on Fox.
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