DISCLAIMER: This recap of the Brooklyn Nine-Nine episode “Blue Flu” is laden with spoilers. You’ve been warned. Proceed at your own peril. 

Welcome back, Nine-Niners! Brooklyn Nine-Nine continues to bestow bountiful blessings upon our Thursday evenings. While last week’s premiere and second episodes were strong, episode three feels like a true return to form for Brooklyn Nine-Nine. This time, “Blue Flu” brings our core crew together to work on a case. There’s nothing like watching the squad work in tandem to put the kibosh on a fraudulent news story. 

While this episode retains some of the show’s signature humor, it’s clear there’s a narrative shift occurring, and I’m excited to see where it takes us for the remainder of the season. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is actually addressing the need for police reform, which is more than I can say for our real-world law enforcement. 

Ready to delve into “Blue Flu”? Let’s get to it. 

RELATED: Brooklyn Nine-Nine Recap: (S08E02) The Lake House

We open with a news story — an NYPD officer claims he bit into a dead mouse concealed in his burrito. Frank O’Sullivan (John C. McGinley), President of the Patrolmen’s Union, cries foul, claiming this was a direct attack on the police. An attack bolstered by “Antifa” blah blah blah. That song and dance. 

Naturally, Holt (Andre Braugher) wants the squad to fight back against O’Sullivan’s fraudulent claim. Uniformed officers walk out of several precincts, refusing to work because of this “Blue Flu.” Apparently, they all contracted mono because of the incident. They even had doctors’ notes. O’Sullivan wants Holt to make a statement supporting this movement and the officer who bit the dead mouse. 

Still of Terry Crews and Melissa Fumero in the Brooklyn Nine-Nine episode "Blue Flu."

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE — “Blue Flu” Episode 803 — Pictured in this screengrab: (l-r) Terry Crews as Terry Jeffords, Melissa Fumero as Amy Santiago — (Photo by: NBC)

However, Holt knows this story reeks of lies. It is, indubitably, the biggest of whoops (emphasis on the “h”). 

So, he assembles his “trident” of a team. Jake (Andy Samberg) and Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) will act as the first prong. They must prove the doctors’ notes are fake, so the officers have to return to work. The second (and most important) prong consists of Terry (Terry Crews) and Amy (Melissa Fumero). They’ll have to figure out how to keep tabs on crime without a bevy of officers at their disposal. 

Lastly, the third prong will be their ace in the hole: Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz). She’ll need to learn who strategically placed that dead mouse in the burrito. 

Next, Jake and Boyle are examining the doctors’ notes. Boyle brings up a valid point — nobody contracts mono at their age. You get it as a child. Jake suggests Boyle see the doctor himself. Hot damn! When his results come back negative for mono, that’ll prove the officers were faking it.

Meanwhile, Terry isn’t feeling so hot. His stomach incessantly rumbles. Of course, toughness is a huge sticking point with our Terry, so he attempts to soldier through it for the trident. Amy discloses her findings. They tried securing “uniforms” from other precincts, but they’ll call out sick too. 

So, the Nine-Nine must resort to *gulp* using Hitchcocks and Scullys from various precincts. Those were the only detectives the said precincts were willing to give up. Scully (Joel McKinnon Miller) has finally found his people! 

Then, we see Boyle at his doctor’s appointment. The doctor examining him is the same one who gave notes to the Blue Flu officers. This doc notices one of Boyle’s family jewels is abnormally large and misshapen. He’s going to run tests on it. Jake overhears the conversation. 

Now, Boyle emerges from his appointment, and he’s not doing so well. Naturally, he’s frightened about potentially having testicular cancer.

Later, Rosa and Holt are discussing payment for her services. She doesn’t want cold, hard cash — she wants to see Holt’s tattoo. That, in itself, is priceless. Holt is flabbergasted, but he acquiesces. Of course, Rosa must deliver on her end first. 

Still of Joe Lo Truglio in the Brooklyn Nine-Nine episode "Blue Flu."

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE — “Blue Flu” Episode 803 — Pictured: Joe Lo Truglio as Charles Boyle — (Photo by: Jordin Althaus/NBC)

Next, Holt is leading a meeting with his trident team. He allows Terry to skip out early until the latter feels well enough to resume work. Amy is exasperated — she can’t get the Hitchcocks and Scullys to do anything. Boyle is face-deep in cheese, eating his worries away. 

After consulting with Scully and a virtual Hitchcock (Dirk Blocker), the latter of which is building a sex barge in Brazil, Amy decides to give her unruly detectives “Fitbit” type watches. It’ll tally their steps so she can see whether they’re actually patrolling the borough. 

This just in, folks … Operation: Trident is now Operation: Fork. Adjust yourselves accordingly. Jake believes the new name is lame, but he’s on a stakeout with his fave stakeout boy, Boyle. He urges Boyle to divulge his feelings about a potential cancer diagnosis. Boyle monologues about wanting to watch Nikolaj grow up. Catching baddies in the nursing home with Jakey when they’re 90. Jake’s not crying; you are.

Later, Rosa delivers and then some. She procures a photo of the officer from the news story purchasing a mouse, rendering the news story fraudulent. Bingpot! Time for Rosa’s payment!

Then, Holt meets with O’Sullivan. O’Sullivan has been caught red-handed, but he won’t ‘fess up to his crime. Their exchange is reminiscent of any argument one has on Twitter: nobody listens and, well, arguing is fruitless. Even Holt notes how frustrating their conversation is, especially when O’Sullivan accuses him of loathing cops and being racist. You can’t be racist to white people, dude. 

Next, Terry brings Holt evidence that wholeheartedly proves O’Sullivan’s guilt. Terry attended a Blue Flu meeting, wherein the members outright admitted it was all a sham.

However, the audio clip consists solely of Terry’s rumbling stomach. Holt was hoisted by his own petard!

Meanwhile, Amy discovers the Hitchcocks and Scullys played her like a fiddle. They’ll do anything to maintain laziness. She catches them sitting in massage chairs with their step watches on their thighs, giving the impression of movement. 

Jake and Boyle are on their stakeout when Boyle gets the results of his test. He’s cancer-free! Huzzah! Oh, and the doctor they’re staking out appears to be innocent. 

Still of Andre Braugher and Andy Samberg in the Brooklyn Nine-Nine episode "Blue Flu."

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE — “Blue Flu” Episode 803 — Pictured in this screengrab: (l-r) Andre Braugher as Ray Holt, Andy Samberg as Jake Peralta — (Photo by: NBC)

Later, O’Sullivan meets with Holt and Jake. We learn it wasn’t the doctor who faked those notes but the labs wherein the mono “test results” originated. Apparently, the guy who runs the lab is related to an NYPD officer. 

They’ve really got O’Sullivan by the short and curlies now! So, he can drop the Blue Flu farce, or Holt will release the truth to the public.

Unfortunately, O’Sullivan has another ace up his sleeve: Terry’s stomach bug spreading to the other officers present at the Blue Flu meeting. The petard won’t stop hoisting!

Now, the gang finds Holt at the bar, drinking his sorrows away and munching on Boyle’s cheese. Boyle attempts to impart words of encouragement for our Dadptain. But Holt cherry-picks Boyle’s words and focuses on what he didn’t accomplish amid his tenure with the NYPD. 

Then, Holt chats with O’Sullivan in the latter’s office. Yes, the Nine-Nine’s arrest records are down. However, something else happened — crime didn’t surge with fewer officers on the ground. It plateaued. 

So, Holt wants to experiment with this. What happens when fewer uniforms are involved in the policing process? Could that lead to substantial and positive police reform? O’Sullivan doesn’t think so, but he’s the antagonist here. 

Still of Joe Lo Truglio, Terry Crews, Melissa Fumero and Andy Samberg in the Brooklyn Nine-Nine episode "Blue Flu."

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE — “Blue Flu” Episode 803 — Pictured in this screengrab: (l-r) Joe Lo Truglio as Charles Boyle, Melissa Fumero as Amy Santiago, Andy Samberg as Jake Peralta — (Photo by: NBC)

Later, Holt reveals the Blue Flu is no more. The Hitchcocks and Scullys have also been returned to their home precincts. Holt wants to take what he’s learned from this case and utilize it to better the NYPD. 

But that’s not all! Jake has a photo of Holt’s tattoo to share with the class! It’s … a decimal point? Pretty underwhelming, if you ask me. 

Next, somewhere in New York, we see Holt meeting with Rosa in secret. Apparently, she doctored the picture, so the squad didn’t see the real tattoo. He pays her in cash. Then, just as Rosa is about to tell us what Holt’s tattoo actually is, the scene cuts off. 

Biggest cliffhanger ever!

RELATED: Catch up on all the bingpot shenanigans with our Brooklyn Nine-Nine recaps!

“Blue Flu” is a quintessential Brooklyn Nine-Nine outing with some touching Jake/Boyle moments, classic Holt one-liners and a clear villain for the season. I love the new direction and the valiant, genuine effort to bring real change to policing. 

Let’s enjoy these last episodes, squad. Nine-Nine forever. 

Brooklyn Nine-Nine airs Thursdays at 8 pm on your NBC affiliate. 

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