DISCLAIMER: This Brooklyn Nine-Nine recap of “He Said, She Said” contains more spoilers than the number of times Holt has lamented of his struggles with “The Disco Strangler.” He brings it up at every Christmas party, folks. You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution.
Welcome back, Nine-Niners! Brooklyn Nine-Nine gave us an incredibly important episode this week. The Me Too Movement came to fruition in 2018 as victims of sexual assault came forward with their stories. Said victims were able to shed light on these horrific acts that occur all too frequently. Brooklyn Nine-Nine tried its hand at addressing this movement, and they did so with grace and immense compassion.
Jake and Amy investigated a sexual assault case wherein a woman’s account was pitted against a male coworker’s retelling of events. Amy revealed why she was deeply affected by this case, and Jake learned just how much assault women endure from men. It’s a tasteful display of how we hope those unaffected by sexual harassment/assault align themselves as allies. Jake’s eyes are opened, and he vows to support his wife along with victims everywhere. Terry Crews himself has been very vocal on social media regarding this issue.
Alright, ready to delve into “He Said, She Said?” Fun fact: this episode served as the directorial debut for Stephanie Beatriz!
We open with Holt (Andre Braugher) assigning Jake (Andy Samberg) a case involving a man with a broken penis. Sergeant Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero) decides to join her husband to crack said case. They learn that this man’s female coworker acted in self-defense as the former sexually harassed her. Of course, this is a “he said she said” investigation, so they must view all the facts with an objective eye.
Meanwhile, Holt learns from Terry (Terry Crews) and Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) that his arch nemesis, The Disco Strangler, has perished in a prison transport accident. Holt is reticent to believe that his enemy is really dead. The trio heads out to examine the body at the morgue.
Later, Holt sees a concealed corpse marked as The Disco Strangler at the morgue. A single string was found at the scene. No dental records could be traced as the deceased had no teeth. In fact, Boyle and Terry believe Holt’s nemesis appears to be a sweet, feeble old man. However, the string serves as proof that Holt’s enemy has escaped unscathed. Holt decides to pursue this, much to Boyle and Terry’s chagrin.
Next, Jake and Amy interrogate the man with the broken genitals named Seth (Jonathan Chase). He claims that his female coworker Carrie is “insane,” and that she acted irrationally. Afterwards our pair brings in Carrie for her account of the events. Carrie asserts that Seth acted out of line, attempting to force himself on her. However, she decides to take a hefty settlement from her firm instead of pressing charges. Amy is taken aback by this. She insists that Seth must be brought to justice, and she won’t rest until this guy is behind bars.
Then, we see Jake and Amy entrenched in their investigation. Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz) learns that Amy convinced Carrie to opt out of her settlement and press charges. Diaz believes that this was a misstep, as sexual assault victims tend to get dragged through the mud during the trial proceedings. It’s a very public, very vulnerable affair.
Meanwhile, Terry and Boyle stage an intervention. They believe Holt refuses to let go of The Disco Strangler because he wishes to relive his “glory days.” Holt discovers that the string is merely a string, not that of a yo-yo. The DNA is a perfect match after all, and that chapter is officially closed for Holt. Time to let go of the past!
Next, Jake and Amy arrive at the firm to interview the employees regarding Seth. They all claim that he’s a standup guy and wouldn’t even harm a fly. They also insist that the firm is an extremely professional place of employment. Every one of their answers sounds manufactured, as if they were ordered to provide blanket statements. Amy is suspicious, and I would be too.
Later, Jake arrives at the precinct the following day to find his wife pouring over piles of evidence. She was up all night dissecting the case. She finally reveals why this case means so much to her. Amy was quickly promoted to detective at her previous precinct by her superior. Said superior took her out to dinner and then tried to kiss her. Amy immediately felt like she wasn’t good enough at her job and transferred to the nine-nine. Jake’s eyes are opened to the harsh realities that women’s face daily, and victims of sexual abuse in general. The catcalling, the degrading of female bodies. He decides to grab Amy a coffee and interview Seth’s coworkers outside of the firm – privately. Jake is an ally, and I’m here for it. This scene is so incredibly heartfelt and simultaneously gut wrenching. Fumero gives a subtly nuanced performance here.
Then, we see Holt receive a fax containing aerial footage of the accident. Ernest, The Disco Strangler, is seen fleeing the wreckage. Bingpot! Holt and co. set out to track down a serial killer.
Later, Jake and Amy meet with a man named Beefer from the firm. Beefer reveals that Seth did indeed have a tendency of assaulting his female coworkers. Everything is verified via texts. Jake and Amy arrive at the firm the following day to reveal the good news: that they can feasibly press charges against Seth. However, Carrie reveals that she quit. Everyone either views her as a traitor or a victim. Thus, the tense atmosphere caused her to resign. Carrie insists that she’s proud of not caving in to societal pressure and her decision to bring Seth to justice. She thanks Amy and Jake for their help.
Finally, Holt and the detectives track down Ernest (E.J. Callahan). The old fool thought he could pull the wool over Holt’s eyes, but he severely underestimated our captain. The Disco Strangler is behind bars once again.
Next, we see one of Carrie’s coworkers at the 99th precinct. She came forward to reveal her own sexual abuse at the hands of Seth. Rosa informs Jake and Amy that, despite the outcome, now more victims of sexual assault will feel more comfortable reporting said assault to the authorities. This is still a victory. Amy and Rosa proceed to take down the woman’s statement.
Now, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is so adept at striking that perfect balance between heart and humor. I could be hysterically laughing one moment and then weeping the next. This episode brings a sensitive subject to light with the respect it deserves, while still inserting levity into the writing to balance out the heavier beats. It’s a credit to the writing, the performers and Beatriz as a director. I tip my cap to you, Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine airs Thursdays at 9pm on your NBC affiliate.
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