Review: ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ gets a ‘Die Hard’ tribute for Christmas

A review of tonight’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” coming up just as soon as I induce labor in goats…

“Yippie Kayak,” in addition to being the series’ most overt salute yet to the genius that is “Die Hard,” was another reminder of just how much fun “Brooklyn” can be when it narrows its focus a bit. Though there were technically the usual three stories here, the polar bear expedition was really just an excuse to keep Holt and Rosa and Amy away from the hold-up so that Terry could take charge (and was wisely kept to the bare minimum amount of screen time necessary for Melissa Fumero to play Amy at her wimpiest), while Terry finally standing up to both Zeke and the Vulture(*) was tied completely to the “Die Hard” scenario playing out inside the store.

(*) Unlike on last week’s “Fargo,”having an idiot police official refusing to listen to reason worked just fine here, not only because the Vulture was functioning as a direct analogue to a “Die Hard” character (which I guess makes Terry into a much stronger Al Powell), but because “Brooklyn” is overtly a comedy that often has a very tenuous connection to reality, and thus can get away with having this schmuck trying to ruin everything because he follows Tila Tequila on social media.

Like this season’s “The Oolong Slayer,” the episode made sure to have Jake constantly acknowledge that him getting to live out his “Die Hard” fantasy was also putting a lot of people in danger, turning that into just as much of a running gag as Gina’s belief that she could play hero herself, or Boyle’s love of all things gross (Canyon Stank cologne being the latest). And letting Boyle play John McClane provided a satisfying way to resolve Jake’s screw-up with the gift, while also adding to the comedy due to Jake’s barely-controlled rage over Charles repeatedly messing up the catchphrase.

Holt offering to mentor Terry on his way up the NYPD ladder should lead to more scenes between the two, which are always fun, though we may be approaching a “Star Trek: The Next Generation” situation where the second-in-command should obviously be getting his own command somewhere else very soon, only the show doesn’t want to get rid of the character.

But that’s something to be dealt with when the show heads back to Tuesdays next month. As a way to wrap up both the series’ 2015 run and its time on Sunday nights, “Yippie Kayak” was a lot of fun.

What did everybody else think?