‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Recap: Captain Holt Fights the ‘Blue Flu’

On Aug. 19, Brooklyn Nine-Nine returned with two new episodes, “Blue Flu” and “Balancing.” In “Blue Flu,” the workplace comedy continues its examination of law enforcement in the U.S., and based on the episode, it appears Brooklyn Nine-Nine will explore the “defund the police” movement in its final season.

[Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers for season 8 episode 3 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.]

Frank O'Sullivan and Captain Ray Holt sit at a desk in season 8 of 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine'
(L-R) John C. McGinley and Andre Braugher in ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine | NBC

Captain Holt finds himself against the NYPD in ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’

During the episode’s opening, Captain Raymond Holt (Andre Braugher) shows Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg), Charles Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio), Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero), and Scully (Joel McKinnon Miller) a clip of a news broadcast.

In the broadcast, a police officer with the NYPD claims a restaurant put a dead mouse in his burrito because he is a cop. Frank O’Sullivan (John C. McGinley), the head of the patrolman’s union, denounces the act and claims that police officers are under attack.

Holt tells the squad that the restaurant had no way of knowing the customer was a police officer, and he is determined to prove it. O’Sullivan asks Holt to issue a statement of support, but he refuses, assuming that most of the officers in the precinct will see through the union’s ruse.

Instead, a majority of the uniformed officers stage a walkout. To avoid being punished for taking part in a strike, all of the officers claim they have Mononucleosis.

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The squad faces mishaps while working the case

To fight back, Holt assigns his colleagues different tasks to help. Jake and Charles are instructed to investigate the doctor that diagnosed the uniformed officers with mono, Terry (Terry Crews) and Amy try to figure out a way to make up the missing officers’ work, and Holt brings Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz) in to try and prove the mouse was planted by O’Sullivan and the officer.

Throughout the episode, all of them face mishaps except for Rosa, who easily figures out the mouse was bought by the officer an hour before he picked up the burrito. Holt confronts O’Sullivan with what he found, but O’Sullivan refuses to call off the “Blue Flu” protest.

Instead, O’Sullivan claims that Holt is attacking cops and vows that the “Blue Flu” protest will continue to counter Holt’s hatred of police officers. When Holt and Jake finally get evidence that the “Blue Flu” is fake, the officers are unable to return.

It turns out when Terry attended a meeting to spy on the officers, he accidentally spread the stomach bug he was sick with, making the uniformed officers actually sick.

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Captain Holt reaches a breakthrough in ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’

Holt begins to spiral at the thought of having to cave to O’Sullivan, and he laments that he has not been able to make real change at the NYPD since he became a cop. After a speech by Charles, Holt then realizes how to stop the “Blue Flu.”

Holt meets with O’Sullivan and reveals that with fewer police officers on the street, complaints against police were down and rates of violent crime remained the same. He tells O’Sullivan that if the numbers continue in that direction, he will have to lay off police officers and there is no need for the uniformed officers to come back to work.

O’Sullivan agrees to end the “Blue Flu,” and Holt tells the squad he plans to change how the NYPD functions based on the findings from the past week.