"Skyfire Cycle" is the eighth episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine's fourth season.
Jake is jealous that the Nine-Five gets to be on TV due to their investigating death threats against DC Parlov, the acclaimed author of the highly-popular Skyfire Cycle books. Upon learning that Terry is a huge fan of the series (and became a cop due to an encouraging note he received from Parlov), Jake arranges for the case to be transferred to the Nine-Nine so that Terry can get the chance to meet his hero. But the case takes a turn and Terry finds himself disillusioned and questioning his choices.
Meanwhile, Holt and Kevin are having a quarrel over the "Monty Hall Problem" and rope Amy and Rosa into their fight. Amy becomes ecstatic at the thought of helping Holt with a personal issue by solving a math problem but Rosa thinks that Holt and Kevin's marital problems have a much simpler cause and solution.
Also, Gina has to go to the annual Boyle family reunion but isn't excited about having to spend it camping in Iowa. After arguing with Charles over her desire to go to Aruba, Charles convenes the Council of Cousins to decide, once and for all, where the family will go on their trip.
This episode provides examples of:
- Bait-and-Switch: The Cold Open has Jake attempting to slide from one end of the bullpen to the other on the freshly waxed floor. Just as he's about to make it, the elevator doors open with Captain Holt inside. Rather than scold Jake for such foolishness, he raises Jake's arm and triumphantly announces "Full bullpen!"
- Batman Gambit: Charles claims that he planned the whole vacation argument. By telling Gina that she couldn't possibly sway the entire Boyle clan, she ended up getting close to all of them in order to change their minds, developing the very relationships he'd wanted her to have. (It's left ambiguous whether Charles actually planned this, but he's clearly pleased with the outcome).
- Brick Joke: When Charles discusses the upcoming family reunion, he mentions that they've already rented the tent, and Gina is highly distressed that he used the singular. At the end of the episode, he talks about Gina being included in the family grave, once again using the singular term, to even greater distress from Gina.
- Broken Pedestal: The theme of the DC Parlov subplot. Terry idolises the man, but finds out he's a jerk who doesn't think much of his fans.Scully: Never meet your heroes. Marie Callender was a real bitch.
- Call-Back: The events of the Coral Palms arc is brought up as the reason the Nine-Nine is on the night shift
- Chew-Out Fake-Out: It looks like Holt is gonna berate Jake for engaging in the office tomfoolery, but he actually triumphantly announces Jake's success, complete with Victory Pose.
- Female Monster Surprise: Some Skyfire Cycle fans react with surprise and strong objection when Parlov reveals that Qwandor is a female dragon.
- Freudian Slip: Amy can't help but refer to Holt and Kevin as "Dad", to Rosa's amusement.Rosa: They just need to bone.
Amy: What?!?! Gross! Rosa, those are our dads! I mean...thats not what I think....Captain Dad is just my boss.
Amy: Never mind! Im teaching Father the math! Whatever, Rosa!
- Funny Background Event: While Holt is ranting about Rosa's inappropriate suggestion that he and Kevin bone, Amy alternates between avoiding Holt's gaze with a terrified look on her face and rocking back and forth nervously in her chair, whereas Rosa just stares off nonchalantly.
- Immediate Self-Contradiction: The fan who approaches Terry and Jake to sign their fake petition to get Parlov to change Qwandor the dragon into a male demonstrates this trope by claiming not to be sexist and then using sexist reasoning for why Qwandor can't be a female.Fanboy: And this isn't about sexism. I mean, it's just women aren't strong enough to be dragons.
- Kavorka Man: DC Parlov, to Jake's surprise. He's an average looking, nerdy, bespectacled guy in his fifties... but he's a highly successful and wealthy author with a lot of female fans. Which is why, as Terry says, "he pulls."
- Monty Hall Problem: The basis of the C-plot is that Captain Holt and Kevin are in a ongoing feud about the correct answer to this. Rosa correctly deduces that the argument is just a symptom of other marital issues.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: DC Parlov, the author of a long-running series of Doorstopper fantasy novels, is an older man with grey hair, a beard, glasses, and a watch cap. Sound like any authors you know? (Boyle does try to compare the series to Game of Thrones and is sternly told off by Terry.)
- Noodle Incident: For whatever reason, Jake has somehow managed to accidentally pants five members (player and coaches) of the New York Knicks.
- Office Sports: They're waxing floor during their night shift and Jake Peralta takes this as an opportunity to do the FBP, aka The Full Bullpen: He skids on his socks from Holt's office to the elevator. Even a locked up perp cheers him on.
- Paper Destruction of Anger: Terry tears a door-stopper of a book in half because he gets exasperated by its author DC Parlov whom he idolised almost his whole life but who turns out to be a jerk.
- Pyrrhic Victory: The reunion subplot turns out to be this for Gina. She successfully manipulates the Council of Cousins into picking Aruba over Iowa for their getaway... but in doing so, she ends up embedding herself closer into the Boyle family. With, to her horror, all that implies:Charles: You were so busy trying to beat the Boyles, you became one. You learned about our likes and dislikes, our allergies and our phobias. You even bought Cousin Sherman a scrunchie for his ponytail.
Gina: Yeah, so I could win.
Charles: And you did win... a plot in the family cemetery. All of us together, lying in a grave for eternity!
Gina: 'Grave' singular? [Charles strides out happily] Charles, 'grave' singular?!
- Rant-Inducing Slight:
- Holt responds to Amy siding with Kevin by immediately declaring that the detective is fired.
- Holt responds to Rosa's suggestion that he needs to get some by alternately yelling and lecturing at the entire precinct for a total of 76 minutes.
- Red Herring
- While collecting signatures from DC Parlov fans to find the author of the death threats, Jake and Terry meet a particularly sinister sounding one who they consider the prime suspect. But when they match the handwriting, they find that none of them match the threat letters, but it does match the dedication on Terry's book.
- Then, when it looks like Parlov wrote the letters himself, it's revealed that he had his assistant dedicate books for him, including Terry's, making him the real suspect.
- Truth in Television: The Monty Hall Problem has been around for a while, and it has absolutely been a source of genuine arguments in real life (partly due to ambiguity in how the problem is phrased, see trope page for details).
- Stating the Simple Solution: While Amy tries to reconcile Holt with Kevin by helping Holt with the math problem, Rosa says that "they just need to bone." Both Amy and Holt are repulsed by the notion, but in the end it turns out to be the correct solution.
- You Need to Get Laid: The conclusion of the Monty Hall Problem story. Captain Holt's "domestic happiness" with his husband has suffered because they are put on night shift.