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Recap / Brooklyn Nine-Nine S 6 E 08 "He Said, She Said"

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"If I had to do it all again, I would. Especially the broken penis."
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"He Said, She Said" is the eighth episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine's sixth season.

Captain Holt assigns Jake to investigate when finance consultant Seth Haggerty presses charges against Keri Brennan, a female co-worker who has broken his penis. Jake and his collleagues think the incident is hilarious until Holt tells him that Keri was retaliating against Seth because she claims he sexually assaulted her. And when Amy joins the case for personal reasons, she takes actions that might hurt both Keri and herself.

Meanwhile, Holt learns that an old nemesis of his—Ernest Zumowski, aka the "Disco Strangler"—has supposedly died during a prison transfer. However, Holt suspects that the notoriously elusive murderer has faked his death and escaped, despite evidence to the contrary. When the captain tries to prove that the Disco Strangler is still alive and track him down, Terry and Boyle fear that he's gone off the deep end in an attempt to relive his glory days.

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This episode provides examples of:

  • Amusing Injuries: What Jake and his friends think of Seth's broken penis before learning how it happened.
  • Ascended Fridge Horror: Jake doesn't react well when he learns that his wife was forcibly kissed in her previous precinct, and that every woman she knows has a similar story. As he puts it, every time he thinks it couldn't possibly get worse, he's proven wrong.
  • Badass Grandpa: Zig Zagged Trope with the Disco Strangler. He's clearly on his last legs, but considering the shape he's in, it's a miracle he got as far as he did. And as the transport van driver can attest, his "groovy voodoo" still works.
  • Bad Liar: Everyone at the firm who denies the allegations; they all stick to nearly identical stories, repeating the terms the firm's lawyer coached them to say verbatim.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
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    • Amy and Jake are able to prove that Seth did indeed assault Keri. However, she still decides to leave the firm she worked at, although she regrets nothing; her colleagues either pity her as a victim or continue to exclude her from the company's frat-like "bro" culture. The only person who seems to benefit from the whole mess is Seth's male co-worker "Beefer", who blew the whistle on him in order to take his job. But then we learn that another woman from the firm has been inspired by Keri to tell the Nine-Nine her own story of being assaulted. As Rosa sums it up, "Two steps forward, one step back is still one step forward."
    • Holt succeeds in re-capturing the Disco Strangler—who turns out to be a decrepit old man who can barely hear it when the captain taunts him.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Amy and Rosa are both proud feminists, but their approaches to Keri's case differ. Amy believes in fighting for her no matter what, while Rosa thinks that they should consider taking the settlement. On Rosa's side, Amy's failure would result in Keri losing the job she loves and the settlement money. However, Amy's success would go towards fixing a broken system. In the end, Keri lost the money and had to quit, but she didn't regret it and women from her workplace are also moving forward with their stories. Lampshaded in the end scene.
    Amy: We can be different and still have the same cause!
  • Call-Back: Holt capturing the Disco Strangler was seen via flashback all the way back in the Pilot episode.
  • Calling Card: Holt has a theory about piece of string found where the transport van crashed: "It's a yo-yo string, the most dangerous part of the yo-yo. The Strangler wanted me to find this. He's out there, and he's taunting me." Despite Terry and Boyle's skepticism, it turns out to be true.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Steven, or "Beefer", who shows texts to Jake and Amy that prove that Seth assaulted Keri. At first, they think it's because he's a secret feminist, but it turns out he just wanted Seth's job.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Not uncommon in the world of finance, and demonstrated by "Beefer" when he gives Seth's texts to Jake and Amy in order to take his job.
  • The Cloud Cuckoolander Was Right: Holt, who insisted that the Disco Strangler was alive and had planned to fake his death as an escape.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Everyone Keri works with is this.
  • A Day in the Limelight: For Jake and Amy working together as a team; they hadn't worked a case together since Amy became a sergeant.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Inverted with "Beefer", who much prefers it over his real name of Steven.
  • Evil Old Folks: The Disco Strangler, who is around 80.
  • Faking the Dead: Holt thinks that the Disco Strangler has done this. Terry and Boyle think Holt has gone crazy. Holt turns out to be right.
  • Flashback: When Amy is discussing how men and women are treated differently, we see a series of brief flashbacks proving her point. They show various men hitting on or dismissing Amy while treating Jake with respect.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In-Universe, when Jake finds out that he's being assigned a case involving a wall-street finance broker with a broken penis, he and the rest of the squad think it's hilarious and start coming up with ridiculous scenarios for how it happened. Rosa thinks he got it numbed up with cocaine and hit a croquet ball with it, and Jake thinks he was hit by a goose while urinating out of his car. Then Holt informs them that it was broken by a female coworker who claims he tried to sexually assault her.
    Jake: I really wish you had stopped us before we started guessing.
    Holt: I'm not responsible for that.
  • Golf Clubbing: Keri hit Seth with a golf club.
  • Groin Attack: Keri hit Seth in the groin with a golf club. While mostly Played for Laughs, Reality Ensues as Seth is hospitalized and Keri is accused of assault.
  • Hysterical Woman: This is Seth's explanation for what happened: Keri randomly went crazy and attacked him. The firm runs with this, claiming that the settlement money was to get her psychological help.
  • I Call Him Mr Happy: According to Keri, Seth called his penis "The Cookie Monster". Jake sarcastically guesses that he calls his testicles Bert and Ernie, and is disgusted when Keri informs him that he's actually correct.
  • It's Personal: Why is Amy so committed to solving the sexual assault case? Because her old captain at the Six-Four groped her, saying she "owed" him for giving her a promotion.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Holt certainly seems like a jerkass when he barges into the transport van driver's hospital room and accuses her of helping the Disco Strangler escape. However, we eventually learn that he was right about everything.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Jake and Amy initially believed "Beefer" to be this, but it turns out he just wanted Seth's job.
  • Knew It All Along: Holt, who correctly guessed not only that the Disco Strangler had escaped, but exactly how he did it, too.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Happens to Seth when he's brought to justice.
  • Man on Fire: How the Disco Strangler supposedly died when the police van he was being transported in crashed and burst into flames.
  • Moral Pragmatist: Rosa, at the beginning of the episode. She believes Amy shouldn't have talked Keri out of taking a settlement, because the likely consequences of pursuing charges would be that Keri will lose her job, they won't find enough evidence to charge Seth, and even if they do, her name will be dragged through the mud, especially at the trial (two steps forward, one step back). Her reasoning was that if she signed the NDA, then at least she gets money and can keep her job. She ends up being half right; Keri leaves her job and will likely be blacklisted in the industry, but they find enough evidence to press charges against Seth, and a female coworker at the firm steps forward.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Amy talks Keri out of accepting a $2 million settlement from her company because it includes an NDA. But then Rosa makes her realize that if she and Jake can't prove the assault happened, Keri will be left with nothing while Seth and his company get off scot-free. Amy's guilt only compels her to double down on her investigation.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Amy believes she did this, but Jake, Rosa, and Keri assure her she made the right decision in convincing her to pursue the case.
  • Oh, Crap!: Jake, when he realizes that not only was Amy sexually assaulted but that its something most women go through.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Amy, who normally wears either her uniform or a pantsuit while at work, maintains very good personal hygiene, and keeps her hair tidy, has been working non-stop for days, wearing a sweatshirt, with a disheveled appearance. This demonstrates how seriously she takes this case, due to her past experiences with sexual assault.
  • Pooled Funds: Discussed by Jake and Keri, as they talk about watching DuckTales (1987) as kids and wanting to swim in money.
  • Pyrrhic Victory:
    • Although Jake and Amy solve the case and another coworker comes forward, Keri decides to leave her firm anyway because her career won't advance any further while there due to the case.
    • Holt re-captures the Disco Strangler—who is now a shriveled old man, so it's not the glorious comeback that he'd been hoping for.
  • Red Herring: The burned body, which the Disco Strangler had the van driver plant in order to make everyone think he was dead. Apparently, it would've worked, had Captain Holt not seen right through it despite the evidence.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Keri hesitates on this trope when her firm tries to pay her off but Amy, a firm believer in this trope, encourages her to do this and she agrees.
  • Serial Killer: Back in the day, the Disco Strangler was one until Holt stopped his rampage.
  • Sex for Services: Amy's old captain expected her to provide this; she refused and transferred to the Nine-Nine as a result.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Holt sends Hitchcock on vacation in The Teaser, leaving Scully to mope about missing him. Considering the inappropriate comments Hitchcock likely would have made about the sexual assault case, it's all for the best.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sleep Deprivation: Amy is working particularly hard on a case of sexual assault because it feels personal. She tries hard to crack it and find solid evidence for prosecution. She spends one night at work and in the morning she admits she's a mess. Jake listens to her concerns and tries to comfort her. Then he offers to get her a change of clothes and a coffee, and also a comb, but she doesn't have to use it unless she decides.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: In one of Amy's flashbacks, a man who's looking for a cop ignores her (although she's in uniform) and talks to Jake instead though Jake only has a badge.
  • Wants a Prize for Basic Decency: Seth insists he's a feminist because he's occasionally told other men that a woman (specifically, Kathryn Bigelow) should direct the next Star Wars movie. Also, one of his coworkers defends him by saying he doesn't think Seth has ever hired a prostitute.
    Jake: Is that the minimum requirement for being a good guy these days?
  • Wham Episode: Amy reveals that she transferred to the Nine-Nine after her first captain and mentor tried to pressure Amy for sex, claiming she owed him for helping her career. She fled traumatized before it could go any further. The scene where she discusses this is Played for Drama, with no humor until the very end.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Holt thinks the female driver is pulling this and faking her injuries. That the woman is clearly battered, bandaged, in a neck brace and just had her breathing tube removed seems to undermine his theory. Except it turns out to be true.
    Ernest: She couldn't resist my groovy voodoo!
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Jake cites The Wolf of Wall Street when hearing about the broken penis case, but misses that the story also had serious domestic and sexual abuse and focuses on how the rich can do ridiculous stunts out of boredom. To be fair, Rosa and Hitchcock make the same assumption.

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