And so it arrived this week, the bundle of joy that everyone had been waiting for.
Oh, sorry — not Terry’s baby (though Ava was a lovely 14-pounder), but rather Parks and Recreation alum Nick Offerman, who finally popped up on Brooklyn Nine-Nine as Holt’s ex-boyfriend Frederick. Fans have been eagerly anticipating this matchup of the two men who play the iconic stoic, stone-faced man-giants in the Michael Schur-verse. And yes, it was a treat to see the pair stand shoulder to sturdy shoulder, arguing dispassionately over the demise of their relationship and, more specifically, Frederick’s antique wooden duck decoy, and, yes, Dave. But while it tempted, it did not quite satisfy. You wanted more toe-to-toe moments between the two, you wanted a flashback of their life together before the split, you wanted…just…more. Here’s to the writers contorting themselves however necessary to facilitate the return of Frederick down the road.
That said, this lightly Thanksgiving-themed episode (during which all T-Day jokes came at Charles’ expense) wasn’t a turkey. It was a solid-enough installment that felt a little more cohesive than some recent outings, bridged by the story of Terry’s super-pregnant wife, Sharon, having her water break at the Internet-less precinct. “Ava” also contained an ample if not bountiful collection of highlights, unexpected and otherwise: Gina’s disgust at pregnancy; Holt passive-aggressively acting out after being wounded by the revelation that Sharon feels awkward around him; his perfectly fleeting duck-disposal flashback (one of the best in show history); Amy finding herself briefly turned on by Charles’ paperwork prowess; and Jake needing to strap on his big-boy pants and try to fulfill his godfather duties while not letting down the out-of-pocket Terry, who was extremely insistent that his daughter’s life not begin at a hospital, where their last birthing experience was just a bit too stabby.
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Speaking of the miracle of life, or, as Gina calls it, that “disgusting animal-kingdom nonsense,” this recap is already 4 centimeters dilated so let’s grab our favorite chewing gums, eat some pie in bed, be thankful for various things, and follow Vaginal Gandalf into the world of jokes!
9. “I threw it off the bridge. Frederick and I were having problems. He knew that I disliked the duck because of its weak beak, but he insisted on displaying it anyway.” —Holt to Jake, about his fight with Frederick
8. “I’ll tell you what my dad used to tell me: When the going gets tough, the pillbug curls into a ball and pretends to be dead.” —Charles to Amy after she alerts him to the technology black-out
7. “Oooh, someone’s in trouble! It’s me. I don’t know why I did that.” —Jake, after Terry asks in front of everyone to speak with him in private
6. “Think positive thoughts: You’re in a Channing Tatum movie… You’re in a Channing Tatum movie… [off of Sharon saying, ‘I don’t like Channing Tatum’]… I’m not talking to you.” —Gina to Sharon while they try one of the positions from her birth plan
5. “Don’t worry about Sharon. I’ve got everything she needs — pillow, blanket, copy of Breastfeeders magazine, which now that I say it out loud sounds like porn…[as he flips through magazine]…Yep, it is.” —Jake
4. “Cocaine?” —Hitchcock to Amy after she asks Scully and him how they accomplished tasks in the days before the Internet and fax machines
3. “He’s always weird around her, and it stresses her out. She says he reminds her of those judgmental trees from Lord of the Rings.” —Terry to Jake about how Holt makes Sharon uncomfortable
2. “I made the mistake of looking at the birthing plan and just learned what an episiotomy is. I’m going to need 90 minutes.” —A flustered Gina to Jake, who tells him she can’t leave the room to fetch some relaxing music for Sharon
1. “Oh, I see. So sort of like a vaginal Gandalf.” —Jake, after Sharon says a doula is “someone who supports you emotionally and physically and coaches you through the process”