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Scene Breakdown: Amy Santiago Takes the Halloween Heist Crown in Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Captain Raymond Holt, Jake Peralta, and Amy Santiago in Brooklyn Nine-Nine's episode 3x05 "Halloween III"
Source: NBC

Brooklyn Nine-Nine always gets the Halloween Heist specials right, but in its third season, it’s when it really becomes something that’s cemented into the show’s spirit perfectly. And that’s the case because this is a series that not only takes their women seriously, but it lets them shine.

Amy Santiago is such a strong, layered character that the hope is to never lose those parts of her when she finds love. (Because you know, TV shows seldom know how to write women.) And on any other show, that could have been the case after the two leads get together—the female could have been sidelined, but Brooklyn Nine-Nine decided to not only show but prove that it will be doing the exact opposite.

Sure, Amy always wants to do right by the Captain, but she is so much more than Holt’s lackey. And she is most definitely more than just Jake’s girlfriend. She is the winner of this year’s Halloween Heist. She is an amazing detective/genius. She is a queen. And the execution of her win was flawless in every way. She not only defeated the men fair and square, but she did so in a way that revealed just how wrong they were in undermining and boxing her personality.

She did so in a way that not only proved to them, but everyone watching how low an act of undermining a woman is. Amy Santiago is an amazing detective/genius because while she does care to impress people, she cares more about doing things right. She cares about the bigger picture. She cares about the people. And even when she is proving a point, she’s not just doing it for herself, but for all those who’ve been chosen last.

She defeated them fair and square by reminding them both that in losing themselves in the refusal to include her, she used her mind to reveal that she would’ve been their best asset instead.

If Jake chose to have her on his team despite the fact that he knows how much she admires Holt’s opinion, he would have clearly been the winner. But instead, they both chose to leave her out with the preconceived notion that she’s one thing as opposed to a myriad of layers, brain, and emotions.

“Well, I’m my own person, capable of making my own decisions, and I decided to humiliate you both.”

On any other show, with any other character, a moment like this wouldn’t hit as evocatively because so few TV series care about their women as much as they care about their men. And this wasn’t just about Amy proving a point, it was about two men understanding that they were wrong in how they handled everything. It was about how the underdogs are in fact, the undefeated ones.

It was two men finally choosing to not only see that their beliefs and means of operating were tainted, but two men choosing to be awed by a woman whose decisions actually made the annual Halloween Heist more intriguing.

As a series Brooklyn Nine-Nine was never inclusive just to check boxes, but because this is a show that has always cared about how authentically its characters are written. And to watch them both proudly crown Amy as their queen and amazing detective/genius was everything.

Another note, while the ladies on Brooklyn Nine-Nine aren’t alike, their means of supporting one another is also a testament to the excellent writing because both Rosa and Gina could not have been more proud to see Amy stand her ground and take what she deserved by inserting herself into the game. It’s what both of them have continuously wanted to see in her and in watching her school the men, it allowed both of them to see just how crucial it is never to underestimate someone else.

The third annual Halloween Heist proved that on this series, where this tradition is concerned, including everyone matters. (Even, surprisingly, Scully and Hitchcock.) It’s all about understanding the importance of a woman’s place in the precinct, and most important case in point, that Amy Santiago should always be someone who’s appreciated through everything.

No one boxes or puts Amy Santiago in a corner and no one, including Jake Peralta should ever scream into her breasts. (Unless, you know, they’re at home, coming up with different titles to their sex tape.)

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