Brooklyn Nine-Nine Review: Kicking It Old School

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Meeting your childhood hero is an amazing feeling. I know this because I met one of my childhood heroes this summer – a man named Richard Dean Anderson.

“MacGyver” was my absolute favourite show as a kid, and his character, though fictional, was the reason I loved science and pursued a career in science. 

Honestly, I was so happy just to meet him; if I ever had a chance to actually make an impression on RDA, I’d probably make a fool of myself!

Attention, Peralta!

So I could relate to Jake Peralta on Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 1 Episode 8.

Jake’s idol was Jimmy Brogan, played by guest star Stacy Keach. Brogan was a crime reporter from the 1970s, writing about the type of cops who shot first and asked questions later, the guys who strangled hippies with their own beards. (Not unlike Mike Hammer, the old school private detective that Keach played back in the 80s).

Captain Holt wasn’t a fan of that period in time, as the precincts were still rife with corruption and every prejudice you could think of.  However, Jake idolized everything about those cops and that era, and the book that Brogan wrote, “The Squad”, was what inspired him to become a police officer. 

So when Peralta and Santiago were assigned to be shadowed by Brogan, well, Jake got a little too excited.

Peralta tried really hard to be the kind of cop that Brogan wrote about, which included drinking two bottles of scotch that night and coming to work the next day with one of the funniest hangovers I’ve ever seen.

Unfortunately, he was too drunk then to realize that everything he said that night was on the record, and he made a few remarks criticizing Captain Holt. In his attempt to get Brogan to rescind the things he said under the influence, he ended up punching the guy in the face.

Up till this point, I had the impression - as did Captain Holt who angrily dismissed him - that Jake is an impulsive child who just kept making wrong decisions. I was a little annoyed here as well; I’ve maintained through the series that Peralta perfectly straddles the line between man and child, but this episode had him squarely on the child side. 

That is, until Santiago let it slip that the punch was because of Brogan’s derogatory homophobic insult of Holt. Jake not only stood up to Brogan, he defended his Captain. It takes strength of character and conviction to stand up to someone you’ve always considered a hero.

Thank you, writers. I’ll never doubt you again. Jake is back straddling that line, as only he can.

While Peralta was up to his shenanigans, Terry and Charles had the seemingly impossible task of getting Rosa to soften up her terrifyingly intimidating courtroom demeanor, a task which included wardrobe changes and blinking lessons and in-court coaching on their part. It didn’t seem to work, though, since Rosa seemed more uncomfortable than she ever did.

Then, for a few precious and lovely minutes, we found out that Rosa’s character isn’t so one-dimensional. Her whole courtroom scare-down tactic was just a veneer for her nervousness. My goodness, could there be more to Detective Diaz than a hard attitude? Is it possible that veneer exists outside the courtroom as well, and she’s more vulnerable than she lets on? Rosa Diaz, who are you?

And then the moment was killed when she came back to the precinct and revealed that she got over her nerves through Charles’ suggestion of finding a happy place – which involved maiming and beating up the defense attorney. Sigh. It was nice while it lasted, Rosa.

Other notes:

  • Oh. My. Goodness. The suit and the hair on Andre Braugher in his flashback. I almost died.
  • The cold open with the Hurt Locker/bomb squad treatment of Scully’s stinky shoes was hilarious. Also a nice bookend to the episode, which ended with the same treatment of Brogan’s book.
  • Peralta’s grandmother called him pineapples!
  • Remember to check out our section of Brooklyn Nine-Nine quotes.

Old School Review

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 1 Episode 8 Quotes

“The Squad” is the best book I ever read, and I’ve read 15 books.


Don’t worry; I know what I’m doing. I saw the first 15 minutes of The Hurt Locker.