One of the fun things about ensemble comedies like Brooklyn Nine-Nine is getting to see how characters interact with each other.
On Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 1 Episode 9, we got three character pairings that we haven’t really seen explored before. All three were interesting, but some were definitely more fun to watch than others.
First pairing: Jake Peralta and Charles Boyle.
Jake’s favorite pizza place burns down, and he enlists (i.e. drags) Charles to help him figure it out. However, when they get there, they find out that the fire is under the jurisdiction of the fire department, and Fire Marshal Boone (guest star Patton Oswalt) is not a big fan of Peralta’s.
Not that Jake thinks highly of him at all.
Jake: All Fire Marshals are doofuses, but Boone is King Doofus of Doofus Island.
Jake’s insistence at taking the case on – despite it not being his case – is great news for Charles, who is excited both at the opportunity to work with Peralta (whom he reveres WAY too much), and to update his pizza ranking email blast.
But Jake quickly runs into trouble when he breaks into the crime scene and reignites a fierce turf war and rivalry between the fire department and the police department, quite literally starting a full brawl outside the crime scene.
However, we get a bit more character development of Jake when we find out why he’s so insistent on taking the case. Jake’s dad used to take his little league team to that pizza place after every game. When his father walked out in the middle of the season, Jake was devastated that he never got to go there with him anymore. The pizza place had real sentimental value for him.
This revelation allowed us to see Jake really, personally, vulnerable for the first time. He’s a very confident, jocular guy with a quick wit, and it’s not often that we see that wall down. Even Captain Holt was surprised.
Boone, having a similar family history, was moved enough to call a temporary truce on the rivalry, and they worked together to solve the case (which, by the way, was solved because of Charles’ extreme food nerdism). I’m definitely going to pay attention to “mouth feel” from now on.
This was a fun pair, and we learned more about Jake. But I will say that I like it better when Jake is being challenged by someone like Holt or Santiago. Charles is way too easy for him.
Next Pairing: Amy Santiago and Rosa Diaz
While working to finish the paperwork on a case, Rosa mentions casually to Amy that she was offered a captain’s position in another town. Amy’s jealousy immediately kicked in, and she made an art form out of being passive aggressive.
Amy: His name is Cohn. C as in captain, O as in overlooked.
When Rosa has had enough, she brings Amy to said town, Robesburg, which turns out to be the most boring place on earth. Rosa would never work there, and neither would Amy; they both enjoy the hustle and bustle of New York’s precinct too much. Quite frankly, Rosa would have no one to intimidate.
We learn a little about Amy as well, and get some insight into why she’s so competitive. She grew up in a family with seven brothers and had to be competitive to get ahead. That would also explain her competition with Peralta. However, Rosa reminded her that she’s not the only girl in the house anymore, and they’ve got to have each others’ back.
While fun, this was my least favorite pairing. Rosa is a much more interesting character when she’s facing conflict of some kind, and Amy Santiago isn’t much of a challenge for her.
Third Pairing: Terry Jeffords and Gina Linetti.
After a cyber-attack on the precinct, where a virus emailed everyone’s internet search history to everyone, Holt assigned Terry to work with Gina, to find a new IT security specialist. Terry, of course, had his reservations. Not sure why. I’d LOVE to do an interview where someone asked me my favourite Jay-Z song.
Gina: But seriously, what’s your favourite Jay-Z song?
Interviewee: I dunno! Big Pimpin’? It’s Big Pimpin’!
Gina: Awww. Wrong answer, friend.
Dude, you’re in Brooklyn. How was your answer not “Empire State of Mind?”
There was an excellent method to Gina’s madness. She antagonized the interviewees in ways that they’d have to put up with in the precinct. If they couldn’t handle being asked about Jay-Z three times, how would they handle inane questions being asked of them repeatedly?
She then convinced Holt and Terry to hire the hacker – since he already knew the system’s flaws and was likely in the market for a steady job, he would be the perfect solution.
Watching Terry slowly regard Gina with more and more respect was the best part of the episode for me, and made this my favorite pairing. We’ve known for a while that Gina is a savvy woman underneath her sardonic exterior, but it was fun watching another character learn that about her. Also, Gina honestly rivaled Jake for best Brooklyn Nine-Nine quotes this episode.
All in all, another solid episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
What did you think? What was your favorite pairing? And what’s your favourite Jay-Z song?