Papa Peralta is here!
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 2: Episode 18: Captain Peralta: GRADE: A
No Jake isn’t in charge as would be indicated by the episode title, we already had that episode this season. Captain Peralta refers to Jake’s flakey father and airline pilot, Roger Peralta. Few details have been shared here and there of Jake’s childhood, mostly that he looked after himself a lot with absentee parents being a thing around him and how he’s formed much of his childish personality today, which is charming in many ways, yet has show maturity because of how he brought himself up. Its nice to see little things here and there so this week was all about the past of Jake and how he tries to make it better this week.
Roger is in town to visit Jake and Boyle is oddly defensive. Give his level of hero worship and unconditional love of Jake, it stands to reason for Boyle to act like this as it feels organic to his character. How (un)casually he throws in that Roger let Jake down as a dad, reminding Jake that he didn’t need anybody, and just about how good Jake looks. It made for a good use of Joe Lo Truglio in a small dose compared to last weeks big wedding episode.
Now to talk about the titular captain who is played by one of my personal favorite actors, Bradley Whitford. Whitford I love for his impeccable range. How his character can just turn on a time in a snap, which I think is perfectly executed in the entire run of The West Wing and in The Cabin in the Woods. He excels with dramatic moments but as is the case with Nine-Nine its about being funny and Whitford has more than enough experience and rolling with the laughs. Whitford plays the cool, calm, and collectiveness of Roger as you’d imagine a pilot. Confident, easy going, got plenty of stories, and adored by people from coast to coast. Its yet another winning case for Brooklyn Nine-Nine being perfect at getting guest stars the right roles for them.
His back and fourth with Andy Samberg is nicely executed. We know he’s not the best guy but he’s just so charismatic and effortlessly charming. He’s winning over everyone, even Holt, but not Boyle as mentioned above. Roger’s true intention is revealed as he’s facing a drug smuggling charge in Quebec Canada and needs Jake’s help. Samberg’s nicely timed facial expressions help as we honestly see he might have seen this coming, knowing his dad’s past behavior, but wants to help him because he honestly wants to hang out with his dad.
So he gets Boyle and Scully (who doesn’t seem to react well to poutine) to help out Roger, who is truly being honest for once. Sure he’ll have a side-piece to see when not with his girlfriend, blondes are his Kryptonite, but he’s never smuggle the Canadian equivalent of Viagra across borders. There are ethics man! Jake and Boyle’s strutting in pilot uniforms to Spirit in the Sky might just be one of the perfect things in all of existence.
An episode like this was truly needed and warranted to help continue Jake’s steady maturity into being (more like) an adult. This episode could have ended with the two sharing a drink at the bar and mending fences easily, but I can’t express how good the scene is when Jake shows up at Roger’s and completely shuts him out. He longer wants to try and get his approval and realizes that he doesn’t need someone like his dad in his life for all that he’s done. Some parents can be real screw ups to the point they honestly just can’t be forgiven just because they are our parents. I’m especially glad to see that in a modern day sitcom since so many would just gloss over this scene no matter how bad any parent is because family. Jake is working up to a true adult life and responsibilities and honestly there can’t be any room in that life for a dad like Roger. Sad as it seems this is all we’ll get of Bradley Whitford on the show, its fine by me in order to keep this development of Jake’s intact.
That’s a great reminder as to what works with Brooklyn Nine-Nine that while it will embrace typical sitcom tropes and ideas, it finds ways to make itself stand far from the usual ideas you’d get and make something new for themselves.
We only have one subplot this week and while not as rich in story as the main plot is, its still entertainingly funny. Captain Holt wants to keep the precinct on its toes so he decides to give them a puzzle to figure out with a prize to be rewarded. Said prize being two tickets to a Beyoncé concert.
Everyone gets excited. Amy because she gets to impress Holt, Gina because Beyonce, Rosa since she wants to have a date with Marcus, and Terry since he loves puzzles. He, and as I will from now on, refer to them as power squads for your brain. Hitchcock even seems to get in on this because well he’s Hitchcock, also we needed him to do something in this episode. Gina and Rosa are of course a perfect pairing with Rosa being Rosa and Gina’s superiority complex, but Amy and Terry are the main reason this subplot is so entertaining. Their way of figuring things out works so well and make the subplot worth watching as a whole episode. Amy’s trying to use pastries but learning doughnuts are Terry’s trigger food made me laugh more than it maybe should have. The other shining moment being Gina’s #nerdfail t-shirt she made from a picture of Amy realizing she was wrong about her answer.
In fact everyone was wrong. They couldn’t answer it and neither could Captain Holt who still wants to answer the riddle for his former C.O. even after 20 years. Its a nice little parallel to Jake’s realization about his father. So many plots on this show resolve around trying to get acceptance, more so this season, but just know someone is proud of you is a great reward itself in all honesty.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine continues its seamless transition from a wonderful sitcom into a fully great one. The amount of heart put into character centric stories and development on here is a reason I praise this show on a regular basis. Its great to see a fingerprint of the people behind Parks and Recreation still on my television screen, but Brooklyn has carved out its own full identity by this point and that’s a great thing.