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Scene Breakdown: The Beginning of the Dream Team in Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Pilot

Source: NBC

How are you all dealing with the fact that Brooklyn Nine-Nine is coming to an end this year? Me? Well, I’m completely in denial and pretending like it isn’t happening by doing a rewatch of the entire series to keep it with me for as long as possible.

Because this is one of the few comedy series where it didn’t take me awhile to get into, I remember liking the Pilot, but I had actually forgotten how genius and heartwarming it is until I started my rewatch. Therefore, I’m here to scream about it with all of you with a scene breakdown that leads to: “that’s how we do it in the nine-nine, sir: catch bad guys and look good doing it.

It’s easy for the team to respect Holt from day one even while they know he isn’t like their old captain and won’t let them get away things. Why? Because Holt commands a type of respect that they all cannot help but grant, even while they grumble through it like Jake does. No, he’s not going to wear a tie right away, and he’s going to say a stupid thing or two, but while catching the bad guy, he is going to understand the importance of teamwork and it works perfectly to establish the show’s tone evocatively.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine didn’t choose diversity to check Hollywood boxes, the show has chosen to be inclusive from day one to celebrate the importance of humanity along with teamwork. And this scene exemplifies that most excellently when Jake realizes that Holt didn’t want them to dress alike in order to be their robot commander bossing them around, but because he wanted them to be the kind of team who welcomed each other as they were, compromised for one another, and grew together. This sets the stage for everything they’ll all experience throughout the course of their journey by reiterating the importance of loving people as they truly are.

The thing is, Holt does not want Jake to change his ways because when Terry says that he’s the best detective they have, he realizes and accepts that Jake’s ways work in spite of how different they are from his own. Jake is never going to be like Amy or Rosa or even Holt, but that’s okay because teamwork isn’t about matching to the t, or in the case, the tie, it’s about finding ways to work through everything together. It’s about acceptance, hard work, and growth.

“The point is, my team has you surrounded. Oh my God! I just got the tie thing. Captain, I just figured it out. It’s a uniform! We’re a team and the tie is a part of that team’s uniform, right? […] It’s important to you because you were kept off the team for so long and now you’re the coach, and you want  us all to wear that same uniform. Boom! Nailed it!”

Jake Peralta

Jake’s exuberant understanding in the middle arresting a criminal is genius because it showcases the utter sincerity in his realization that Holt isn’t like any of the captains they’ve had before, but rather a good man who cares about the same things they do while wanting to unite and help them grow. As ridiculous, and as Jake Peralta-esque as the moment is, It’s all about the sincerity that tells us he is going to respect this man more than anyone else he has ever known. And since we know that he essentially views Holt as a fatherly figure, there’s so much more warmth added to this scene, which preludes what’s to come in such an effortless matters, years later, it’s a treasure to notice.

This is something that’s going to be an enormous part of the show and it’s something that’s going to impact them all. Sometimes, you have to change your ways for people, not because you’re wrong and they’re right or vice versa, but because caring about people means helping them feel as though they belong and that their voices are heard. Jake will wear a tie after this realization because being a part of Holt’s team matters to him and making Holt proud matters even matter.

Jake Peralta can his ridiculous self even in a tie. And that’s how this show touches on belonging along with acceptance beautifully by revealing that it isn’t about changing people, but finding ways to compromise as a team.

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