There are four heroes in this episode: Jake, Terry, Charles, and Amy (not necessarily in that order.)
Terry states at Christmas dinner that his family is his number one priority. But when he hears that the detectives are in danger, he rushes to their aid, leaving his biological family behind. He goes head to head with The Vulture, who is motivated only by his own ego and hell-bent on making a dangerous move which could put Jake, Charles and Gina in more danger. To protect his squad, Terry makes a decision that might cost him his job. He heroically overpowers The Vulture, and to hell with the consequences – because the Nine-Nine are also his family. His number one priority, even higher than his career. This is another instance if the chosen family theme which is one of my favorites and which I will discuss at length another time.
Jake’s hero move comes when he lets himself get taken hostage to allow Charles to escape. Of course this also allows Charles to rescue the hostages later – Charles’s epic hero moment – but Jake didn’t know that would be the outcome, and was even held at gunpoint before Charles showed up. Jake risked his life to protect his best friend. Season-one-Boyle did this, but would season-one-Jake have done the same thing? I don’t know. In any case, good job, grown-up Jake.
Jake forgets to buy Charles a Christmas present, but Charles recognizes his sacrifice as “The best Christmas present ever.” Sometimes I wonder why Charles likes Jake at all, but if there are enough exchanges like this between them, then I guess their friendship is doing okay.
#charlesboyle #jakeperalta #friendship
And it wouldn’t be fair to do this without mentioning Amy running into the freezing cold water to alert the captain and Rosa to their emergency situation. Good job, grown-up Amy!
In episode 6 I theorized that this is a turning point in Jake’s reluctant journey to adulthood. And in the two episodes following, Jake faces two major adult decisions: One is deciding on whether to invest in a relationship, and the other is to make a medical decision that will affect someone else. The first thing Jake learns, standing on the fork in the road between breaking up and making a significant commitment to his relationship is that he is not alone out there. Captain Holt gives him sincere relationship advice which Jake takes to heart, and he is then able to make the decision which ultimately saves his relationship.
The decision in episode 8 occurs in the midst of several events in which Jake and Holt switched roles, in a way. The Sergeant’s wife is in labor and in need of medical attention, and in order to get her a doctor, Captain Holt has to confront an ex-boyfriend. Captain Holt behaves in an extremely Petty and childish manner the entire episode, tossing passive-aggressive witty comebacks when Jake asks for his help, and not being able to just get over it end admit the thing with the duck. Jake on the other hand exhibits leadership skills and real courage and commitment to following through with the task Terry assigned to him: making Sharon feel comfortable – especially when she goes into labor. He mediates between the captain and the ex, and commands groups of stressed out strangers to clear the room.
Jake is able to keep a cool head in a crisis (which is not new to us, we’ve seen him do this before) but what is remarkable is his ability to make the decision to go to the hospital despite Sharon and Terry’s insistence that that is not what they wanted. He tries to avoid it at first, but when the clock is ticking and a decision has to be made Sharon tosses him the ball and says “You’re my God-husband. What would you do?” it’s plain that Jake is scared but he also completely owns his decision when Terry shows up at the hospital and is stressed out and yells at him, which is yet another sign of maturity. He made a decision, and he stands by it, saying it was the right thing to do.
“The only puzzle he hasn’t solved yet is how to grow up,” is the Serge’s assessment of Jake in the pilot episode. Jake in seasons 1 and 2 is different than Jake in seasons 3 and on. Jake grows up. He becomes kind, good, and loyal. He still acts like a goofball but he takes responsibility. I think this episode is the turning point in Jake’s maturity.
Terry tells off Jake for not taking responsibility for his actions, and Charles confronts him in a gentle and loving way, demonstrating how deeply he understands Jake and knows exactly how to get through to him.
And on the topic of masculinity and fragile heterosexuality, how awesome was this moment?
Triple-spoon like grown-ups. Terry still wakes up heterosexual and ripped in the morning so I guess men can spoon to keep warm and it doesn’t hurt their gender identity.
Also being a grown up is being able to spoon to keep warm, even though you’re mad at someone.
***Spoiler for Brooklyn 99 S3E5: Winner of The Halloween Heist***
Captain Holt and Jake choose teams, dividing up the squad, but neither of them choose Amy or Scully or Hitchcock. The duo remark at the end that neither of them have been chosen, to which Captain and Jake respond, “Yeah, I’m good.” “Me too.” This would be the third year in a row that they get excluded, but this time the exclusion is active – they held a briefing about the heist, invited S & H, and then didn’t choose them, which is even meaner. I was so happy that Amy found a way to get Hitchcock to help her with her plan, even a tiny task, because that’s all it takes to make someone feel included and it makes a huge difference to that person.
Image shows Jake placing a crown on Amy’s head
The outcome of the heist is epic every year, but this one is particularly epic because of why it happened. Amy was hurt that Jake and the Captain both refused to have her on their team. Jake saw her as only a detective who would do anything for her Captain’s approval, which hurt her feelings as a friend, but Holt reduced her to her romantic relationship – something which happens often to women in the workplace, and which most certainly happened to Holt himself. By winning the heist, she put them both to shame and proved to be an amazing detective slash genius, not just a girlfriend or a teacher’s pet.
Outside of the heist, though, we know that Holt and Jake don’t really see Amy as just one thing, and perhaps this is why it was so hurtful to her when it happened.
I love how Jake pauses just before announcing Amy’s coronation and allows her to choose her own title “Queen”, leaving room for the possibility that “King” would still have been a fitting title, but he wasn’t sure, so he let her decide.
**Contains spoiler for Brooklyn 99 S2E20 and S3E5**
The squad varies in their ability to cope with accidentally saying something inappropriate. Captain Holt is a master. In the midst of the Halloween Heist, completely caught up in the intensity of the competition, he explains to Amy why a camera would be hidden in her breasts that “The cleavage hides the camera!” and as she is leaving his office he says, without missing a beat, “I’m sorry I said cleavage.”
Holt: Sorry I said cleavage.
This is important. It was uncomfortable in the moment, but he apologized right away, leading me to believe that Amy’s discomfort did not linger further than that moment in his office. He messes up in the episode with Rosa’s pregnancy scare as well, but he acknowledges the awkwardness, accepts her request to stop pointing at it, and they both move on and agree never to talk about it again. He makes his intentions clear and when he is inappropriate, he owns it and apologizes. #likeacaptain #holt #metoo #rolemodels
It’s satisfying that Boyle can say out loud that he has fantastic taste in men without adding “no homo” at the end. Boyle’s heterosexuality is never questioned, even though he does on occasion make lewd comments about Jake as well as this one expression of his taste in men as something he is proud of. #nailedit #titleoftheirsextape #masculinity #heteronormativity #sexuality #gendernorms #boyle #rolemodels