Daily Brooklyn 99 Thoughts – Charles and Rosa’s friendship

***Contains a single spoiler on the question of whether Charles and Rosa end up together so if you care about that, skip. Also (if you live under a rock) spoiler for something about Rosa that is only revealed in season 5***

Charles knows Rosa so well. He helps Marcus plan the perfect birthday surprise, and he rules the maid-of-honor party competition. But it wasn’t always like this.

At the beginning of the show, Charles doesn’t understand Rosa at all. He fantasizes about her, and says he is “in love” with her, but is he really? I don’t think he is. I think he’s into her, he thinks she’s hot (who can blame him for that one?) but frankly I think he dislikes many elements of her personality as they reveal themselves.

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Rosa: “I hate small talk, let’s drink in silence.”

Charles: “Perfect.”

But does he really mean that?

When Rosa says something dark, he comments “I can not figure you out.” Really, Boyle? We’ve only been watching this show for two hours and we already get that Rosa says dark things with no emotional expression.

The best thing about Charles courting Rosa is how quickly he gives up. I’m not kidding. He asks her out maybe 3-4 times. Rosa says no, and even the few times she agrees she makes it clear it’s not a date. She never at any point leads him on or implies she might like him back. She never likes him back. Eventually, with some solid relationship advice from friends, Charles consciously decides to move on – he wouldn’t have been receptive to Vivian’s advances if he had chosen to continue to pine for Rosa. In fact, the moment when this happens appears visually in the episode at Captain Holt’s birthday party, when she asks “How are you single? There’s no special someone in your life?” and he hesitates, eyeing Rosa in the corner, and then turns back to Vivian and replies, “No.” Good work, Charles!

Charles helping Rosa text her boyfriend
Charles helping Rosa text her boyfriend, season 2

Also, as soon as Charles moves on, the awkwardness lingers only for a few episodes, and by the end of the first season, Charles and Rosa are actual friends.

This is another reason why the moment when Rosa comes out to Charles is so beautiful. This moment between Charles and Rosa is incredibly intimate, with zero sexual connotations or even joking innuendo, which is perfect. It just shows how much Charles gets her, how sensitive he is to her vulnerability in that moment, but also explains why Rosa trusts him enough to open up about this deeply personal issue, which is something Rosa never does.

God, I love Boyle. < smiley face with heart eyes >

Just to be clear, the reason it is so important that Charles does not continue to pursue Rosa despite her rejection of him is because the opposite is the basis of rape culture. Classic romances constantly repeat the trope of a male persisting and pursuing a female despite the fact that she said no, and encourage the idea that this behavior is somehow romantic, shows courage and strength and confidence and other sexy qualities, when in fact it should be seen for what it is – stalking and harassment. So kudos, nine-nine, for portraying a reasonable response to rejection. More please. 

#top10epicmoments #charlesboyle #rosadiaz #queerculture #feminism #lgbtq #representationmatters #consent #smashrapeculture #friendship

Daily Brooklyn 99 Thoughts: Queer Culture

Queer culture is a prominent theme in the show. It appears first in the pilot with the unveiling of the Captain’s backstory. But the really satisfying moments are in real time.

S1E2: When Jake arrests the deputy commissioner’s son, deputy commissioner threatens to “make his life miserable.” Captain Holt steps in to defend his detective, so the deputy commissioner threatens him as well, stating,”You’ve just made yourself a powerful enemy, Holt.”

And the captain follows with the signature mic-drop of the opening of this show:

You’re gonna have to try a little harder if you want to scare me.

I’ve been an openly gay cop since 1987, so you’re not the first superior officer to threaten me.

You know how I’m still standing here? ‘Cause I do my job.

And I do it right.

Image shows Captain Holt looking condescending, saying "You're not the first superior officer to threaten me."

And then Jake, bless him, says what we were ALL thinking:

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#captainholt #jakeperalta #queerculture

See, there have been LGBT-identified characters appear on TV before, but Brooklyn Nine-Nine takes it up a level, giving representation beyond just about having a gay character. The captain’s statement holds his entire life as a gay man in an openly homophobic environment. It’s an acknowledgement that the characters are not just gay because diversity is in now, but that the captain being gay actually makes him a serious badass.

More on queer culture to come.

Daily Brooklyn 99 Thoughts: Captain Holt appreciating Gina’s talents

Gina Linetti is almost as much of a goofball as Jake, and definitely as much of a nerd as Amy. She is passionate about so many things and completely unapologetic about it. Frequently she’ll make statements that seem completely out of sync with whatever is going on in the episode, but these statements often turn out to be seeds of wisdom with great value. The character to shed light on Gina’s ingenuity (would she call it inginauity?) is the proper “no-nonsense” Captain Holt.

In the first season, Terry interviews candidates for IT specialist and the Captain insists that Gina sit in on all the interviews. She exhibits strange and seemingly inappropriate behavior (flossing? really?) and asks irrelevant questions. The episode ends in her explaining in detail how each of her choices provided a solid indication which candidate would be best for the job. I love that Captain Holt correctly estimated her value in this process even though Terry had no idea what she was trying to achieve.

In S3E14 the team is having a social-bonding evening in an escape room, and Gina points to the phone and says she’s intrigued by it because it seems like it would be useful for gossip. Captain Holt says, “Interesting,” in an earnest way, takes her seriously, follows this hunch and it turns out to be right.

I don’t particularly like Gina’s character. I find her irritating and often unkind. But these moments of Captain Holt trusting her instincts remind me that Gina truly belongs with the nine-nine, and she, too, is an amazing administrative assistant slash genius.

Gina: if I had a mic right now... I'd drop it.
Gina: if I had a mic right now… I’d drop it.

#ginalinetti #captainholt

Daily Brooklyn 99 Thoughts: What does Charles Boyle think of Doug Judy?

Jake Peralta’s biggest fans are Charles Boyle and Doug Judy, in that order, because Charles would die for Jake, but Judy puts himself first (not surprising when the alternative is going to jail.)

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But have Boyle and Judy ever been together in an episode? Any time Jake is caught having a friendly interaction with any individual besides Charles (and Amy, because no one ships Peraltiago harder than Charles Boyle), Charles becomes shamelessly jealous and territorial. In the first two episodes with Doug Judy, Jake and Rosa work the case together. In season 3 he meets Judy on a cruise with Amy. We never see them together. I’ll have to revisit this question once I watch seasons 4 and 5 again, but my theory is this:

Boyle doesn’t know about Judy. Jake hasn’t told him. Doug Judy is Jake’s piece on the side with regard to his relationship with Charles.

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And a quick note on the masculinity theme:

“I love you too and I’m proud of us that we’re able to say it.” – DJ to JP, S3E12

#charlesboyle #jakeperalta #friendship #dougjudy #masculinity

Daily Brooklyn 99 Thoughts – S3E10: Heroes

***Contains spoilers for this episode***

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.

The Vulture: Stand down. Sgt. Terry Jeffords: NO.
The Vulture: Stand down. Sgt. Terry Jeffords: NO. 

#terryjeffords #chosenfamily

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.

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Image shows Charles holding a walkie-talkie and looking sassy and fabulous

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.

s3e10 jake and charles
Jake and Charles outside the store with lit-up Christmas trees in the background

#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!

#amysantiago

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.

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#peraltiago

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.

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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.

#jakeperalta #adulting #captainholt