Brooklyn Nine-Nine boasts three-dimensional characters with clear flaws. Though they have issues, they’re still quite lovable.
The seven stars of Brooklyn Nine-Nine — well, six, considering Chelsea Peretti’s departure at the start of Season 6 — are quite special in their own way. This “super weird family,” as Jake says, “with two Black dads, and two Latina daughters, and two white sons, and Gina” are one of the closest knit in all of television.
Unlike many sitcoms, Brooklyn Nine-Nine never reduces its characters to predefined tropes: there are no geeks or nerds or jocks or soccer moms or anything as simplified. Instead, all of them have been gifted with a thoroughly detailed life, naturally fluctuating emotions, and, most of all, three dimensions.
Jake’s Best: Excellent Detective
Jake Peralta is certainly one of the sharpest detectives in the 99 — when he actually puts his mind to the task, he can come up with solutions that far more experienced officers aren’t able to see.
Although his hunches turn out to be (embarrassingly) wrong on occasion, he usually needs only one or two clues to break even the most complex of cases. There is, however, one main reason that Jake hasn’t been promoted all this while.
Jake’s Worst: The Mystery Of “How To Grow Up”
When Terry introduces Jake to Captain Holt for the first time, he praises his sleuthing skills, but firmly states that the detective is extremely immature.
This behavior is seen throughout the series, and though it offers innumerable instances of comedy, it’s quite unnerving to watch an adult man like Jake make ridiculously inane decisions when it comes to finances, emotions, and pretty much everything else.
Holt’s Best: Treats His Team Like A Family
Raymond Holt’s installment at the 99 is a dream come true for the captain who has wanted a precinct of his own for several years (but is denied in part due to NYPD prejudice).
While he initially treats his subordinates with over-the-top discipline, it is later revealed that his intentions were never to alienate the crew as much as make them work together as a unit. Most importantly, Holt has put his life and career in grave peril over and over again for his beloved team.
Holt’s Worst: Does Not Express Himself Very Much, If At All
To be fair, interacting with Jake has allowed Holt to open himself up (just a little), considering that he has recently begun to use modern expressions in favor of his normal eloquence.
In many cases, he has also resorted to Jake’s invented gibberish, like BingPot! In general, however, Holt remains expressionless, which turns into a running gag involving robot references — he really should have loosened up a tad more by now.
Charles’ Best: An Eternal Friend For Jake
Charles Boyle loves Jake Peralta more than anything else in the world, with the exception of his son, Nikolaj. He is always around to help his friend out any way he can.
This could be in terms of cheering him on or playing second fiddle and letting Jake amass the attention he desires so much. Strangely, none of this affects Charles’ self-esteem whatsoever; then again, it’s not clear if he has any in the first place.
Charles’ Worst: Almost Never Stands His Ground
The sad thing about Charles is that he doesn’t play the yes-man for Jake alone, but for the squad at large (as well as with strangers, partners, pretty much any human being alive).
It almost feels like he enjoys being trodden on by other people with the way he bows and scrapes before everyone else. The problem is that Charles has missed out on a lot because of his lack of confidence, such as when his ex-wife throws away his sperm.
Amy’s Best: Organized To A Tee
Amy Santiago is a literal dynamo when it comes to organization — she is capable of coordinating events, formulating watertight plans, creating highly complex catalogs: all of this in her personal life alone.
At work, she redefines the word go-getter, proving that she possesses the capacity for limitless responsibility, even if she can be a bit of a teacher’s pet/know-it-all combination. In fact, Amy disregards the pain of labor to keep the 99 from collapsing in on itself.
Amy’s Worst: Obsessive Beyond Measure
As an extension of her love for organizing, Amy has developed an intense obsession: not for one or two things, like most people, but dozens. She wants to have the best case-solving record at the 99, and she finds herself utterly unable of going against the rulebook.
These compulsions often have unwanted consequences, for instance, Amy lapses into her cigarette vice when under pressure, or simply explodes at the squad when her “uptight-ness” begins to unravel for whatever reason.
Rosa’s Best: A Mysterious, Fluid Backstory
Ironic as it sounds, knowing almost nothing about Rosa is actually quite impressive, especially in the era of social media and the internet.
What’s more bizarre than her total lack of a backstory is that she reveals her actual name isn’t Rosa Diaz, bewildering the 99 more than ever (and thrilling audiences at the same time). Maybe Gina has discovered some juicy tidbits about Rosa but she kept her lips sealed out of kindness.
Rosa’s Worst: Refuses To Display Any Emotion Other Than Anger
Holt and Rosa’s bond with each other is heavily dependent on both of them being more or less taciturn when it comes to emoting. However, where the Captain is universally deadpan, Rosa’s feelings come flooding out when she’s furious and almost never otherwise.
This suggests that the detective has way too many anger issues kept wrapped up inside her; it’s time she started really being vulnerable in front of the squad. Rosa could theoretically take her cues from the intimate pair of Swedish police officers she and Jake meet one time.
Terry’s Best: Protects His Loved Ones With His Life
Terry Jeffords calls himself a “proud mama hen,” a title that is justly earned considering how much he puts on the line for both his families: the 99 and his wife and kids.
He refuses to go out into the field after Cagney and Lacey are born, terrified that he might be injured or killed. This changes when Captain Holt’s life is in imminent danger, at which point Terry doesn’t even think before tackling the gunman to the ground.
Terry’s Worst: The Most Inexplicable Insecurities
Terry is exceptionally intelligent and superhumanly strong and he’s achieved a lot in his career and life. Despite his various accomplishments, he can be quite sensitive about them.
In one case, he arrogantly tells Charles that he is physically capable of performing complicated Yoga asanas just because he lifts (he can’t); in another, he indulges in a pointless debate about French New Wave Cinema (which inevitably has no resolution).
Gina’s Best: Takes Care Of Unsolvable Problems
Gina is the go-to for the squad’s unsolvable problems, which includes anything from hiring a new IT person to threatening Cyber Crimes into reverting the precinct’s internet status.
She is similarly triumphant over Amy and Rosa at getting a group of at-risk teens into joining the Junior Police Program. Also, her Gina Moments are especially well-thought-out, not to mention wonderfully personalized.
Gina’s Worst: Horribly Narcissistic
Gina takes narcissism to a whole new level — she is so confident in her appearance and her abilities that she sees nothing wrong with ignoring her work all day long while continuing to claim that she’s the greatest human to have ever existed.
One of the more uncomfortable things Gina is guilty of is “flirting” with Terry Jeffords, an act that seems like it could easily spill over into a series of sexual harassment seminars for the 99