Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 7 Episode 10 Review [’Admiral Peralta’]

***Spoilers Ahead***

Admiral Peralta
Terry Crews (left), Andre Braugher (right). Photo Credit: NBC

In the first season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Peralta's dad was normally used in brief cutaway gags or mentioned in offhand comments, the main purpose being to convey how he abandoned Jake at a young age and never gave him the guidance a child needs. As the series progressed, Roger Peralta (portrayed by Bradley Whitford) became an on-screen figure that Jake first decided to remove from his life entirely but ultimately patched things up with. That sunny narrative is thoroughly dismantled in 'Admiral Peralta' as Jake's dad tries and fails to create friendlier relations with his own absentee father. Instead of going for a sugary sweet closer, the Nine-Nine writers inject a harsh but realistic element into the program's DNA.

Jake and his father Roger take over the main story as they prepare for the gender reveal party for Peralta and Santiago's child. After Roger mentions his own inept father, Jake decides to invite his grandfather (Roger's father, played by Martin Mull) so the two can ease tensions the same way Jake did with Roger. Surprisingly, Jake actually gets his father and grandfather to rebuild their broken connection for a good portion of the episode. This sets the stage for an installment that does its best to highlight the more mature facet of Peralta. Although he still loves Dino Bites and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the writers of the series make sure to emphasis that Samberg's character can maintain his childish side while still dealing with serious matters like a responsible adult. It's always a pleasant surprise when the more sincere aspect of Peralta's character shines through as it pushes him away from the cartoon-like manchild he is often seen as.

What this episode ultimately showcases is a fairly morbid but necessary aspect of broken family relationships. While Jake was able to create a bond with his father, Roger Peralta is unable to do the same with his dad because of his father's hardheaded and heartless mannerisms. A much lighter and safe sitcom might have closed out the storyline neatly with Jake's father and grandfather reconciling, but the Nine-Nine writers go out of their way to communicate that some family members are just not worth trying to connect or reconnect with. It may be a discouraging way to cap things off but the silver lining comes with the fact that Roger finally believes Jake will be a good dad in the future, putting his nonsensical theory about Peraltas being bad fathers aside. This story may have had few laughs as a whole but still displays a powerful and competently-crafted message.

In a similar vein to the central storyline, the B-plot highlights the usually hidden, levelheaded side of Hitchock and Scully. After Amy accidentally gives the sluggish duo a high-profile case, she and Rosa stress out over how incapable the two are but eventually realize their slothful outward appearances do not represent their true personalities. The fact that Hitchcock and Scully decide not to take the witness's name because of their undocumented status further illustrates that they can be solid detectives and well-meaning individuals when they choose to put in the effort. While a sound and heartwarming story, this is also territory the series has covered many times before, including in their own self-titled origin story episode. Even with that said, it did feel satisfying to have the senior officers be portrayed as something other than useless and lazy for one installment.

Terry and Holt take over the remaining plot of the episode as Holt viciously coaches Jeffords on his flute-playing skills before his try-out for the NYPD band. The ruthless and bombastic aspect of Holt is unleashed in full force as he hilariously attacks Jeffords, eventually making him reach his breaking point. Unfortunately, all the hard work ends up being for nothing as Terry is accepted to the band without an audition since he was the only one to sign up for the flute position. After 'Dillman' brought Holt back to grounded territory, it did feel a bit fitting to have Braugher show off his character's abrasive side for a small mini-story. Still, like with the Hitchock and Scully storyline, viewers have witnessed Holt's furiously passionate outbursts in numerous other broadcasts.

'Admiral Peralta' leaves the viewer with a bittersweet but appropriate ending that effectively manages to present a harsh truth that some relationships can not be repaired. If the other individual does not want to put in the work then the matter is simply out of your control. Despite that, much of the episode is full of sequences and plot-points that have been used and reused multiple times in past seasons. While there are some minor new twists to the familiar tropes, it's hard not to think back to the much better episodes the plots originated from. 'Admiral Peralta' is far from a bad episode of Brooklyn but also comes nowhere near memorable status.

Stray Thoughts
  • It did feel nice to have all three plots intersect in a way. Boyle appeared in both the C-plot and the main one while Amy was part of the Hitchcock & Scully storyline and the central storyline.
  • The final moment of the episode was also the best. Scully just wanted some milk.
  • Unfortunately, there isn't a real book about parenting written by Bruce Willis called Cry Hard with a Vengeance
  • The writers almost broke the fourth-wall when they showed all the ways Amy/Melissa Fumero hid her pregnancy. 

Grade: C+

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