It’s the end of the smortest, toightest era. NBC’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine is approaching the end of an eight-year-long road. A road paved with laughter, blood, sweat, tears and Wing Slutz Slut Sauce aplenty.
While this time is undoubtedly bittersweet, it’s important to savor the happy moments. Cherish the genuine delight that is Brooklyn Nine-Nine. A perpetual bright spot that can’t be smudged no matter how many times you rub your shirt sleeve over it.
I found this show in 2018 amid a dark, dark time in my life. We learned that my Granny, who stepped up to the maternal plate when my mom wouldn’t, had only months to live. I was in denial. She’d battled various health problems for most of my life, but she always came out victorious. Knowing there was an expiration date looming ahead turned my world upside down.
In February of that year, we went on a mini-vacation and, while my therapist reminded me to relish every moment, that expiration date lingered in the back of my mind.
Enter: Brooklyn Nine-Nine. A salve for my soul. It alleviated an avalanche of complex emotions. The pain from losing an essential person in my life and the sting of grief following her death.
I was somewhat late to the Nine-Nine game, but this crew of lovable dorks quickly became my TV family. I could always count on them for belly-shaking laughs and a brief respite from the world around me. Not only that, but I gleaned a few nuggets of wisdom that I’ll carry with me forever.
So, in honor of Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s swan song, here are some lessons I learned from the best squad in Brooklyn’s 99th precinct.
What I Learned From:
Hitchcock and Scully, a.k.a. Flat Top and the Freak
Let’s face it — Hitchcock and Scully might be the same person. Has anyone ever seen them simultaneously in the same room (I kid, I kid)? I think it’s apropos to mold these two inseparable best friends into one super best friend.
I learned from Hitchcock and Scully the importance of surrounding yourself with kindred spirits. Your soulmates. Supportive, uplifting people. The ones who’ll go with you to Wing Slutz every day after work, without fail. In addition, I learned that a quality snack could elevate your mood, and it’s okay to indulge and treat yourself.
And never underestimate a good desk chair.
Terry, a.k.a. Ter-Bear
Terry loves referring to himself in the third person, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. His uncompromising loyalty to his loved ones is admirable, and it’s a quality I’ll carry with me. Terry lives his life from a place of love — I think we could all stand to take a page out of his book (not the Skyfire Cycle ones).
I learned from Terry about what it means to face your fears head-on, to forge ahead into the fire boldly. Even when fear takes hold, courage comes from moving forward despite it.
Oh, and mango yogurt is a solid snack choice. Get your protein on!
Rosa, Rosa, Rosa, Rosaaa
(Extremely Doug Judy voice) “Rosa, Rosa, Rosa, Rosaaa…”
Rosa Diaz is a bastion of strength and a pillar of love and unwavering loyalty beneath her usually stoic exterior. She contains multitudes. I learned from Rosa how to stand firm in my convictions and that doing the right thing is, almost always, the hard thing. But it’s the best thing. Having an immovable moral compass and abiding by it is a sign of strength.
I learned not to focus on what others think of me but what I think of myself. It’s a convoluted, messy habit to break, but if Rosa can walk that line, then I can too.
Always carry an ax. You never know when it might come in handy.
Boyle, a.k.a. The Deuce
Oh, Charles Boyle — the human version of a golden retriever. I see myself in Boyle in a myriad of ways. Firstly, we need to apologize for anything and everything. One of my favorite lines of Boyle’s is in response to someone saying, “I’m sorry.”
“How do you know my catchphrase?”
I learned from Boyle how to squeeze enjoyment out of every moment. His infectious energy and zeal for life are contagious, and he radiates bottomless optimism. I can only hope even a fraction of those wonderful attributes rub off on me.
The sexy train might be leaving the station, but that iconic dance to “Single Ladies” is indelibly etched into my mind for eternity.
Amy, a.k.a. Hall Monitor
I may share similarities with Boyle, but Amy’s my true kindred spirit, and she’s one of my favorite Brooklyn Nine-Nine characters. That’s a tough choice to make when every lead is effortlessly brilliant.
Amy’s a big ole nerd, and I can relate to that. Being a nerd is “cool, cool, cool, cool, cool. No doubt, no doubt.”
I learned from Amy the value of information. The pursuit of knowledge shouldn’t stop once you reach adulthood, and we should always strive to be the best versions of ourselves. Additionally, I learned about the importance of hard work and that nothing worth fighting for is easily attainable.
I’ll forever do the Amy Dork Dance when I’m victorious.
Captain “Dadptain” Holt
Oh, look, it’s my other favorite character! “Dadptain” Holt is nothing short of legendary, and Andre Braugher‘s performance deserves all the accolades. Like Rosa, Holt possesses multitudes, but the eccentricities he retained for eight years are part of why I love him so much.
I learned from Holt how we should all be positive forces for change. You can make a significant impact on your community. Holt is an exemplary police captain, and his ability to listen makes him one in a million. He knows law enforcement can be better, so he works tirelessly to change it from the inside.
I gleaned the importance of courage in the face of staggering odds.
And Holt is the best man who only knows the best birds.
Jake, a.k.a. Detective Right-All-the-Time
Detective Right-All-the-Time. Jake Hammer. Rex Buckingham. Bart Barley (And Jimes!). Mangy Carl.
These are just a handful of Jake Peralta‘s aliases and nicknames from over the years. I share similar qualities with Jake, mainly my penchant for dropping pop culture references and occasionally inserting inappropriate jokes.
I learned from Jake about the value of staying connected with my inner child and holding fast to what lights me up. Life’s too short not to enjoy it, and just because we grow older doesn’t mean we have to grow up.
Additionally, Jake’s mistakes taught me how crucial it is to take accountability. We all fumble, and we must own up to our blunders and learn from them.
Vulnerability is essential, and Jake bearing his soul to Amy reminded me how being vulnerable can lead to beautiful things.
I solemnly vow to relate everything to Die Hard from here on out.
Gina Linetti Spaghetti Confetti
You didn’t think I’d omit the human form of the 100 percent emoji, did you? Gina Linetti’s time with the Nine-Nine was brief, but her influence was far-reaching.
I learned from Gina about finding value in myself and not looking to others to validate my self-worth. Relish in the queen that I am. Gina never apologizes for who she is, and neither should I.
But beneath the dense layers of effortless self-confidence lies a profoundly caring, loyal friend, one who would gladly fall on her sword for her loved ones. I’ll carry that with me, too.
Gina knows best. She always does and always will.
What lessons have you gleaned from our top-tier squad? Do you have enough tissue boxes on hand for the two-part series finale?
In the immortal words of one Jake Peralta, “I’m gonna go cry in the bathroom. Peace out, homies.”
Nine-Nine forever and ever (title of our sex tape).