Brooklyn Nine-Nine Is Growing Up, But Not Too Fast

Brooklyn Nine-Nine returned for a seventh season on NBC on Thursday with some big moves for a few members of the squad

By Lauren Piester Feb 07, 2020 2:00 AMTags
Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Season 7NBC

Jake and Amy are...not pregnant! But now, for the first time, they want to be. 

In tonight's season seven premiere of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Amy (Melissa Fumero) thought she might be pregnant, and she spent most of the episode either trying to produce pee or hold in her pee in order to take a pregnancy test. 

She and Jake (Andy Samberg) had famously discussed the possibility of kids last season in an episode that was almost a little unpleasant. Jake had never wanted kids after how bad his relationship with his own dad was, and Amy always had. By the end of that episode, Jake did come around, and at the end of the first half of tonight's two-episode premiere, when the pregnancy test was negative, he had come around so much that he and Amy decided they could actually start trying for kids now. 

It's just the latest in changes at the Nine-Nine, which include Terry (Terry Crews) getting promoted to lieutenant and taking over for Holt (Andre Braugher), who's been demoted to uniformed officer and isn't dealing with it well. In a way, he's not dealing with it at all, since he spent all of tonight's premiere taking over Jake's case and refusing to follow cone-related orders. 

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The cast says it's like the show is entering adulthood. 

"Everybody's moving up, and there's risks involved with that too, because there might be chances for me to actually go somewhere else and try different things. It's always this thing of everyone's still moving, everyone's still growing, people are moving on, families are growing," Terry Crews said during a press day for the show, before any episodes were released to press. "After Jake and Amy got married, it did change the dynamic. You start to feel like high school is over. It's like, we're friends, but high school's done. Now we're moving into a whole ‘nother phase." 

"It's kind of inevitable unless you want the show to stay in the exact same place," Samberg said. "All of the cast has gotten seven years older since we started, so it makes sense, and it's also nice for us to have the things happening to our characters even vaguely reflect where we're at in our own lives a little more." 


And even though Jake and Amy are now much closer to wanting to try for kids, they're "not rushing into anything," Samberg says. 

"That's a big switch to go from never thinking you'd ever want kids because of your own relationship with your father to deciding that you actually would, so I would say that it's not something that is just solved that quickly," he explained. 

Jake has grown up in many ways over the series (could you ever imagine season one Jake Peralta actually married to Amy Santiago?) but Samberg thinks he'll never fully lose what makes Jake Jake: his relative immaturity. 

"It's been great, and I think the writing has really helped, and I think we're going to ride that train as long as my face holds out, and you know, hair and makeup do a great job not making me look like I drank from the wrong cup at the end of Indiana Jones," he joked. "We don't need to abandon the youthful spirit of Jake. He can mature and grow in his life and still be silly and into Die Hard. I'm not necessarily bummed at how there are less jokes about how he loves gummy worms or something, but as in my own life, I'm still a very silly, goofy person but I'm also a father now and married and have more responsibility, and that's just kind of the nature of getting a little older" 

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At this point in the series, it would have been believable to have this man calling himself the Manhunter, allowing his partner to follow him around singing "Manhunter" to the tune of "Maneater," and then have him learn he's becoming a father at the end of the episode, and that's saying something. 

In the second episode of the night, no one seemed to have grown up all that much at all. 

Everyone was convinced that the new captain was there to sabotage Holt, or destroy the squad in some way. Sure, they had precedent to believe that, and Captain Kim did seem impossibly nice, but the lengths the Nine-Nine went to in order to snoop ended up releasing a scared dog on on a fancy party and scaring away the best non-Holt captain the squad has ever had. 


Braugher promised that Holt is only "briefly" demoted, but that demotion is already proving hard for everyone to deal with. 

"We really had a lot of fun as a writing staff with the inversion of power that occurs when Holt becomes demoted to being a uniformed officer, and I think we really tried to pay homage to that storyline and not just brush over it," showrunner Dan Goor said. "It has an effect on everybody, because the Holt relationship with every person in the precinct is an important relationship." 

It particularly turns Holt into a Holt we've never seen before. 

"It's hard, I think, on everyone, because Holt is used to being commander, and so his instincts still lead him to sort of assume that position..." Braugher said. "Holt feels like his talents are wasted on the beat, but then he learns to appreciate and sort of enjoy the journey of going back and doing what he skipped before. Holt used to be a brilliant detective and then a captain, and now he's got to sort of put in the time as a flat foot in order to sort of learn a new lesson about his neighborhood, his borough, and his family inside the police station." 

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"When Holt's around, you know he's not the boss anymore, so there's sort of this power flip," Fumero said. "And I would say he doesn't handle it very well."

He's also not so thrilled with the fact that Terry steps up to take on a little more authority, and takes over Holt's office. 

"I don't like the paintings that he has on the wall," Braugher said. "The photographs Terry has on the wall are all Manhattan photographs, and so Holt is a little bit…his jaw's a little clenched because he would prefer they be Brooklyn photographs, but other than that, it's a pretty good ride."



For Rosa, her growing up involves learning to open up more, which she feels she can do now that Holt is no longer her boss. 

"Because Holt is in less of a power position and because they've known each other so long, I think Rosa's privately sharing more stuff about her personal life," Stephanie Beaztriz says. "She does it piecemeal, so it's very rare that she'll share in a group, but one on one…I think because they're more equal, she and Holt at least, there's definitely space for her to be less guarded with him this season." 

Hopefully, that will help her open up enough to make a relationship really work. 

"Rosa's love life is a real tricky ride for her," Beatriz says. "I feel like I'm an open book, and I often get cast to play these characters who are very closed up, but I can definitely identify with the fear of being vulnerable in a relationship, and I think that is probably one of the core things…In Rosa, there's a core sort of defiance to vulnerability, or a distaste for it in general, and you kind of need to be vulnerable if you're going to have a long-term relationship." 

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For Boyle, the growth is coming in the form of what else: Jake and Amy and a lack of boundaries. 

"Boyle is certainly excited to be involved with Jake and Amy's marriage in a way that maybe he should or he shouldn't be," Joe Lo Truglio said. "I'm not suggesting anything suggestive, but he does want to be involved in that family a little bit, and I think they're figuring out their boundaries there." 

And for Scully and Hitchcock, not much has changed, or will be changing at all. 

"We still don't listen to anybody," Joel McKinnon Miller said. 

"We're still relegated to our island in the bullpen," added Dirk Blocker. "I think I have a little more hair this season." 

Brooklyn Nine-Nine airs Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. on NBC.

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