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Recap / Brooklyn Nine Nine S 1 E 08 Old School

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"Old School" is the eighth episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Peralta is over the moon when grizzled old reporter Jimmy Brogan, his childhood hero and the author of a book that inspired Peralta to become a cop, arrives at the precinct to shadow him and Santiago for an article. But Peralta soon finds himself insecure over how well he measures up to the tough old-school cops that Brogan wrote about and that Peralta idolizes, and his idea to go drinking with his hero ends up causing more problems.


Meanwhile, Diaz is due to testify in court, but her off-putting surliness may do the case more harm than good, prompting Jeffords and Boyle to try and help her soften her image.


  • The Alcoholic: Jimmy Brogan. He goes to a bar and orders scotch by the bottle, rather than by the glass. When Jake is too hungover to chase a fleeing perp, he's impressed and expresses his approval.
    Jimmy Brogan: The old guard drank 'til dawn, ate some coffee grounds, and started the whole day all over again.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment:
    Amy: If Jake didn’t tell you, he must have had a reason. It’s not my place.
    Holt: I’m disappointed in you, Santiago. I thought you and I were close.
    Amy: I know you’re manipulating me… but I love it and I will tell you anything.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Peralta is usually a very nice, easygoing guy and he is within seconds of both convincing Brogan not to print his insulting article about Holt and maintaining his reputation with Brogan. Then, Brogan makes the mistake of referring to Holt as a 'homo'. Cue punch from Peralta.
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  • Bookends: The episode begins and ends with a remote detonation. Bonus points: at the end of the episode it's a book being blown up.
  • Broken Pedestal: Peralta is initially thrilled to meet his idol, reporter Jimmy Brogan, who wrote a true crime novel about 1970s New York cops that inspired Peralta to become a cop. He gradually becomes disillusioned with Brogan's hard-edged 'old school' ways until he eventually punches Brogan after Brogan makes a homophobic slur about Captain Holt.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Heavily implied of Peralta; he looks very nervous when Brogan orders two bottles of scotch, his drunk texts to Santiago imply he finds the booze a bit hard to handle, and he's a hungover wreck for hours the day afterwards. Then again, it was two bottles of scotch, so it might just be a case of someone with a normal alcohol tolerance trying to keep up with The Alcoholic.
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  • Cowboy Cop: Peralta wants to be this so bad in front of Brogan, but he turns out to be more by-the-book than he appears.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Jimmy Brogan epitomizes all the worst aspects of the 70s-era NYPD. He's racist, sexist, homophobic, and violent. He scoffs at the idea that detectives are able to get any work done from behind a desk while glorifying the "Old Guard" with anecdotes about one of the old cops he followed "choking a hippie to death with his own ponytail" or another getting his finger shot off before picking it back up and using it to "flip off every Puerto Rican in the place."
  • Hangover Sensitivity: Jake comes to work extremely hungover after old-school drinking with Brogan. He's very sensitive to sounds. He tells Amy to shut her siren mouth although her volume is normal.
  • Happy Place: To combat Diaz's nervousness, Boyle suggests that she go to her "happy place." Diaz's happy place turns out to be more... violent than most.
    Rosa: I'm in a cabin in the middle of nowhere. Inside it's just me and that stupid, slimy defense attorney. And I'm beating the hell out of him. I break a dining room table over his head. Then I rip off his arm and shove it where the sun don't shine. Then I reach down his throat... and shake his hand.
    Terry: Yeah. Okay. I'm gonna go ahead and schedule you for a psych eval.
  • Hidden Depths: Diaz's aggressive attitude on the stand turns out to be due to nervousness. This is lampshaded by Jeffords and Boyle, who are naturally astounded by this revelation:
    Diaz: Of course I'm nervous! What did you think was the problem?
    Jeffords: We just assumed you were a terrifying human being with a short fuse.
  • Hideous Hangover Cure: Amy provides a hangover cure for Jake. It's raw egg yolks. When Holt spots it, he asks Jake whether he's hung over. He denies it and claims its his daily dose of proteins. Tastes like... fitness.
    Amy: My grandpa was an old-school cop. This was his hangover cure... Raw egg yolks.
  • In Vino Veritas: Jake starts panicking because Brogan tells him that while Jake was drunk he gave a bunch of quotes slamming Captain Holt, and Brogan says he is going to use them in his article.
  • Low Count Gag: Jake Peralta boasts of having read 15 books. Amy Santiago, ever the competitive cutie, mishears and claims that 50 books is not a lot, then realizes the actual number and is confused.
    Jake: It's the best book I've ever read, and I've read 15 books.
    Amy: 50 books is not a lot. Wait... You said 15?
  • Nostalgia Ain't Like It Used to Be: In "Old School", Peralta's hero — a journalist who wrote a true-crime novel about a tough gang of 1970s New York cops — shows up, prompting Peralta to idealize the old 1970s cops. Holt, an openly gay African American who was actually there, takes a far less rosy-eyed view of the past:
    Holt: The '70s were not a good time for the city or for the department. Corruption, brutality, sexism... Diaz or Santiago never would have made detective, and an openly gay man like me? I never would have been given my own command.
  • Office Sports: Rosa, Amy, Charles, Jake and Hitchcock goof around with a bomb-disposal robot, trying to retrieve Scully's smelly shoes. They blow up them in the cold open, and they all — even with Scully — blow up Jake's book by Jimmy Brogan in the tag.
  • Paper Destruction of Anger: The detectives blow up Brogan's book with a bomb-disposal robot. It's a book which Jake idolized from childhood, but Jake got furious at Brogan for calling Captain Holt 'homo', so he's done with Brogan, the book and everything it stands for.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder:
    Rosa: Why do you care so much about some old reporter?
    Jake: "Some old reporter"? Is the sky just a big blue hat that the world wears?
    Rosa: No. And no one has ever thought that.
  • Ship Tease: The fact that Peralta drunk-texts Santiago did not go unnoticed by shippers. There's also this little moment, after Peralta has taken a seat on a chair recently vacated by Santiago:
    Peralta: Wow, your butt's really warm.
    Santiago: [Defensive] My butt's normal! Your butt's the weird one!
    Peralta: Don't get mad; it's nice.
    [Santiago looks a mixture of confused, grossed out and flattered.]
  • Sleep Deprivation: Jake Peralta suffers from this and Hangover Sensitivity after old-school partying and drinking with Brogan, when in the morning he has to work his cases as usual. At one moment, he slides onto the floor and just keeps lying there.
  • Smelly Feet Gag: Scully's shoes smell so bad the team tries a bomb robot, and then uses a bomb suit, to grab them and blow them up. Unfortunately for everyone, the explosion actually makes the stench worse.
  • William Telling: Parodied. Drunk Peralta and Brogan play William Tell... with darts. Jake has a lemon on his head and Brogan hits Jake's chest with a dart.


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