Brooklyn Nine-Nine has consistently proven to rise to the challenge whenever they decide to partake in the social awareness conversation. Amid the recently heightened demand for police officers to be held accountable for racially-motivated, unlawful deaths, NBC’s police comedy has stated they have shelved their upcoming season’s scripts to instead address the greater issue at large.
While fans wait with anticipation, the below-listed characters serve as a reminder of how the show has tackled authority figures in the past, ranging from the paternally optimal, to the less-than-ideal – with honorable mention paid to series protagonist Detective Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg), the newest (and still untested) Dad on the block.
10 BEST: Victor Santiago
Just because Victor Santiago – played by Jimmy Smits (The West Wing, Revenge of the Sith) – was the father of his bride-to-be upon their first meeting did not mean Jake had to unfairly cast him as the archetypal, “you cannot date my daughter” stone-cold TV Dad. Nor did he – at least not in an over-the-top fashion. Instead, he kept his cool.
By collecting “opposition research,” Jake learned Victor possessed some of the same traits that made him fall in love with his daughter, Amy (Melissa Fumero), in the first place (see: obsessive-compulsive binder creation). In doing so, Jake also proved to Victor he was worthy of receiving his approval.
9 WORST: Oscar Diaz
Though Detective Rosa Diaz’s father Oscar (Danny Trejo) eventually came to accept his daughter’s bisexuality, initial hesitance on his part left viewers lukewarm on accepting him as a character they could eagerly root for.
Perhaps what most lands Oscar a “worst” ranking has less to do with his character and more to do with Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s decision to cast Danny Trejo in a role that required none of the energy he is usually known to sport. One can only hope Oscar returns in future episodes, hellbent on making up for the first impression he made.
8 BEST: Lynn Boyle
With several marriages (and subsequent divorces) to show for it, there is no contesting Detective Charles Boyle’s father’s capacity to love – and love hard.
Played by character actor Stephen Root (Office Space, Barry), Lynn is a big risk-taker and knows only one speed: fast. If he were ever to slow down, he would easily recognize just how much he outweighs most others engaged in the “Dad-Off” competition, especially according to Charles, whose lone criticism of his father pertains to his inherited gullible nature.
7 WORST: Gintars Irbe
Thanks to Jake’s impulsive master plan that actually cut Gintars’ visit short, the Latvian native found himself detained and presumably deported for selling counterfeit goods.
While his love for his son is pure, Gintars’ way of life is far from it. Luckily, Nikolaj is too young to process the mighty error in Gintars’ ways. Perhaps upon later reunion, Gintars can rewrite the script that’s pegged him as the bad guy, thus far.
6 BEST: Terry Jeffords
Big Terry did not see this coming. The proud father of three daughters – Cagney, Lacey and Ava – routinely sets out to provide the best example he possibly can. His children may most often appear during babysitting scenarios when Terry is brought away on work-related matters, but their ability to connect with their father’s co-workers is a testament to how important Terry considers it for others to cultivate their paternal chops, as well.
Even the non-parents (at the time) like Jake and Amy saw this, who will undoubtedly be recalling their night spent accidentally schooling the Jeffords sisters on racial divide throughout this upcoming season. Nine-Nine!
5 WORST: Roger Peralta
Keeping with the theme, Jake’s absentee father – airline pilot, Captain Roger Peralta (Bradley Whitford) – is spectacularly imperfect. Having cheated on his mother with nearly every woman he’s encountered, Roger’s early betrayal profoundly impacted Jake. Though Jake brushes off his trauma, it’s his relentless ability to find the good in people that allows him to continually give his father second chances.
Nevertheless, Roger sure does owe Jake a whole lot more than an apology at this point. But he does hold the charisma and remorse needed to earn the “Best Grandfather” mug he’s due in a few years time if he starts dropping in more regularly than he has in recent years.
4 BEST: Captain Raymond Holt
As one-half of Cheddar the Dog’s two dads, Holt has shown his hand – he is a natural father. While heading Nine-Nine, Holt has replicated this same alpha status two-fold: with a calm demeanor and strict adherence to formality – it’s become doggone impossible for him to run anything other than a tight ship.
This, even with a precinct full of no-filtered eccentrics, several of whom excitedly seek their nervously-admitted “Work Dad’s” counsel on a daily basis.
3 WORST: Scully
“Who would name their dog after their wife?” Scully may not have kids, but he and Hitchcock definitely have treated some of their finest meatball subs as preciously as they would their children … until they devoured them seconds into their lunch break.
Moreover, the very existence of the recurring gag that begs the question “Who was Kelly: Scully’s wife or dog?” is further proof that attempting to detect a paternal bone in Scully will result in finding that he indeed has one – because he swallowed it whole, of course – and a small plastic dipping sauce container, to boot.
2 BEST: Charles Boyle
“Ni-kolaj.” Even before he knew his destiny was to save his adopted son from a nightmarish, orphanage-set existence – Boyle’s knack for nerding out, pursuing the culinary arts, and telling over-the-top anecdotes no one paid attention to screamed, “this guy is going to be one helluva dad.”
By the end of season 7, Charles had joined Terry as one of the precincts definitive keepers of all things fatherly wisdom – a title worn as a badge of honor by the same man who, with ultra-enthusiasm, demands of his peers that they pronounce his Northern European son’s name correctly.
1 WORST: Walter Peralta
In season 7’s “Admiral Peralta,” the curtains were pulled back – as Jake finally witnessed the monster that molded his own flawed father. Much dark humor is derived from Walter Peralta’s (Martin Mull) declarative lack of a desire to reconcile with Roger per Jake’s request – even after so many years.
Though a “gender reveal” cake bake gone awry helped Jake’s grandfather and father briefly bond to undo untimely hijinx, their estrangement resumed when Walter decided to leave the party. Since Walter missed out on his grandson’s childhood, as well, he technically has more work cut out for him than Roger does if he ever hopes for removal from this undesired category.
NEXT: Brooklyn Nine-Nine: 10 Hidden Details About The Precinct You Never Noticed