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Pilot is the first episode of Season One of the FOX television show Brooklyn Nine-Nine. It originally aired September 17, 2013 to 6.17 million viewers.

Episode Synopsis[]

Detective Jake Peralta is a talented, but carefree police detective at Brooklyn's ninety-ninth precinct who, along with his eclectic group of colleagues, are used to having a lax captain around the office. However, when tightly-wound Captain Ray Holt takes over, he is determined to make this dysfunctional group of detectives into the best precinct in Brooklyn.


For the episode transcript, go here.

The pilot episode opens in an electronics store where young, brash Detective Jake Peralta and his controlled partner Amy Santiago are investigating a robbery. Amy is questioning the manager, while Jake plays with the store’s remaining merchandise.

Amy begins to apologize for Jake's immaturity, to which he replies that he has already solved the case, having discovered footage of the robbery in a nanny cam teddybear. With this information they are able to arrest the three men responsible for the crime.

Back at the 99th Precinct, the two detectives are joined in a briefing room by a group of their peers. Jake playfully brags about having been the one to solve the case and it is revealed that he and Amy are participating in a competition to see which of them can make more arrests this year.

Jake leads the room in a briefing of the recent murder of a luxury food importer named Henry Morgenthau. Morgenthau was discovered in his apartment by his cleaning lady - a topic that derails the serious discussion due to the fact that she appears to have either flan, butterscotch pudding or “old person gunk” on her chin in the crime scene photos.

As the discussion gets back on course, it is revealed that the precinct has been appointed a new Captain who will be arriving soon.

Out in the precinct’s bullpen, Detective Charles Boyle approaches the office’s secretary, Gina Linetti. He wants help acquiring tickets to a sold-out Rihanna concert, so he can ask out Detective Rosa Diaz. Gina bluntly informs the divorced detective that he isn’t exactly Rosa’s type, but also suggests getting tickets to a theater that shows old films instead, as that’s one of Rosa’s interests.

Amy approches Jake's desk to inquire if he’s heard anything about their new captain. He shows disinterest in the topic because he liked that their previous captain, McGintley, would let him get away with anything, such as, fire extinguisher roller chair derby. Amy, on the other hand, would prefer someone who could mentor her in her goal to become a captain herself. 

As Jake argues that a strict captain would resemble a robot (and says so in a robotic voice), Captain Ray Holt appears behind him having heard every word. He then forces Jake to repeat himself in the robotic voice, much to Jake’s embarrassment and Amy’s delight. Captain Holt then orders Jake to add neckties to his wardrobe and introduces himself to the detectives. 

Captain Holt calls Sergeant Terry Jeffords into his office as Amy remarks to Jake how much she loves the new captain. Gina describes him as suave and also notes that she picked up a bit of a gay vibe.

In Captain Holt’s office, it is revealed that he and Terry worked together previously in the 1-8. Terry is said to have been significantly overweight during that time. As their discussion continues it is learned that Terry is on administrative leave because of an incident a year prior, where (frightened of being injured and abandoning his wife and newborn twin girls) he panicked and shot at a department store mannequin.

The conversation shifts to the detectives in the precinct. Detectives Scully, Hitchcock and Daniels are described as being worthless. Rosa is said to be tough, smart, hard to read, and really scary. Charles is described as not being physically gifted, but a hard worker. Amy is said to always want to prove that she’s tough because she have seven brothers. It is noted that both Amy and Jake’s numbers have gone up since they initiated their bet. Finally, Jake is described as being the precincts best detective, but extremely immature. 

Ending their conversation, Captain Holt mentions he wants to make this precinct the best one in Brooklyn and that they should start with improving Jake’s flaws.

At murder victim Henry Morgenthau’s apartment, Charles, Rosa, Jake and Amy assess the scene. Jake jokingly starts handing out neckties to his team for pointing out details in the room. He still has yet to wear one himself. Amy asks Jake to stop mocking the captain while Jake brushes off the comments and flirts with her. 

Rosa notes that items missing from the apartment include a computer, a watch and a Jamon Iberico ham valued at $6,000. As Jake mentions they should contact the captain, Captain Holt appears and inquires the the whereabouts of Jake’s tie, then assigning him and Santiago to knock on neighbors doors, looking for witnesses. 

Rosa and Charles are sent to check in with the coroner. On their way there, Charles asks Rosa if she’d like to join him at an old movie festival. She agrees, but when he suggests watching Citizen Kane, she shows dislike for the film and suggests he finds something better for them to watch.

Back at the 99th precinct, Captain Holt questions Gina about the conditions of Jake and Amy’s bet. She reveals that if Amy wins, Jake has to give her his very old mustang car, but if Jake gets more arrests then she has to go on a date with him.

On door duty, Jake and Amy meet a variety of eccentric characters, but ultimately find no more information on the case. Charles and Rosa get no clues from the coroner either. Captain Holt suggest they canvass the neighborhood, and again tells Jake to get a necktie.

Jake asks Charles, who appears to be a food expert, about the ham stolen from the victims apartment and they agree to check out a local meat market, Beneficio’s. There, they encounter an argumentative butcher named Ratko who flees the area once Jake accuses him of murdering Morgenthau for the expensive ham. Jake and Charles return to the precinct to inform Captain Holt that they advanced the perp without the officer's permission and let criminal get away.

As punishment, Jake is assigned to the records room. While there, Terry defends the captains decision, claiming him to be a great officer who captured The Disco Strangler back in 1981. Amy taunts Jake about their bet, now that he is no longer allowed to make any arrests.

In the bullpen, Rosa approaches Charles to ask him about the film they will be seeing. He claims to have bought tickets for several different films, insinuating that she would be difficult to please if he was left to make the decision himself. This angers Rosa and she cancels the plans altogether.

In the records room, Jake sits at a desk hard at work, and finally has on a necktie as Captain Holt requested. Holt enters and Jake explains that while looking through the files, he found out that Ratko likes to hang out at a storage unit and suggests they go looking for him there.

As Captain Holt compliments him on his work, Jake attributes it to his proper attire and stands to reveal that he is only wearing swim briefs below his waist. Instead of reprimanding Jake, Holt calls the rest of the detectives into the records room to laugh at Jake’s state of dress.

Later at the storage unit, Amy, Jake and Captain Holt sit in a car to stake out the area. The conversation shifts to Holts achievements and Jake wonders why it took Holt so long to become a captain. He replies that it’s because he is homosexual and remarks that he is surprised Jake didn’t figure that out already. Jake belittles his own detective skills. 

At the same site, Rosa and Charles sit in a different vehicle. Rosa offers Charles money to pay him back for all the movie tickets he had to purchase. She refuses to watch a film with him, but admits she enjoys his company. 

Back in the other car, Jake apologizes to Captain Holt for the way he acted, once he learned how much hard work and discrimination Holt had to go through to get his new position. Amy smiles on smugly, but soon Jake spots their target and all three hop out of the car, gear up, and make their way into the storage building.

Faced with several hallways of identical doors, Captain Holt shows his sense of humor by calling back to Jake and Amy’s earlier door duty. Jake compliments the joke and then compliments Amy’s appearance before they all take off looking for Ratko.

Amy and Captain Holt are held up by a maintenance worker mopping, but Jake in a different hallway stumbles upon a storage shed that appears to be unlocked. Inside is Ratko, armed and ready for him. With his gun pointed at Jake, he tries to escape the premisses, but backs into an area where he is surrounded by the rest of Jake’s team. At this moment Jake has an epiphany. He understands why Holt wanted him to wear the tie. It is their team’s uniform.

As Jake tries to arrest Ratko, the perp takes off running down a hallway blocked by Amy. She removes her baton from her belt and strikes him in the knees. This causes him to collapse in pain while Charles and Rosa move in with handcuffs.

Jake congratulates his team, but squirms uncomfortably as he reveals to the captain that he is still wearing the Speedo underneath his clothes.


Actor Character
Andy Samberg ... Detective Jake Peralta
Stephanie Beatriz ... Detective Rosa Diaz
Terry Crews ... Sergeant Terry Jeffords
Melissa Fumero ... Detective Amy Santiago
Joe Lo Truglio ... Detective Charles Boyle
Chelsea Peretti ... Gina Linetti
Andre Braugher ... Captain Ray Holt
Dirk Blocker ... Detective Michael Hitchcock
Joel McKinnon Miller ... Detective Norm Scully
Fred Armisen ... Mlepnos
Uncredited ... Daniels
Mike Hagerty ... Captain McGintley
Anthony Azizi ... Ahmed
Nick Gracer ... Ratko
Rob Kerkovich ... Bunder
Joe Jefferson ... Old Man
Euguen Leon ... Robber
Kevin McDonald ... Disco Strangler (uncredited)

Cultural References[]

  • In the opening scene, Jake is quoting a monologue from the 1997 crime film, Donnie Brasco.
  • Boyle asks Gina for help finding tickets to a sold out concert put on by R&B artist, Rihanna.
  • Terry’s twin girls are named Cagney and Lacey. Cagney and Lacey is the title of a 1980s police procedural television series. The two main characters were female cops named Christine Cagney and Mary Beth Lacey. 
  • Holt mentions that Jake is overdoing it on the “manscaping,” a slang term combining ‘man’ and ‘landscaping,’ used to describe the grooming of body hair.
  • Rosa asks Boyle to pick a better movie for them to watch together than Citizen Kane, a film considered by many critics to be one of the best films ever made.


  • Amy and Rosa are wearing the same badge number in this episode.
  • When Terry is introducing Holt to the detective squad, he points out a detective named “Daniels”—grouped in with Hitchcock and Scully—who has not since appeared (or even been mentioned) in the series again.
  • The episode scored 6.17 million U.S. viewers.
  • Jake says "10 of me are doing the best speech from Donnie Brasco", however, there are at least 12 screens on which his face is visible.
  • The score for the Peralta-Santiago bet as of this episode is Peralta:24, Santiago:22.
  • Cagney and Lacey are one year old as of this episode.
  • In a flashback scene, Rosa is seen asking Hitchcock who has her for Secret Santa, obviously implying that she is playing. In a later episode, however, Rosa says that she hates playing Secret Santa. It is possible that the squad forced her to play, but it is highly unlikely that anybody would have the guts to do so.
  • According to Gina, Jake guaranteed that, should he win the bet, his date with Amy would end in sex, while Gina thought there would be at least some over-the-clothes action. In The Bet, both predictions are shown to be false.
  • Terry says that Holt caught the Disco Strangler in 1981. The Strangler (Ernest Zumowski) would appear again in Season 6.
  • Ratko's real name is never revealed, however, his nicknames are known.
  • Holt says he came out 25 years ago, so 1988.
  • This is the only episode that does not feature the normal intro. However, the intro music plays in the final scenes.
  • In this episode, Captain Holt introduces himself as “Captain Ray Holt” instead of “Captain Raymond Holt”, the plaque on his desk also reading “Ray” instead of “Raymond”. However, this character will be known as “Captain Raymond Holt” for the remainder of the series.
  • Rosa Diaz’s voice is significantly higher and closer to actress Stephanie Beatriz’s natural voice in the Pilot episode compared to the rest of the series. Her voice will gradually get deeper and lower throughout the first season.
  • The interior design of the 99's bullpen and adjoining rooms is inconsistent with the rest of the series.



Videos & Clip[]


Jake: This job is eating me alive. I can't breathe anymore. Spent all these years trying to be the good guy, the man in the white hat. I'm not becoming like them, I am them. (speech from Donnie Brasco movie)

Jake: You did it Fuzzy; you busted 'em. It's time to come home.
Fuzzy Cuddle Bear (Jake to Amy): I'm not sure if I can. I've been undercover so long I've forgotten who I am. I have seen terrible things. I haven't known the touch of a woman in many moons...
Amy: Alright... (walks away)
Fuzzy Cuddle Bear (Jake to Amy): Detective Santiago! Don't walk away from me!

Gina (talking about Rosa): She's got a type, which is really anyone but you.
Charles: Yeah, that was my ex wife's type too.

Terry (Hears a noise and bursts out of cover, screaming hysterically and violently emptying his gun into a shop-window dummy): Aaaaaaaaaaarggggggh!
Jake (Bluntly): I think he's dead.

Terry: Jacob Peralta is my best detective. He likes putting away bad guys and he loves solving puzzles. The only puzzle he hasn't solved is how to grow up...