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The Tagger is the second episode of Season One of the FOX television show Brooklyn Nine-Nine. It originally aired 24th September 2013 to 4.03 million viewers.

Episode Synopsis[]

When Jake is late for roll call, Captain Ray Holt assigns him to a graffiti case that Jake feels is below his level. However, when the culprit turns out to be the Deputy Commissioner's son, the case becomes a major problem. Meanwhile, Gina's psychic friend visits the precinct and gets inside Charles' head.


Jake enters the precinct to find Captain Holt standing at his desk. Holt reprimands him for being late, but Jake blames it on a plumbing problem. The problem being that he threw his phone in the toilet when the alarm chimed that morning.

When Jake asks Holt if he’s going to call out his mistakes in front of everyone, Holt agrees and gathers everyone around to point out Jake's mismanaged cases, filthy locker, and dirty clothes filing system. Finally, pointing out a mouse living in Jake’s desk, Holt instructs him to get his act together.


Jake's desk mouse, Algernon

Later in the briefing room, Amy, Rosa and Charles are assigned to a drug bust. Jake briefs the group on a vandalism case involving someone spray painting male genitalia on police squad cars. He tells Captain Holt that his plan to catch the perp is to plant a decoy squad car, while he sits and waits in an undercover car. Terry suggests using his mini van, as the vandal already discovered and tagged three undercover vehicles. Captain Holt then announces that he will be accompanying Jake in order to babysit him.

While investigating the drug dealer, Charles notes that he graduated with an Art degree. Amy mentions that she also studied art history in school. Interrupting their conversation, Gina introduces her friend Carlene, a psychic who offers to help them with their case.


Gina's psychic friend, Charlene

Gina swears Carlene predicted a hookup she had at a bar recently. Carlene claims to have a vision at that moment and predicts that the drugs they are looking for are in a location. The colors blue and yellow are involved, as well as the letters L, R, S, T, W, E and B. Amy and Rosa are skeptical, insulting Carlene’s so called gift, and leaving the conversation.

Jake complains to Terry about the captain joining him on his stakeout. He’s mostly angry that he won’t be able to sing along to the explicit lyrics of the rap mixtape he put together. He reminisces to a time when their old captain didn’t mind them using a taser on a cantelope.

Charles apologizes for Amy and Rosa’s behavior and assures Carlene that he believes in her psychic abilities. He claims his granny predicted her death was near, and then passed a mere two years later. Receiving another psychic vision, Carlene claims that a women meeting Rosa’s description will never love Charles back.


Harvey Norgenbloom

When Jake shows up at the decoy car, Holt has already arrived in Terry’s mini van. Holt tell Jake he is late, but Jake blames it on his need to wear a convincing mini van disguise: CPA, recently divorced, father of two with a dark sexual secret, Harvey Norgenbloom. Captain Holt is not impressed and critiques Jake’s choice in sandal footwear.

Jake once again complains about the captain babysitting him, Holt insists that it’s necessary to make sure that he is taking his job seriously. He promises to back off only when Jake proves that he can complete every aspect of his job perfectly.

As they wind down their conversation, Jake agrees to the captains terms. He then notices that that the undercover minivan they are currently sitting in is being spray painted by their perp. The two officers take off on foot after the hooded vandal, Jake losing one of his sandals, and corner him into an alley.

Back at the precinct, Jake tries to back out of his agreement with Captain Holt, but is unsuccessful. Caving again, Jake agrees to complete the police report for the captured vandal perfectly. Before he sits down to begin it, he heads to Terry’s desk inquiring about glitter to make the report extra sparkly. Terry laughs him off and Jake takes this opportunity to inform him that the vandal spray painted a penis on his minivan, before running away in fear.


Amy finds cocaine

Amy, Rosa and Charles are investigating an apartment in their drug case. Amy complains how much nicer the place is than her own, but Charles is focused on surroundings that resemble those mentioned by Gina’s psychic friend. He’s worried that if she was right about the drug prediction that she’ll be right about his and Rosa’s future. Eventually Amy discoveries the drugs behind a green clothes hamper which causes Charles to rejoice as that color was not mentioned by the psychic.

In the bullpen of the Nine-Nine, Jake is thoroughly working on his police report, with the vandal still in custody. Unfortunately, the young criminal is not being cooperative.

Charles, back from his investigation, informs Gina that her friends predictions were incorrect. However, Gina points out that Charlene mentioned the colors blue and yellow, which combined make green. Also, she mentioned the letter L and B which could stand for laundry basket.

Having to resort to using fingerprints to identify his perp, Jake discovers that the vandal’s name is Trevor Podolski, and is the son of the Deputy Police Commissioner.


Cocaine bust

Amy, Rosa and Charles weigh their confiscated drugs in the evidence room as Gina watches. When Amy steps out, Rosa and Charles discuss their plans for the evening, discovering they are both free. However, Gina is quick to remind Charles of the psychic’s predictions about his romantic future with Rosa. He awkwardly exits the room.

Jake informs Captain Holt about his predicament with the Deputy Commissioner’s son. If he arrests Trevor, his career could be in danger. Holt tells Jake that it’s his decision whether he chooses to arrest the kid or not.

Carlene is back and has another vision for Charles. She predicts that if he stands from the chair he is currently seated in, he will eventually be terribly injured. Gina, wheels him back to his desk in the chair while mocking his lonely love life.

In the briefing room, Jake has gathered his colleagues to help him sort out his predicament with his current case. If he arrests the Deputy Commissioner’s son he fears he’ll lose his job, but if he doesn’t make the arrest, he fears Holt will never trust him to complete his work properly. Before he can come up with a solution, Gina informs him that the Deputy Commissioner has arrived at the precinct and is asking to see him.

As Jake greets the Deputy Commissioner, Amy tries to casually talk up her success with the drug bust in front of the two men. Once she’s gone, the Deputy Commissioner finds his son, and lets Jake know that there is no way he will be arresting Trevor. Jake tries to get the officer to read his detailed report, but the Deputy Commissioner just tosses it in the trash as he walks out with his son.


Rosa convinces Charles to make his own destiny

Rosa discovers Charles rolling around the office in his chair and he informs her of the psychics new prediction. As a result, she punches him in the arm and claims that he’ll get hurt if he stays in the chair, too. She tells him to ignore the hack psychic and make his own destiny.

When Jake informs Captain Holt that he was unable to make the arrest, the detective comments about how lucky the kid is to never have been arrested. Holt disagrees, and says it’s sad to see a father who cares so little for his son, letting him get away with anything.

Seeing how right Holt is, Jake decides to chase after the young vandal and Holt offers to assist. The two pull over the the Deputy Commissioners vehicle and arrest his son.

When the Deputy Commissioner questions Jake’s actions, he tries to convince the superior that his name is actually, Amy Santiago. The Commissioner continues to threaten Jake, but Holt stands up for him and they take Trevor back to the Nine-Nine.


Jake and Captain Holt make the arrest

The following morning Charles tries to convince Gina that the psychic was wrong, because Rose told him to make his own destiny, but Gina assures him that the fact that Rosa punched him proved she doesn’t like him.

As Captain Holt begins briefing the detectives, an alarm goes off, revealing Jake in a tent at the front of the room. He emerges from the tent, on time for the day, but dressed in striped pajamas.

Cultural References[]

  • The mouse that lives in Jake’s desk drawer is named Algernon which is likely a reference to the short story (later adopted to a novel) "Flowers for Algernon” involving a laboratory rat.
  • When Carlene, the psychic, gives the detectives a series of letters as clues, Amy remarks that those letters would be anyone’s first guesses in ‘Hangman'. Hangman is a paper and pencil game where players take turns guessing an opponents secret word or phrase, one letter at a time. A good strategy for the game would be to guess letters that are commonly present in most words.
  • When refusing to give any personal information to Jake, Trevor says that his age is 610 and that he is a Highlander. This is in reference to the 1980s Highlander franchise about a clan of immortals that can only be killed by being beheaded.


Actor Character
Andy Samberg ... Jake Peralta
Stephanie Beatriz ... Rosa Diaz
Terry Crews ... Terry Jeffords
Melissa Fumero ... Amy Santiago
Joe Lo Truglio ... Charles Boyle
Chelsea Peretti ... Gina Linetti
Andre Braugher ... Captain Ray Holt
Dirk Blocker ... Michael Hitchcock
Joel McKinnon Miller ... Norm Scully
James M. Connor ... Deputy Commissioner Podolski
Michael Grant ... Trevor Podolski
Mike Hagerty ... Captain McGintley
Artemis Pebdani ... Carlene
Darlene Kardon ... Grammy Nona Boyle
Allen Benatar ... Mark
Peter Janov ... Police Officer


  • A mistake is in the squad meeting scene. Between shots, the names on the whiteboard change.


  • This episode is tied with The Slump , Sal's Pizza , The Ebony Falcon , and Fancy Brudgom as the lowest rated episode of Season One with a rating of 7.5 on IMDb.
  • At the beginning of the episode, Holt calls out Jake for coming late. This formed an important part of his strategy for the Second Halloween Heist (Halloween II).
  • The Peralta-Santiago bet is tied 28-28 in this episode (29-28 in Jake's favour if we count Trevor's arrest). It was 24-22 in the previous episode, (25-22 if we assume that Jake got a point for Ratko's arrest). This means that, between Pilot and The Tagger, Amy made 6 arrests and Jake made 3.
  • Amy is revealed to have studied art history, which is referenced again in The Party.
  • Carlene guesses the letters l, r, s, t, w, e and b. Amy remarks "So basically everyone's first eight guesses in Hangman?" However, the eight most common letters in the English language, and thus the optimal first eight Hangman guesses are (in order), e, t, a, i, n, o, s and h. Only three letters (e, t and s) are common to this list and Carlene's.
  • Jake's undercover name, Harvey Norgenbloom, is his first alias in the series.
  • First appearance of Deputy Commissioner Podolski.
  • About Jake's report: It is over 25 pages long, it has an About The Author section at the end, it probably includes the humidity and moon cycles, and Jake spent over an hour on fonts.
  • First occurrences of the "Terry Loves Yogurt" and "Blaming Amy" running gags.
  • Holt says to Podolski that he has been an openly gay cop since 1987. However, from the previous episode Pilot, we know that he came out in 1988. And even if we assume that Holt came out in 1987, it would have been some time before he became a cop, as he says in Pilot that the NYPD was not ready for an openly gay cop. However, Terry says that Holt caught the Disco Strangler in 1981, creating a contradiction.



Videos & Clip[]


  • Gina sings an impromptu song as she rolls Boyle back to his desk in his chair. “Oh, you’re alone. Uh-oh, you’re alone for life."