Most television series tell a story and have characters that follow the narrative. Few shows succeed by making viewers fall in love with the characters and want to know the next step in their lives.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is one of them.
The show began its 99th episode celebrating… with a funeral. The squad makes a trip out to Los Angeles to pay their respects to the former precinct commanding officer. Once there, Captain Holt finds out that he is on the short list of people being considered for the next police commissioner of the NYPD. Hilarity then ensues as the squad takes a disastrous road trip back to New York so that Holt can be interviewed for the position, featuring Nakatomi Tower, an RV exploding and staying at Charles’ cousins’ cow breeding farm.
But none of this is what stole the show, or rather the episode.
From the beginning of the episode, Charles suggested that Rosa find a new man at the funeral after ending her relationship with Adrien Pimento earlier in the season. However, the entire episode she fended off his inquiries, stating she was already seeing someone. This was not out of character for Rosa – the fact that she is so private is a recurring joke on the show – but as the bit recurred throughout the episode, it felt that something more was going on.
As the squad settles in for a night on the cow farm, Charles walks in on Rosa having a romantic conversation with someone on the phone. She tries to hang up, but not before he hears a woman say, “Babe? Are you alright? Is everything okay?” And that’s when Rosa shares:
*Cue the incoherent squealing of my representation-craving fangirl heart!*
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is not shy to representation. Of the seven main characters, two are Latina women, two are black men, one is a Jewish man, and the captain of the entire precinct is gay. But with such little representation of bisexuality in mainstream media, having this strong prominent character explicitly come out as bi is huge.
“There’s a reason that people sometimes think bisexuality is not something that’s a real thing, which is so mindboggling to me, but I can see how that might happen if that access isn’t there,” said Stephanie Beatriz, who plays Rosa, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “I love that in this specific iteration [of a bisexual character,] this is someone that the audience already knows, they’ve already established a relationship with, and they care for her. And now on top of that, they’re getting to know her a little bit more. The relationship is deepening.”
How will this affect Rosa’s character arc in the rest of the season? While that is yet to be found out, it is clear from the writers and from Beatriz that Rosa is still the same person she was before – badass, secretive and hardcore – but perhaps this is the first step in letting some vulnerabilities show.
The one-hour mid-season finale of Brooklyn Nine-Nine premieres on December 12 at 9:30 p.m. on Fox.