Welcome to the party, uh, familymy friend!
Brooklyn Nine-Nine just ended season 7 with the arrival of Jake and Amy’s son Mac, named after Jake’s fictional hero, Die hardIs John McClane.
Mac’s birth came after a city-wide blackout that found Jake and Charles watching the streets (and foiled a bank robbery) while trying to get Jake back to Amy in time for delivery . (Peralta finally hitched a ride in the back of Boyle’s sworn enemy, new Lt. Peanut Butter.)
Meanwhile while returning to the compound, Sgt. Santiago survived his contractions and oversaw the emergency protocol (with help from Diaz). She was forced to take charge when senior officers Holt and Jeffords were trapped inside an elevator. While trapped, the captain and his lieutenant mastered the dance moves at Salt-N-Pepa’s “Push It”, which they then performed in the interrogation room to distract Amy, who was on the point of giving birth to Mac (without epidural) in a makeshift delivery room designed by Hitchcock and Scully.
Here, the co-creator of the series Dan Goor breaks down the wellness finale and reveals why he decided against another end-of-season cliffhanger.
TVLINE | What brought you more joy: having Andre Braugher unleash John Wick, Captain Holt, or making him move at Salt-N-Pepa’s “Push It”?
Salt-N-Pepa![[[[Laughs]It was just amazing to watch.
TVLINE | Brooklyn Nine-Nine the finals tend to have a lot of moving parts. There was a failed attempt by Jake and Rosa to defeat Hawkins, followed by the gang’s concerted effort to save Jake and Amy’s marriage, followed by the Suicide Squad’s mission to expose Commissioner Kelly. Where is this final in terms of difficulty in succeeding?
It was probably the most difficult to achieve, partly because it was a very complicated script, but also because it involved so many night sessions. We wanted to shoot a lot outside to sell the idea that there was a power outage, because [being outside] it’s so much the experience of a blackout in New York. We had to do four night shoots, which starts people at 6 or 7 p.m. and goes until 3 a.m. Everyone complains, of course, when there is a night shoot in a week, so to do four was crazy. People literally went crazy, as they had the right to do, because they were deprived of sleep. Then it started to rain, and there was a horse …[[[[Laughs]Matt Nodella is our online producer, and the elements of production were so exaggerated. I thought he had done a great job. It really seems like a large part of the city has been closed.
TVLINE | Have you ever thought about having a blackout episode? Or did the idea crystallize when trying to find something that might make it difficult for Jake to have his baby born?
It was a combination of the two. It was definitely an idea that we had a long time ago, and we were looking for the right [episode]. I lived in New York in 2003 when this huge power outage happened, and my wife worked in Midtown and had to walk back over the Brooklyn Bridge. Much of it didn’t make it to the final, but there were a lot of moments [during the ’03 blackout] where the civilians were going up – like, a man helped my wife to cross the bridge. He literally hoisted it over a railing because they were walking down the street, then they couldn’t stand it any longer. And I don’t know if you remember, but the pedestrians just started to intensify and direct the traffic at the intersections, the restaurants were distributing stuff…
We were aware of the fact that many shows made blackout episodes, but what seemed different to us were the cops. For most people, a blackout ends their life, and for them, it activates their professional life.
TVLINE | Jake and Amy named their son after Die hardIs John McClane. Were there other baby names dumped in the writers’ room before you agreed to this one?
Hans Gruber.[[[[Laughs]Hans Gruber Peralta. And there were others. It was difficult, but it was easier than naming Gina’s baby, Enigma, because she could have been named whatever. “Do we name it after one of their fathers? “It was really bad. “Should we name it after Captain Holt? ” It was too much. When we moved to Mac, it just seemed fine. But we did go back and forth for a while between that and … do not name it, just so we don’t have to worry about it until next season.
TVLINE | It was the first final that didn’t end on a cliffhanger. This time, have you actively decided to oppose one?
We had solved the big Holt arc for the year … [and] we found out that we had a season 8 earlier [than usual]so we didn’t feel like we needed [a cliffhanger] to convince the brass of the network that they must move us forward. There was a discussion about whether or not the end of the final should be Amy breaks her water, then the premiere of season 8 is what you saw as the final. It has also been said that [final scene] could be Jake and Amy holding the kid on the team and saying, “And we named him …”, then cut to “Not a doctor, hush! Who felt lame. But it also looked like, “This is a moment of unambiguous joy. Let’s enjoy it. “
TVLINE | At one point, you wondered if you even wanted Jake and Amy to have a baby. Now that you’ve had a chance to think about the season as a whole, are you glad you pulled the trigger for this scenario?
Yes, I am really happy that we have experienced this. Episode 6, where they mostly dealt [trying and struggling to get pregnant], is one of my favorite episodes we’ve ever done, and I’m glad we had a chance to do it. And I think that will give us some scenarios for the next year which will be fun and interesting…. We just started on [virtual writers room] , but I’m looking forward to it.
TVLINE | Have you and the writers ever discussed how much you plan to focus on Jake and Amy as parents?
We are very aware, just like when we paired them, that this is a workplace show. So that we like to comedy about them as a romantic article, or as a married couple, or [now] as parents, we mainly do comedy about their collaboration. I hope we can find a similar balance, and I think we will be aware that they have a child. That doesn’t mean that Amy and Jake are going to be in the apartment all the time, and [we’ll be] to make stories about the child. But that doesn’t mean we will ignore it either. I think it’s interesting that Jake and Amy are people who have to balance the career they love with being good parents, what they want to be.
TVLINE | It was your shortest season to date. Do you wish you had more episodes or did you like having only 13?
Creatively, it just allowed us to focus on all the episodes, to give everyone a little more time. As a series grows and matures – we’ve now made 143 episodes – it’s harder to find stories that feel unique, and we don’t want to repeat ourselves too much.
TVLINE | Were there any storylines, or characters in particular, that you wanted to focus on more in Season 7, but you didn’t have the time?
The only regret I have to be 13 is that we didn’t understand an episode of Gina, and I want to make sure she’s in season 8. I love Chelsea Peretti. I think she’s one of the funniest human beings in the world, and I love the character of Gina Linetti. Looking back, we were able to do another episode of Pontiac Bandit, a Halloween heist… Pimento was there, we had Marc Evan Jackson… we had a lot of our favorites. We also had to do this three-episode arc with Vanessa Bayer, so I feel like we don’t [too] limited in terms of what we were going to do.
TVLINE | You mentioned having to do all of the fan-favorite episodes. You even brought back the Jimmy Jab Games! Assuming you continue to receive short orders, will you feel compelled to continue to revisit these traditions on an annual basis?
I think we will always break it. After our second, we had a conversation in the room, the tenor of which was, “We stop doing it now, or we do it forever.” But obviously, if the stories dictate something else, we will go in other directions. We do things for the fans because we are also fans. I never want to see an episode of Pontiac Bandit. I never want to see Marc Evan Jackson again like Kevin.
TVLINE | Brooklyn has always been grounded in reality, with episodes focused on racial profiling, the #MeToo movement and, most recently, illegal immigration. Clearly, we are in the midst of a global pandemic, which has hit New York particularly hard. Have you thought about how you could fight coronavirus in season 8?
the [virtual] the writers’ room has just started, and that’s really what we’re trying to figure out. Because not only is this happening in New York, but they are the first responders, and something like one in five police officers in New York is sick or self-isolated, so there is a real debate in the room about what we have to do and how much we have to focus on it. I feel like we will recognize it in some way, and whether we will live in it or live with it. But we are also aware that the show was a nice escape to some extent. This is the debate. How do you balance being a fun escape and keeping the characters grounded in the world – and relevant? We really want to make sure we get it right, and we talk about it a lot.
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