March 8th, 2015, 8:30 PM, FOX
Jake’s long-lost father, a commercial pilot nicknamed Rocket, stops by for a visit. While Jake’s thrilled and rushes about making as many plans as possible to facilitate bonding between them, Charles thinks the man has ulterior motives – a hunch that proves correct when it turns out Rocket got caught smuggling hundreds of boxes of Turgidol, a Canadian erection medication, across the northern border and wants Jake to use his influence at the precinct to get the charges dropped. Jake decides that the best way to do this involves trying to entrap another possible suspect and flying his dad back across the Canadian border for safety’s sake in the meantime, but just as everything seems settled it turns out Rocket’s stockpiled more pills at his apartment, causing him to get picked up by the border patrol and leaving Jake, Charles and Scully to prove Roger’s innocence to track the smuggling incident back to one of Roger’s one night stands. Meanwhile, Amy, Terry, Gina and Rosa try to compete for Beyonce tickets offered by Holt for the completion of an elaborate word puzzle that forces alliances, causes dignity to crumble, distracts the best minds within the precinct’s generation and reveals the team’s true natures – before learning why Holt assigned the puzzle to them in the first place.
As an inevitable exploration of Jake’s daddy issues, “Captain Peralta” does a good job explaining why Rocket is a crappy dad and why Jake’s both better off without him thanks to his friendship with Charles and also why Holt’s completely usurped his father’s position in Jake’s life. There’s an absolutely immortal moment where Holt and Rocket stand side-by-side and Jake’s push-pull relationship with his captain explodes into blazing clarity, if it didn’t exist in Technicolor in general in the show’s general subtext, but the best part of this subplot is definitely the continued friendship between Charles and Jake. One would expect this to be another Holt and Jake plot, but beyond the quick mention I referred to above this is all about Charles as Jake’s common sense – with a little bit of Scully bashing thrown in, and the sight of Charles and Jake pretending to be pilots in swanky uniforms. It’s funny enough, but the meat of the plot is all emotional connection, driven by the start of Jake’s realization that his dad isn’t perfect and what he has in the 99 is much healthier.
The subplot is somewhat more manic, with one hilarious moment delivered by each involved team, but the end result of the storyline leaves a person questioning the morally-honest Holt’s ultimate motivations. They bend so far in this storyline that I almost expected the Beyonce tickets to be a figment of Holt’s lies, but that’s something of a too cruel plot twist for a show as kind as this one to lay on its lovingly hapless characters. The end result is something fluffy but not quite insubstantial. And in the end the episode is decent, with rough edges; not a gut buster but great for character development. Thus: A vital episode but one that’s just a little less funny than usual.
- Jake’s dad hasn’t visited him for six years as of this episode; he walked out on the family when he was seven, but reestablished contact somewhere down the line.
- Low points in Charles’ life: He grows a goatee and everyone thinks it looks horrible (for the record I think it looks good).
- Reasons the crew has for wanting the tickets: Rosa wants them because Marcus loves Beyonce, Terry’s twins were conceived to Bootylicious, Gina considers the woman her spiritual twin, and Amy just wants to impress Holt.
- Jake is allergic to bees.
- Lyrics to the sausage sausage song: “Your age mountain/add sausage, sausage”.
- Scully is fluent in French because his family accidentally left him in a bathroom in a French airport during a vacation.
- Donuts are Terry’s trigger food.
- Rocket’s real first name is Roger.
- Rocket also has a penchant for blondes, and regularly cheats on his girlfriend as well as Jake’s mother back before their divorce.
- “Riding UP and DOWN on a teeter-totter of thoughts!”
- Rocket missed Jake’s eleventh birthday, and Jake blamed himself for being born on a peak travel day.
- “Superglue your panties to your butts ladies, because Jake is in the house!”
- Next Week: Jake deals with a bad luck streak by growing suspicious of self-perceived outside enemies, Holt accidentally insults Gina’s dance team, and Charles deals with the pain of working with Scully and Hitchcock in “Sabotage.”
Solid character development, some good jokes, and a little bit of complexity awaits you in this episode. You’ll laugh, but perhaps not as deeply as usual.