“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” Introduces Cameron Esposito as Rosa’s Girlfriend Like Some Kind of Soft Butch Fever Dream

Last night’s Brooklyn-Nine finally introduced Rosa’s season-long off-screen girlfriend, and in doing so, paid off the set up for probably the best inside gay joke I have ever seen on television in my entire life. It started back in January in “The Tattler” when Rosa confessed to Charles that she and Alicia (Gina Rodriguez) had broken up and she was dating two people, which wasn’t working out for her, and she needed to just pick. Charles hung her upside down like a bat and made her read Sophie’s Choice (“Ugh! Just choose the daughter!”) and ultimately she landed on a woman named Jocelyn. The next thing we knew about Jocelyn was that she’s a hairstylist, which we found out in “The Crime Scene,” when Rosa kept showing up to investigate the same murder at the same apartment with different hair every day.

Well, “The Therapist” asks you to remember that Jocelyn is a hairstylist and then reveals her to be the literal Queen of the Lesbian Mane, the gay woman with the most famous gay hair in Hollywood, the originator of the Alternative Lifestyle Haircut — Cameron Esposito! Reader, I fell out of my chair!

Rosa’s storyline is wonderful, even outside of that excellent reveal. Captain Holt finds out that everyone else at the Nine-Nine has met Jocelyn so he invites her and Rosa over to have a nice dinner of rice with him and Kevin. Rose declines, which hurts Holt’s feelings and leaves him with two extra servings of rice on his hands. Rosa says he doesn’t want them to meet because Holt is too judgmental, but it means so much to him that she hires an actress to play Jocelyn for a drinks date that inevitably blows up. Finally, Holt runs into a leather jacket-wearing lesbian at the vending machine in the break room; she asks him for a less crinkly dollar, which of course he has because he steams his dollars to keep them crisp. He compliments her on her choice of almonds; she says they’re for her girlfriend, Detective Diaz.

Holt: Oh! You must be Jocelyn?
Jocelyn: What? No. I’m Denise. Is Rosa cheating on me?
Holt: Oh… my… um…
Jocelyn: No, I’m sorry. That was a joke. I thought it would be funny. I am Jocelyn.
Holt: That was actually very funny. I didn’t know what was happening, and then I thought I knew what was happening, but what I thought I knew was happening wasn’t what was happening.
Jocelyn: You must be Captain Holt.

Rosa comes in and calls her “babe” and they smooch RIGHT ON THEIR MOUTHS while wearing their LEATHER JACKETS like some kind of SOFT BUTCH FEVER DREAM. I was actually a little drugged up from a doctor’s appointment last night and had to go to Twitter to verify that I was not hallucinating. I was not! It was real! Turns out Rosa didn’t keep Jocelyn from Holt because she thinks he’s too judgmental; she thinks he’s hilarious when he’s judgmental. She just really likes Jocelyn and she cares very much that Holt likes her too. They agree to have that rice date, after all.

Because it seems like Brooklyn Nine-Nine is super interested in making my tender butch dreams come true, next up I would like to request: Jake and Amy to go on a double date with Rosa and Jocelyn and we get to watch what happens when Jake’s trapped in the presence of someone who is funnier than him.

In the meantime, I’ll just be looking into ways to send this kissing gif back to 1997 for my younger self to behold with wide-eyed wonder.

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle managing editor who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 864 articles for us.

26 Comments

  1. I am very slowly catching up in Brooklyn 99 and now I need to watch all of it immediately. My jaw literally dropped at the headline and my brain is shocked by this amazingness

  2. “Rosa comes in and calls her “babe” and they smooch RIGHT ON THEIR MOUTHS while wearing their LEATHER JACKETS like some kind of SOFT BUTCH FEVER DREAM. I was actually a little drugged up from a doctor’s appointment last night and had to go to Twitter to verify that I was not hallucinating. I was not! It was real!”

    ^^Reason number 139449 why Heather Hogan is my favorite. Thank you for keeping me updated on this Very Good Thing happening that I need to catch up on!! I also wish I could send this to my younger self, especially as someone who identifies as soft butch.

    Also? I just absolutely love that Rosa frickin’ Diaz is willing to be her girlfriend’s hair model and WEARS THOSE STYLES TO WORK. I am not a hair stylist but I would like one (1) scary girlfriend who lets me do her hair and dares anyone to make fun of it, please and thank you

    • Rosa had all of those different hairstyles in that prior episode that is funny.

      I have yet to watch this episode but just now reading Holt’s lines in my mind’s eye was hilarious because it’s in Captain Holt’s deep voice.
      Hahaha A nice dinner of rice. Phaha Holt is one of my faves.

  3. I’m such fans of both Cameron and Stephanie. The kiss looked normal- like just a girlfriend kissing her gf in passing- but it really says so much!! We get to see two of our favs kissing and being awesome together, 20biteen is shaping up nicely!

    • In good faith I’m trying to be compassionate because erasure leaves a wound that doesn’t heal cleanly, but Rosa’s bisexuality is an established fact stated by the character herself in her coming out episode and no fanon turf war can take that away.

      Some things:
      In writing class they teach repeating established facts is poor writing, it’s tiresome to read and condescending to the readers.

      Secondly the focus of this piece was Rosa’s girlfriend and geeking out over who is playing said girlfriend.

      Lastly a lot of queer folks want to be an established fact, we don’t want to be treated like our gender, our sexuality or our pronouns need to be re-established cuz we said who we are already the same goes for queer characters.

    • Hmm. I used the word lesbian twice, both times referring to Cameron/Jocelyn, never to Stephanie/Rosa or to the relationship. I’m not sure that qualifies as “so many lesbian references.” Also, click on those B99 and Steph Beatriz tags at the bottom of this post and scroll through what I — and so many other of our writers — have written about Steph and Rosa’s bisexuality since they both came out, including how well “The Tattler” handled having Charles talk about the gender of her potential love interests and giving Rosa/Steph multiple fan-voted-upon Gay Emmys that Steph herself went nuts for. We have not nor will we ever erase the actor or the character’s bisexuality.

  4. I don’t even watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine*, and when Cameron Esposito posted about this on Instagram I freaked out a little and had to watch the episode immediately!

    *I did watch the coming out storyline, because, I’m bisexual, I read Autostraddle, and of course I did.

  5. This made me SO happy, and clarified some important plot questions I had! Of course Rosa would let her girlfriend do all that crazy stuff to her hair if her girlfriend was CAMERON ESPOSITO. I hope we see more of Jocelyn, she seems like a keeper 🙂

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