Brody is a down-to-earth cop who looks at the evidence and draws conclusions based on what it can tell him, who assumes that one shark attack might mean a greater potential threat than those around him are willing to recognize. He doesn’t want to let anyone out into the water until he’s sure it’s safe. To learn about sharks, Brody gets as many books about them as he can find, absorbing all the information they contain, to help him make an informed decision about whether to close the beach. He is somewhat out of his depth at first in dealing with the shark, especially given his phobia of water, but as he gains more experience in the ocean, he becomes more confident (just a smidge). His previous knowledge comes in handy in the sequel, when he uses what he remembers about the first shark to figure out how to kill the second shark. Though initially pleased that fishermen have appeared to catch the responsible shark, he listens to and agrees with Hooper that it would be inappropriate not to slice open the creature and search for the boy’s remains inside its stomach. Then, confronted with the evidence that this tiger shark contains no body parts, Brody knows it means their man-killer is still on the loose. He feels torn between his awareness of what closing the beaches could mean to their little tourist town (which relies on tourist income to survive) and his desire to keep everyone safe. Brody is the king of rational decisions and quick thinking; when the town doesn’t have any beach closed signs, he runs out to the store and purchases supplies to make some, then tells his deputy to get on it (and to have someone else do the lettering, because his handwriting is lousy). He remarks to Quint, once he’s gotten a look at the shark, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” He goes head-to-head with the town council, arguing the logic (“If people come here and die, your tourism really goes down the drain”.). Once his boat capsizes and he needs to kill the shark before it comes for him, he makes a rational decision to shove an oxygen tank into its mouth and then shoot it with a sniper rifle, blowing up the shark and saving himself (and Hooper) in the process. Even then, Brody doesn’t show his feelings to anyone, they just motivate his decisions. He values his job, but isn’t about to shut up or sit down when people’s lives are at risk. In the second film, he shows occasional flashes of panic, and drowns his sorrows at being fired in a stack of beers. Brody has a lot of trepidation about the unknown. He isn’t quick to trust others. But, he also has the bigger picture in mind, when going against the town to save lives – this isn’t about the revenues of one summer, it’s about people’s lives.

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Brody believes in being sensible and cautious. We see him initially tell his kids to stay off the swing set until he has time to fix it, in case they get hurt. Upon the first hint that a killer shark might be on the loose, he immediately closes down the beach… and only reluctantly opens it up to tourists on the mayor’s insistence. He asks for town funding to pay Quint to track and kill the monster. When Hooper wants to jump out into the ocean in the middle of the night to examine a half-sunken boat, Brody suggests they tow it back instead, since the shark might be nearby. “That’s not safe!” seems to be his internal mantra, and he’s not wrong. Not closing the beach gets an innocent child killed, then an innocent boatman killed, and his son traumatized. When curious about sharks, he goes straight into book learning, but also doesn’t want to be directly involved. His fear of the water keeps him out of it much of the time, and it’s only out of desperation that he gets on the boat, because he knows no one else can do his job. Brody is somewhat avoidant, per his 5 wing, and bound by fear to the shore, until circumstances dictate otherwise.