Screenplay by Laura McCreary.
This week, Brooklyn Nine-Nine brings us a dichotomy: Peralta and Holt are trying to locate the mole in their precinct at risk of punishment from an investigation, while Boyle and Linetti are trying to prevent information about their relationship spreading when Peralta finds out. Peralta discovering that secret brings an interesting element to his own storyline, as – subliminally or not – you find yourself beginning to wonder if he actually is the mole. Holt suspects it, Wuntch suspects it, and you suspect it. Not necessarily because of the suspicions already there, but because leaking information is something Peralta is both capable of it and likely to do. Even the circumstantial evidence is against him – he worked for the mob and has openly admitted to communicating with registered criminals and has knowingly taken information out of Precinct 99.
But what this show offers is a context for police work by comparing it to real life scenarios, this week’s being Boyle and Linetti’s secret. Because that’s shown to be of equivalent to the information leaking, and Peralta’s the one who knows about it, it makes sense for him to be the number one suspect of moling on both parts of characters and audience. We like Peralta’s character, but we don’t condone it. At any point we’re prepared to believe he could have committed an act of malpractice, not because he’s fundamentally an antagonist, but because he’s an idiot. And this episode pushed us to believe that maybe it was him. It doesn’t push us very far, because character development would be suspended. If Peralta ever is going to cross a decency line, it will be further into the show. Now isn’t the beginning of that, it’s just showing us that we’re capable of believing he could do it. Even though ultimately he didn’t.
What the mole is revealed to be is none-existent, a ploy created by Wuntch. This season began by establishing the rivalry between her and Holt, and it’s gradually developing into something dangerous. Just in the same way that Peralta could, if he wanted to, cross a line, Wuntch’s interventions in Brooklyn 99 could potentially become too serious and cause an official incident.
But for now, it was nice to see the show pushing itself into uncharted territory. This season keeps improving every week, and this week trialled the idea of things taking an ethical turn.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine: the Mole – interestingly paralleled dichotomy with depth 7/10.