“Holt is not the joyless robot that he once was,” says Jake Peralta in NBC’s cop sitcom ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’, in the Agatha Christie-Esque episode that is ‘Dillman’ in Season 7 Episode 9. Indeed he is right.
The once gruff and stoic captain of the Nine-Nine precinct is no longer so after seven seasons of shenanigans, including Holt getting demoted to a beat cop for almost a year.
True, however it may be, Holt’s non-characteristic innocence in an office glitter bombing was not the point of the police sitcom’s central plot.
Just like an Agatha Christie novel, especially one that included Hercule Poirot, the private detective, and retired Belgian police officer, was itself a one-of-a-kind episode. Just like Christie’s stories, this episode had layers of evidence that pointed in multiple directions, including Jake, whose desk was the crime scene. And just like the author’s work, the obvious suspect wasn’t the one behind the crime.
A classic whodunnit in the style of Christie requires a crime, a few obvious suspects, motives from said suspects that form a case and one final mastermind that no one saw coming.
In the dissection process, however, even if innocent of the crime in question, Christie’s novels present the human nature bereft of all its connivances.
Jake, for example, wanted to be part of a special task force. As did the eponymous Dillman, an ex-SFPD cop who now worked in a retail shop.
These connivances, however, don’t stand in front of the ultimate truth.
Christie devised her mysteries with intricate deceptions to manipulate readers’, or in this case, viewers’ thoughts and feelings.
The main character — here Dillman — would discover the most likely suspect. As the story unfolds, however, the main character would eventually gather all possible suspects at one location and reprimand the culprit, revealing numerous unconnected secrets along the way. Such was the case in this masterful parody of a whodunnit.
Hercule Poirot or not, the show has an intense plot that makes most 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' mysteries look weak in comparison. But the NBC sitcom has a penchant for surprising viewers.
'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' Season 7 airs on Thursdays, at 8:30 pm only on NBC.