This review contains spoilers.
6.7 The Honeypot
After a couple of one-off episodes, this week found Brooklyn Nine-Nine getting back to this season’s over-arching plot this year, Captain Holt’s battle against commissioner John Kelly. After shutting down the first floor in the 99th precinct at the beginning of this season, the conflict between Holt and Kelly has largely receded to the background, barring the occasional image of the overcrowded workspace. Thankfully, Brooklyn Nine-Nine handles its standalone instalments with the same craft and care that it puts into its slightly serialised fare, so it’s not a problem spending time away from the main story, but it certainly is nice to see it back in focus.
If the episode’s title, The Honeypot wasn’t a giveaway, the episode centres on Holt and Peralta discovering that a honeypot has been sent into the precinct by John Kelly to seduce Holt and eventually publicly embarrass him. Still trying to replace Gina, Holt is burning through assistants that don’t live up to his ridiculous standards. Having been the one to find Gina, Peralta volunteers to find Holt’s new assistant, in a mission that he dubs Operation N.A.S.T.Y. (New Assistant Selection Team, You!). When he brings in Gordon Lunt (Deadpool’s Karan Soni), a young man who’s equally as ridged and formal as Holt, Peralta believes he’s found the perfect fit. Holt disagrees, sensing that Gordon is flirting with him due to, among other things, his Single Windsor tie knot.
I’ve written about this in the past, but Peralta/Holt stories are always my favourite because of their odd couple nature and how Jake has increasingly been pushed to being the straight man to Holt’s irregular behaviour. Here it looks like Holt is being ridiculous, but once Peralta does some digging, he realizes that Gordon lied about his past job experience on his resume and eventually discovers a photo of him working in John Kelly’s precinct. Peralta deducts that Gordon is a spy meant to retrieve the list of names that Holt is gathering of fellow captains that oppose Kelly. And just like that, Operation D.R.A.G.O.N. (Don’t Reveal Anything Gordon’s Our Nemesis) is afoot.
Peralta tries to steal information from Gordon’s computer when Gordon is forced to check his bag while he and Holt visit a museum, but nothing is found. However, out of the blue Gordon reveals that yes, he is a spy, but now he’s fallen in love with Holt and refuses to follow through with Kelly’s plan. Peralta pushes for Holt to use Gordon as a double agent against Kelly and wear a wire in a meeting where he and Kelly discuss the honeypot plan, but Holt is hesitant, afraid that the plan could backfire.
Sure enough, when Peralta and Holt send Gordon in for the sting operation, he immediately reveals that he’s wearing a wire. Kelly begins to gloat, knowing that the evidence frames Holt to look as if he’s acted inappropriately against the commissioner, but Holt is a step ahead. After Kelly reveals his master plan, Holt reveals that he’s pulled a triple-cross, rigging the restaurant with microphones and cameras to catch Kelly’s plot. It’s a checkmate, and in his first moment of leverage against Kelly, Holt gets the first floor of the 99 reopened.
The B-plot also works well because it finally focuses on the overcrowded workspace. When the clutter gets to be too much, the rest of the 99 recruits Amy to help them get the floor organised. Naturally, Amy takes things way too far, at first channelling Marie Kondo to try to inspire everyone to declutter, but when that doesn’t work well enough, she adopts an extreme German system where everyone is forced to throw away all possessions except one. It’s a silly plot to highlight the weird, quirky things that each employee hoards, but eventually shifts into something more serious. Terry is hesitant to throw away a pair of nice suspenders that he bought to wear to celebrate passing the lieutenant’s exam, but since he didn’t pass the exam, he’s not sure why he’s holding onto them. I always joke that Terry doesn’t get enough character work on the show, but this felt like a very last-minute addition. Still, I guess it’s something. Amy decides to replace the suspenders she made him throw away and buys him study material to encourage him to retake the exam.
With two solid plots directly involved with the season’s main narrative, this was a funny, yet meaningful episode. It will be interesting to see whether a new wrench is thrown into the Holt-Kelly feud now that Holt has the upper hand and whether the show will eventually fill Holt’s assistant vacancy with a new character. With Rosa and Amy as the only women regulars at this point, it would be nice to get more feminine energy in the 99.