‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’: The Squad Has a ‘Classic Whodunit’ on Its Hands (RECAP)

Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 7 Episode 9 Recap
Spoiler Alert
Jordin Althaus/NBC

[Warning: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 7, Episode 9 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, “Dillman.”]

Jake Peralta’s never been overly concerned with being professional, but that, it seems, could soon change.

Holt’s (Andre Braugher) helping put together an investigative task force, and Jake (Andy Samberg) wants in. He maintains he has the qualifications, but before they can finish their discussion, there’s an explosion in the precinct. Nothing to worry about — just red glitter.

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But the fact that it was on Jake’s desk leads to an investigation: who in the building wanted to prank Jake (or destroy evidence that was sitting on Jake’s desk), and why? Holt excitedly announces this as an opportunity to call in a man named “Dillman” thus ushering in yet another delightful guest-starring appearance (J.K. Simmons!) and a test for Jake to prove his expertise to Holt.

Introducing Dillman

So, who is Dillman? Holt explains he’s a former detective unjustly fired from the force after he investigated dirty cops. It’s clear why he and Holt get along: they’re both robotic, both straightforward and both quick studies of people. Jake is none of those things — but he realizes this investigation could be a great way for him to prove his skills to his captain. “Then he has to give me the task force,” Jake says.

(Jordin Althaus/NBC)

Jake’s investigation leads him to Terry (Terry Crews), or more specifically, the red glitter on suspenders stashed in Terry’s desk. Jake maintains this closes the case, but Dillman steps in to prove Terry’s innocence. Dillman questions Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz), but he finds she’s innocent when her alibi — she was watching a soap opera — stands up.

An Uncomfortable Reveal

Afterward, Jake accuses Holt, saying it’s odd that he wouldn’t let him run the investigation and that he’s no longer the joyless guy he once was. “Is this about the time I ate a burrito?” Holt ponders. Things spiral, and when Jake’s skeptical of Holt’s claim that he was eating lunch with Boyle, the truth comes out: Holt was indeed eating lunch with Jake’s best friend… to offer him, not Jake, the task force.

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Except Boyle, as he later tells his pal, was planning to turn it down. That means the spot is still open for Jake… but Jake ends up suspended. Why? Dillman says he planted the glitter explosion, and honestly, the evidence looks convincing. Dillman says he had the motive — he wanted to be assigned to the task force — and he finds a receipt from a party store in Jake’s bag.

Boyle’s Big Solve

But when has Jake ever respected orders? He turns around and figures out it was Dillman who did it, because he wanted to be on the task force. Jake’s only partially right; while the evidence piles up against Dillman, he didn’t do it (although he did want to be on the task force and was planning to talk to Holt about it). As the two start to literally point fingers at each other, Boyle jumps in. “It wasn’t either of you,” he says. “But I know who it was.”

(Jordin Althaus/NBC)

Turns out, the whole thing was a way to contaminate the evidence for a case, and it all leads back to one of the fellow officers at the precinct. Boyle was right, and his thorough investigation saved the day… which is why at the end of the episode, Jake apologizes for his behavior and insists his friend take the job. “You noticed things a room full of seasoned cops all missed,” Jake tells him. And thankfully, with a little encouragement from his best friend, Boyle takes the win.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Thursdays, 8:30/7:30c, NBC