I finally hit a breakthrough today on how to plant Joe’s seeds of doubt in the team member who is ultimately revealed as a Judas. I think it will work well.
The trick to making this first act moment work is that Joe needs to figure out that this purportedly loyal team member cannot be trusted but before we do, so that his intuition and skill revealed to us the truth later in the story in such a way that we are surprised by the revelation but not incredulous; so that we see that the clues were there all along (so that we can buy in to the resolution) but not easily pieced together without the extraordinary sleuthing skills of a man like Joe.
And, by Jove, I think I’ve got it.
I’d love to give more details right now, but (A.) It would be a plot spoiler and (B.) I’m beat. As in “tired,” not as in beaten. Between wrestling this dramaturgical construct into submission and packing up the house for my impending move (on the 30th), I am done, adjourning this day and retiring to the companionship of my feather pillow.