'Rookie Blue' Recap: Family Issues and Is Nick Falling For Andy?
July 12th, 2013 9:30am EDT
Our heroes of Rookie Blue think they're going on a camping trip like normal people this week (except for Chris, who begs off at the last minute, and Chloe, who wasn't invited but shows up anyway). However, since drama for an hour has to come from somewhere, things go sideways on the last shift before their vacation.
Sam needs some help with the murder of a 16-year-old, and gets awkward wardrobe compliments from Andy, who still doesn't know how to act around him. Meanwhile, Dov has doubts about Marlo's fitness for duty despite the fact that the shooting from last episode was apparently two weeks ago. And Oliver assigns everyone else to the hunt for the murder suspect's car, during which Andy and Gail get involved in a pursuit with another vehicle that ends with them finding a teenager in its trunk.
"This was just a prank," the kid - named Alex - insists, but they're skeptical and decide to take him back to 15 Division. Yet when he develops a nosebleed in the back of the squad car, Gail detours to the nearest hospital. In the waiting room, Andy cringes when she encounters Sam's ex-girlfriend Monica, who wants to ask how Sam is doing. Even Alex advises Andy that she doesn't have to be there. When the teenager who doesn't even know you picks up on the uncomfortable feeling, you know that things are majorly awkward. But to make things stranger, Monica drops a bombshell soon after: Alex is actually a girl. Enter Traci, who sends Andy and Gail off to start looking for the guy who stuffed Alex in the trunk.
Back on the streets, Oliver and Diaz spot the murder suspect, and take him into custody. This means we get another great Sam Swarek interrogation scene, where he gets the suspect, Cesar Medina, to admit that the victim's his cousin Richie, and Sam deduces from there that the bullet was actually meant for Cesar. It's not a far leap to deduce that this is gang-related. Afterward, Chloe is still annoying.
Andy and Gail track down the driver of the car, Teddy, and Andy trips him up with a plastic lawn chair in the backyard before they start questioning both him and his sister Dawn, who tearfully explains that Teddy caught her with Alex and decided to stuff him in the trunk. An enraged Teddy claims that he was "just protecting my sister," but Gail decides to arrest him for assault and kidnapping anyway, which he promptly blames on Dawn. Real brotherly love, that.
While Diaz admits to Oliver that he backed out of the camping trip because he didn't want his friends to see how his relationship with the mother of his son is falling apart, the two of them visit Bishop, the guy who might have been aiming for Cesar but hit Richie instead. Bishop suggests that it was Cesar's "own guys" that were after him. This information gets back to Sam, who gets Cesar to admit that he's an ex-gang member, and suggests that he ought not to throw away all of his progress since just to avenge his fallen family member.
Nick hands Sam a printout of text messages from Cesar's cousin Richie, which Sam promptly reads to Cesar. They prove that Richie was setting him up. Cesar was the target of Richie's gang initiation. Cesar doesn't want to believe it, but slowly he puts the pieces together with Sam's help. "I know you want to take care of these guys. I get that, believe me," Sam says. "But your cousin made his choice." Cesar needs a moment, or maybe a few moments.
Elsewhere in the building, Traci tells Andy, Gail and Dawn that Alex is missing. Dawn then gets a phone call from Alex, but she's apprehensive about answering it, so Andy decides to take the call for her, however brief. "I think that he was calling to tell Dawn goodbye," she says nervously, setting off a fresh wave of panic. By the time Andy and Gail track Alex to a motel, they find him bleeding on the floor, and have to rush him to the hospital.
By Alex's bedside, Andy gives him a speech about how he should just keep going, because things get better every day. It's clear from her face that she's talking about her current situation too, at least a little. Dawn walks in then, and Andy wisely steps out of the room to give them a moment, but doesn't want to leave the hospital just yet even if it means being late for the camping trip.
Dov's attempt to bond with Marlo gets her to crack and admit that the woman she shot died, and she's having a hard time dealing with it because even during her four years of SWAT experience, she never had to shoot someone. Being that Dov shot and killed someone last season, he knows what she's going through and gives her some advice from his own post-trauma playbook.
Afterward, in the locker room, he declares to Traci and Gail that he has an idea, and Andy gets home to find that they're now going psuedo-camping in their own backyard, Chris, his family and Chloe all included. Although Chloe ruins Gail's night by telling her that Nick is falling for Andy.
The title of this episode clues you into the fact that its theme is about kids - whether it's Cesar trying to do something about the demise of his cousin, or Alex hiding who he really is in order to fit in where he clearly doesn't. That's an interesting theme, if only because it's universal in both senses; we can all understand what Cesar's feeling, and we've definitely all had moments where we feel like we're outsiders. Something else that's been a strong point for this show is that it crafts stories the audience can at least grasp. We might not be in the exact same or even similar circumstances to the players in each case of the week, but it's not hard for us to get why they do what they do, and that makes the episodes more plausible and us more inclined to keep watching.
With the installment focused more on the characters of the week, there's less character development for the ensemble. That fact itself isn't a problem, but the few things we do get here are kind of iffy. Chloe still grates on the nerves, and Gail calling her out is something that was needed and could've been used as a jumping-off point to temper Chloe's character a bit, but instead it seems to exist merely for Chloe to have a reason to blurt out her revelation to Gail.
And the idea of Nick falling for Andy? Maybe it's because the show has so clearly set up McSwarek, as it's lovingly known in the Rookie Blue fandom, but the idea of a Nick-Gail-Andy triangle just doesn't seem to be there. And as it's a safe bet that the show will eventually reunite Andy and Sam, having her be the wrench between Nick and Gail would come off as contrived more than anything.
The strongest idea - that Dov could help Marlo based on his experience in last season's episode "A Good Shoot" and afterward - doesn't really get enough airtime. It's great to see her open up to him, but there's so much more that could've been done with that concept rather than just a sudden admission in the final act. Maybe the writers will revisit that parallel later on, because that would give both characters something outside of their respective romantic relationships, and it would be another way in which Dov could continue to grow. Season four is all about change and growth, after all - and even if we didn't get a lot of it this week, there's still plenty of time and lots of possibilities.
I'll be taking next week's episode off while I'm away at this year's San Diego Comic-Con, but I'll see you right back here in two weeks for another new episode of Rookie Blue.
(c)2013 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.
Photo Credits: ABC