Is it possible to return from an extended work assignment without there being any consequences? That’s part of the premise behind the fourth season of ABC’s “Rookie Blue,” which followed two cops who returned from an extended undercover assignment to find out how much things have changed. Can they adjust to those changes? If the premiere was any indication, that won’t happen for quite a while, which is a good thing to help shake up the show’s familiar premise.
“Rookie Blue” followed Officer Andy McNally (Missy Peregrym) who took part in a last minute undercover assignment with fellow Officer Nick Collins (Pete Mooney) that changed everything for them. During their six month assignment, Andy and Nick formed a close bond as they nearly got killed trying to expose a drug ring. They returned to 15 Division to find that a lot has changed for their friends and loved ones. Andy’s ex-boyfriend Sam Swarek (Ben Bass) has been recently promoted to detective and is working together with Andy’s best friend Traci Nash (Enuka Okuma). Before Andy left, Sam and Andy had ended their complicated relationship very suddenly, which never gave either of them the chance for closure. Sadly, they won’t be able to figure things out anytime soon with Sam’s new girlfriend Marlo Cruz (Rachael Ancheril) working at the station as well. Luckily, Nick and Andy had each other to lean on when times got too tough, because they needed all the help they could get. Nick’s ex-lover Gail Peck (Charlotte Sullivan) didn’t take too kindly to him leaving her without an explanation and is trying not to forgive him too quickly. When Gail starts to trust her ex, she finds out that she might be fighting to keep him from leaving again. Will Andy and Nick be able to adjust to life at 15 Division again or will the changes be too much for them to handle?
In terms of questions, the show won’t likely be answering most of them for quite some time. The early episodes have been designed to leave viewers wondering as to what happened during the six months that Andy and Nick were away. The show also did a risky move by speeding up the show’s timeline by six months, but it has proven to work so far in regards to Andy and Nick’s characters. The first two episodes established a new potential show relationship for the characters that should be worth watching; regardless if it turned romantic or not. It had the potential for some serious drama down the road. At the moment, the biggest story casualty has been Gregory Smith’s Dov because his character has seemed a little out of place in recent seasons. It was also hard to root for his character when his personality seemed to change a little too constantly. If the show could stick to a particular path for Smith’s charming character, viewers might be able to start rooting for him once again. The show’s primary success has been mixing police work and romantic triangles, which there has been plenty of both so far. Hopefully, the episodes will try to balance both elements very carefully, because the brewing Sam/Andy/Marlo triangle has the potential to be a great story as long as the rest of the cast. Only time will tell if that’s the case.
As for breakout stars, Peregrym and Mooney led the pack in the early episodes based on their newly established rapport between their characters. Peregrym’s Andy was able to have a chance to smile for a change and not have to always wear her uniform while she was working. Her most memorable scene came when she had to learn to rely on her slightly rusty professional instincts that guided into some dangerous situations. Peregrym showcased Andy’s look of frustration as her superiors ignored her doubts about a suspect’s guilt, which forced the character to think outside the box to possibly clear him. Mooney, on the other hand, was given the chance to have his own story where he was more than the resident new guy with a mysterious past. Sure, Mooney’s Nick was still a fictional question mark in some areas, but Mooney made him an interesting enigma to watch. His most memorable moment came towards the end of the premiere when he confronted Sullivan’s Gail and was immediately punched at the face by her. Mooney’s reaction was a genuine mix of shock and acceptance that he deserved what was coming to him. That scene demonstrated that Gail won’t be forgiving Nick for a while. It was also a welcome surprise to see that Bass’ Sam accepted a job promotion that kept him from taking the really dangerous assigments that he was once drawn to. Hopefully, this story twist will give Bass more to do than being the resident rebel, even though it was fascinating to watch him break the rules for his cases.
“Rookie Blue” premiered on May 23rd and airs Thursdays at 10:00 PM on ABC
Verdict: The show’s cast has established a comfortable rapport, but some of their weekly cases could use a few surprises to keep viewers interested.
TV Score: 3 out of 5 stars
1 Star (Mediocre)
2 Stars (Averagely Entertaining)
3 Stars (Decent Enough to Pass Muster)
4 Stars (Near Perfect)
5 Stars (Gold Standard)