Wow. Leave for a week and Rookie Blue drops some pretty big bombshells. In “Poison Pill,” Andy found out that Marlo was bipolar and that Sam doesn’t know – and Chris apparently said goodbye to 15 Division. How do you follow that up?
Frank calls a meeting to tell everyone that “Diaz is gone and he won’t be coming back,” which wounds the entire team (and all of us Travis Milne fans, naturally). His speech amounts to “Get over it” before he dismisses the ensemble. Gail has desk duty, which means she has to talk to a man about his missing daughter, Grace. Unfortunately, Grace hasn’t yet been missing long enough to open a case, but Gail senses bad things.
Upstairs, Traci hates that Sam changed the filing system, and gets a little tetchy with him before he introduces Gail’s brother Steve (Adam MacDonald), a Guns and Gangs detective she’s got to work with. And on the street, Chloe rants at Marlo – the absolutely wrong person – about being mistaken for bipolar.
Elsewhere, Nick and Andy investigate a dispute over a stolen cab – which leads them to security camera footage of an abduction. Andy is shocked when she finds out the cab was registered to Ross Perik, the man who abducted Gail and killed our beloved Detective Jerry Barber. (Hands up, who’s still upset over that one? Yep, so are we.)
Time to bring in someone particularly awesome: Luke Callaghan (Eric Johnson). Say what you will about how he botched his relationship with Andy – which might be why Sam doesn’t look thrilled to see him – but Luke knows his police work and there’s something comforting about having him around. He points out to the assembled members of 15 Division that Grace matches the existing victim profile, and if this is a copycat following after Perik, then they’ve got twelve hours to find her.
While Grace’s dad understandably flips out on Gail and Nick, Traci and Steve start their own investigation into a gun trafficker which is revealed to just be a huge distraction to keep Traci off the copycat case, and Chris Owens (who played Jeffrey Spender on The X-Files years ago) pops up as a concerned member of the neighborhood. Meanwhile, sad piano plays while Sam and Andy find themselves with a few minutes to have an awkward not-conversation about working together. They find out who bought the cab after Ross had it, and formulate a reason to break into his apartment. Sam hauls the guy in for interrogation, during which he says that he doesn’t know who he sold the cab to. “He’s garbage,” Sam deduces, “but not who we’re looking for.”
Luke tells Frank that forensics found traces of the same chemicals Perik used on his victims in the back of the cab, and since that information wasn’t released to the public, that’s pretty damn incriminating. He wants a sit-down with the killer. Sam does not approve of this idea, especially when Frank says the only person Perik will talk to is Gail. That has “bad idea” written all over it, so Luke nominates himself instead. When their conversation is hilariously unproductive, Luke is forced to concede that he may have to give Perik what (or in this case, who) he wants. His tough decision is made easier when Gail insists on going in.
Surprising absolutely no one, Gail’s conversation with Perik initially goes in circles, while back at 15 Division, Traci tearfully confides in Steve about her difficulties getting over Jerry’s death. And Dov and Oliver realize that Neighborhood Watch Guy was way more than a concerned bystander.
Not knowing that Nick has turned up and can hear everything that’s being said, Gail is goaded by Perik into admitting that she cheated on Nick – with Louis Ferreira’s Detective Blackstone, with whom she left at the end of “Poison Pill” – because she “was jealous” of what she perceived between him and Andy. Nick does not have time to deal with this little revelation. He just shares an uncomfortable look with his girlfriend after Grace is rescued.
With the case concluded, it’s time for some personal cleanup. Steve breaks the good news to Traci, and the two share a celebratory drink together. In the locker room, Sam apologizes to Andy for being difficult, and asks how she’s been. She says she wants to be his friend, and he replies that he thought they already were friends. Before they can really have a moment, as if on cue, Marlo walks up behind them. Oliver reveals to Dov that he and his wife Zoe are really done for good, because she’s in love with someone else.
Circling back around to Gail and Nick, she wants to talk about her little revelation, but all he wants to say is when he met her, he thought that she was going to break his heart, “and here we are.” He explicltly states that nothing happened between him and Andy while they were undercover, but does admit to “a crush” on his fellow officer that he thought would go away, before he and Gail part company.
“Skeletons” is a great episode for the character of Gail Peck, because the previous episodes of season four have given her little outside of worrying about her relationship with Nick, and made her come off as whiny and insecure. Episodes like this remind us that under all her bluster, Gail is a character who is human, and vulnerable, and deserving of our support. Kudos are in order to Charlotte Sullivan, who can make us believe that the more uncomfortable Gail is the same one that’s borderline arrogant any other day of the week. Nothing she does feels forced.
However, Gail has some serious work to do now that Nick knows she cheated on him, and now that Nick has admitted he’s moved (or at least tried to move) past his “crush” on Andy, frankly let’s hope that puts to rest the idea of a Gail/Nick/Andy triangle, the one thing that hasn’t rung true about this season. If the idea came up purely to put tension in Nick and Gail’s relationship, it’s done that, and we should move on – there’s enough drama for Andy just dealing with the Andy/Sam/Marlo triangle. Frankly, if Andy must get together with someone after Sam, it’d make more sense if it was Luke again, given their past history.
And on that note, we must also include a hat tip to the writers for bringing back Eric Johnson as Luke Callaghan. He may not be the most beloved character in the show’s history, but whether you like or dislike him, he’s always been a character worth watching – for which we can thank Johnson, who’s recently shown us a more rough around the edges, in control Luke than the one we first met. He’s kept the character growing even though he’s not on screen. Too bad that the show’s got enough detectives as is, because both times he’s shown back up, Johnson is a great re-addition to the Rookie Blue ensemble.
Then there’s Traci. In one sense, it seems like having her have issues with Jerry’s death might have been more impactful if that had been focused on toward the beginning of the season, rather than the brief hints leading up to the deeper exploration of it here. It almost feels like it’s been too long in terms of the number of episodes between the death and this. However, it’s hard to fault the writers for putting that plot point here, when as an audience we can admit that we’re still broken up about Jerry, too. If we’re still feeling it, it can’t be wrong to have Traci still feeling it.
Rookie Blue has always been known for its ability to interweave the personal and the professional, but now that we’ve spent so much time so far dwelling on the various romantic entanglements of our heroes and know how they do (or do not) stand, it might be interesting next week to dig back into some casework and character development outside of those relationships. These characters are so much more than who they date, and if “Skeletons” has shown us anything, it’s that they all – every one of them – need some time to think and breathe before making any more romantic decisions. Sometimes, you’ve just got to take a step back, and come back stronger. No doubt the cops of 15 Division will do just that.
(c)2013 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.