Squee Report: Rookie Blue Wraps Season 5

Sam Swarek on Rookie Blue
Rookie Blue (Photo: ABC.com)

Poor Chloe. And poor Nash. And maybe kinda poor Collins. Oh Rookie Blue, why can’t you be nice to anyone?

Once again Ryan and Aaron found themselves at turns delighted (delighted!) and underwhelmed (so little whelm!) by the goings on at Fifteen Division. Here they catch up after season 5 and discuss plot points, relationship woes, whether the pacing worked at all1, and their hopes for season 6. Some wild conjectures and several spolier-y references occur.

They also start at the very very end and then wander back through all the various character plots – kinda like the season, amiright?!

Aaron: So: Marlo’s in on the conspiracy, right?

Ryan: Here’s my thought process about Marlo: After her previous behavior, how does she even have a job at this point!? Either she knows somebody-slash-has a connection, or she’s been granted a “reprieve” and this is the cost. (I wouldn’t be surprised if the sonogram was a fake as well, although that seems a little dark for this particular show.)

A: I forgot about the sonogram. Completely forgot.

R: It was poorly done, tagged on at the very end as some kind of cliffhanger. As if we don’t all see where that one is going.

A: Speaking of, these things at least are clear – Dov figured something out and that’ what he was approaching Marlo about at the very end; he’s not about to ask her out or anything else that’s vaguely suggested. Marlo was the last one we saw to touch the hard drives, and the hard drives are possibly what exploded, right?

R: Correct. And who else had access, and time, to do that? Although, I don’t know why they would bring the bomb into the station, instead of just getting rid of the drives.

A: If crazy bomber daddy is to be believed, the drives contained total evidence of everything – i.e. a reason not to have a season 6 [if they continued to exist]. My assumption is they blew up the drives planning to say ‘see, crazy bomber daddy was crazy, of course his drives were also rigged!’ It’s a desperate cover story, but one that is nearly impossible to disprove because everything’s blown up.

R: True, although you’d think somebody would have noticed those bombs while checking them out?

A: Very small bombs?

R: I do have to admit, I’m glad Swarek was alive for that last episode.2 Without him, who would deliver a line like “[I’m not crying,] I got smoke in my eye!”

But whatever the reason, it’s probably better that the season got broken up into two – a conspiracy is much more interesting than whatever they were going for in the second half of season 5. 

A: Okay, that is my other big question – I’ve liked this season overall, especially for a lot of well earned character moments, but what the heck was the point of it? Was it just McNally and whatshisface the rookie? All the other threads, even when they’re well acted, are just hanging out there. We got like six episodes with Peck not doing anything (or anyone); Diaz goes to rehab for an entire 3/4 of an episode. It just seems jumbled.

R: I was just going to say – I was particularly disappointed in the lack of follow-up with Chris’ drug problems. And what in the world happened to Chloe those last couple of episodes? I would never have pegged her as a woman to say “Look at me in the pretty dress, don’t you want to take me back?” She just seems so desperate, all of a sudden, in a way that’s not usual for her. She’s always high-energy, but desperate?

A: I couldn’t figure out why she was so worked up about Wes kissing her. My best guess is when she says ‘I’m never getting married again’ she really means ‘except for some sort of life partnership and babies with Dov’ but because she hasn’t consciously worked that through, and still has the context of Wes hanging around, she get’s frightened. And then the last three episodes happen.

R: Maybe the actress is just really desperate to avoid a love triangle storyline, having seen how this show tends to handle them (i.e. poorly).

A: Could be. Let’s reverse for one second and talk about the terrible way the show treated the terrible way Dov treated Chloe when Chris was heading to rehab.

R: Oh my gosh, I knooooow.

A: He’s the biggest, least caring jackass ever, and makes it so Wes has to be the one who rescues her birthday. And, again, this sudden change happened in one episode!

R: Exactly, when that’s Dov’s MO, to be the one that’s sensitive and caring. I guess you could say that Chris’ addiction has really shaken Dov’s trust in people, but there’s not really any evidence of that.

A: Right. We have a lot of seemingly unmotivated moments this season – a shame because a lot of them were really well acted, even well written; they just seem to stick out as Plot Developments. I wasn’t even totally on board with Chris’s addiction.

R: Agreed. I think it’s because we never really saw it. Sure, Chris was a little flaky, and his dealer always seemed to show up at just the wrong time, but other than that … it’s like the coke was just an inconvenient hobby.

A: Semi-rhetorical question – would we have liked seeing it more, or would it have become movie-of-the-week over the top?

R: I don’t think we needed to SEE it more, but it either needed to be a thing, or not a thing. What did it really add to the season’s arc?

A: The show is keeping too many balls in the air right now. It is keeping them in the air, but it’s raising all of these same questions.

R: Right – it seems like every relationship is a triangle. Friendships, friends-with-benefits, and romantic relationships. Dov – Chloe – Wes, Sam – Andy – Nick, Sam – Andy – Marlo, Dov – Chris – Drugs … Oh yeah, Andy – Duncan – Oliver.

A: Dov – Chloe – Chris, Sam – Andy – Duncan…

R: It’s like the show is scared of putting two people together and letting them act.

A: What would we say this season’s arc(s) was/were? I’d put them in the box of ‘actual growth and change’, which was generally a good thing.

R: Good question. As much as the show isn’t really getting anywhere, I do feel like all of the characters are setting boundaries. Nick in the car with Duncan, telling him to shut up about Andy instead of engaging him in the “we got burned by Andy” pity party. Oliver in the squadroom (particularly re: Duncan’s dismissal, or lack thereof), starting to understand that he can’t be everybody’s friend anymore.

A: And yet with both those examples we also get a path for the character to be the character we love – Oliver telling the suit he’s going back on the street because it’s where he belongs right then, Nick meeting Juliet –

R: If by “meeting” you mean “stalking” then, yes. 🙂

A: Well it was only stalking the third time. (Also – Juliet? Really?) What’s your guess for why she was wigged out by him being a cop?

R: My immediate reaction was “Look, he’s not going to care that you’re a stoner” but I’m pretty sure that’s not the problem. She rides a bike so she can’t be a drug kingpin.

A: My thought was she either has an ex who was a cop, or that she’s the Irish crime boss’s estranged other daughter.

R: I’m with you on the ex, or maybe a family member, on the force. If she were the Irish crime boss’s daughter I’d think she would be more savvy about breaking it off with Nick. I can imagine a backstory where her dad was a high-ranking cop and wasn’t home to support her as a kid, or got killed in the line of duty.

A: Or, and hear me out – she’s broken it off with her father, the Irish crime boss, trying to distance herself from the family, but she Can’t Quit Her Family!

I’m not letting this possibility go…

R: LOL. Who else haven’t we talked about? Oh god, Traci (Tracy?) and Steve.

A: That was on my list. Despite how naive Traci was about tipping off her ex, I thought her relationship with Steve was well begun, well executed, and well (probably) ended.

R: Agreed. I am hoping for that custody storyline to be done sooner rather than later. She’s had enough personal tragedy in her life, let’s see her do some real work as a cop.

A: Yeah, she actually did very little this season cop-wise.

We’ve pretty completely skipped over Andy and Sam – I take it you’re accepting of his continued presence at least?

R: Yeah. This show might be willing to kill off a secondary character (Jerry in Season 1), but they’re not going to kill the lead, or the lead’s love interest. They’ve been a lot less obnoxious together this season, with the major exception being that last scene of the last episode.

A: The one thing I’ll say is I’m worried about the acting depth Sam can bring to the table for more varied situations, at least as compared to what a lot of the other actors are doing. Specifically, he seemed to hold back too much in that last scene – I was expecting a joke, realized that couldn’t happen, but didn’t get the deeper concern that should have been there instead.

R: Right. Like Nash, I hope their personal life can calm down a little bit so we can get to see them work together. They’re (mostly) great cops together!

A: Very true – now that Andy has become more of a cop. She was the last of the rookies to seem fully capable, even with her undercover stint.

So only one little thing left to discuss:

R: Gail and whatshername?

A: Gail, period.

R: HA. Yeah. (sigh)

A: She took a backseat mid season to other plots, which was fine. But let’s see – we’ve got: fully acknowledging her lesbian-ness, breaking it off with Hot Coroner, getting emotionally wrecked by Sophie’s situation, then having both those things tie together in the finale. It’s actually been a pretty light season for her, I realize, so it’s more a question of whether we liked where the character wound up.

R: Well, first, a quick comment on the Sophie thing … Gail is a total wreck, she can’t even take care of another adult’s needs. What business does she have trying to adopt a child? And not just any child – a black child who will need all kinds of support Gail will never be able to provide?

I just feel like her character has no forward momentum, she just goes here there and everywhere. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when you have all of these other loose ends in the show, it’s hard to manage.

A: Especially with the here-and-there of her particular arc. You hit the nail on the head: there’s a lovely, earned quality to her wanting to adopt Sophie particularly and there’s a level of absolutel ridiculousness with her wanting to adopt Sophie particularly.  Maybe it was because she wasn’t heavy in the show for several episodes, but I felt that she had legitimately grown, and the idea of adopting wasn’t too crazy – although it’s motivated more by unresolved family issues I’m sure.

R: True. So a comment on Holly: if she wants Gail to remain in her life, wouldn’t you think she would have at least had a conversation with Gail before accepting the job? I guess you could say the same thing about Gail with Sophie, but moving far away is a very different thing than adopting.

A: This all smells of the writers seeking a new form of conflict – and also maybe wanting to resolve the Gail-Holly split without having to write another relationship. I don’t think either character is acting that realistically when you dig in a little, but who cares? Drama!

R: Is there anybody on this show who has a healthy relationship with any other character, seen or unseen?

A: Andy and Sam are becoming that? Um, Oliver and his daughter – oo, Oliver and Celery!

R: Ha, I’d forgotten all about Celery! That’s a good one, why don’t we see her more?

A: Where would she fit?

R: Well, we used to get more domestic scenes than just Andy and Sam – Dov and Chris’s apartment, Chris’s ex and “kid”.

A: There was a bit of that with Gail and Holly this go ’round. Really, though Andy and Duncan (thatshisname!), and Chloe and her men took up a lot of the space this season.

R: Yep. Maybe there will be room now that those things have mostly resolved (he says, hopefully).

A: Heh. So, how do we feel about this season of Rookie Blue overall? I’m feeling good, if somewhat rushed because of all the zipping along and between character arcs.

R: I’m positive about it at this point, although I think it benefits greatly from the summer slot. I think it would probably slip off my radar if it were going up against regular fall / spring programming.

A: Agreed. The writing and acting are often stronger than Sleepy Hollow, but it winds up dancing too much towards a procedural with too many soap storylines to keep me riveted. It’s way more consistent at doing those things, though, than Graceland. But I digress.

R: Two shows which I have not yet watched, perhaps I will have to check in on them.

A: Graceland‘s done for the summer, and I think it’s at a Royal Pains level where it should be the only show of its weight in your queue. Sleepy Hollow remains the most entertaining waste of potential on network tv.

R: A ringing endorsement!

A: Quick hits – what made you squee this season?

R: Oh lord. Hmmm. Oh, I know: way back in episode one, where Andy and Dov get stuck in the diner holdup? I remember thinking, they would make such a cute couple!

A: Ewww. In a 90s movie, maybe!

R: I mean, that WAS the best decade for film. Oh, also: I loved the way that personal and professional collided with Sam, Andy, and Sam’s father. That was a great episode, and I wish the show would do more like it.

A: It also let Collins be all stoic, which is a great look for him.

R: Thumbs up for Collins and the stoic look – that man can act with his jaw, for sure. Last but not least, Traci and that cute bomb squad guy! The one who keeps ruining all the fairy tales for her. I love it.

A: Yes! Late to the party, but very interesting development.

R: What about you – what were your favorite moments?

A: Any time Chloe made an adorable face, which is most of the time. Speaking of, I was legit worried they were going to have her die in the hospital – I should have seen where the setup with Wes was leading, but didn’t.

R: (co-op knock of agreement) I love that Chloe speaks Portuguese (and a bunch of other languages, apparently?)

A: I loved when that first came up, it was a great note – and now it’s relevant! Also Oliver and his daughter – similar to Sam and his father, I think that was a great episode overall. And my other favorite moment would be all the stuff in the finale – because I loves me a good conspiracy and corruption case with a serial bomber thrown in for good measure.

R: I really enjoyed the last two episodes – strong, and compelling to watch.

A: Here’s hoping they build on that in season 6. My fingers are crossed that they make an interesting cat and mouse game with the conspiracy, and not some overblown bs.

R: I’m with you on that.

Season 5 of Rookie Blue is currently streaming on ABC with cable-provider access.

  1. Spoiler: sometimes.  
  2. A nearly complete 180, readers!  

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About Aaron Mucciolo 206 Articles

He does things. That’s all we can say at this time. E-mail: mooch@whatelseison.tv