“You’re Andy McNally. You don’t give up.”
You said it, Oliver Shaw (Matt Gordon) … and his fellow cop McNally (Missy Peregrym) proved it several times over Thursday (May 30) as ABC’s “Rookie Blue” aired episode 2 of Season 4, “Homecoming.” And the story, respectively written and directed by series veterans Russ Cochrane and David Wellington, reaffirmed that the show continually succeeds by being as much (if not more) about the regular characters as the given week’s crime.
On her first day back on the job after the undercover mission that took her and Nick Collins (Peter Mooney) away from 15 Division for several months, Andy wasted no time getting back into literal action. Spared by Oliver’s quick intervention from having to ride with Marlo Cruz (Rachael Ancheril) — the new flame of Andy’s ex, Sam Swarek (Ben Bass) — Andy sensed trouble upon seeing someone flee from a bank.
Of course, she was correct: robbery in progress. Expectedly chewed out later by Sam for not waiting for backup, Andy ended up in a guns-drawn standoff with the masked felon. Fearing for the safety of a baby (which turned out to be a doll … found by Marlo, ouch!), Andy let the crook get out, though she couldn’t understand why he still shot the bank manager despite evidently getting what he came for.
Flash forward through a probe that ultimately teamed a very professional Andy and Sam again, and we discover the manager’s wife was the criminal’s old girlfriend before he started a recently ended prison term. She ended up his hostage during a shootout with the rookies that, in initially playing out without music, recalled the tense immediacy of the central set piece of the 1995 movie “Heat.” And that’s no small compliment.
Hostage rescued and wounded manager on the mend, Andy and Sam head to the Black Penny party for new parents Frank Best and Noelle Williams (Lyriq Bent, Melanie Nicholls-King), whose engagement started the hour sweetly — but the party didn’t start without a conversation that “Rookie Blue” fans have waited the better part of a year to hear.
Andy: “What happened with us?” Sam: “You walked away from us. Again.” Andy: “You broke my heart.” Sam: “You got me back.” And when Andy asked Sam why he’s now with Marlo, he replied that she’s “smart, funny, comfortable. (But) she’s not you.” An answer that a smiling Andy seemed content with.
And bravo to co-stars Peregrym and Bass for playing that much-anticipated scene so superbly and naturally. The rookies now get a break for at least two weeks and possibly three, thanks to ABC’s coverage of the NBA Finals, but the concluding moments of “Homecoming” gave strong hints of things to come.
Oliver encouraged Andy not to give up on Sam, telling her they were “great” together; Nick told on-again, off-again flame Gail Peck (Charlotte Sullivan) he wanted to be with her “for as long as you’ll have me”; and Dov Epstein (Gregory Smith) accepted his apparent failure to convince Chris Diaz (Travis Milne), who wanted a different environment in which to raise his young son, not to transfer out of the precinct.
After becoming smitten with an Italian-speaking crime victim who turned out to have a boyfriend, lovelorn Dov did have one triumph, being propositioned at the Black Penny’s bar by a very lively young lady. They ended up in extremely close contact in a rest-room stall, and he — and we — will get to know her a lot better: Dov isn’t aware of it yet, but she’s the newest rookie, Chloe Price (Priscilla Faia).
The “Rookie Blue” season is still young, indeed.