Heading into the home stretch of its fourth season, “Rookie Blue” is letting some of its cops play very close to the edge.
Marlo (Rachael Ancheril) is a prime example, especially as of Thursday’s (Aug. 29) episode of the ABC police drama, “Deception.” The hour opened by showing her parked across the street from the home of Kevin Ford (guest star Michael Cram), the alleged pedophile who was a suspect when Chris’ (Travis Milne) supposed son disappeared in the episode “What I Lost” two weeks ago.
Marlo clearly hadn’t given up pursuing him, and he caught her peering into his house — and claiming “harassment,” he said he intended to call her bosses. “Your career’s over!,” he shouted after her.
Elsewhere, Andy (Missy Peregrym) roused a sleeping Nick (Peter Mooney) after a night spent together. “Whatever this is,” he told her of their new relationship, “I don’t totally hate it.” She concurred, and also with Nick’s proposal to “figure this out as we go along.”
An apparently chipper Chris seemed to be bouncing back from his recent personal troubles, while his exhausted roommates Dov and Gail (Gregory Smith, Charlotte Sullivan) showed the effects of several evenings of all-night duty. A clean-up-the-city operation was drawing to a close, and Sam (Ben Bass) noticed Marlo missing from the morning meeting (or “parade”) where that was discussed.
Andy found her in the precinct parking lot, going over information on Ford. The “little bit wired” Marlo’s obsession was quite evident to Andy, who suggested she “take it easy” at the precinct that day.
Sam and Traci (Enuka Okuma) led a drug sting that partnered Nick with Chloe (Priscilla Faia), who inquired why he’d shaved that day … suspecting he was “in a new relationship.” And that the other person was Andy, which he denied. “That’s a shame,” Chloe replied, “because I always liked the idea of you-and-Andy.”
As for Andy herself, her partner du jour Oliver (Matt Gordon) noticed her smiles and “waves of happiness.” Their chat about that was interrupted by a call to a house where a man lay unconscious with a bloodied head. Oliver knew his identity right away: Kevin Ford.
Detective Luke Callaghan (Eric Johnson) then showed up to head the investigation. As Andy started to interview neighbors, the first one said, “You must be here about the woman” … Marlo, who had been seen arguing with Ford after he caught her snooping.
When Oliver asked Andy if she’d gotten any information, she replied. “I’ve gotta go. I just have to deal with something.” She called Sam with her belief that “Marlo’s in trouble” and asked him to meet her back at 15 Division, which left Traci to oversee the drug bust on her own.
Andy started piecing Ford’s assault together for Sam, but a frenzied Marlo then showed them both that she was hugely preoccupied with Ford’s locations and actions. And when Sam asked Andy for clarification once Marlo left, Andy reluctantly gave up a secret she’d long been holding: “She’s bipolar.”
Sam then tried to calm Marlo down, telling her, “You need to step back from this.” When she claimed to know nothing about the attack on Ford, Sam and Andy told her what they knew that seemed to link her to it. Sam asked if Marlo had left any clues to her presence at his house, including fingerprints on door handles.
Taking Marlo home at Sam’s request, Andy found that Marlo knew she’d told him about her condition. And explaining why she went off her medication, Marlo said she “just wanted to feel” her love for Sam fully. And she asked Andy to drive her to her psychiatrist’s office.
En route, Marlo admitted she’d gone inside Ford’s house and checked his computer, prompting Andy to call Sam again. He discovered that prints — which were Marlo’s, though others didn’t know it yet — had been sent back to the lab, and he then asked Andy to amend Marlo’s professional memo book with an entry that would explain away her presence at the house.
“Sam, don’t ask me to do that!,” Andy replied. “I’d do it myself, but I can’t get back in time,” Sam maintained, even telling Andy how to access the locked area where the memo books were stored. “It’s all going to be about Marlo,” he warned of the outcome otherwise. “She didn’t do it.”
Then, Sam gave the reluctant Andy the clincher: “If you won’t do it for her, do it for me.”
Back at the drug sweep, Traci recognized a potential buyer as a member of a rival narcotics ring. She couldn’t reach Sam, who encountered Luke back at Ford’s house and learned there would be “no stone unturned” in the assault probe, since higher-ups knew of the objections Ford had to his treatment during the search for Chris’ presumed child.
In Sam’s absence, Traci called Steve Peck (Adam MacDonald) for assistance. They determined that rather than another drug buy going down, a purchase of unmarked guns was in progress. “We’re not prepared for this,” Traci cautioned Steve as he formulated an arrest plan. He then called for backup, promising her, “No one gets hurt.”
As Andy made her way to the memo-book drawer at the precinct, Luke got word that the prints from Ford’s house did indeed belong to Marlo … and Andy annotated Marlo’s book scant seconds before Frank (Lyriq Bent) came in. She returned to her car to call Sam and tearfully tell him,.”It’s done.”
Without the car Andy had taken, Oliver left her a voice message to sarcastically tell her how much he missed her … and how he had a giant blister from having to scour Ford’s neighborhood on foot.
The weapons buy was going down without backup yet on the scene, so Traci made the decision to proceed with the bust, cautioning her team that “we are on our own.” After Steve admitted he’d never staged such a mission before, the 15 Division members surrounded and took down two armed suspects without one bullet being fired.
Afterward, Traci needed to know Sam had abandoned her for “something important,” which he confirmed without getting specific. And Oliver arrested another Ford neighbor, reminding an apologetic Andy (who had just returned to the scene) of the value of police footwork — and chiding her, “I didn’t think that you were interested in this case.”
Luke told Sam the arrested neighbor had found Ford trying to lure his young son, and Ford fell and hit his head during an ensuing fight. The neighbor revealed that a certain female police officer had been asking questions about Ford earlier. “Is there something you want to tell me, Swarek?,” Luke asked. Sam indicated he didn’t, and Luke left it at that.
Andy and Nick compared notes on their day in the station locker room. She claimed hers was “uneventful,” while he noted that with the drug/gun bust, his day “definitely got the heart rate up.” He then indicated he wanted a night to himself; he didn’t say it, but he was aware she’d had contact with her ex-beau Swarek during the day … though he didn’t know why.
As Dov and Gail returned home, a not-so-cheerful Chris was in another room on the phone with his supposed son’s mother Denise, telling her “he’s all I think about” while indicating they all needed time to adjust to their new situation.
In the precinct parking lot, Sam tried to convince Andy they had done “a good thing” by covering for Marlo. “You actually believe that?,” she asked him. “How come it’s so easy for you to come up with your own set of rules? What if I don’t want to follow them?” Sam then thanked her for what she’d done, and she responded, “I didn’t do it for you.”
He returned home to a half-asleep Marlo, who started to apologize for not telling him of her bipolar struggles. He told her they’d talk the next day, and when she asked if she was in trouble, he said with only partial conviction, “No one’s in trouble.”
Traci asked Steve if she wanted to “celebrate” the success of the day’s events with her, and as he started to analyze the reason at length, she reminded him that “short answers are good.”
And Andy found Nick at the bar at The Black Penny and confessed, “I had a really terrible day. Can I tell you about it?” He said, “Of course.”
If she thinks that day was terrible, just wait: The hugely eventful two-part Season 4 finale — with the first half directed by series co-star Smith — begins Thursday, Sept. 5.