Before he could talk about any of the details, “Rookie Blue” co-star Gregory Smith said the episode he directed this season was “big.”
He wasn’t kidding.
“Under Fire,” Thursday’s (Sept. 5) intense chapter of the ABC police drama, was the first half of the show’s Season 4 finale — and though it seems a cliche to say it put most of the regular characters in the line of fire, it truly did. And no one knew that more in the opening moments than Andy and Chloe (Missy Peregrym, Priscilla Faia).
The hour began on a light note with the gang playing trivia at The Black Penny, and Chloe won. Things started veering toward the serious as Gail (Charlotte Sullivan) found Holly (Aliyah O’Brien) waiting there to meet someone else, while at home, Andy told Nick (Peter Mooney) of her ongoing guilt over having doctored Marlo’s (Rachael Ancheril) police memo book at Sam’s (Ben Bass) urging.
As for Marlo and Sam themselves, they were taklng a relationship break, prompted by Marlo’s need for “space.” He told her that others at the station believed she was “on leave, taking care of family business.” And at the precinct, Traci (Enuka Okuma) was reluctant to let Steve (Adam MacDonald) meet her young son Leo (Drew Davis), whom she’d brought to work.
After the morning “Parade” meeting, Oliver (Matt Gordon) told Frank (Lyriq Bent) that new girlfriend Celery was staying with him, while Frank revealed his new bride Noelle didn’t have the cancer she had feared.
Partnered with Andy for the day, Chloe continued to press for details on Andy’s supposedly secret involvement with Nick, but the interrogation was interrupted by their call to investigate what was presumed to be a man sleeping in a park. They found it was only a pile of clothes propped against a tree.
And then, shots rang out.
A stunned Andy turned to see Chloe holding her bleeding neck, then collapsing. As the shooting continued, Andy dragged her behind cover and urgently radioed for help. Fading fast, Chloe tried to rattle off every thought she had, as other officers scoured the area to locate the shooter. But by then, that person was nowhere to be found.
Unaware of what had happened, Dov (Smith) was making small talk back at the station when Frank informed him of the shooting. Naturally, Dov wanted to head for the hospital right away, and Frank — Chloe’s godfather — told him to send back updates on her status every half-hour.
At the shooting scene, Sam and Oliver determined it was “a setup” as Nick tried to calm Andy down. It was then that Nick discovered Andy also had been shot, her gear having protected her from serious injury. “Do you know how lucky you are?,” he told her. “Another couple of inches … .”
Chris (Travis Milne) drove a barely controlled Dov to the hospital, where they were told the bullet that hit Chloe didn’t tear an artery. As the doctor assured them he’d do everything he could, Dov told Chris — who was willing to stay — to “get back out there and find whoever did this.”
As they investigated an address, Gail and Oliver also became targets of a shooter, ducking bullets as they backed their car out of an alley. Again, whoever pulled the trigger got away. Detective Luke Callaghan (Eric Johnson) came into the case, asking whether 15 Division had angered anyone in particular in recent weeks.
Ar the hospital, Dov met Wes Cole (Cle Bennett), an officer Chloe had worked with at her previous precinct. Actually, they were much closer than that: He revealed to a stunned Dov, “She’s my wife.”
Frank briefed the assembled officers on what he knew, warning the perpetrator might not be “done with us” … and assuring them that when identified and caught, the suspect would be taken down “hard.”
Leaving the meeting, Gail was surprised to see Holly, who knew about the shooting. When she expressed surprise that Gail would go back out on the streets with the culprit still on the loose, Gail explained simply, “I’m a police officer.” Holly added that the person from the bar the night before meant nothing and expressed her concern for Gail, who then pulled her into a deep kiss.
Steve’s Guns and Gangs team was joining the hunt for the shooter, and he offered to be Traci’s partner. And Chris found Nick in the locker room writing a message inside his protective vest before heading out, something Chris also decided to do while looking at a photo of the child he’d thought was his son.
As many officers headed out to search for the perp, Andy was ordered to stay in the station because of having taken a bullet — and she kissed Nick goodbye, witnessed by Sam without her knowledge.
On patrol, Steve asked Traci why she didn’t want him to meet Leo yet. “I don’t want him getting attached to someone unless I know it’s going somewhere,” she explained. Steve accepted that but added, “This is going somewhere. That is, if you want it to. Because I definitely do.” And Traci relented, inviting Steve over to dinner once the hunt for the shooter was over.
At the hospital, Dov and Wes showed they both knew a lot about Chloe while filling out a questionnaire about her. Wes explained he and she had been police partners, and after an especially tough shift, they went to Niagara Falls “and ended up at this wedding chapel.” The typically spontaneous Chloe proposed they tie the knot, “and we did,” Wes confirmed. “We were just being stupid.”
Another 911 call led Oliver and Gail to an apartment building, where Dispatch’s lack of voice contact with the caller prompted Gail to urge Oliver to wait for backup. Oliver decided to proceed, and the call proved to be legit: An elderly resident had collapsed, and Gail communicated with his deaf granddaughter via sign language, explaining why there’d been no voice contact.
Chloe’s doctor told Dov and Wes her prognosis wouldn’t be certain for several days. Wes confessed to the clearly troubled Dov he was still “crazy” about Chloe, and if she recovered, it would be his “second chance” with her.
Celery (Emily Hampshire) showed up at the police station and told Andy of her concern about someone who had been sitting in a van watching Oliver’s house — and who had forcefully asked where Oliver was when Celery approached him. And when Celery described the man, an increasingly worried Andy asked her to look at some mug shots.
The person Celery picked out? Kevin Ford, the suspected pedophile Marlo had been stalking. Fearing he might target Marlo next, Sam tried calling her and got no answer. And when Andy called Nick for help in checking on Marlo, Sam wasn’t happy to discover she had told him about the entire Marlo situation.
When Nick arrived at Marlo’s house, it was quiet and empty, and also in disarray as if someone had broken in. Nick warned Andy that if detectives were called, they would tear the place apart, undoubtedly finding evidence of things she’d kept secret — i.e., her Ford-stalking and her bipolar condition.
“Call it in,” Andy told Nick after a few seconds of deliberation. And her fear for Marlo’s safety rose when Sam told her Marlo had left a note for a neighbor indicating she was staying with her sister for a while.
At the sister’s house, Marlo heard unusual noises on the order of breaking and entering. After a few suspenseful moments, she found it was Sam and Andy, and she also found it hard to believe Ford would have turned so violent and she might be next on his list.
Searching Marlo’s home, Nick found all the evidence anyone would need to link her to Ford in her basement, where a couple of walls were plastered with covertly taken photos of Ford. And when Oliver returned to his house, it was clear that Ford’s surveillance of him hadn’t ended.
Ford (Michael Cram) greeted him outside with a rifle aimed point-blank at him and said, “You all set me up.” And when Oliver proposed they should talk, Ford replied, “I am done talking” … and knocked him unconscious with the butt of the rifle.
Whatever happens next, “Rookie Blue” fans will be kept in suspense for several days: The cliffhanger resumes in the Season 4 conclusion Thursday, Sept. 12.