If a character is going to return to a show, he may as well do it in a big way.
So it was for Chris (Travis Milne) in “What I Lost,” Thursday’s (Aug. 15) episode of ABC’s “Rookie Blue.” His visit to Toronto with his family initially revealed an even-more-fun side of Andy and Nick (Missy Peregrym, Peter Mooney), who played with Chris’ young son Christian at a park playground, but things turned very serious very fast.
As the former undercover partners started to have a conversation about whether to embark on a personal relationship, they were distracted by a woman’s cry for help after her companion collapsed. Nick and Andy ran to the rescue — and when Andy returned, Christian was gone.
Oliver (Matt Gordon) began to lead the investigation, but Andy didn’t deal well with suddenly being cast in the role of victim. And upon his arrival at the scene, Sam (Ben Bass) didn’t deal well with the disappearance of a child “while in the care of two officers that I trained,” basically robbing Oliver of command.
It got worse from there. The boy’s mother, Denise (Brendee Green), demanded of Andy and Nick, “How could you let this happen?” Chris was equally irritated with them, and as Traci (Enuka Okuma) led the parents back to the precinct, Chris implored Dov (Gregory Smith) to be his “guy on the ground” during the probe.
At 15 Division, Andy felt Sam was making his questioning of her personal when he asked why she and Nick were at the park. Nick then chided Sam for “making it worse” for Andy, but calmed down after Sam replied, “Are you telling me how to do my job?”
Questioning other people in the park brought another mother’s tip about a frequent visitor to the playground who never had children with him and drove a white van. Meanwhile, Traci’s efforts to console Chris had little success; he stated that being a cop, he knew how such cases worked.
The van was traced to a store with obvious kid appeal, given all the candy and balloons on display, and the owner informed Sam and Marlo (Rachael Ancheril) that his younger brother also worked there. A check on the brother revealed he was questioned in another child disappearance several years before. And that boy was never found.
As they waited for word on Christian, a teary Denise reminded Chris, “This is why we moved to Timmins.” And the tension of the situation was indicated by Oliver as he told Sam his plan for apprehending the brother — “unless you want to second-guess me on that one, too.” To which Sam left silently.
Chris wanted to go along with the other cops, but Dov stopped him, with a promise: “If the guy we’re going after took Christian, I’ll let you kill him with your bare hands. After we get him back.”
Sam was none too gentle in his takedown of the brother�(Michael Cram), who claimed to know nothing about Christian. Marlo interrogated him fiercely, to Sam’s apparent astonishment, but she got nowhere … just as a report of someone taking “a screaming toddler” out of a movie theater came in.
A surveillance photo revealed the toddler was indeed Christian, and holding him was a young man (Christopher Jacot) who had been the boy’s soccer coach in Timmins. Blaming himself for not realizing the man was an apparent predator, Chris uncharacteristically threw a chair through a precinct window.
Marlo was told to release the brother she was questioning, and though Oliver told her it ultimately was her call, Sam ordered the man’s release. And a quietly enraged Marlo sharply responded, “Yes, sir,” to her beau.
DNA testing revealed Christian’s apparent kidnapper was something else, too: the boy’s biological father — i.e., not Chris. Dov insisted that Denise tell the truth to Chris, who then let his police instincts take over as he instructed Denise to phone the real father.
When she did, Christian’s audible cries unnerved her, but she regained her composure enough to follow Chris’ instructions to arrange a meeting. Instead of Denise showing up at the appointed site, the cops did … as did Chris, who welcomed Christian back into his arms as a hugely relieved Andy looked on.
Though Chris was the ultimate center of the story, up first in the hour was Gail (Charlotte Sullivan), seen on a date that — as she wasted little time mentioning — was not “going very well” for her British-accented escort, who happened to be the son of her mother’s boss.
Gail remained her usual cutting self later when Chloe (Priscilla Faia) asked her to bring a stuffed animal to Chris to give to Christian, but an inroad was made anyway. Gail said it “drove her crazy” that Chloe was “wide-open and bright-eyed” like a character in “The Sound of Music,” to which Chloe noted, “Apology accepted.” Gail protested that she wasn’t apologizing. Chloe’s retort? “Yes, you are. Have a good night.”
Another apology was in store as Sam and Oliver had a brief heart-to-heart, with Oliver noting, “I trained (the rookies), too. So don’t step on my toes when I’m around them.” And Sam concurred, “Cool.”
In the locker room, Gail asked Traci why she was holding off from dating Gail’s brother, fellow investigator Steve. Traci admitted she liked him but added that in the aftermath of Jerry’s murder, “I’m just figuring out how to make my life work again.” Gail then met Holly (Aliyah O’Brien) for some therapeutic batting practice, with her performance immediately supporting her declaration, “I don’t like sports!”
Dov and Chloe wondered how Chris would deal with his new personal information, and they had good reason, since Chris expressed his resentment to Denise for letting him think he was Christian’s father. “I wanted him to be yours,” she pleaded. “That’s not good enough,” he said. “What am I supposed to do now?”
When Andy got to her apartment, she found Nick waiting for her, to tell her that she was “right” about thinking they should just remain work colleagues. “The thing is, I don’t care,” he added. “You’re worth it. You’re the most amazing person I’ve ever met.“
Their first kiss followed, turning increasingly passionate as they entered her apartment and rather comically knocked over everything in their path. And as Sam called Marlo to check in, she was outside the house of the brother she’d been ordered to set free, conducting her own surveillance on him.
With four episodes left to go in Season 4, the rookies clearly have planted the seeds of developments still to come.