Mooch and Ryan geek out on who’s alive, who’s being stupid, and whether suddenly gay should be Rookie Blue‘s go-to plot device.
For various reasons (discussed below) WEIO writers, technological career-havers, and bon vivants Ryan and Aaron have both watched the Canadian cop series Rookie Blue from the first episode on. It’s at the point where they’re so delighted to see a new episode appear in their queues that Ryan’s first sentence during the following IM exchange was ‘Yo’, followed immediately by ‘Did RB start and I missed it?!?’ The following has been edited for space, and to remove a lot of references to Chris Diaz as a ‘lovable doof’.
R: I need to go back and watch the last couple of episodes to remind myself where we are. Is it terrible that I hope Sam is dead?
A: That’s the sort of commentary gold we’re looking for! First, though: two big – big, huge! – questions about Gail. 1) How do you think she’ll change, if at all, this season vis a vis her Trouble Trusting Others? 2) How often can she wear those leather pants ‘casually’ without it becoming a thing?
R: LOL. Well, it seems like the show has tried to fit her character into a bunch of different places with no success, and somebody one day decided, “I know! She’s a lesbian!” instead of admitting that they haven’t done a very good job of finding places for her to be vulnerable.
But to your questions: I think it’s going to be very, very hard for her to become more trusting, or trustworthy –
A: She’s not particularly *un*trustworthy…
R: Right, but other characters are going to continue to hold her at arms length, and won’t give her too many opportunities to show otherwise. Did you ever watch The L Word?
A: Half an episode here or there.1
R: Well Gail reminds me a little of Shane, the one everybody wanted to be with but who wouldn’t settle down for anybody. Woman after woman tried, thinking they’d be the one to change her, but ultimately Shane was who she was.
A: Which is what’s been happening with the guys [she dates] on the show. Although Collins seemed to be the most…. patient?
R: They were married in a past life, yes? Or engaged?
A: There was a ring, I think. But his whole undercover gig with McNally mucked that up.
R: Ooooh right, I forgot about that!
A: Side note – the start of [season 4], with the drug dealers threatening them both, was one of the few genuinely tense moments this series has delivered.
A: So I hear you about the lesbian angle; I think I laughed in surprise/bemusement when that was introduced –
R: I just feel like they have created a character who’s never going to change! But, since she doesn’t have real chemistry with anybody else, they need a reason to explain that – hence, “She’s a lesbian!” As if that’s going to help.
A: Oh, I didn’t see lesbian as the explanation. I thought the chemistry between her and any guy wasn’t going to go anywhere without the character changing, and there wasn’t motivation to change, which, I know, sounds like what you’re saying, but I think they could have dropped a different guy in front of her post-Chloe cutting her down and things could have gone in a more positive direction.
Or, after four seasons, they could start to justify *some* change, period.
R: Heh, right.
A: The lesbian angle struck me more as bro-bait, emerging from the always-starting, never-going dynamic of most relationships on this show.
R: Meanwhile, what is happening with Shaw? Wasn’t he the cliffhanger, we don’t know if he’s dead or what?
A: All of the old guard is in some sort of limbo – Shaw, Swarek, the captain is married… Oh, holy crow – what did you think about the insane way he proposed?2
R: I’m pretty sure I called him a jackass, out loud, to my laptop.
A: So far we have laughing and name-calling as our reactions – why do we love this show?
R: Nash? No but seriously: I think I like it because it doesn’t glorify the police like so many shows do. It shows that they’re people who are frequently scared, who frequently screw up, who are constantly making it up as they go along.
A: Who, mostly, are legitimately trying to protect and serve.
R: As opposed to, like, The Shield where there are plots and counterplots – I also liked The Shield, don’t get me wrong. It’s just nice to have some variety in the genre.
A: Rookie Blue has also largely avoided Very Special Episodes, to its credit. And, sudden lesbians aside, seems to be very nicely Canadian, handling various topics without resorting to CBS-short explanations.
R: Agreed! I often forget it’s Canadian, actually. Much in the way that I always forget that Bomb Girls is Canadian.3 Anyway, the point is, Rookie Blue doesn’t make a big deal about where it is, like the CSI and L&O franchises tend to do.
A: It’s the general idea of write about characters who are these things, as opposed to writing about the things.
R: Yep, exactly.
A: So in that regard, having Gail be bisexual could sorta maybe eventually be… fine?
R: Yeah. I guess. I just think she could have been a more well-rounded character if they’d worked with her earlier in the series. She’s been so prickly for so long, I really don’t see that changing.
A: I’m on the record that it’s possible, but this brings up how (or whether) anyone else has changed. Nash became a detective, albeit half the season was spent with her being nervous about her capabilities. Dov continually tries to self-improve. Andy…
R: LOL. Forever the doe-eyed newbie…
A: Has she changed at all in how she handles relationships? If yes, I think she’s gone all the way around to where she began.
R: She never really stopped chasing after Sam, even when it made things dangerous for everybody. Even with Nick.
A: And even though she didn’t realize she was doing it. I feel like every other character who fumbles or hesitates with a relationship is at least aware of what they’re hiding or doing wrong. Shaw took all of two episodes to reveal he knew, deep down, that he wasn’t getting back together with his wife.
R: Right. Even though he plays things close, he at least checks what cards are in his hand.
A: It’s why I am always reassured when he steps in to any situation. He won’t steer anyone wrong. Best cop on that show.
Apparently, though, worst husband.
So: hopes/fears/thoughts on season 5?
R: Hopes: Sam is dead or dies, Shaw is not dead / does not die.
A: You really don’t like Swarek!
R: I’m just getting tired of the back-and-forth with him and Andy. And I think that, in a series with pretty flat characters, he’s the flattest.
A: What the hell is McNally going to do if he’s not around?
R: Actually I think Andy + Callaghan could be interesting.
A: Speaking of ending up where she started… but yeah – Callaghan just fits both Andy and the show better.
R: Sorta like Shaw, it seems to me that Callaghan has his shit, but acknowledges and deals with it – maybe not always in the right way, but he’s self-aware enough to be compelling as a character. AND he doesn’t work directly in the department.
A: Was he taken out of the plot for any reason other than to give Andy an emotional moment early on, and send her towards Swarek?
R: Not that I can think of. I do worry about a Nick-Luke-Andy love triangle thing, though. We had the Sam-Nick-Andy thing already.
A: Y’know, oddly enough for a fighter, Nick doesn’t seem like he’s fighting for much in relationships. He reads the writing on the wall pretty quickly, realizes Gail won’t change, realizes Andy is more in love with Sam…
R: Maybe he and Dov will be gay together. 🙂
A: Bwah! Okay, my hope is just that the show doesn’t make me laugh or name-call.
R: Such high standards you have!
A: And I like what the actress playing Holly is doing, so, motivated or not, I hope that we get some growth from Gail this season. I also hope they don’t feel the need to do some massive disaster episode or action-y counter-terror stuff. Much as I delighted in many an episode of Flashpoint.
R: I think they got as close to that as they were going to with the sniper.
A: Problem is the show’s been successful enough to run for this many seasons, and be exported to ABC – which potentially means a bigger budget. We’ll put a pin in that and see how it shakes out. A’ight. Gimme some Toronto PD sugar, ABC!
R: Say hello to Jerry4 for me, Sam!