In case you’re unfamiliar with Rookie Blue, it’s a Canadian police drama that follows a group of new recruits as they find their place in the service and discover that the day-to-day work of your average cop isn’t all glamour and dispensing justice.
I have to admit that I came late to the Rookie Blue party. I’d made it about two-thirds of the way through the first season recently, so when I heard that Season 2 was airing, I jumped at the chance to catch the season premiere.
Unusually, the episode (“Butterflies”) starts off harmoniously enough, with McNally and Callaghan settling into a new domestic routine. And as they both head off to work, it looks like just another day at the office. Callaghan goes off to do detective-type stuff while McNally gets assigned to crowd control at a free concert.
Until a member of the audience is gunned down before her eyes and McNally herself is shot.
Compliments to the production team – the setup for this was done beautifully. The viewer was lulled into a sense of “just another day at the office”, and suddenly McNally’s face is sprayed with blood. The camera work heightens the sense of confusion, almost as if you were at the crime scene yourself. You also get a sense of McNally’s trauma as the young woman she was bonding with in the queue was bleeding from her head wound.
And from there, a shell-shocked McNally ignores Swarec’s advice to take it easy and Epstein campaigns to allow the victim’s mother to switch off the life-support machine and allow her wish to become an organ donor. Epstein has a few interesting character developments in this episode – while we see him bullying Diaz about his living arrangements with Peck, we also discover that he had a brother who committed suicide years ago. And of course, the burst of compassion toward the victim’s mother is one of the reasons that Epstein never descends into being a total asshole!
While McNally’s off blaming herself for getting the girl killed, she spends some time with the victim’s room-mate. She soon discovers that the girl was wearing her room-mate’s distinctive red jacket, and that the room-mate was the actual target. From there, she fairly quickly tracks down a suspect – a student who had been stalking the room-mate. However, when she returns to the room, the gunman is attacking the room-mate.*
* Got to interject here – the scene where McNally draws her gun and the room-mate careens into her (running to her for safety), allowing the gunman to escape, was a complete botch-job. Just totally unbelieveable.
Elsewhere, we’ve got a new character in Detective Rosati, who we quickly discover is a former girlfriend of Callaghan’s. So, with Swarec still holding a torch for McNally and Callaghan’s former lover back on the scene, things for the hot young rookie are going to get complicated. And pretty soon too.
A solid start back for Rookie Blue though – a series which has been called soapy and the “police equivalent to Grey’s Anatomy”. I’m not one for procedural shows, especially police ones. I don’t know if it’s the sexy cadets (helloooo Missy Peregrym and Charlotte Sullivan!), the subtle comedy that gets injected into each episode or the various situations the rookies find themselves in. It’s just a fine hour’s worth of television – entertaining and not too mentally taxing!