Rookie Blue, “Everlasting” is…interesting. It helps to realize that this finale isn’t so much a finale, but a stopping place. When the original order for Rookie Blue season 5 came in there was some kind of misunderstanding (or maybe someone just changed their mind). Yet, as you’ll see in this Rookie Blue 5×11 recap and review, it still works as a finale….
SPOILER WARNING: Contains spoilers for Rookie Blue season 5 finale!
Why all the confusion? Originally there was a 22 episode order given for the show, and at the time it said that it was the order for season five. (www.tvline.com ) As such the writers crafted the season accordingly – only to find out that the second half of the order was going to be held until 2015 and be called season six (www.huffingtonpost.com). The fact that this episode wasn’t intended to be a finale is a real kudos to Rookie Blue writers, because what was written to be a regular episode is still nerve-wracking! Heck, it’s in some ways more of a cliffhanger than their usual finales!
“Everlasting” opens with the morning after the rescue of rookie Duncan Moore (Matt Murray) – aka “Selfie”, (personally I think aka “selfish doofus” is more appropriate.). Through every fault of his own he’d managed to get himself waylaid by suspect Ted McDonald (Shawn Doyle ). McDonald locked Duncan into a car with a bomb strapped underneath it. Officer Nick Collins (Peter Mooney) is the one whose bravery and quick thinking saved Duncan, but now they’re got a lunatic bomber on the loose. (Did you miss last week’s episode? Check out the recap here.)
Adding to the mix of problems brewing was the arrival of the officer Marlo Cruz (Rachael Ancheril ). The former girlfriend of detective Sam Swarek (Ben Bass) isn’t an officer anymore. After her bipolar meltdown last season she’s been reassigned to the intelligence division as an analyst – which if you think about what she did last season makes a lot of sense. If you’re wondering how she’s even back at all, in both Canada and the U.S. it’s illegal to fire someone just for having a mental illness (Canadian Law & American law). Neither Sam nor his current girlfriend, officer Andy McNally (Missy Peregrym) are thrilled to see her. They’ve finally gotten back together and are happy – but Marlo’s been assigned to this bombing case so there’s nothing they can do.
The Set up
Things start off tense. Andy shows up bright and early to the crime scene area with a cup of coffee for Sam – only Marlo’s already brought him one. Awkward! Once Marlo’s out of earshot Andy tells Sam that she feels like she and Marlo are like kids “competing” for him. Sam reminds her that’s not the case -he’s all hers. Still, Andy’s worried that Marlo being around will mean the end of her and Sam’s “honeymoon phase.” Of course Sam says it won’t, but the audience knows a foreshadowing statement when they hear it – at least I did. Marlo showing up can mean only one thing: problems for Sam and Andy. While I can’t imagine Sam’s going to hook up with Marlo or anything, there’s no way her being back is good news.
Marlo isn’t the only character being given a second chance. Officer Chris Diaz (Travis Milne) is back from rehab. Sam lets Diaz know that he knows where Chris has been.
“Heard you needed a break. Went to the desert – where it’s dry.”
Chris really wants to show that he’s back and fine, so when Sam tosses out that Diaz can “help” by telling him who Ted McDonald is, Diaz takes it at face value and runs down the profile they have on the guy.
Ted McDonald: uh unemployed, recently evicted from his apartment, so he moved back into his mom’s place. Lost his son four years ago in a bombing. Organized. Frustrated.
Way to go Chris! Thanks for catching us up! (You know, just in case you missed the previous episode.)
Sam has a bunch of McDonald’s papers. The ones of note are all the court transcripts. Diaz offers to take the papers back and start going through them. Sam says, “that would be helpful.” I feel bad for Diaz. Yes, he made bad choices and was a total jerk when on drugs, but he’s now clean and trying. I think it’s Sam’s history with his own alcoholic father that’s coloring his attitude.
While Diaz is looking at a photo of McDonald with his son, Sam tells Diaz’s that the five people – including the boy – who died in the bombing seemed to have been “vaporized. Diaz’s reaction to a picture shows Diaz still has that big sensitive heart. He also can empathize with the thought of a man’s son suddenly not existing anymore. After all it was learning that his ex-girlfriend had lied to him about being her son’s father that sent him into that downward spiral. Vaporized?
Andy has already returned to 15 Division. There she finds officer Chloe Price (Priscilla Faia) crying while loading her gun. That could be a damn scary sight if you think about it – but the moment is darkly humorous. Chloe has her head tilted down so that she doesn’t smear her makeup! Naturally Andy wants to know why Chloe is crying. The answer she did not expect was hearing that Chloe’s boyfriend, officer Dov Epstein (Gregory Smith), broke up with Chloe!
Chloe gives one of her long rambling speeches that basically says she’s crying because the breakup hurts, but tears are a part of healing. (Trust me, it took much longer.) Then she tells Andy about the fabulous dress she’s going to wear to the police gala that night – with an unspoken hope that maybe she can win Dov back. Andy reluctantly tells her that (due to the bombing case) the gala is canceled.
Andy ends up in yet another awkward situation (she’s really not having a great morning) when Duncan arrives with his stepfather, Commissioner Alonso Santana (Richard Chevolleau). Led by detective Traci Nash (Enuka Okuma) the Commission strides his short stature down the hall in full uniform, while a miserable looking Duncan walks besides him. Even though Duncan’s the victim it feels more like he’s a prisoner being brought to a tribunal. Andy tells Staff Sergeant Oliver Shaw (Matt Gordon) that he feels sorry for Duncan, which earns her a look of utter disbelief. Her reasoning is so…Andy.
Yeah, he was sitting on a bomb yesterday. I can’t be critical. And he’s trying. Somewhere in there, there’s a cop.
Dear Andy, yes, you can be critical, and as for thinking there’s a tiny bit of cop in Duncan Moore, that’s what got you in trouble to begin with. Have you learned nothing?
Oliver tells Andy that if you want to talk about a hidden cop she should be talking about him being stuck in a staff sergeant’s uniform. He really wants to be out looking for the bomber, and really hates his job.
Oliver: “I should be doing what I do best. Not this. It’s like asking Mick Jagger to be a tour manager.”
Andy: “You’d be an awesome tour manager!”
Oliver walks off in a huff before Andy can realize just how wrong that answer was. Luckily she manages to fix it.
“For the record, I really wish you and me were riding today.”
The only sympathy I can muster for Duncan is that his stepfather is clearly a real punk. He may be major brass, but he’s definitely got a Napoleon complex. As Duncan is sitting explaining what happened to Traci and Oliver Commissioner Santana is on a couch behind them huffing like angry bulldog. The man is defensive on Duncan’s behalf, belittling to Traci and overall comes off as an arrogant. Even Duncan doesn’t seem to like him. I get the feeling if not for his stepdad Duncan would have been completely happy to be a barista at Starbucks. Instead he’s running around trying to be a cop and nearly got blown up.
Due to the great job Nick did in saving Duncan the commission insists that “officer Collins” be put on duty to watch his house and family. Oliver’s going to have to call Nick in – he’s currently riding with former fiancee/girlfriend (in that order) officer Gail Peck (Charlotte Sullivan)
That scene is so much fun! It’s also informative. Gail and Nick have a lot of history together, and despite all that’s happened between them Gail feels she can count on Nick to give her a decent reference. She doesn’t even feel the need to be extra nice to him in order to get him to do it! It says a lot about their past that she’s sure of him – and it’s a reminder about the kind of person Nick is. Basically, Nick’s a decent guy.
Hopefully this new woman will realize that Nick is just that, even though the first time they met he was short on cash and the second time he slammed into her with his car door and ruined her nephew’s birthday cake! There’s no doubt Nick will be seeing her again. I’m looking forward to him having a love interest that’s not tied up with other people!
All of 15th division is focused on catching McDonald – except for maybe Chloe. She sidles up to Dov and uses concern about the bomber as an excuse to let him know that once they do everyone’s heading over to the Black Penny for drinks and that she’s be there in her really hot dress from the gala. Her hope is that Dov will find her “irresistible.” Dov coolly tells her it’s not going to happen.
Whatever anger Dov is feeling about Chloe he’s not letting it interfere with work. He’s paired up with Marlo to work on the intelligence end of things. His contribution is trying to break open the passwords on MacDonald’s various computers and files. He’s also been helping track McDonald’s movements over the last month using the intelligence unit’s facial recognition software and traffic cam footage. Marlo finds his enthusiasm cute and amusing.
Meanwhile Chris has gone through the files Sam gave him and have a report. Based on notes McDonald had taken on the trial proceeding Diaz believes that McDonald felt his son’s trial was fixed. One particular he points out is that the judge, a judge Constance Sullivan (Sarah Murphy-Dyson), overruled every single motion the prosecution tried to bring up. the trial notes McDonald has.
Sam takes this information over to intelligence. Sure enough, Dov’s tracking shows that McDonald had been staking out the courthouse. A call to the courthouse reveals that the judge is literally getting married at that moment. There’s a great time to blow up someone! Units are immediately sent out.
One of those units is with Oliver and McNally! Oliver’s had enough of sitting on the sidelines and dons a bulletproof vest over his white shirt and loads his gun. When Inspector John Jarvis (Oliver Becker) (catches him leaving, Oliver coolly tells him, “You are a leader among leaders, John. You do my job today.”
Upon getting to the church Andy and Oliver catch the just-married judge and her groom getting into the limo. They quickly hustle them out and send everyone back inside the church. When Judge Sullivan is told the person who may have put a bomb in her car is Ted McDonald she knows the name. She seems a bit unnerved by it and I wonder if McDonald’s idea about some kind of fix being in has some merit…
Maybe Life is a Fairytale – the original ones!
With a possible bomb to be defused, ETF Sgt Bailey (Jim Codrington) and his crew are on the scene. This results in an interesting conversation between him and Traci. Remember that the theme of this season is “Life is not a Fairytale.”
Bailey starts a trend that will continue throughout the episode – telling Traci the grim and gory endings that fairy tales originally had. He starts with Cinderella, telling her that the stepsisters cut off parts of their feet to try and fit into the glass slipper! (This is true about the fairy tales by the way.) If even fairy tales aren’t fairy tales, where does that leave this season’s theme. I’m thinking that it means things are going to get worse before they get better – and we can expect some pretty messed up things along the way to the happy endings we all want for our rookies!
EFT does find a bomb. However, it’s not under the limo – it’s under the car that the Judge’s nanny and daughter were supposed to ride in! Talk about a close call!
About Ted McDonald…
With the help of the intelligence team’s facial recognition software Marlo is able to give Sam a good guess about where Ted McDonald is. It’s at his son’s gravesite. Andy and Oliver are dispatched to apprehend him. When they do, he’s wound pretty tight, screaming at them to give him a minute. Yet he doesn’t try to escape. In fact it’s almost like he expected to be found. Oliver orders him to turn around slowly, which he does.
This won’t be the first time Ted MacDonald is pictured with his arms outstretched in these “Christ-like” poses. The imagery of Ted as the wronged man and a sacrifice is subtle – the camera doesn’t dwell them very long until the end. It helps create a subconscious desire to root for the guy – even though he’s the crazy bomber trying to kill people! He clearly knows that he’s not going to survive this….
Once Ted’s brought in Oliver goes back to being a staff sergeant – but at least today he actually felt useful. McDonald is left in the interrogation room. Traci is watching him from behind the one way mirror when her ex-boyfriend, detective Steve Peck walks in. The ensuing conversation serves two purposes. One it shows that there’s still something going on between these two – even though Traci broke up with him.
The other issue it deals with is the character of Ted McDonald. Steve wonders aloud if McDonald is sane, and Traci replies that if she’d seen her kid blow up she didn’t’t think she’d be sane either. Steve says that may be true, but that she wouldn’t’t have turned into a Ted McDonald – a cold-blooded killer. It’s an important point to make because we’re about to find out all the ways McDonald isn’t completely crazy. Aside from the visual imagery invoking a man on a cross, Traci’s reaction shows there is a certain level of sympathy one can feel for the man just because of the circumstances. It’s a fine line Rookie Blue has to walk here – and stating before the interrogation that none of the circumstances justify Ted’s actions is a good move.
The actor playing McDonald does an amazing job of portraying him. It’s a mixture of a conspiracy-theorist, a grieving father and a psychotic killer. At first it seems like Ted is just a guy who’s gone over the edge because of his son’s death. He accuses Sam of taking bribes – heck according to him no one can be trusted. Hence, “an eye for an eye.” Somewhere in the conversation though, Ted seems to develop a certain trust in Sam, and he’s strangely pleased to know that the police have gotten all his computers….
As Sam continues his interrogation Ted let’s him know that the bomb in the judge’s care isn’t the only one out there. Now Sam needs to figure out what it is. The only way Ted says he’ll talk is if Sam reopens the case against the Irish gang – who apparently were the ones tried for the bombing – but there’s more to it.
TED: You have no idea how deep this corruption goes. You, you would not believe it until you say the proof yourself.
Unfortunately for Ted, detective Nash isn’t the only person watching this conversation. She’s been joined by Commissioner Santana and Inspector Jarvis. Santana sends Traci out.
Whatever you gotta do to get him to talk – do it.
Once she’s gone it’s just him and Jarvis watching. Sam tries to strike a deal with Ted. Tell him what other bombs are out there and he’ll look at the computer stuff. Naturally, Ted wants Sam to look at the case first. Sam plays him by saying Ted’s cornered him – he’ll have to look at the stuff first. This is really just so Sam can get a sense of how much looking at the files is really worth to Ted. From Ted’s expression he can see that it’s worth a lot. Now Sam’s got him – or so he thinks. Just when it looks like Ted might break, Santana walks in and asks for “a few minutes” alone with Ted.
Once Sam is gone Santana walks up to Ted and asks where the bomb is. When Ted doesn’t’t answer the commissioner slams Ted’s face against the table. Blood spurts everywhere. Then he informs Ted that there will be no deals.
You talk, and maybe you won’t get shanked, or raped, or beaten to a pulp on a regular basis while you rot in jail. You talk, and maybe you get to eat while you’re in prison…Your only option, is talking.
Unbeknownst to Santana, Sam did not go get a coffee. He’s been watching the entire thing from the interrogation room. He’s disgusted by this scene – especially since Ted likely was going to talk anyway…. Worse, after hearing this threat from Santana Ted lifts up his bloodied face, looks the commissioner in the eyes – and starts beat-boxing. Great, now he’ll never talk.
Nothing prior to this scene has made Duncan’s stepfather seem endearing, but this one paints him as a definite bad guy. As a viewer it tells me that there’s something to Ted’s accusations – and that the Commissioner – and likely the Inspector – are part of the corruption that he’s been talking about.
This seems even more likely when Traci gets word back on the phone records from Duncan’s “anonymous” tip. The caller was Ted! Andy puts together the fact that Ted’s bombs weren’t going after the people responsible for his son’s death – he was going after their kids! Duncan was one of the targets!
Traci and Andy take this information to Sam, who then goes in and interrupts the commissioner. Once Santana is gone, Sam gives him some tissues to wipe the blood off of his face – and gets Ted to spill who else he thinks is involved. It’s the chair of the executive committee – Councilor Steven Hollot (Doug Murray) the guy who hands out all the zoning permits to those mob owned “legitimate” construction businesses. Sam heads out barking orders about finding this guy’s kids – because Andy and Traci – along with the commissioner – have been listening to his whole spiel about the whole corruption chain and about all the information he’s gathered to take people like “the Judge” down.
With everyone at 15 Division trying to track down Hollot’s son, Sam goes back to talk more with Ted. Ted asks if the commissioner is listening, and when Sam says maybe, Ted proceeded to implicate the commissioner directly in the corruption scheme. Now, that’s a move that speaks to the idea that Ted is crazy. Why would you tip off the person you’re trying to bring down – especially when they’ve shown they have no problem with personally committing violent acts, and they’ve threatened to have you killed in prison? Only a guy with delusions of grandeur would take that route. Listening to him talking to Sam adds to feeling that Ted is not wrapped too tight. Luckily, he also seems to think that Sam is someone
“I have everything that you need. It’s the only way you can purify yourself in your own work. The fish stinks from the head down – you have to get rid of him. It’s all there. I don’t even need to say anything. You just need to see it. Go get the files. I’ll give you the password”
Sam brings Ted back to reality. He’s not Ted’s buddy, and all Sam wants to know is where Ted placed the bomb to kill Hollot’s son. When Sam starts to walk away from the table, Ted starts talking. He put the bomb in the kid’s backpack before school. (I’m thinking it must have been a different kind of bomb than what we saw with Duncan. That device was big. How would a kid not notice something like that in his backpack?)
By this time the boy’s father has arrived and Dov has managed to track the kid via a video uploaded to social media. (Yay for social media!). The dad identifies the house the video was shot and and a call goes out to all the squad cars to get to that house! Oliver and Chloe are the first responders. They get to the house and find the kid and his friends in the backyard. While Chloe hustles the children to the front yard Oliver takes the backpack and throws it into the pool!
Now that the kid is safe Sam goes back to Ted to see if there are any more bombs. There aren’t. However, Ted is begging Sam to go look at his “evidence.” Sam decides to go talk to the Commissioner Santana about this.
Obviously Sam wanted to see how the Commissioner reacted to the story – and it’s equally clear that that Santana realizes this. Both men are being cagey, saying things without saying it. The message I read from Santana is that there is something to it – but you’ll never prove it. I especially love the moment when he tells Sam, “I oversee internal affairs.”
Why did Sam go to the Commissioner in the first place is the part that bugs me. If he thought there was even a slight possibility that there was any truth to it, why not just go look at the stuff? It’s especially pertinent to what happens next.
Sam goes to where Marlo and Dov are and asks about Ted’s computer hard drives. Marlo had taken them back to the evidence room earlier. In a passive-aggressive move she suggests that Andy could get them for Sam. Andy agrees, complaining to Sam about Marlo all the way down to evidence. Sam leaves her to go collect the computer drives…while she’s in the evidence room looking for them something in the room blows up! Needless to say, Sam goes nuts as soon as he realizes what’s happened
While all that sweetness going on, an off-duty Nick is engaging in some sweetness also, but lets finish this up first.
In the video Inspector Jarvis is walking towards the break room and tells Sam they should evacuate the building while Oliver has bomb squad doing a sweep of the floor. This was done and there are a bunch of cops outside – including Andy. After some fun and flirty banter between her and Sam, Sam goes back inside with the intent of talking to Ted McDonald about what just happened. Only when he walks in he finds Ted is dead, laid out on the floor like a crucifix (complete with bloody hands), his wrists slashed with a razorblade, his one hand still cuffed to the table.
It doesn’t make sense that McDonald would blow up the evidence he was so desperate for Sam to look at – and then kill himself. What does made sense, at least to me, is that someone didn’t want that evidence looked at nor McDonald to talk. Conveniently enough Jarvis walks by to let Oliver know that Chris is in his office waiting to see him. Chris is who checked McDonald before putting him in interrogation. There’s no way McDonald should have a razor blade on him. In Oliver’s office Diaz says he knows it was his responsibility and he will take the blame for it. At the same time, he’s sure that he followed all procedures and that when he left McDonald the man did not have a razor blade on him. Most intriguing to me is the way Duncan looks at McDonald’s dead body.
The guy tried to kill him, but Duncan seems pretty upset about McDonald’s death. It’s almost as if he’s seen something like this before…or maybe he’s just a wuss who doesn’t like dead bodies. It’s hard to say.
This is where the case part of the finale ends – but it’s not the end of the episode.
Love is in the air….
Love is in the air is considered to be a romantic term, but it always makes me think of how elusive love can be. How do you hold air in your hands…
While all this was going on at 15 Division, Nick had done his own investigation and tracked down the mystery woman he’s been running into. (Said investigation is noticing that her bike had “Dark Horse” stickers all over it – a local coffee bar.) He meets her there “accidently” – which she calls as bogus and he admits to – and finally gets her name. It’s Juliette. Juliette? Dark Horse….? This is not going to be a smooth romance – but it’s definitely a romance!
The next time we see Nick and Juliette they are outside the coffee bar, standing over her bike and seriously kissing, Juliette breaks away and asks for Nick’s full name! (Smart move!) Unfortunately this is where things go wrong. When she finds out that he’s “officer” Nick Collins” – she breaks off the whole thing. She apologies as she’s riding away, leaving Nick standing there sad and confused. I don’t blame him. What the heck is up with that?
The theme of love not working out continues with Dov and Chloe. She shows up at 15 Division in the red dress she been hoping would get Dov back. It’s a no go. Furthermore, Dov tells her there’s nothing she can do to change his mind. Nothing.
For what it’s worth, Dov also looks sad, but it’s more like the sadness when you lost something you know will never come back. He also seems a little…pitying of Chloe? What did you think?
For me the worse news on the relationship front came from Gail’s meeting with former ex-girlfriend Holly Steward (Aliyah O’Brien)….
No….!!! Just when it was all going so well!
I hate that Holly expected Gail could just quit her job and move to San Francisco. It goes back to the idea that she does think that what Gail does is somehow less important than her. Furthermore, it’s not like Gail could just transfer to another force in the U.S. Even though I know part of this decision is because the actress who plays Holly isn’t always available, I wish they’d found a way to work this separation without her seeming at worse a snob and at best inconsiderate.
At the same time, Gail springing the kid surprise wasn’t an easy thing either. However, it’s not like she’s asking Holly to adopt the child with her. I really enjoy the whole Golly relationship, so I hope the writers find a way to make the logistics – on screen and off – work out!
The finale bit of commentary on relationships is another Bailey smackdown of a fairytale. This time it’s Snow White. Traci wants to know why Bailey is insisting on ruining all her favorite stories by telling her all these grim fairytale truths. The answer is not only him hitting on Traci, but a message from the writers about the romances on the show.
Fairytales are pretty messed up. If I were you, I’d avoid them. Go for something real.
Oh my! That man just went all sexy-voice on Traci!
The Wrap Up
The final scenes of “Everlasting are sweet and…disturbing. Let’s start with the sweet.
Like they are so adorable I can barely stand it!
The disturbing is very last scene of the episode. Dov and Marlo are closing down work for the night. Marlo apparently knows about Dov’s breakup with Chloe asks him if he loves Chloe.
Dov: “Yeah, of course I love her. I just, I don’t trust her.
Marlo: “Well, you should give her a chance. We have to learn to forgive the people we love. Right?
Right…because no one is perfect. The only problem with this sage advice Marlo is giving is that it’s something we can guess isn’t coming just from her perspective on Dov’s situation. As Marlo is putting stuff away Dov finds a sonogram on her desk. Dov isn’t stupid. He can do the math. Even if he wasn’t sure it was Sam’s kid, the look on Marlo’s face says it all.
So much for fairytales! It’s amazing to know this wasn’t meant to be a finale cliffhanger! It certainly works as one! As for fairytales – I think we’ve been well prepared that our favorite couple is about to go through the wringer! That doesn’t mean they’re over – at least I hope not! I can’t wait for Rookie Blue season 6!