Rookie Blue 6 x 7 is both a wonderful and heart-breaking episode! The building of the particular arc that’s starting to come to its peak in Rookie Blue “Best Man” has been so well done – and it’s killing me! Why? Read this Rookie Blue 6 x 7 recap & review to find out!
SPOILER WARNING: the following contains spoilers for Rookie Blue 6 x 7, “Best Man.”
Rookie Blue “Best Man” is able to take what starts out as a celebration for officer Andy McNally (Missy Peregrym) and detective Sam Swarek (Ben Bass) and turn it into a focus on the character that truly is the rock of this show, staff sergeant Oliver Shaw (Matt Gordon). Oliver has had other episodes focused on him before but “Best Man” has become my instant favorite in that it highlights the solid Everyman goodness of Oliver Shaw and what he means to everyone else at Division 15.
It starts with the fun. All the gang is together at the Penny for Sam and Andy’s engagement party and Oliver, naturally, is the ringmaster of this circus!
Of course Sam wants Oliver to be his best man. He’s been a Sam and Andy shipper the whole time! With Oliver having been trained by Andy’s Dad, they make there own little cop family. He’s like..their favorite uncle!
Why did Andy run to the bathroom? She’s lost her engagement ring!
This seems like a small and light piece of business. We get a cute best friend to-the-rescue scene with Andy and officer Traci Nash (Enuka Okuma). The missing ring saga adds the only thread of lightness to what quickly becomes a serious drama. Only at the end of the episode does having pointed out the bond between Andy and Traci show the structural payoff beyond a fun BFF moment.
Things get dark quickly. The following morning Constable Noelle Williams (Melanie Nicholls-King) whom in last week’s episode we learned is now the head of internal affairs (IA), is met in parking lot by
Darth Vader Commissioner Alonso Santana (Richard Chevolleau) for a little chat. This guy has come off as being a scary dirty cop from day one, and if it turns out he’s not that’s going to be pretty unbelievable. He’s learned about Noelle placing IA officer Juliet Ward (Erin Karpluk) in at Division 15 and his questioning of her within her car is so menacing that Noelle says the car is getting to hot and can they continue the conversation outside. It doesn’t get much better. He’s condescending and sarcastic:
Santana: Did I miss an email, Williams?
Williams: Wha..? There was an explosion, in their evidence room, and a lot of cases were blown that day, so, it made sense to put someone in there, make sure that none of our people, allowed that to happen.
Santana: I think you’re missing the point?
Noelle plays it cool, and reminds him that he hired her to take some pressure off him. She can’t do that if she calls him for every little thing. Santana seems to buy it – until he insists that she hand over everything she has on the case by 6pm that day.
Now there’s a problem. She meets with Sam to tell him the news. At first he thinks Noelle’s concern is that Santana is on to her suspicion of him. Instead he gets the shocking news that viewers got last week. (If you missed anything last week you can check out last week’s recap)
Noelle: According to Ward, the only person who could have put a bomb in the evidence room, is Oliver Shaw.
Noelle knows Oliver’s not dirty – and so does Sam. Noelle’s voice is filled with worry and sadness as she tells Sam he “has to fix this.” She knows she can’t go against the evidence – even though she knows Oliver is being framed.
Back at Division 15 Detective Steve Peck (Adam MacDonald) is walking with his girlfriend (Traci) and reading a version of the game Oliver had Sam and Andy playing at the engagement party. Oliver, the forever romantic asks “who’s winning?” Traci laughs and says, “he’s playing by himself.” “Of course he is, ” replies Oliver. “Classic Peck.”
Seeing that Traci and Steve are doing just fine Oliver, who is now clearly 15 Division’s resident matchmaker, turns his attention to officers Chloe Price (Priscilla Faia) and Dov Epstein (Gregory Smith). His daughter Izzy (Chloe Rose) has a band playing at a cool club called “Joe’s FishTank” (I love the names these writers come up with. Hilarious!) He’s going to be substituting for her drummer that night and he invites Chloe and Dov to come as each other’s “plus-one” and be his moral support. Being that both of them had shown enthusiasm about the club itself, they aren’t going to be able to get out of it. The interesting thing is, Dov doesn’t look like he wants to….
The Search for the Truth Begins
Sam has to break the news to Andy about what’s going on in terms of Oliver. Andy can’t believe they’d suspect Oliver, but Sam breaks down the facts against him.
- Oliver’s key car was used to access the evidence room twenty minutes before the bomb exploded – and twenty minutes is what the bomb timer was set for.
- Oliver got a sudden promotion from beat cop to staff sergeant. Them knowing he didn’t even want the job is irrelevant.
I’m just looking this how IA’s gonna look at it. If I were them, I would have questions.
Sam tells Andy that the only way to save Oliver is to find out who really planted the bomb – by 6pm that day. Andy starts freaking out (who can blame her!) until she remembers that Dov was working on the bombing case with the intelligence division. “I would trust him with my life,” she tells Sam. He agrees she can bring him in on this – but no one else.
Andy goes to Dov with the news. He tells her that the last lead they had was an explosives dealer named Chris Clem (Sergio Di Zio) who worked regularly with the police department. He’s a widower with a 15-year-old daughter named Ava (Josette Halpert) and they both went missing soon after the bombing. Jarvis had shut the intelligence operation down before they could do much with the information. She tells Dov to discretely start looking into his credit cards again for any signs of activity while she and Sam will head to the town the family had lived in and talk to the police there. She also warns Dov not to tell anyone about the situation – including Oliver, who has no idea this is happening.
The Case – Oliver’s Day
Oliver, totally oblivious to the drama going on, informs his officers that the day’s assignment:
It’s a nice touch that Gail and officer Chris Diaz (Travis Milne) are the ones to ask questions since among the officers they are the only ones to have real interest and experience with kids. Also, kudos to officer Duncan “Selfie” Moore (Matt Murray) for actually knowing what the requirements were for an Amber Alert. Someone’s been studying! There’s also a nice parallel going from this scene into the next one.
The fact that Andy and Sam are off looking for missing person’s to save Oliver, which, as Oliver pointed out, is the kind of case that just ends up in a file. In the very next scene Andy and Sam are looking driving up to the home of the missing family and Andy is actually looking at their file, and the issue of these cases using being a low priority becomes apparent. However, I want to stay on the parade room scene with Oliver because for such a small scene it sets the tone for the rest of this case.
The Missing Child Case
There can be no doubt that Oliver really cares about what happens to this kid. The shot of Ward surreptitiously looking at him as he impresses upon every how important this is is telling. His concern and passion don’t match that of a dirty cop. Oliver genuinely cares about this missing kid. He’s the embodiment of a good cop.
Oliver wouldn’t be Oliver if not for the amazing performances by Matt Gordon. This guy is so natural I have a hard time believing he’s not a police officer they found and put into the role! The nuances of emotion Gordon can portray with just a look in his eyes and a slight inflection of his voice is astonishingly real. He’s great like this all the time and this episode and story arc has given him – and Oliver – a well-deserved spotlight.
This is the point of the entire missing child case. Throughout the various steps we get to see Oliver being this kind, caring, and dedicated police officer. He’s empathetic with Shannon Malone (Jacklyn Francis) as she describes her quiet and shy boy who “doesn’t have many friends. When he finds out the last person who saw Evan (David Black) is Rhys Gray (Kent Staines) is a registered sex offender, he’s curt with Traci about the fact that he’s cooperating, this could be what he needs to get that amber alert issued for the boy.
Rhys is the first red herring in this case, but also a clue. The story is told to Gail and Traci. Rhys is a gay man whom 20 years ago was caught with a 17-year-old, one who had told him he was eighteen. He was twenty-five and as such was charged with sexual abuse of a minor, a record he now has to carry for the rest of his life. Rhys points out the injustice of it, noting that in heterosexual relationships the age of consent is sixteen. Had it been a 16-year-old girl he’d been caught with there would have been no charge.
The second red herring is when officer Nick Collins (Peter Mooney) interviews another neighbor and learns that Peter Malone (Matthew Edison) had been seen sneaking around outside the house. The Malone’s are in the middle of a divorce. This avenue is shut down because Evan’s father doesn’t even want shared custody of Evan – because the boy is mildly autistic and “doesn’t connect” with him. Mrs. Malone failed to mention this because she didn’t think the police would take it seriously. Autistic kids tend to wander. Oliver asks her if Evan is a wanderer.
Yes. But not today. Today he’s somewhere and he’s scared, and he wants us to come and get him now but we don’t know where to look. Please help us!
Oliver still tries for the Amber Alert, but with this information and Mr. Gray’s house sweep coming up clean, the request is denied. He doesn’t give up on finding Evan though. He issues local bollo descriptions of the boy.
It’s Oliver who figures out where Evan may be. Both Mr. Gray and the neighbor who saw the dad that morning had rescued old items – a headboard and a road-sign from a pile of junk meant to be picked up and taken to the dump. When Oliver hears the pile had an old wardrobe closet in it he surmises that Evan, who loves reading fantasy books, may have been inspired by a “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe” type book to climb inside it.
Watching Oliver rescue Evan and deal with him so well and lovingly the feelings of love for Oliver just keep rising. (This is the same kid the father says “won’t connect with him” but we could tell the dad is a self-centered kind of guy.) Aside from th relief of knowing what could have been, Nick and the workers are looking at the man and boy on the ground with admiration and awe – as they should.
The Quest to Save Oliver
Oliver’s case day has been successful, but while he’s be solving the case of the missing child, Sam Andy, Dov and eventually Traci are doing all that they can to find the missing father and daughter that they believe will clear his name. Right before they reach the house, Sam asks Andy about the ring and she tells him she’s allergic to the metal. It’s a lame excuse, (I can’t believe that’s the best she and Traci could come up with) but there’s no time to get into it because the detective who was on that case is there to meet them.
Detective Lorraine Norman (Jana Peck – there’s a coincidence!) seems nervous and off-center almost immediately. She tells Sam and Andy she’s never met the family that lived there, and when pushed about why the investigation was dropped she gives a list of inane suggestions of what might have happened to make a family up and disappear leaving everything behind – including their passports. Then she seems to want to rush Andy and Sam out of the house, but they politely let her know they’re going to look around.
Sam and Andy discover that nothing is missing from the house. Not even the urn that contains the ashes of the wife. What they do find out comes from the nosy next door neighbor. She’s the one who adopted the family’s abandoned dog “Tarzan.” She tells the pair that detective Norman had brought Ava home one night and that her dad and the detective had gotten into a big fight on the front lawn. This means the detective lied to Sam and Andy about not knowing the family!
Their questioning of detective Norman is met with defensiveness and hostility, but the picture she paints isn’t good. Someone, “higher up” than Sam called with a tip that Ava had drugs on her, which is why she was picked up. She didn’t actually have any on her though. Sam asks who gave her the tip and she clams up. Andy’s temper has been flaring all along, but now the attitude is really flying!
Andy: Well, did this higher up also tell you not to look for them when they disappeared?
Andy: You didn’t think that was strange?
Detective Norman finds her voice and stonewalls Andy’s questions. To Andy’s surprise, Sam thanks the detective for her time and says she’s been very helpful! Once they’re in the car, Sam is very upset – with himself. He tells Andy he should have put it together sooner because now his best friend is the perfect suspect. Andy doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
I knew that drug thing with Izzie was a setup! From what Sam says, I’m not sure if he gets that part yet. If Izzie had drugs on her they were most likely planted. We don’t know if Izzie confessed to the drugs being hers or not, so it’s hard to say. However, after hearing the situation with Ava it looks like this is how Santana gets people under his thumb, or in Oliver’s case, sets them up.
The thing that’s really unnerving? It looks like Santana and his people have been setting Oliver up to be a fall guy from the beginning! The quick promotion, then using his key card…. Ugh! Also, Sam’s explanation about how cops become dirty is kind. It starts with taking a bribe so you can pay off your mortgage – like somehow that’s okay? Maybe the reason Santana goes through people’s kids is because good cops can’t be bought, but everyone wants to protect their kids.
Bringing in Traci
Traci gets pulled into the situation of trying to help Oliver because Dov discovers that he needs a higher security clearance to access to look at Klem’s bank & credit card activity. Her reaction is funny!
Oliver, can’t even win a round of poker with that face, and now they suspect him of this?
Looking at Ava’s Klem’s social media accounts Dov notices several posts for a video game. The accounts haven’t been used in four months, but the video game gives Dov an idea of how to find Ava. Just because she’s not posting doesn’t mean she isn’t playing – and her screen name is listed on the older posts. Andy and Sam come back to Division 15 to find Traci and Dov gathered around a laptop playing “World of Warcraft.”
Yes, but with good reason! They were able to use Ava’s screen name to find her in “World of Warcraft.” Dov is playing with her while cyber is tracking down her exact location. Right now all they know is that she’s in the city on a college campus. Dov tells Andy she and Sam should head to the city and they’ll call when they have Ava’s exact location.
Andy: Dov, my apologies. You’re a rock star.
Dov: Actually, I’m a muscular orc.
Andy: Don’t know what that means. Just make sure that she stays online.
Finding the Family
On the drive to the city Sam asks Andy about the ring again. After letting her suffer through a lie about only being allergic to precious metals, he has her open the glove compartment. The ring is their – attached to one of those cheap locator clips you can attach to your keys! He says he found the ring in the bed sheets…. They’d better get that thing re-sized!
Dov calls to tell Andy that the computer Ava is on is at the university library, but she must have seen them coming because she takes off before the get to her computer! Sam and Andy manage to chase her down and corner her in the stacks, but then she freaks out. She makes a huge disturbance saying they aren’t real cops and that they’re going to kill her! The noise draws a crowd – all whom are suspicious of why the cops are bothering this kid. Seriously working the crowd Ava is able to break away and escape – but not for long. (By the way, actress Josette Halpert does an excellent job playing Ava in these scenes. Keep an eye out for more of this young lady!)
Whoa! No one can doubt that these two people are terrified! Clem’s broken cry about trusting about handing over the explosives because the person was a police officer is haunting. Earlier it was interesting how Ava was able to convince the people around her that the police chasing her were in the wrong. The public perception about cops is more cynical about cops these days, and as this episode shows, it’s not without reason. However, Clem is someone who didn’t have this mistrust before. He worked with the police all the time, and he’s devastated. (Ava’s story about the cocaine also confirms my suspicion that Oliver’s daughter was totally set up. I wonder if that’s the first time detective Norman has done that kind of thing or will we hear more about her?)
Andy asks Chris to describe the officer who set him up, but Chris doesn’t want to tell them anything. It’s the promise of a safe house that gets him to give them a name, but it’s not one they’re expecting. Chris says the person’s name is Oliver Shaw!
Because of the way this episode is done, even if you have never seen an episode of Rookie Blue before, you know that Oliver Shaw is not the bomber. He is literally, “The Best Man.” We’ve been shown the kind of cop, no, the kind of person he is. It’s clearly a set-up. Whomever used Oliver’s key card to access the evidence room also used his name when getting the explosives. Unfortunately, there’s no time to prove that. With it being near 6pm, Sam and Andy have run out of time.
The Wrap Up
This is the most heartbreaking ending of the season, and it’s a double whammy. First Sam and Andy have to go tell Oliver what’s going on. When they enter his office Oliver’s in a great mood: he got to be out on the street actually doing the police work he loves. He solved a case and rescued a kid. Now, dirty white shirt and all, he’s ready to go rock out playing in his daughter’s band. Poor Sam and Andy listen to all of this, making the news they have to deliver even more painful to do.
After hearing from Sam, “they’re going to bury you.” Oliver goes into his desk, pulls out his badge and tells Sam to “give it to Jarvis” for him. Then he walks out to go play drums in his daughter’s band.
Andy and Sam weren’t the only ones crying during this. I can’t imagine there was a Rookie Blue fan who didn’t shed some tears. What a poignant scene!The writing hits the perfect tones of Oliver’s shock disbelief, hurt and anger. (FYI, Enuka Okuma is a co-writer for this episode.) His words about all he’s sacrificed for this job is the perfect counter-balance to the story of police corruption and Sam’s earlier talk with Andy about how easy it is for an officer to fall into being a bad cop. Rookie Blue is a show about the imperfect good guys, and it’s not about to let the heaviness of the corruption storyline take away from the fact that most cops are just that. Oliver Shaw is the best of those good guys, and Gordon’s performance really lets viewers see how devastating this is for him.
If Oliver finding out he’s being framed and quitting wasn’t painful enough, Rookie Blue delivers a major sucker punch of information. Traci is driving Chris and Ava to the safe house. Chris talks about having to leave his wife’s ashes and Ava sadly asks if their dog was alright. These poor people have been through hell and the performances by the actors -throughout the episode and now – pull tons sympathy for their situation. Chris is telling Traci how they working on getting phony passports by scamming people to send in birth certificates. He feels bad about it, but was so scared for his kid. Traci gets it.
Traci: I understand. I mean, I have a son, I would anything I had to, to protect him.
Chris: Even from the police?
Traci: Yeah, if they’re dirty, yeah.
That’s when Traci’s phone rings. Chris flips out! He recognizes the face on the phone as the man who bought the bomb-making material from him, and wants to know asking why is “Oliver Shaw” calling her. Traci looks and sees that it’s a phone call from Steve. Yes, that Steve. Her boyfriend, Steve Peck, is the one who bought the supplies to make the bomb!
Rather than try to explain the reaction to this news, I thought I’d share a little video clip….
Okay? Not Steve! Traci Nash has the absolute worst luck with men! Dex is jerk, Jerry died, and now Steve, who’s been such a supportive boyfriend is a dirty cop? It’s just not fair!
What is Traci going to do? The very end of the episode has her returning to 15 Division, lying to Steve about where she’s been. He has no idea she’s on to him, and she’s trying to act normally and like everything is okay. …Everything is far, far, far away from being okay.
Let me know what you thought of Rookie Blue “Best Man”in the comments. Do you think Steve is really behind this bombing? We know it’s not Oliver, but if it’s Steve that’s going to be really sad and messy as well. Will Traci ever bother trying a relationship ever again if Steve is guilty? What about getting Santana and Jarvis? We’ve got more questions than answers!
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