Rookie Blue 6 x 8 – “Integrity Test” is a heavy episode – because there is so much going on! It’s amazing how many story threads this show can weave together in 43 minutes! The title encompasses everything that’s happening this week. In this Rookie Blue 6 x 8 recap & review we’ll be looking at all the ways our favorite characters have their own integrity “tested.”
Spoiler Warning: The following contains spoilers for Rookie Blue 6 x 8, “Integrity Test”
Last week Detective Traci Nash (Enuka Okuma) had just found out that her boyfriend, detective Steve Peck (Adam MacDonald) is the dirty cop who bought the explosives that blew up the evidence room during the Ted McDonald case. (Have no clue what I’m talking about? Check out last week’s recap: (May the Best Man Win.) Traci walked into 15 Division clearly shaken up, but hiding it from Steve. Rookie Blue “Integrity Test” picks up the morning after where we left off. She’s waking up in Steve’s bed! Talk about an “Integrity Test” fail! Before there’s much of a chance to go ballistic, we learn Steve spent the night on the couch because he didn’t want to wake her up coming to bed. Traci then shuts him down when he suggests they could fool around that morning. Thank goodness!
On Steve’s part, he’s playing totally innocent. Some one called him that morning and told him about Staff Sergeant Oliver Shaw (Matt Gordon) being the one responsible for the bombing. You can tell from his tone he’s testing the waters to see if she’ll buy into the idea – which she is not. As soon as he goes into the bathroom to shower she’s up checking his cell phone – and almost gets caught! She covers well though, he doesn’t suspect a thing.
What’s really important in that scene? The music track being played. If you don’t take in this track and it’s lyrics Traci’s actions later on are going to seem suspect.
You can’t prove it. Uh-Oh! You got nothing legit, Uh-Oh! The glove don’t fit.
Even with this cue, I’m a bit confused. Isn’t the fact that the man who sold the explosives for the bomb saw Steve’s picture and said that who bought them proof enough? Or at least it should proof enough to tell the gang involved in trying to clear Oliver: officer Andy McNally (Missy Peregyrm) detective Sam Swarek (Ben Bass) and officer Dov Epstein (Gregory Smith). Still, Steve is her boyfriend. Maybe she wants to be absolutely sure before confronting him.
Oliver’s morning isn’t great either. Commissioner Alonso Santana (Richard Chevolleau) pays him a visit. He offers Oliver a job with a security company, one that pays twice as much as his current job, via, ” a friend of his.”
The look on Oliver’s face tells us he’s figured something out. His former training officer (T.O.) isn’t there to help him fight charges, he’s there to pay him off. All Oliver has to do is stay retired from the force and go away quietly. Santana will squash the investigation. If Oliver doesn’t, Internal Affairs (I.A.) will be all over him.
Gee, that look of concern is so touching…you could almost believe Santana cares about Oliver’s situation. Oliver hears it for the threat that it is of course. Santana is giving Oliver some time to think about it, but he’s got to decide soon….
The newly engaged couple, detective Sam Swarek (Ben Bass) and Andy McNally (Missy Peregrym) are in the parking lot of 15 Division discussing the situation with Oliver. Sam thinks Oliver is hiding something. Not that he thinks Oliver is guilty, but he doesn’t understand why Oliver didn’t even try to fight the charges. He drops Andy off and goes off to talk to Oliver.
In the locker rooms officer Juliet Ward (Erin Karpluk) is by her locker when her secret boyfriend Nick Collins (Peter Mooney) walks in. He’s wondering why she left early that morning. Juliet tells him that she’s I.A. He doesn’t take the news well at all! Not only has he been lied to, but Juliet is responsible for Oliver having to quit!
Traci runs into Andy at 15 Division. When Andy suggests that Chris Klem – the person who sold the explosives to a dirty cop he knows as “Oliver Shaw” – may not know the real name of the person he sold to, Traci doesn’t tell her what happened in the car. Instead she tells Andy that they can’t get anywhere near Klem because she’d turned him over to I.A. last night.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I feel like this could come back to haunt Traci. Traci knows that the cop Klem sold the explosives to isn’t Oliver, but Steve. If Andy ever finds out will she understand why? While Traci doesn’t want to believe it’s true that Steve is dirty, shouldn’t she have said something? This is an issue that will bug this entire episode. The information is something that could clear Oliver – so it’s a big thing to withhold. In terms of integrity, Traci loses a little of hers here. She’s not completely lying to herself about the possibility that Steve could be dirty though. At least she continues to seek out more proof – one way or the other.
With Oliver gone, Inspector John Jarvis (Oliver Becker) is taking over for him, and the Commissioner will be around as well. As all the officers are getting settled officer Dov Epstein (Gregory Smith) asks officer Chloe Price (Priscilla Faia) how’s she’s doing – because he knows she “gets emotional at times like this.”
So much for wishing he’d never met her and erasing their past from his memory banks! It’s no wonder Chloe looks puzzled! Chloe being Chloe, she asks him why he’s asking. When he says he’s just trying to be friendly, and is that allowed, she pauses. Then tells him she’ll get back to him. Dov was not expecting that!
The parade room is silent and somber as more officers arrive. Only Officer Chris Diaz (Travis Milne) comes in to parade muttering a few choice things under his breath. He also is the only one to interrupt Jarvis to say that the I.A. investigation could clear Oliver. Jarvis eyes seem to shimmer a moment. Does he feel bad about Oliver?
After Jarvis warns about gossiping about the situation the Commissioner announces that he’ll be going over all of the cases files that happened while Oliver’s been Staff Sergeant. (No doubt to plant evidence more false against Oliver in case Oliver doesn’t take his offer. He picks Andy and Dov as his “volunteers” (they did not volunteer). Jarvis tells Chris that he’ll be with him that day. It makes Chris nervous. Does Jarvis know Chris is sleeping with his wife?
Andy and Dov are in the equipment room commiserating about the situation they’re in. Andy suggests that instead of trying to figure out who Santana is working with they should look into Santana directly. They get silent as Nick and officer Gail Peck (Charlotte Sullivan) walk in. It only takes Gail a moment to know something’s up.
Whatever it is, I’m in.
Nick is a little nervous when he hears they think the commissioner is dirty and the plan is to spy on him, but Andy fiercely says if they get caught, she’ll take the blame. She doesn’t even want the job if they can’t clear Oliver’s name.
First the Plan: Integrity Test
The first thing Andy does is go to Juliet for help.
So, this is where the title “Integrity Test” comes from, although yes, everyone’s integrity is certainly being tested in this episode. Together with Juliet, the group plans to use Nick’s brother as the man who has a second set of the disc drives that were blown up. Then they decide to use rookie officer Duncan Moore (Matt Murray) as a “trojan horse” to slip the false information about their being a second set of disc drives to Santana. If he shows up for the drives, they’ve got him.
Traci and Steve
Traci’s ride along with Steve sets up a situation that doesn’t look good at all. When they arrive at the shooting there’s a detective Frankie Anderson (Katharine Isabelle) from homicide waiting for them. She starts filling them in.
The victim is a member of a gang called “the Cobras.” Steve has a reaction to the name Troy Baxter, the name a witness claims was shouted out right before dead body.
Once they get inside Steve has an even stronger reaction to the body of the victim, but when Frankie asks if he knows the victim, he tells her no. Then he excuses himself to make a phone call. His behavior is highly suspicious! Even Frankie notices something is off. Now Traci is worried.
Once back in the car, Steve seems distracted. He tells Traci the body reminded him of someone he knew, but won’t say who he called. Then he says he’s got a stop to make and tells Traci to wait in the car. As soon as he’s out of sight she checks his phone and dials his last number, but it’s been disconnected. She then gets out of the car and walks to the small brick building Steve when into. There’s a mail box on the side of it with mail falling out. Like a good detective she looks at a couple of pieces of it and gets upset. Steve comes out just as she starts striding towards the door he’d gone into.
Traci angrily points out that the mail in the mailbox belongs to Troy Baxter – the suspect in the murder investigation. She questions if Steve had just gone in there to talk to him. Steve tells her to leave it alone.
Traci: The hell I will!
Traci storms past him, but Steve grabs her arm!
Traci snaps back at Steve that he should tell her what is, but instead he gives her the keys to the car and says he’ll meet her back at the station. She takes the keys and leaves, but the expression on her face as she’s walking away is heartsick. She’s clearly thinking the worst.
Traci’s day thus far hasn’t been good, but Sam’s hasn’t either….
Sam and Oliver
Earlier Sam found Oliver drinking in am empty bar. Oliver was not happy to see him – he didn’t even want Sam to sit next to him!
Oliver: You are an officer of the law, and I am no longer an officer of the law. So, we have nothing to discuss.
He talked about being betrayed and thrown under a bus by the force he’s served for twenty years and ordered another drink. Sam ordered one also.
Now though, Oliver is ready to hear what Sam has to say. Sort of.
Oliver: Fine. Say what you’re gonna say. Right. You couldn’t just loop me in? You couldn’t put me in the loop?
Sam: Your…it’s not – I didn’t have time to do any of that stuff, okay? There was no time to loop you in.
Sam explains everything, starting with asking the head of I.A., and their good friend Noelle Williams (Melanie Nicholls-King) to look into the bombing of the evidence room. He ends with giving Oliver the bad news about his former training officer being dirty.
It’s now Sam’s turn to be surprised. Oliver tells him he’d already figured it out due the visit Santana paid to his house that morning.
Have you ever seen Oliver so completely defeated? He’s really been beaten down by all this, and it started with having to take the staff sergeant’s job in order to keep Andy from being investigated. He’s had to sit with the other white shirts on fight night, and double up patrols in a wealthy neighborhood, but he’s always managed to find that little bit of Oliver Shawism that’s made him the spring back up. Not this time. It’s heartbreaking, and Matt Gordon lets us see a man who’s angry and sad at the unfairness of it all. A lifetime career completely gone – and for what? He stares out in the distance seeing and accepting his fate. There’s no fight in him at all – which isn’t like Oliver at all. There’s got to be something else, right?
There is something else. Actually there are two somethings, but he only tells Sam the one we don’t know. After some pushing by Sam, Oliver admits that he’s afraid of what I.A. will find in his records. Twenty ago, when Santana was his training officer, Santana asked him to “lose” the fingerprints of “some tweeter” Oliver had arrested. (I’m thinking tweeter is an informant?) Oliver did as asked without thinking about it. It was his first year, and it was his T.O. asking him to do it. So he does. Two weeks later he comes home from a night shift and some guys are putting a new roof on his house! Two months after that he realized he’d never paid for a new roof! So he went and looked up the company and discovered they were connected to the Irish mob. Sam is skeptical.
Oliver says I.A. will make that a pattern, and then suggests that Sam should convince him to take the security job -because it’s “the sensible thing to do.”
Sam: When have you ever known me to do the sensible thing?
Oliver: Well, you’re marrying Andy McNally.
Sam: Okay. One time.
Oliver: That’s all it takes.
It’s a sad, sad day for Oliver and Sam as they clink glasses. Of course, they have no idea what the rookies have been up to!
The ruse of using Duncan to slip false information to the Commissioner works perfectly. He’s thrilled to be included in a “covert” operation.” As Andy predicted, he can’t keep his mouth shut about it. It takes less than an hour for Duncan to accidentally spill the information to his stepfather – aka the commissioner. At first he went in to try and brag about it, but when Santana tells him to “get out and send in a real cop” he throws the information out to proof his worth. Santana takes the bait – and operation Integrity Test begins!
Nick’s brother Finn (Peter Stebbings) plays his part well, but, as he pointed out to Nick before they headed over to 15th division, no one is better at lying than him! The Commissioner watches the session as Nick spills about how he got the drives, and exactly where they are now – down to the address and the cabinet. Dov asks Santana if he should send someone to pick up the drives, and he forcefully says no – not until a detective reviews it. After he leaves, Andy comes in to ask if Santana bought the story. He nods.
Nick and Gail are set up to be, “the sting.” Andy calls them and they head to the small office space in a warehouse that’s supposed to be Finn’s. Now all they have to do is wait.
At 15 Division Andy and Dov are on edge waiting for Santana to make a move. When he seems to be leaving Andy tries to casually follow him. It doesn’t work, although she gives a decent cover. (McNally has to be a terrible poker player!) Rather than ask why she’s following him, the Commissioner lets Andy know that the only reason Andy “Standards and Practice haven’t investigated her – and still has a job – is because Oliver agreed to stay on as Staff Sergeant.
Santana: I guess, sometimes, things are best left in the past – don’t you think? …I trust that regardless of what happens with Oliver Shaw, you and I won’t have any more trouble.
Santana’s threat reveals that second thing that, although never explicitly said, has to be weighing on Oliver’s mind. Isabelle wasn’t the first favor he’d gotten from the Commissioner. The deal Jarvis brokered saved Andy (and Sam, actually) from being investigated and Andy from losing her job. Andy has to be wondering if she’s part of the reason Oliver isn’t fighting things now as well. How much this man has sacrificed for her – he’s more like a father than her dad!
Love is Blind – Steve and Traci
Detective Frankie stops by 15 Division looking for Steve Peck, but finds Traci instead. Frankie wanted to thank Steve for the tip he gave her on a suspect for the homicide that morning – and it wasn’t Troy Baxter! Just then Steve walks in. Frankie feels the tension between the two and books out of there. (I’m liking Frankie! I wonder if she’ll be back for season 7 – and I’m going with the idea that there will be a season 7!)
Traci wants to know what’s going on, and Steve explains everything. In this case Steve’s behavior is for a legitimate reason. The murder victim was an informant of his, but Troy Baxter is another one – and in the same gang. He needed to make sure Baxter was safe before he explained anything.
Steve’s explanations were all so sweet and endearing. I especially loved the “I hate lying to you” and the “you can ask me anything” lines by Steve. Traci is so relieved by learning everything was legitimate that she lets Steve off the hook – at least until they can talk later at The Penny. They have a quick kiss and then Steve leaves.
Dear Traci, just because he’s not lying about this instance, doesn’t change what happened in the car with that witness the night before! I can’t believe Traci’s willing to just let it go. However, they do say love is blind – and look at her face.
The Waiting Game
Meanwhile, Gail and Nick are in the small warehouse building waiting for Santana to show up. Gail is getting on Nick’s nerves – no surprise there. Maybe because it’s on his mind, or maybe to just stop her from crunching on potato chips, he poses this question:
Say someone you trust has been lying to you, for months, for good reason, but, still, they’ve been lying. What do you do?
I first I thought the look on Gail’s face was because they’ve both lied to each other in the past and it did not end well, so she’s thinking, why are you asking me this. But, no, it’s because this just isn’t Gail’s wheelhouse and Nick is clearly miserable about something. This is equally legitimate, although I’d say Nick and Gail’s past history would say that Gail’s answer isn’t 100 percent true. It’s her initial reaction, but clearly she’s capable of forgiveness…over time, and if there was a good reason. (Of course, Gail and Nick were never going to work out, because Gail was actually a closeted lesbian. Beside this was all seasons ago anyway.)
Gail: No, not a chance.
Gail: You’ve got to cut them out of your life – like a bad piece of apple. I have no room for liars.
This was not the answer Nick wanted to hear! However, there’s no time to discuss it further because they get a call on the radio. There’s a robbery at a convenience store and they are the closest unit. Gail wants to ignore it, but Nick can’t. They’re going to have to leave for while. Nick tells Gail to “call McNally.”
When Andy gets the call from Gail she and Dov have been frantically trying to figure out where Santana has gone. Since they don’t know where the Commissioner is Andy heads over to the warehouse to cover Gail and Nick. For all she knows, Santana could be on his way there as well!
When she gets to the warehouse the first thing she does is head towards the desk where the “computer drives” are. Just as she’s looking around there she hears someone coming in at the front entrance and scurries away to hide where she can watch. Once she hears the desk drawers being open she steps out into position, points a gun at the perps back and tells him it’s the police and hands up. The person slowly does – and it’s Steve Peck!
Given what viewers knew from last week it wasn’t hard to figure out that Steve would be the one picking up the drives. Why would Santana go out and do that when he knows that everyone at 15 Division is worried about Oliver Shaw and that Andy has been following him?
At first Steve tries to pretend that he’s there legitimately, but Andy isn’t stupid. Soon he’s admitting to working for Santana. How he got involved in this mess is pretty much the way Sam described how cops turn dirty. At first it’s little things and then before you know it they own you. He bitterly describes working for Santana and Adian Kelly – who heads the Irish mob – as having to work two jobs – “one for the cops and one for them.” As he’s talking he’s pulling off crowbars to find the “disc drives.” Andy hasn’t let on that it’s a sting. Earlier she even asked him if he’d gotten the warrant for them!
To say Andy is furious is an understatement.
What about Traci?!”
Maybe if Steve had been looking at her he would have realized the larger point of the question. Instead he quickly defends her, telling Andy that Traci knew nothing about it – he “kept her out of it.” I don’t think Andy was really suspecting Traci – although with Steve’s betrayal I bet anything might have seemed possible. However, it felt more like she wanted to know how Steve could do this to Traci.
Steve swears he was trying to get out of the situation – for Traci’s sake – when Ted McDonald showed up on the radar. He complains more about how Santana wouldn’t leave it alone and way obsessed about McDonald’s hard drives bringing both him and Steve down. That’s when he opens the box of hard drives and realizes it’s a sting operation, and he’s talking to the officer who could have been killed in the explosion.
Andy had to know that Gail and Nick were outside. They were only going to be gone for 20 minutes. That’s why she let’s him walk outside after he confesses to the bombing and gives up Alonso Santana as the killer of Ted McDonald. Poor Gail! She sounds like a child when says her brother’s name. He’s just broken her heart. Sure these two bicker and can be mean to each other – they’re Pecks. But the idea that Steve could betray the badge like that, nearly killing Andy and setting up beloved Oliver is way beyond meanness, and way beyond the goodness she hides inside. Gail is a good cop. You see in how she reacts in crisis – like running out into the shooting on the baseball field to keep the teen aged girl down. It’s in the way she stayed with Sophie’s mother as the woman was dying…. It means everything to her. She thought it was the one thing she and her brother had in common.
The Wrap Up – Those Other Integrity Tests
- The rest of the take-down is swift. Jarvis – who as it turns out, is just a tough political player, not a criminal – leads a group of uniformed cops (first in line is Chris) to arrest Santana as he’s in Oliver’s office and packing up files. Steve is put in jail as Gail watches. Traci comes down to see what all the activity is about and finds Andy.
Traci: What’s going on?
Andy: We arrested your boyfriend.
- Sam and a crowd of cops watch as the Commissioner is taken away. Sam tells the officers to keep the cuffs on him when they get downtown. Duncan taunts him with “what kind of cop are you.” Even in handcuffs, sitting in the back of squad car, Santana is condescending.
Santana: You fool. Don’t you realize they used you to get to me?
Duncan: …I know that. But, here’s the thing. I would have done it anyway.
- Traci’s conversation with Steve in jail is painful and intense.
- Seriously…how could he do this to Traci? He knew about Jerry and her losing him right before they were supposed to get married. Traci, didn’t want to believe what was right in front of her eyes, because she knew she’d have to walk away – because of all the things she said to him. Remember how last season he was Dex’s case? Dex is a saint compared to him! Of course, expecting a criminal to do the right thing for someone else is ridiculous. They want what they want when they want it.
- In the locker room Chloe comes to Dov and tells him her truth: she can’t just be friends with him. Knowing how much she’s still in love with Dov, it’s the right answer. It’s Chloe having integrity with herself. Dov looks sad about this, but maybe that’s because he’s not being honest with himself about still being in love with her. I get the feeling Nick’s question about lying is going to be one bandied around by all the characters in these last few episodes. (There are only three left!)
- John Jarvis sits Chris down and tells him that he knows Chris is sleeping with his wife. Then he comes clean with his own honesty. He and Jamie haven’t been happy for years, in part because of her cocaine addiction. He’s been afraid to leave her because he worried she’d go “into a downward spiral.” Because of Diaz, he’s not worried about it anymore – and he’s moving in with his girlfriend! Maybe he’ll be better to work with now! In fact, after telling Chris he can see Jamie anytime he wants to, Jarvis gives him a word of advice.
- Out in the parking lot, Nick tries to apologize…sort of. He starts off with, “we screwed up today.” Juliet lets him know that regardless of what he thinks of her or I.A. the work she does is “good, difficult, police work.” Then she tells him this gem. It needs to be carved into the walls at every police station.
And as far as I’m concerned it takes a lot more integrity to go after corrupt cops than to pretend they don’t exist.
- Oliver is at The Black Penny when Noelle walks in. He knows that the Commissioner has been taken down. You can tell he still feels hurt and betrayed by it all, and by what it almost made him do. He’s not that enthusiastic when Noelle points out he’s completely cleared and can go back to work. However, when she offers him an apology – in case he doesn’t get an official one, it seems to help…a little. Even though he does tell Noelle that coming from her it means “a hell of a lot.” Oliver has had his entire existence and identity stripped from him by this ordeal. It’s going to take him a while to get a sense of himself back, and to forgive himself for considering the idea of taking that tech security job.
- Last, but not least. Sam and Andy are driving home in the truck. Andy is miserable.
Sam’s got that right! McSwarek is never boring – and neither is Rookie Blue! (So please renew it!) Did you enjoy Rookie Blue “Integrity Test”? Did anything surprise you? In the comments you can let me know what you thought of the episode. Next week looks like another emotional and intense episode! (Really how could it not be after this one?)