This was a sneaky little episode. It distracted me with the chaotic baseball shooting. It kept all the characters on my screen and while it started off suspiciously cheery, it made me think the catch was the case of the week. It wasn’t. Here’s the truth: I knew both of this week's big surprises would happen, but I didn’t know when. It’s hard to avoid spoilers when Canada has been ahead of ABC all summer. I’ve steered clear of specific details, but huge things like this… they have a way of finding their way onto your screen and being read before you can avert your eyes. But knowing these things were coming didn’t detract from their impact or element of surprise, and that had a lot to do with the storytelling and pacing.
Gail had to betray Steve in this episode, which was rough because he’d just done really good by her and given her a great recommendation to the adoption woman. But it really came down to what "the right thing" was and their differing opinions. She wasn't going to compromise her good judgment just so her brother could look better in the eyes of his boss. She had to, in turn, convince Michie to betray her own brother and turn him in. Yes, it would have been good to get the gang leader off the streets. But Gail’s conscience wouldn’t let her say the case was closed when she knew better.
Gail was just great with all the kids in this episode. It wasn’t her forte, pretending to be in charge of the baseball game and acting all friendly with the kids to impress the adoption woman. Because when she pretends, it’s a painful struggle and it’s obvious. She’s snarky and doesn’t pass out sunshine and rainbows to those she doesn’t feel merit them. But when she talked to Michie or Sophie, her whole demeanor changed. There’s nothing wrong with her snarkiness – that’s just who she is – but there’s a lightness that these kids bring to her that was there all along, only hidden. Snarkiness often acts as a wall, a weapon. She opens up around these kids and it’s fantastic character growth.
Andy and Sam
HOW did I not see this coming? The whole episode, Sam’s insisting he needs this weekend away to go well. Well, of course it didn’t, and that was to be expected. They hit what Sam insisted was a rock with their windshield, but he got out of the car with Andy to check the bushes for injured critters anyway. And then they both got poison ivy. Andy was preoccupied with her new information on Juliet, who was caught meeting with her handler when Andy and Chris were running that morning (you never see Andy and Chris hang out anymore. That was nice). Then, they get to Oliver’s cabin by the lake, and it’s been ransacked by wild animals. If Oliver wasn’t SUCH A GOOD GUY, I’d wonder if he sent them there just so someone else could clean up the mess.
We got to periodically check in on these two and their bad luck, but when the episode cut back to them by the dock, where they were finishing cleaning up the mess, we’d spent a good while focused on what was happening over in Toronto. Sam and Andy have a real heart-to-heart, and Sam admits that he just wanted the weekend to be perfect, but it’d just been a condensed version of their lives recently. And you know how Andy replies? "This is better than perfect. It’s us." I thought that would be the ending of their little storyline this week, because that line was perfect. But no.
Andy’s turning away with a rug in each hand when Sam gets down on one knee, right there on the dock. She was shocked. I was shocked. I was also reminded once again what a complete and total soft spot I have for proposal scenes. There were very few words, but let’s face it, they’d all been said already. Words weren’t needed. A major speed bump in their relationship has been a lack of communication (specifically on Sam’s part). Now they’re at a point where they DON’T need to say anything. It was perfect.
The Evidence Locker Explosion Investigation
So long story short: Sam was the reason Juliet came to town. He talked to Noelle, who showed up at the baseball game earlier in the episode and wow, it’s been SO LONG since she was on the show. Anyway, she apparently is now in charge of some internal investigating unit, and sent Juliet in to find out more info (I CALLED IT LAST WEEK!). Here’s who Juliet suspected:
Chris – She also knows about him and Jarvis’ wife, which didn’t faze Noelle in the least. Noelle was firm that it wasn’t him who planted the bomb.
Duncan – To which Noelle replied: "Do you think [his stepfather] would trust him not to screw things up?" Juliet agreed. We all agreed.
Oliver – Whose keycard was swiped before the bomb went off. He's now suspect number one.
He was clearly set up. The question is, how will all the characters react to him being the suspect? Will they defend him to the end or begin giving him the side-eye? Will battle lines be drawn, or will everyone stand by Oliver's side?
- Running backwards burns more calories or something, according to Diaz. You must burn those extra calories when you accidentally run into something. Or someone.
- "I was just walkin’ the dog." *silent moment when absence of said dog is highly apparent*
- "That’s what I love about you…Your lack of enthusiasm."
- Gail: "It’s in our genes [to be mean]."
- "My passion project." Not.
- Gail: "There’s this strange sensation… No, I actually think it’s gratitude." She started this episode off in such a good place.
- Ukulele practice = "selfish improvement"?
- Chloe: "[We get to help people…] Plus they’re serving hotdogs at lunch, so…"
- Noelle and Oliver reunited was fantastic. It felt SO real, probably because the actors were reuniting as well. It FELT like two old friends who go way back meeting again, picking right back up where they left off, and it was such a great moment. I hope their friendship isn't damaged by her investigation.
- "No, we killed a rock."
- "HOW are you not scratching now?"
- Ever wonder who still reads the paper? Gang leader dudes, apparently.
- Andy: "Usually it’s me who’s the one over-enthused about terrible situations."
- Oh Chloe and Dov, you poor lovesick creatures.
- "Man that’s just cold." Dude, you live in a glass house. Although I guess it’s nice you draw the line at shooting up baseballs games, mayyyybe you could still reevaluate your line-drawing skills?
- Sam: "It’s kinda been like the last six months in a little bottle… But you’re still here."
- Gregory Smith directed this episode (his second one this season) and it was another fantastic job. Notably, that shot of Dov’s feet running across the baseball field, complete with the thudding sound, added to the chaos of the moment.
- This week’s edition of Hope’s Unedited Notes: NOT OLLIE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE. IT WAS NOT OLIVER SHAW.
- We're past the halfway mark now and I can't believe there are only 5 episodes left. However, they're setting everything into motion for what has got to be an amazing conclusion to the season.