Saturday, July 4, 2015

Rookie Blue 6x02 "Perfect Family" (Being the Bigger Person) [Contributor: Hope]

“Perfect Family”
Original Airdate: July 2, 2015

I don’t even know where to start. I mean, I’m looking at my notes right now, and a very good portion of them were in all caps. I promise I’ll be using my inside voice here.

The Case of the Week

I usually wouldn’t talk much about the case, but this one took the center stage this week. Not only that, but it kind of got under my skin. Besides, the theme of this episode – our ideals about what a "perfect family"  should be – fed right into Andy and Sam’s storyline. They obviously pictured their lives and future family progressing very differently. Of course, they were contrasted with the Hill family, who were supposedly trying to be the perfect, model family. It was such a wake-up call to Andy because Mr. Hill was a violent, abusive man who would make his daughter SLEEP IN A FREEZER IN THE GARAGE when she stepped out of line, among other things, all for the sake of maintaining the appearance of a "perfect family" (admit it, those caps were warranted). The daughter ran away, and when 15 Division found her, they really couldn’t do anything to help her. Her brother then poisoned and almost killed her because their father had taught him by example. Their family was a dangerous wreck, and yet the wife wouldn't leave Mr. Hill because it would break up their, again, "perfect family." Thanks to the awesome women of this show (and, you know, that aforementioned poisoning incident), Mrs. Hill decided to give up on her husband's ideals, put her children first, leave him, and put an end to their dangerous family. This storyline made for an engaging episode, and there was solid acting all around.

Dov, Marlo, and the Bombing Investigation

I really like the dynamics of these two as partners. Dov seems a little more lighthearted than he has been lately, and he helps to humanize Marlo a bit more. She could be painted as The Woman Threatening Andy and Sam’s Relationship, but she’s not. She’s a well-rounded character who just wants to solve the case and stay out of the way. She and Dov can eat snacks and solve crime without awkwardness; he doesn’t have to choose sides because there aren’t any. As far as the case goes, they figured out that this guy who supplies explosives to the police was involved. He's also missing, and it's looking like it might have been an inside job (*cough* Jarvis? *cough*).

Chris and Gail

I just love how Gail is stepping into this situation, putting her foot down, and trying to knock some sense back into Chris. Gail’s perpetually the voice of reason and a true “person of wisdom” (sorry, Nick), and I love the friendship these two have. I feel like we haven’t seen much of that in a while, what with Chris' storyline and all. She could really be the one to help pull Chris back out of the hole he’s dug for himself, but let’s face it – metaphorically, she’s going to be the one dumping a bucket of water over his head to wake him up. Also: Jarvis scared the living daylights out of Chris by pulling him aside… and asking him to look over blueprints? I didn’t quite get what the changes he wanted made were, but I think it's suspicious nonetheless.

Andy, et al.

Sam came face-to-face with Mr. Hill and had to pretend to be all buddy-buddy, "give me parenting advice" with him. It was visibly hard for him and such a strong scene. Sam’s father wasn’t a good guy. He wasn’t as bad as Mr. Hill, but it wasn’t rainbows and sunshine, either. The case wasn't a wake-up call necessarily, but it acted to reinforce Sam's position on parenting. He then had a nice chat with Oliver, which basically amounted to agreeing that he should be there for the baby, no matter what.

I LOVE that Andy isn’t angry at Marlo at all. She’s crying and she’s openly upset, but she’s very, very rational about the whole thing. Their conversation in the beginning of the episode was honest, raw, and real. When she talks it over with Traci, she admits “I don’t even know what [the bigger] person would do.” She goes as far to suggest that she should walk away from her relationship, saying “Maybe Sam should be with Marlo.” Here's the thing: Marlo doesn’t act like she wants to get back together with Sam. She doesn’t even want to cause a rift between the two of them. And yet Andy thinks about the whole situation is a very selfless way. She certainly doesn’t want to break up with Sam. But if it’s the right thing to do, she’ll do it. This scene and decision stayed true to her character's strong moral compass.

At the end though, I think it hits home for Andy when she tells Mrs. Hill: “This isn’t the family you pictured” but that she can't quit on them. Afterwards, she has a serious conversation with Sam, admitting: “I have no idea how to do this… [But] there is not going to be a day when that child doesn’t feel wanted or loved by me.” This was, simply and truly, awesome. There would have been so much drama in having this baby rip them apart, turn Andy into a different person, and threaten the audience with a love triangle. But so far, the writers have done none of these things. They refuse to be predictably dramatic and instead approach this storyline in a refreshing way. I’ll admit that, after the season 5 finale, I wasn't really looking forward to seeing this development play out. So this is me giving a standing ovation to the writers for keeping their characters grounded, their reactions refreshingly real, and the drama high without creating melodrama. Overall, "Perfect Family" was an engaging episode that focused a lot on the case of the week without overshadowing everything else going on.

  • “My foot’s asleep. Cops can’t walk around if their foot’s asleep.” Solid excuse, Chris. It’s not like Gail is brilliant and will see right through that… oh, wait.
  • The whole Bad Luck Radio thing was a nice touch to the episode. Actually, the Nick/Juliet and Chloe/Duncan team-ups this week added some nice levity. I only wish there had been more focus on these guys so they could have their own headings. Next week, perhaps?
  • The tarantula! Duncan and Chloe were kind of perfect as partners this week, just being doubly awkward, and I want to see more of this. And for once, I can’t blame Duncan. His reaction to the missing tarantula was perfect and I can't say I'd be even that calm about it.
  • On a related point, my favorite note I made was in regards to that scene where Mr. Hill goes to the boyfriend’s house and attacks him: “Where’s that spider when you need it?” (Seriously, was that thing ever found or what?!)
  • “We’re not exactly dealing with the best and the brightest, even as far as criminals go.”
  • "Bookclub.” Right. I’m sure that’s where the criminals were.
  • Dov to Marlo, while holding a big bowl of food: “We’re going to need a bigger snack.”
  • “Just stay off the cheese puffs. Trust me, that’s a bell you can’t un-ring.” Gail. Never change.
  • Next week’s promo looked INTENSE.


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