Saturday, August 22, 2015

Rookie Blue 6x09 "Ninety Degrees" (Brave Faces) [Contributor: Hope]


"Ninety Degrees"
Original Airdate: August 20, 2015

In this episode, we saw the cracks in our main characters’ armors. The brave faces they had put on – whether because of the Steve fiasco or relationship problems – started to falter as they all lost their cools a bit – figuratively and literally, when a heat wave hit the city. I say "brave faces" of course, but what was even braver was how the characters let those cracks unfold. See, we think being strong means acting like the world doesn’t get to us. What I think being strong really means is opening up enough to show that it does. It takes bravery to NOT stop yourself from crying, and it takes bravery to finally stop tiptoeing around a subject. It takes bravery to say "this is how I feel" even if you’re unsure what reaction you’ll get in response.

So when Andy almost starts to cry, or when Chloe gets fed up with Dov, or when Oliver thinly veils his protectiveness of his former position, or when Traci takes out her anger on a punching bag… all of this is better than them putting on "brave faces" and acting like pillars of superhuman strength. Which – no offense, superheroes – is very overrated. The detective from the other division, who had worked with Steve, called out Gail for putting on a brave face. I think on some level, Gail meant what she said – that she really doesn’t care if everyone "second guess[es] everything" she does because of her brother. That she doesn’t need their approval or good opinions to be a good cop. Honestly, that is just in-character for her. But she was hurting because her brother betrayed her, and no matter how many strong-willed statements she makes, there’s no hiding that it hurt her deeply. Both she and Traci felt like they should’ve known and been able to stop what Steve did. They feel like they betrayed the force themselves by not realizing what he was up to.


Dov and Chloe

Finally.

They were put on desk duty, where they essentially babysat everyone who came to the station to cool off. Then this guy came in and asked them to send someone to his girlfriend's house to check on her. Chloe happily agrees to get away from Dov and go check on the girl during her lunch break. Dov follows her from out behind the front desk (...which I suppose was then unattended?) and goes along with them. They shot each other snide comments and argued for most of the episode. At the end of the day, Chloe was fed up with it and yelled at him, "Get mad at me!" She so desperately wants this thing resolved, one way or another. Complete avoidance of the topic outside of thinly veiled remarks was the wrong way to deal with their fallout. Dov shouted at her until he simultaneously 1) practically proposed and 2) had an asthma attack.

I’m just glad they’re back together so they can go back to being doubly adorable.


Oliver

I have to say that I expected this episode to be more about the case against Steve than it was, but it looks like we’ll be getting to that soon enough. Meanwhile, Oliver was back where he thought he’d belonged all along: on the street in his patrol car, like old times. Except it wasn’t. He was praying for someone to commit a minor crime so something, anything would happen, but the only call he got was to fetch some jugs of water. See, these people are his people. They always have been. He trained them, he knows them, and he’s one of them. That’s why he’s a perfect leader for them, even if he doesn’t think so. But I think he actually does think so, even if he doesn’t want to admit it. No one else could do the job right (except for Frank) because they don’t know it like he does. He’s not all "ego" and "politics" like the others. THAT’s also why he’s perfect for the job.

Andy

This episode started off with wedding planning. And then it went downhill. See, Sam got a call about a stabbing at a mental health clinic… and Margo was there. He then asks Andy to go along with him, Nick, and Duncan. She wasn’t thrilled. Just look at the emotions she oscillates between here:


Yes, she probably WOULD rather be on water duty. And no, she’s not going to hide the fact that this isn’t what she wants. But she’s also going to do her job, and if her job means seeing Marlo in the process, well, then that’s just something she’ll have to deal with. Andy can go along with something amiably but also simultaneously express how it makes her feel.

However, Andy doing her job also meant helping deliver Marlo’s baby, which was just such a strange situation. Even worse, Marlo went into labor when they were trying to talk down Marlo’s friend Sylvia – who also had bipolar disorder – from the literal ledge. Frankly, the baby saved Sylvia’s life. Marlo had talked her friend into coming back inside, but when Marlo started going into labor, Sylvia locked herself in the bathroom with a knife. Andy had to balance helping Marlo and Sylvia (and took out some aggression on the bathroom door in the process). When Sylvia saw that Marlo and Andy needed her help, she set down the knife and stepped in. The episode never goes back and checks up on Sylvia, which is the one thing I have to say is a disappointment.

This episode talked a lot about mental health, so a big round of applause goes to the show for that. Marlo made the point that if she had been diagnosed with a serious physical illness instead of a serious mental illness, everyone would be making her food and doing charity races. She’s no longer hiding her bipolar disorder (and she must be wondering if her child will someday develop it) which was the right thing to do on multiple levels. But you can see at the support group how isolated she has become. She isn't part of a supportive team anymore. It was great when she and Dov were both working the bombing case, but now she seems mostly on her own.

When Marlo is unresponsive for a minute, Andy freaks out. She hands the baby to Sylvia and is begging Marlo to hang on. Everything is so terribly complicated with them, but underneath you can see how much Andy does care about her. Then Sam comes in and Andy steps back. The complexity and the all the different layers of emotions in this scene were fantastic. Andy takes a shaky breath and honestly, you can’t tell if it’s with relief, from nerves, or a wince of pain. I think it was all three. How hard must it be to act out three distinct emotions all at once? It must take a master.


Something similar can be said for when she watches Sam and Marlo with the baby through the hospital room window (seen above). The sadness creeps over her face, and when Sam looks up at her, she manages a smile that does nothing to hide it. It just felt so real. I’m saying this as someone who lacks the ability to act and is amazed with how someone can take a script and put on screen exactly how it would look like in real life. Stellar work all around (and especially to Missy, who exemplified why she deserved to win in our Leading Actress - Drama category of the Golden Trio Awards.)

Notepad
  • "Life is weird, I remain grateful." I need this on a shirt.
  • "Maybe no Marlo [at the wedding]. Is that a crappy thing to say? I mean, I think it is, but at the same time, I feel like I can."
  • Oliver disapproved of all of Jarvis’ (the stand-in sergeant because Oliver was BACK IN BLUE) assignments for his "rookies." Dov and Chloe confined to the front desk? Gail filing paperwork? Truly, the best pairing was Oliver and Chris. Chris doesn’t get to do much, but I’d much rather him have a few funny lines alongside Oliver than be in trouble. THANK YOU show for putting him back on the right track.
  • Oliver: *whispers conspiratorially to Chris* "Gail Peck is now pushing files. That is a rookie mistake."
  • "So let’s start amicably co-working."
  • Andy: *serious tone* "Marlo, listen. If you want, I’ll make you a casserole." This bonding was fantastic. I'm so proud of this show.
  • Duncan wasn’t very good with talking to the witnesses. AT ALL.
  • I love it when shows bring back minor characters seasons later. Sadie was in season one, and it was pretty sad that she hadn’t quite fixed up her life yet…but still. Rookie Blue was thoughtful enough to connect season 6 to season 1 and give this fictional world an extra depth by having them cross paths again.
  • "I really don’t want to ruin your door, but I swear, I will."
  • "The problem is, the job’s the same but you’re different."
  • I loved the dress Chloe wore in the last scene. I don't think I've ever mentioned costumes, but this show's costumes are pretty spot-on.
  • "…and I hate that I’ll never be married to you first!" This might be one of the best lines used in a fight, ever. God, I mean, they were broken up and he basically said he still wanted to marry her.
  • Chloe: "Just do it. Do it." Dov: *reluctantly whips out inhaler.* This show balances drama and humor perfectly.
  • Gail: "I’m burning this letter [from Steve]." Traci: "You’re not burning anything in here." Gail: "Then I’ll shred it. I’ll even eat it."
  • TWO EPISODES LEFT.

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