ROOKIE BLUE “Mercury Retrograde” Review

Rookie Blue (ABC)

‘Mercury Retrograde,’ the second episode of Rookie Blue sees our heroine Andy McNally (Missy Peregrym) paired with walking cliché Detective Sam Swarek—the rugged rogue—as they tie up loose ends from Swarek’s months as an undercover officer (remember McNally mistakenly blew his cover in the pilot?) The loose end turns out to be one Emily Starling, an informant with valuable information who is wanted by the local crime lord Anton (probably not a good thing). As McNally learns to work with and around Swarek’s unethical methods, her fellow rookies hunt down an escaped convict, deal with drunken informants and engage in romantic affairs all under the scrutiny of their law enforcement elders.

If Grey’s Anatomy and Law and Order had a baby and dropped the baby on its head then sealed the wound in the baby’s head with honey, that baby would be called Rookie Blue. It is wholly enjoyable to watch without engaging too many brain cells or offending your intelligence. The angst that clogs Grey’s Anatomy is mostly flushed and replaced with fresh humor and enthusiasm.

Last night we saw Traci Nash (Enuka Okuma) and Chris Diaz (Travis Milne) spend the day sifting through dozens of tips about the escaped convict. Traci goes out on a limb and puts her faith and reputation in an elderly, drunken man who vomited on all of the pamphlets in the police station. Her gut feeling was right, the tip pays off and we get to see Dov Epstein (Gregory Smith—hello Ephram!) subdue his first baddie in a rather hysterical scene that tied in with an earlier scene where he showed off his fighting skills to Chris, his lovable, much larger and completely bewildered fellow rookie. Dov was celebrating his successful suppression of the criminal only to be cheated out of an arrest by Gail Peck (Charlotte Sullivan) who was taught by her superintendant mother that success is 90% luck, 10% timing.

If the plotlines are too predictable (come on people, we all knew she had the MacGuffin hidden in the pepper shakers!) and some scenes so cringe-worthy they can only be witnessed through the space between your fingers (hello dry-cleaning arrest) that’s fine, because Rookie Blue is so damn charming it can get away with those otherwise heinous sins of television. Andy McNally has just enough unsure geekyness that makes her likable but still manages to steer her clear of cutesy-wootsey territory. The writing is amusing and the uniformly strong acting makes all but the corniest moments of cheesy dialogue work.

Aware of all of its flaws, Rookie Blue is still a great show and last night’s episode was no exception. File under ‘guilty pleasure’ and enjoy!