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Series / Rookie Blue

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They're just trying to get through the day.

Rookie Blue is an ABC (Global in Canada) series focusing around five new rookies assigned to Division 15 straight out of the academy. The show focuses a lot more on the personal lives of the rookies than other crime shows, and has been described as "Grey's Anatomy with rookie cops".

It follows their introduction to real policing under the guidance of the senior officers and detectives at Division 15, and how they struggle to cope with the toll the job takes on them and their lives. While there is a main character, Andy McNally (Missy Peregrym), the show utilises its ensemble cast very well and every episode will follow each of the rookies and some of the senior officers. The series is one of handful of shows airing on US TV (Flashpoint being another) in which its Canadian setting is actually preserved.


The series ended in 2015, airing for six seasons. ABC and Global have stated that the sixth season serves as the show's finale.

The series provides examples of:

  • Accidental Misnaming: A Running Gag in one episode has Police Superintendent Peck calling Officer Chris Diaz "Craig".
  • Action Girl: Played reasonably realistically. Expect Andy to lose as often as she wins in a fight. Andy is a bit headstrong and her headstrongness has lead her to do stupid choices in her career.
  • Alone with the Psycho: Happens to Luke, Oliver, Andy, Sam, Gail, and Jerry.
  • Always Murder: Averted. The 15th has dealt with a variety of crimes, ranging from child abduction to drug trafficking.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Luke, for Andy. Then later, Shaw and the others for Sam. Jerry gets a Huge Damn Heroes moment for Gail after following up on a simple supposedly dead-end lead. It unfortunately ends in his death. After being brutally stabbed (yes, that knife was twisted in his gut), he musters up the strength to attack the killer again, so he can plant his phone in the suspect's pocket which leads the team to Gail's location in the kidnapper's car
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  • Birth/Death Juxtaposition: "Out of Time" ends with Frank meeting his child with Noelle for the first time while the others learn Jerry has died from his injuries
  • Boom, Headshot!: Andy is talking to a young woman when suddenly the woman gets shot in the head and Andy is splattered with the woman's blood and brain matter. The woman is brain dead and the doctors keep her body alive only because she is an organ donor and they need the police investigation to be closed before they can perform the transplants.
  • The Boxing Episode: It had two, "Fite Nite" and "Different, Not Better", which feature officers of the 15th division competing with other divisions in an annual charity boxing match.
  • Bulletproof Vest: Played very realistically, a standard vest protects a main character from a bullet. It knocks them down and leaves serious bruising, but saves their life.
  • By-the-Book Cop: Played straight with Chris amongst the rookies. Actually detrimental to his performance as he does not take initiative which is noted by his superiors.
  • Canada, Eh?: Averted. Though pretty blatantly set in Toronto, to the point where it often makes references to local street names, the show portrays a fairly realistic and non-stereotypical version of urban Canadian life. Which isn't surprising, since it's a Canadian show.
  • Car Fu: Just as the perp was about to get away from Andy... Swarek nails a suspect with his patrol car, complete with a badass Bond One-Liner.
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: Usually averted, but notably played straight when Andy is confronting the child-killer in the park rec centre. Played straight with Jerry when Andy and Sam arrive after he's been fatally wounded by Gail's kidnapper
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The disgruntled man being forced out of his apartment complex during moving day returns a few episodes later and is revealed to be a Mad Bomber on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Clear Their Name: Andy's father becomes a murder suspect in one episode, leading Sam and Andy to try and find evidence to clear him.
  • Damsel in Distress: Andy from a psychopathic army sergeant and murderer. Also Gail from a man who is abducting women from a hotel.
  • Dirty Harriet:
    • Andy and Gail do a stint as prostitutes in a sting operation in "Signals Crossed".
    • Later in the season, Andy has to pretend to be a stripper and Sam's girlfriend in an undercover operation.
    • Gail later pretends again to be a high-class prostitute to bring in a murder suspect for a missing prostitute. It's the wrong guy. Turns out the missing person wasn't actually dead, but another prostitute had been killed earlier by a guy scouting in the same area.
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: Shaw is always hungry, though not necessarily for donuts. Gail also has a big sweet tooth.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: Played with by Chris to Gail after he's been stabbed and they are trapped in a warehouse with no way out. Although he does not come out and declare his love, he does say he misses her and still has feelings for her. He also survives his injuries.
  • Enhance Button: Averted when Epstein is asked to do this to find out who shot a man dressed as a chicken (It Makes Sense in Context) and answers that this isn't actually a thing.
  • Everyone Can See It: The chemistry between Andy and Sam. Even her boyfriend can see it.
  • Fair Cop: Though their uniforms are unisex and quite authentic, the main cast is all comprised of Hunks and Head Turning Beauties.
  • Funny Background Event: Nick and Gail stake out a beach to catch kids in a Scavenger Hunt (they're after the big pink umbrellas there). Nothing happens while they're there, but at the end of the episode they get drunk and kiss - and in the background a group of kids can be seen rolling one of the umbrellas away.
  • Hollywood Cop Uniform: The cops in this series, inconspicuously set in Toronto, wear shoulder flashes with an emblem containing similar elements to the real-life emblem/cap badge and have rather generic-looking shield-shaped cap badges. Their uniforms are similarly generic, lacking the red pant stripe and cap band worn by Ontario municipal police forces.
  • Genre Savvy:
    • During the 'scavenger hunt' exercise Dov realizes that the key part of undercover police work is to get a criminal to trust you and then being able to betray that trust to make an arrest. Especially Genre Savvy as he has just done the same thing earlier to his best friend. He does this in a very straightforward manner while Andy and Traci spend a lot of time creating a new persona for themselves. And he's good at it.
    • Also in the same episode, Oliver is extremely Genre Savvy, noting Dov as the underdog. He only tells him that because he knows "doubting" Dov will push him to do better than the rest of the recruits...and earn him money in the pool they have going for which rookie will be the better undercover cop.
  • Godzilla Threshold: During season 3, Det. Luke Callahan is called back into action whatever there is a case that was... big. He returns in Season 4, under the same problem.
  • Good-Guy Bar: The Black Penny, where all the cops hideout after each episode.
  • Important Haircut: Attempted by a drunken Gail in the season 5 premiere after the events of the season 4 finale. She winds up regretting it almost immediately due to the freak out she is clearly going through and has Holly fix it for her.
  • Interrogated for Nothing: Sam is tortured by a criminal who wants to know who killed the criminal's family and why the cops covered it up. Sam knew the guy's family was dead but had no knowledge of the rest. The criminal realizes that Sam probably knows nothing but decides to continue just to make sure.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Sam and Andy get interrupted by his boss. Since he's undercover working for a very nasty drug dealer, this is not played for laughs.
  • It Gets Easier: Averted; although a big deal is made of Andy killing for the first time, this hasn't resulted in her being any less hesitant to shoot people.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Gail. She can be rather rude and off-putting, overly ambitious, and can be quite callous at times, but she still cares for her friends, and has a serious self-esteem issue that sometimes cause her to sabotage her personal and professional life.
  • Kicked Upstairs: Oliver at the beginning of season 5, since Frank has to take the fall for 15th division's failings (in the form of a leave of absence).
  • Love Potion: Played With in an episode. A witch sold a woman a love potion that would bring the woman's "lost love" back after seven days of using it. When the man does not show up, the woman demands a refund and then steals some jewelry from the witch in retribution. The witch presses charges and the cops arrest the love seeker for theft. Things get complicated when the prisoner then collapses from what looks like poisoning. It turns out that the potion was actually just something that you add to your bath and should not be drunk since the ingredients are toxic when ingested. The witch even points out that the instructions were clearly written on the bottle. In a Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane ending, the woman's old boyfriend shows up in the hospital and explains that he has been trying to reach the woman all day but her phone was busy all the time. Apparently, she tied up her line leaving the witch angry voice mails and thus almost sabotaged the very thing she tried to achieve with the love potion.
  • Love Triangle:
    • Sam/Andy/Luke. For a while it was resolved in favour of Luke/Andy. Then Luke's former girlfriend Jo shows up and decides to stick around the 15th.
    • Might be one forming involving Gail/Chris/ Dov.
    • Another one might be forming involving Gail/Collins/Chris
      • Neither of these come to fruition after Gail hooks up with Holly.
    • Season 4 and 5 have one between Nick/Andy/Sam.
  • Love Confession: Dov takes too many painkillers and ends up high as a kite. He ends up telling Gail that his new girlfriend is amazing but she is not perfect like Gail. He then tells her that he wants to marry her and have kids with her. When the drugs wear off and he realizes what he said, things get really awkward between them.
  • Maternity Crisis: A pregnant cop goes into labor shortly after another female cop is kidnapped and the entire precinct is mobilized to look for her. The pregnant cop gets to the hospital without much hassle but the baby's father is in charge of the search so she forbids anyone to call him so he will not be distracted.
  • Meddling Parents: Superintendent Elaine Peck. She's actively trying to manage her daughter's private and professional life.
  • Les Yay: In-Universe for Season 4. There seems to be a lot of tension going around between Gail and Holly, the forensic pathologist. By the end of Season 4 and a "Shut Up" Kiss, they are canonically a couple.
  • Modesty Bed Sheet: Used constantly whenever couples are seen together in bed post-sex. Guys usually are baring their chests while girls leave their legs exposed.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The show has a lot of scenes where the main female characters show skin, with many gratuitous locker room scenes, although most of it is provided by Andy.
  • New Old Flame:
    • The new detective, Jo Rosati, that Andy has to work with the season 2 opener. Turns out she's Luke's ex-partner, in more ways than one. At the end of the episode, she joins the 15th. That is until she was transferred to another station.
    • In Season 3, Gail gets one in the form of Nick Collins, a new rookie, and who happens to be her ex-fiancee who basically left her at the alter. They get back together but when Nick leaves with Andy for a deep cover assignment, she believes he gotten to attached to Andy. She was right.
  • Old Cop, Young Cop: Obviously. However the senior cops are not that much older than the rookies.
  • Once an Episode: During Season 1, there's a scene in the squad room, at the end of which the officer in charge says "Protect, Serve and (plot significant statement the rookies will not follow)". By the start of Season 2, it seems they are doing this off and on. By Season 3, they have stopped doing so.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: When Dov and Chris promise to openly compete for everything, Chris is obviously referring to future promotions/transfers etc. Dov seems to have something else in mind.
  • One Head Taller: Luke/Andy, Chris/Gail, Sam/Andy.
  • Paranormal Episode: An episode had a man claiming to be a psychic help the cops find a kidnapped witness. In the end the cops conclude that it was just a clever scheme to provide them with evidence against a mob boss. Since the cops are not gonna call the Phony Psychic as a witness in court, the mob boss will not find out where the evidence really came from. However, the man-made quite a few predictions that come true including one that is fulfilled a couple episodes later in a very unexpected and tragic way. A wedding is called off not because the bride has cold feet but because the groom is killed.
  • "Psycho" Shower Murder Parody: The appropriately named episode "Friday the 13th" opens with Chloe showering at the station's locker room and stepping as sinister music plays... only to be surprised by Dov, who freaked her out by sneaking up on her. He tried to surprise her by putting a gigantic heart cookie but ending up in a Shower of Awkward situation instead, and she yells at him to Get Out!, since she's only got a tiny Modesty Towel on.
  • Rank Up:
    • At the end of the first season, the rookies get promoted to regular officer status. Though they're still rookies compared to everyone else at the division. Lamp Shaded in the last scene of the first season in a Funny Moment.
    • In Season 3, Traci is now a detective and there is a new rookie in the precinct, Nick Collins, Gail's ex-fiance.
  • Rescue Introduction: How Dov meets his new girlfriend after she rescues from a booby-trap bomb.
  • Rescue Romance: Ensues between Dov and his new bomb-disposal squad girlfriend when she rescued him from a bomb-trigger trap.
  • Retired Monster: Jamie Brennan was a feared gangland enforcer who was infamous for using power tools to torture his victims. After a small stint in jail on relatively petty charges, he got married and went straight. When his family is killed in a suspicious car accident he kidnaps and tortures an undercover police officer to find out if the police were covering up what really happened.
  • Room Full of Crazy: Nick finds one of these in Marlo's basement, starring a suspect from a previous episode. Meanwhile, said suspect has gone on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge that nearly costs three officers their lives.
  • Rule of Three: Nick gets hit in the face three times during the season 4 opener. Once with a shotgun by a drug dealer actually another undercover cop, again in the same spot by Andy (accidentally), and once when he gets back to the precinct and sees Gail for the first time in six months. And gets punched in his good eye by her.
  • Scar Survey: "Broad Daylight" starts with Andy and Luke laying post-coital in bed while she traces his scars and asks about them. He tries making them sounding badass at first, but then reveals most of them are from lame things, like getting bit by the neighbor's dog or accidentally hitting himself with a hammer.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: When Andy and Sam sleep together in "Little Faith", we see them starting to strip and make out while they head to bed as the scene fades to black. The next time we see them, they're Talking in Bed while under a Modesty Bedsheet.
  • Sexy Mentor: Sam for Andy. As he is her training officer, they are warned several times that nothing can happen. Despite that, and her relationship with a detective at their division, the Unresolved Sexual Tension between continues to build.
  • Shipper on Deck: Gail really ships Traci and Steve. Also Oliver with Macswarek"you and Sam were great and you'll always will be".
  • Shout-Out:
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Chris gives one to Gail after she's been quarantined. Later in the series, it's Gail's turn; she gives one to Holly to stop her babbling attempt of an explanation as to why she came to check on Gail after she heard Gail was shot at.
  • Slice of Life: Despite the official genre being labeled as drama, it falls more into this category due to the fact that several episodes end on quite optimistic notes.
  • Son of an Ape: Shaw once referred to firefighters as "hose monkeys".
  • Suspect Is Hatless: Deliberately invoked when a bank robber has a (fake) baby strapped to his chest specifically so all the witnesses focus on the baby and fail to notice any identifying details. Even Andy, a trained police officer, is not able to give a decent description because her primary concern was that the baby did not get hurt.
  • There Are No Therapists: Andy has shot and killed a man, been shot, been spattered with the blood of a victim standing next to her, had to suspect her own father of murder, almost witnessed a suicide and much more, just months out of the academy, but has had no counseling beyond her friends and colleagues.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Sam and Andy. They Do and by the end of season two are trying to start a 'normal' relationship..
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Chris delivers one to both Dov and Gail after finding about Dov's Love Confession to her.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Season 3's "Out of Time" and "Every Man". The former has the death of Jerry after being stabbed by a Serial Killer, while the latter ended with Gail's suspension after she had forgotten to pat down a suspect and led to the suspect's death inside the holding cell he was in after shooting himself with a hidden gun.
    • Season 4's Season Finale (a two-parter) really packs on the whammy with Sam being shot and flatlining.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?:
    • Dov Epstein. His parents were hippies and were not pleased when he became a cop.
    • Oliver's season 4 Love Interest is named Celery.
  • Working with the Ex: The main characters tend to date other cops. If the relationship breaks up, they are usually professional enough to keep working with each other without any tension. When the breakup is bad enough, the other person will sometimes transfer to another division (ie off the show).
    • Season 2 has Luke cheat on Andy with Jo, his ex who transfers to the 15th Division in the first episode.
    • In season 3 Nick, the new rookie turns out to be an ex-fiance of Gail. After she broke off their engagement, he enlisted in the army and after serving in Afghanistan he became a cop. There is a lot of baggage leftover from the relationship and it takes them a lot of time to work it all out.
    • Dov finds out that his girlfriend is still married (they never got to signing the divorce papers) and breaks up with her over it. She works in the same division and it creates a lot of tension between them before they reconcile.
  • You, Get Me Coffee: For all the rookies, but especially in one scene for Chris as he detailed to help Sam, Jerry, and Shaw (all senior officers). Lampshaded for Andy as she makes Sam coffee.