There was more than enough beat-boxing to go around on Wednesday night’s Rookie Blue finale, but we’re feeling a little bit like it was our hearts that were in a brawl after those cliffhanger endings. Holly’s taking a job in San Francisco? Dov can’t forgive Chloe? Marlo is pregnant?! It was so much to handle that we knew we had to turn to Rookie Blue showrunner Tassie Cameron for answers. Here she explains ultrasounds, the lack of Golly time in Season 5, Nick’s new romance and more. Bombs away!
The TV Junkies: We need to start with the biggest bomb of all–Marlo’s ultrasound picture. Are we to assume that is Sam’s baby, and what kind of timeline are we looking at here? It seemed a little sudden.
Tassie Cameron: Yes (you are). We tracked it all out and I think it works, I hope it works. The idea is that Marlo is about four months pregnant. Because we did a direct pickup in Season 5 from the events of Season 4, we came in with Sam in the hospital, it was the next day. We didn’t skip ahead any months. So we the events leading up to Episode 11 span about three or four months.
TTJ: Does that mean Marlo is back full-time in what we’re now calling Season 6?
TC: She is in and out of Season 6. She’s not in every episode, but she’s definitely in the first episode back and and I’m writing an episode with her in it right now. So she’s in and out.
TTJ: After Dov’s spiel about honesty to Chloe, is he going to have a hard time keeping that secret?
TC: Yeah, that was part of the reason we put them together, but it also seemed it seemed like Dov would be a natural person to be working in intelligence with Marlo. I mean he’s an intelligent guy and we’ve always sort of thought that Dov might start to lean towards that kind of work. So it was a nice way to have a professional partnership with somebody in that kind of police work and that carries into Season 6 as well. But it was also nice to see somebody who’s all about honesty right now with this secret.
TTJ: Should we be reading anything into the fact that it was Marlo who suggested Andy go into the room with the computer bomb?
TC: I think people will always read stuff into everything Marlo does, that poor woman. This computer and the evidence room bombing, as well as the death of Ted McDonald are kind of the arcs of Season 6. The mystery of what happened there that day will carry forward in Season 6. So we’ve laid some clues into this episode that will play out I hope in a surprising and entertaining way in Season 6.
TTJ: Does that mean maybe there’s hope for Dov and Chloe after all?
TC: That’s one you’re going to have to wait and see. That’s too … it’s too tricky to try and explain without giving it all away.
TTJ: Chloe and Nick definitely grew closer this season, and the actors certainly had chemistry. But was that meant to be more of a brother-sister relationship?
TC: Yes, it was supposed to be more of a brother, sister type thing. She’s such a fun character to write for that everything that comes out of her mouth sounds flirtatious. We liked the chemistry of Chloe and Nick as two cool, single people who get along as great friends, but not necessarily exploring that in a more romantic way.
TTJ: Is it safe to assume we’ll see more of Nick’s new love interest in Season 6 then?
TC: Erin Karpluk is back in Season 6, yes. She’ll return in what I hope is kind of a cool way. There’s just such a refreshing breath of fresh air about Juliette that is so straightforward to Nick. After all the drama of Andy and Gail I think he’s drawn to her. Of course whether she is straightforward remains to be seen.
TTJ: Is the door closed on Nick and Andy at this point?
TC: Yes … I mean, the door is never closed with these characters. If the show went on longer, it’s difficult for me to say. You’ve got these characters and the dynamics that have been built up over seasons and could they be friends. They could develop a different kind of relationship, or even one that resembles what they were like at first, sure.
TTJ: Speaking of different kind of relationship, Dov and Chris took a hit this year. Is Diaz all done with rehab now?
TC: Yes. We imagine that Chris went to a kind of 21 day facility. So he was out of the show for I think an episode, but I think we timed it out that he was gone for 21 days and that made sense in terms of the timeline of the season.
TTJ: Does Travis Milne ask why you keep finding excuses to have him off the show every season?!
TC: [Laughs] Travis knows we adore him and we don’t want to get rid of him. I think in some ways when actors get an episode off they’re quite relieved. It’s such a long season and you know poor Missy (Peregrym). I think she would probably have killed for an episode off. It’s a lot of characters to juggle and sometimes it is a relief to kind of take a character out of an episode or to kind of only have them in a scene or two because we really are juggling so many people.
TTJ: So will Chris perhaps have a happy ending after all?
TC: It’s a good question. I mean, he has a kind of very interesting new love interest in Season 6. Um … but I wouldn’t say he chose well. I think we’ve always imagined with him as one of those guys that … if you were to see him as a training officer in five or six years he would be the Sam Swarek of 15 Division and he’d be starting out with some fresh-faced young rookie saying, ‘You’re not my type.’ I think it’s there’s lots of people who are going to have happy endings in their loves stories I think and I have high hopes for Chris Diaz but we kind of went in a slightly more dangerous direction for Season 6.
TTJ: Is he done with drugs for now though?
TC: I think we’re still interested in exploring the personality of an addict, but in terms of the actual drug use itself, that is played out. We did it and we did it quite intensely. In Season 3 I think it was, in a very minor storyline Chris admitted to using cocaine in high school and having a problem with it. So we’ve kind of had this in mind for him for a long time. But I feel like we did it and we devoted two or three a stories to it this season. I’m kind of feel excited that he got through it and that now we’re exploring different aspects of his personality as a kind of addictive personality. But it won’t be with the drugs.
TTJ: How blown away have you been by the mad Gail and Holly love online?
TC: I’ve been just blown away by it actually. I mean, we love Holly and we love Holly and Gail and I think we’re all very proud of that relationship. We did it, we wanted to do it carefully and well and I think we managed to show two people falling in love with each other without making it all about the politics of it. And we also decided that when Gail made this change in her life that she wasn’t going back from it. But yeah, I’ve been really surprised by the outpouring of affection and outrage and devotion to the Golly storyline, you know?
TTJ: Obviously there’s never going to be enough screen time for those shippers out there, but will there be more Golly screen time in Season 6?
TC: Aliyah (O’Brien), who plays Holly, doesn’t live in Toronto (Ed note: she lives in L.A. and Vancouver). It’s been very difficult to get her back and forth. Some of our decisions are purely logistical to be honest and so it hasn’t been that we’ve been trying to deny people their time with Gail and Holly, part of it has been the logistics of the casting. We’re juggling four trillion cast members, regular cast members already … so part of it has been driven by that. So we’re still trying to figure out how to manage that as we wind up Season 6.
TTJ: Speaking of Pecks, it looks as though Steve Peck might have some competition for Traci thanks to this Bailey guy and his fairytales. Or am I reading too much into that?
TC: You have not seen the last of Steve Peck. He’s a very persistent fellow and he and Traci have been taking it slow and they have their problems in Season 5 for sure but you haven’t seen then last of him. And no, you weren’t reading too much into that. We were trying to show that there are lots of options for Traci, you know, should she decide that Steve Peck’s too much trouble.
TTJ: Does that mean Bailey is back?
TC: Yup. He has kind of been in and out of our show since he difused the bomb that Andy was holding in her hand I think at the end of Season 3. He’s a great guy, a great character, and recurs professionally in most of our seasons now.
TTJ: Is Traci done with the custody battle now then, or is there a courtroom scene in the future?
TC: We’re talking about doing a court scene for one of these next episodes, but not in terms of a custody battle. I think we’ve kind of wrapped that up, I feel like Traci has enough on her ex now to not have to fight him on that custody thing. So whether we agree with Steve’s methods, they were pretty effective to get the ex to back off.
TTJ: Speaking of not backing off, Duncan is back. Will Selfie have any redeeming qualities going forward?
TC: I can’t help but like the guy, even after everything that happened. We’re working on storylines right now where I think you will find him … he is who he is, we’re not changing who he is, and you may find that irritating, you may find it annoying, you may find it entertaining or hilarious or who knows what you find it, but he doesn’t change. But I think this is a very, very green kid who starts to fall under the spell of what being a good cop looks like and what being a kind of strong peer to these character would look like, and why that would be worthwhile, so …
TTJ: What about some other former peers. Any chance of seeing Noelle, or Frank, or even Luke in the near future?
TC: Noelle returns in Season 6 for a few episodes with an interesting little arc. Frank … I’m not sure if we’re going to see him in our finale or not yet, but Lyriq Bent been very busy (filming CBC’s Book of Negroes). I’d love to see him back but I don’t know whether he’ll have time for us. As for Eric Johnson … poor guy got one of the starring roles in Steven Soderbergh’s new series (The Knick).
TTJ: I have to ask–once a season we seem to have one Oliver Shaw-centric episode, where everything just goes to … shit. Is there something like that in Season 6?
TC: [Laughs] Yes. Yep … It really goes to shit for poor old Oliver. So we’re working on that stuff right now. I think that character romanticizes being on the streets and it’s been interesting watching him adjust. Both the character and the actor (Matt Gordon) are adjusting to the new role. But as our rookies grow and take on new responsibilities and become training officers and detectives, it’s important that their mentors kind of grow too. If he’s just their equal, I think we did a whole season of that, of them riding around with him. This is a new dynamic, having him be in charge of them again and kind of struggling with what that means. I’ve really enjoyed writing that stuff for him.
TTJ: Speaking of enjoying the writing, whose idea was it to have Ted McDonald beat box?
TC: That was the brilliance of the writer, Sherry White, who is just one of the most surprising and entertaining, charming writers I’ve ever worked with. Her son, who’s also in the finale–he’s the councilman’s son with the knapsack and the bomb in the pool–anyway, that’s Sherry’s son and he’s an amazing beat boxer. So I think it was just on her mind because her son does it. I think that often the parents in the writing room take stuff that they’re … it’s just inevitable, you take stuff that’s on your mind from your own kids and bring it into the storylines to make the storylines about parents feel authentic.
TTJ: One last ask before we let you go: Tease Season 6 for us?
TC: These are the questions that always get me into trouble! I think people are going to see some of the things … they’ve wanted to see since they’ve first seen Sam and Andy together.
Rookie Blue returns in 2015. Thoughts? Reactions? Comments? The floor is yours, below.