'Rookie Blue' recap: Several cops find things 'Different, Not Better'

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OK, rookies: Break's over. Back to business.

The cops of "Rookie Blue" immediatey proved they knew that, since they were immersed in a paintball "war" in the opening moments of Thursday's (June 27) episode "Different, Not Better" -- with the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive" on the soundtrack! -- as the ABC police drama resumed Season 4, following a three-week hiatus for NBA Finals coverage.

No surprise, ever-spirited Andy McNally ( Missy Peregrym) led her team to the win, triumphing over her recent undercover partner Nick Collins ( Peter Mooney) ... which had to hurt him, his being a trained war veteran and all. Then it was on to the main case of the week, the hunt for a robber of ATM customers who always left them with a $20, and also left something else: a view of his derriere's tattoo, proudly displayed to a surveillance camera.

The pursuit offered a bigger introduction to lively, instinctive Chloe Price ( Priscilla Faia), 15 Division's new rookie shown briefly at the end of the previous story in serious lip-locking with Officer Dov Epstein ( Gregory Smith). Thinking at first that she was stalking him, given all the "weird messages, creepy messages, angry messages" she left for him, he realized the real score once she changed from civilian clothes into her uniform.

Since Chloe is the goddaughter of Sgt. Frank Best ( Lyriq Bent), Dov had bountiful reason to fret when Best assigned them to ride together on her first day. And though she ultimately proved her mettle -- as Dov said in regard to the ATM crook, "We caught the bad guy" --  he concluded his day with motor-mouthed Chloe by telling her, "My ears need a rest."

Every indication is that much more will come from actors Faia and Smith together, and it will be welcome. She's the ultra-energetic breath of fresh air the producers clearly wanted Chloe to be, and he's hilarious in Dov's stunned-into-silence reactions to someone who possibly tops his word-per-minute ratio. No mean feat, that.

As for the other newcomer to the precinct, current Sam Swarek ( Ben Bass) girlfriend Marlo Cruz ( Rachael Ancheril) clearly will not make life easy for Sam's ex Andy, who ended up partnered with Marlo after having avoided it last time. As they dealt with an unstable woman Andy was familiar with, Marlo was "second-guessing me all day," an irritated Andy pointed out.

To that end, Marlo ended up fatally shooting the troubled woman, who appeared ready to attack Andy with a knife ... though Andy continually reassured Marlo that she could "handle" the woman. Sam showed up to find the two women engaged in tension you could cut; Andy then ended the episode by conceding to her former flame that relationship-wise, "I know when the odds are against me." 

Elsewhere in the script by series consulting producer Sherry White, which reaffirmed how packed a typical hour of "Rookie Blue" is: the "sort of engaged-ish" (per her) Gail Peck ( Charlotte Sullivan) and Nick examined an urn containing an unknown someone's remains; and Oliver Shaw ( Matt Gordon) advised his patrol-partner-du-jour Chris Diaz ( Travis Milne) to "stop freaking out" about parenthood.

Three episodes into its new season, "Rookie Blue" has planted plenty of seeds for what's to come. And we haven't even gotten yet to the return of Andy's other ex-flame, Detective Luke Callaghan ( Eric Johnson). Stay tuned.
Photo/Video credit: ABC