Elsewhere in the building, Traci tells Andy, Gail and Dawn that Alex is missing. Dawn then gets a phone call from Alex, but she's apprehensive about answering it, so Andy decides to take the call for her, however brief. "I think that he was calling to tell Dawn goodbye," she says nervously, setting off a fresh wave of panic. By the time Andy and Gail track Alex to a motel, they find him bleeding on the floor, and have to rush him to the hospital.
By Alex's bedside, Andy gives him a speech about how he should just keep going, because things get better every day. It's clear from her face that she's talking about her current situation too, at least a little. Dawn walks in then, and Andy wisely steps out of the room to give them a moment, but doesn't want to leave the hospital just yet even if it means being late for the camping trip.
Dov's attempt to bond with Marlo gets her to crack and admit that the woman she shot died, and she's having a hard time dealing with it because even during her four years of SWAT experience, she never had to shoot someone. Being that Dov shot and killed someone last season, he knows what she's going through and gives her some advice from his own post-trauma playbook.
Afterward, in the locker room, he declares to Traci and Gail that he has an idea, and Andy gets home to find that they're now going psuedo-camping in their own backyard, Chris, his family and Chloe all included. Although Chloe ruins Gail's night by telling her that Nick is falling for Andy.
The title of this episode clues you into the fact that its theme is about kids - whether it's Cesar trying to do something about the demise of his cousin, or Alex hiding who he really is in order to fit in where he clearly doesn't. That's an interesting theme, if only because it's universal in both senses; we can all understand what Cesar's feeling, and we've definitely all had moments where we feel like we're outsiders. Something else that's been a strong point for this show is that it crafts stories the audience can at least grasp. We might not be in the exact same or even similar circumstances to the players in each case of the week, but it's not hard for us to get why they do what they do, and that makes the episodes more plausible and us more inclined to keep watching.
With the installment focused more on the characters of the week, there's less character development for the ensemble. That fact itself isn't a problem, but the few things we do get here are kind of iffy. Chloe still grates on the nerves, and Gail calling her out is something that was needed and could've been used as a jumping-off point to temper Chloe's character a bit, but instead it seems to exist merely for Chloe to have a reason to blurt out her revelation to Gail.
And the idea of Nick falling for Andy? Maybe it's because the show has so clearly set up McSwarek, as it's lovingly known in the Rookie Blue fandom, but the idea of a Nick-Gail-Andy triangle just doesn't seem to be there. And as it's a safe bet that the show will eventually reunite Andy and Sam, having her be the wrench between Nick and Gail would come off as contrived more than anything.
The strongest idea - that Dov could help Marlo based on his experience in last season's episode "A Good Shoot" and afterward - doesn't really get enough airtime. It's great to see her open up to him, but there's so much more that could've been done with that concept rather than just a sudden admission in the final act. Maybe the writers will revisit that parallel later on, because that would give both characters something outside of their respective romantic relationships, and it would be another way in which Dov could continue to grow. Season four is all about change and growth, after all - and even if we didn't get a lot of it this week, there's still plenty of time and lots of possibilities.
I'll be taking next week's episode off while I'm away at this year's San Diego Comic-Con, but I'll see you right back here in two weeks for another new episode of Rookie Blue.
(c)2013 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.