After going back into Gail's recent past last week, Rookie Blue gives us an episode full of Sam Swarek's backstory this week. Considering that Ben Bass is the show's strongest player, and one of the underrated actors on television in general, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this idea.
There's an opening shower scene with Chloe, but let's move past that, because look, it's time for another awkward Sam and Andy moment! "If you don't know me, I don't know who does," he tells her, and then she responds with "Maybe your girlfriend." Said girlfriend is having a conversation with her therapist at the same time, and it's not going well. "I'm just remembering what happened the last time you started a relationship," the therapist says, which isn't ominous at all. Cut to Sam and Marlo meeting up outside 15 Division, complete with Andy randomly walking by.
Inside the office, Oliver warns everybody that as it's Friday the 13th, things are going to get weird. It seems like they already are: Gail wants to talk to Nick, but he doesn't want to talk to her, so she makes a snippy comment to Andy instead. Marlo does not care about this relationship drama and wants Gail to get moving already. Dov and Chloe nearly run over a woman who wants to file a robbery report, who also declares that she's a witch named Celery. Yep, things are already weird.
While Nick tells Andy that he and Gail have broken up, Gail and Marlo find a skeleton in the woods. Enter Traci, Sam, and a forensic pathologist Gail decides she doesn't like. The latter identifies the victim as Robbie Robbins, and Sam recognizes the name - he worked the victim's disappearance ten years earlier. He takes Traci with him to visit his former training officer, Charlie (the talented Al Sapienza, House of Cards, Brotherhood), who's still technically the detective of record since the victim died in his division. Unexpected but awesome team-up, go!
Oliver, Chloe and Dov are still dealing with Celery and the disgruntled client who stole her stuff, who in turn accuses the witch of poisoning her just before she passes out. Nick and Andy, meanwhile, investigate a possible intruder call in a building that you don't want to be in after dark, and discuss their various fears while doing so.
Sam and Charlie banter about their past working relationship before Traci digs out some very old interrogation tapes from the investigation into Robbie's disappearance. This gives fans an opportunity to mock Sam's unfortunate haircut and to get an insight into Sam's past. Charlie tells us that he caught a teenage Sam stealing car parts, hauled him in but ultimately cut him loose, and "next thing I hear, he's in the academy."
Sam has come a long way since then, as he goes to the victim's father's house to make the awkward and painful death notification. Robbie's father suggests his son's "friend" (air quotes appropriate) Craig might be responsible, so Sam and Charlie interrogate Craig one more time. Craig, in turn, says that Robbie's dad was abusive. Essentially, the investigation just went in one big circle.
Sam gets further confused when Marlo tells him that forensics discovered codeine at the scene. Could it have been a suicide? Not so fast - Traci finds out just minutes later that as evidenced by the blunt force trauma to one side of his body, the kid was hit by a car. The pathologist goes on to tell Sam that Robbie suffered "a lifetime of broken bones," seemingly corroborating Craig's accusation.