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When Rookie Blue’s sixth season premieres on Thursday, viewers will finally see the fallout of last season’s cliffhanger, in which it was revealed that Marlo (Rachael Ancheril) was pregnant with what has now been confirmed as Sam’s baby. Just when Sam (Ben Bass) and Andy (Missy Peregrym) finally found their own happy ending, too.
In addition to introducing a new full-time officer (Being Erica‘s Erin Karpluk), “Open Windows” will also set up one of the show’s biggest serialized arcs to date. When corruption threatens 15 Division and those within, it all kicks off what could possibly be the final 12 episodes of the series. (At time of press, a decision on season seven still had not been made.)
To find out what’s in store with all of the baby drama, new characters and more, The Hollywood Reporter caught up with showrunner Tassie Cameron, who will step down after this season whether or not the show is renewed.
What’s the theme this season?
Basically that while life isn’t a fairytale, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a happy ending. That was where we started from in season five and are picking up in season six. We’re exploring the idea that life may not turn out the way you’d hoped for or expected, but just because it’s different than what you pictured, as you grow up and mature you realize it can be a happy life anyway. Then within that there’s a crime within the division this season, which is a bit more serialized. So the division isn’t what people pictured, and can they come through it as a team?
How will the baby drama affect Sam and Andy?
Andy and Sam have worked so hard to get to a place of honesty, strength and communication; we’ve been following that journey since the beginning. If there’s ever a moment where they can weather the storm, it’s now. That’s not to say it’s going to be easy, but Andy is a very idealistic person. She’s a good person, Sam’s a good person and they worked very, very hard to be together. I don’t think either one of them is going to just throw that away.
What was the balancing act of keeping the drama alive with that couple like?
It’s a question we deliberate over all the time. If you were to read the tweets of many viewers, they claim that all they want is Sam and Andy holding hands with a puppy. They don’t realize how incredibly boring it would be if it was just that. But they’re starting in a strong place this season and we’re not trying to completely undo that. We’re adding what we felt is interesting dilemma and an interesting obstacle.
Speaking of tweets, there’s a lot of hate for Marlo. Will people come around on her?
I hope so, but I thought people would come around on her many times before. I really like Marlo. I like her as a character, and I like the actress as a person. Marlo has serious issues and she’s dealing with them with ropes of grace. I mean yes. She put the division in danger in season four, but again, I’m hoping that Marlo ends up being somebody that the viewers appreciate if not love.
Nick (Peter Mooney) has a new love interest this year in Juliet (Erin Karpluk). What can you tease about her?
Nick is a lovely character and a good man. I’d love to see him happy. But right from the premiere, you see that all is not as it seems with Juliet. There’s an episode that [co-executive producer] Sherry White wrote coming up where you start to learn more, but for me to say much else would wreck it.
Gail Peck’s love life is another hot topic with fans. With Holly (Aliyah O’Brien) unavailable this year, is it even possible to introduce someone new for Gail?
We we’ll see about that … Gail’s love life is not her focus this season. She was devastated by the end of this relationship with Holly. She realizes she screwed it up. I don’t think it was Holly’s fault. Gail is a very prickly character who has great regret and is focused on something else right now. But it doesn’t mean she’s not going to find something or someone along the way. But … I’m not going to be running the show next year if there is a next year. So it’s not in my hands any more, but I love Gail and Holly and would love to find a way to see those characters together.
Knowing the series hasn’t yet been renewed for season seven, was it important to give all the characters a showcase episode?
We do try to make sure that everybody has a really strong story in the season. Everybody has a pretty strong moment or arc or series of moments.
Was there a passing of the baton in the writers room this season knowing that Sherry White will take over if season seven is a go?
Sherry’s been involved with the show since the very beginning, and in some ways she has very much been the beating heart of the Sam and Andy romance. She’s very, very invested in that and passionate about it and knows the show. There are a number of writers who have been on since the beginning and they all know the show as well as anyone, but the tone of the show is so very Sherry. It has been affected by her all the way through and just seemed like a natural fit.
Will it be tough to leave it all behind or will you come back and consult?
I’m going to consult if it comes back, because I probably just wouldn’t be able to help myself. I’m excited to see what somebody new brings to it; I feel like I told the story I wanted to tell. I had 74 episodes to do it, which is a blessing and is rare, and I’m excited to write some different things. But also I’m excited to watch what other people do with it. It’s cool to have the chance — if it goes again — to watch it re-bloom through somebody else’s vision.
If this year is the ultimate finale, do you think you’ve left your mark in a satisfying way?
Yes. It isn’t a cliffhanger, and I hope it’s really satisfying. If the series had to end there it would be a strong ending. But if it gets renewed it gives us a really strong, clear slate to reboot and bring in new characters.
Do you think Andy and Sam will get a happy ending? Interested to see what Juliet brings to the table? Sound off in the comments below.
Rookie Blue returns Thursday at 10 p.m. on ABC.
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