(PCM) If you’ve caught any of this third season of Rookie Blue, you’ll have noticed a distinct lack of Detective Luke Callaghan. But in tomorrow night’s all-new episode “Out of Time,” that’s about to change. In fact, a lot of things are going to change in that episode.
Fans have now been waiting nearly two weeks for the conclusion to a two-episode story arc that is going to shake 15 Division to its core. At the end of “The Girlfriend Experience,” aired July 26, not only did Dov and Chris discover a dead body and 15 Division have to release a suspected predator for lack of evidence, but Gail was violently attacked, her status left unknown, following the call girl sting.
Things are sure to move quickly in 15 Division as a result, especially after they learn that in addition to all of this, Andy has been assaulted and Gail not just attacked, but violently abducted. As the officers rally in a race against time to track down Gail’s capture before it’s too late, Detective Luke Callaghan returns to oversee the homicide investigation, soon realizing this may be the work of a serial killer.
It’s certainly quite a big episode to mark his return, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to catch up with Eric Johnson, the man behind Detective Luke Callaghan, (on his birthday of all days!) to get the scoop on what we can expect from this unforgettable episode and Luke’s return to the show, because as Eric confirmed, he will be back through the rest of the season.
After catching him in so many exciting character roles on TV, it was an absolute delight to speak with Eric and if you didn’t think this upcoming episode was worth waiting two weeks for, well, he’ll definitely be able to convince you otherwise. Check out everything he had to share with us below… (and may I just say how well his plaid and scruff go together? Good to have you back, Luke!)
Well, you’re making your return to Division in this week’s episode which is the conclusion to what is certainly one of the most intense Rookie Blue storylines we’ve seen so far. So, what was your reaction when you got the script and heard this was going to be how you return?
My reaction, it was almost intimidating. I mean, it’s like you’re coming into a very dire circumstance, literally thrown right into the fire. I’m so glad that I got to be part of this episode, because it’s a fantastic episode for our show. It’s probably the biggest episode for the show to date. That’s not because I’m coming back to the show [laughs], it’s all the other things that are going on. So, it was definitely an intense way of getting back into Detective Luke’s plaid shirts.
Can you tease us a bit about what to expect? I mean, this is a very personal case for the whole force. How’s Luke going to react? Or, how did you imagine he would react when you read through for the first time?
I think the thing about Luke and what makes him a great detective is how analytical he is and how he can separate himself emotionally, most of the time, from the situation. Luke is an incredible factician and he’s a very, very good detective. So bringing him on, just utilizing the skills that he has to save an officer’s life, I mean that’s what everyone’s trying to do.
It’s Luke getting into his element and doing what he does best and that’s focusing on his job. Every time Luke focuses on his job, it’s great, when he lets other things get in his way, things start to fall apart a little bit.
Well, then, how is this particular story arc going to stick with 15 Division and Luke, in particular? You know, what will be some of the consequences or emotions that occur through the rest of the season due to it?
There’s obviously a big change. Something like this has a huge impact on the whole Division and has everybody reeling a little bit. So, Luke’s coming in to, I think, in a way, be a bit of a stabilizing force, because he’s been an outsider for awhile. He’s also able to call people on their crap because he has been an outsider and, you know, that’s not just Andy and Swarek, it’s also, you know, Frank Best! He can, sort of, objectively look at everybody and maybe give them some advice they may not necessarily want to hear.
So he’s very much coming back to do what’s best for 15 Division and I think you’re really going to see at the beginning that he’s already got one foot out the door! He doesn’t want to necessarily be sitting around watching Swarek and Andy making out, you know what I mean?
Definitely! And, you know, I talked to Missy back around the season premiere and she made it pretty clear that the romance potential for Andy and Luke is done. So what will that relationship be like for the two of them now that he’s back?
Well, I think the thing that’s always been a big part of Luke and Andy’s relationship is how much they respect each other as police officers. And, Luke really came to respect Andy’s heart and determination and how she cared so much and that hasn’t changed. So there is definitely a mutual respect there, and without the relationship stuff hanging over them, you’re going to see them as cops [laughs]. It’s actually kind of nice! It’s a nice change!
And like I said, Luke’s able to point things out to Andy that other people might not be able to because he has such an intimate knowledge of her and is able to call her on her crap, so to speak.
Right. And you did touch on this a little bit, but who else are we going to get to see Luke share some quality screen time with now that he’s back?
You know, there is going to be a scene between Luke and Swarek that’s going to be a little memorable. And, Luke and Traci are going to be working together and, again, it’s going to be an interesting time at 15 Division.
I just can’t wait for everybody to see this episode. Again, not because I’m in it, but just because it’s such a good episode. Russ Cochrane wrote an amazing script. We have John Fawcett, who’s one of our favorite directors. He’s done some of our best episodes. So, this is the biggest episode of Rookie Blue that Rookie Blue has done to date…. It’s intense!
Definitely! So, how was it returning to set? Was there anything different about coming back a few episodes into a season?
You know, I would lie if I said I wasn’t a little nervous! But what’s great is we had a good read-through and the first scene I actually got to shoot coming back was Luke’s returning scene [laughs], so all that sort of natural apprehension and awkwardness just plays into it and it was great. The thing I remember most about coming back is how cold it was that day! [laughs] It was the first really cold day of the year and everybody just really wanted to get through scene and get inside, so there was an added level or urgency to everything.
Oh, I believe it! And, you know, we’ve seen Luke go from nice guy to dog house and he’s certainly faced some difficult situations on the job. But, is there an aspect of him that comes up in the later half of the season that you were particularly excited to tackle?
Yeah! I mean, you’re going to see a little bit, you know, Luke was always able to smile at situations and shrug things off and you’re going to see a much more fierce and determined Luke Callaghan. I mean, he’s not in a situation where he’s going to let his emotions get the best of him. He’s not going to make those mistakes that he made in season 2, you know, that almost cost him his job, that cost him his relationship with Andy. You’re not going to see that.
You’re going to see a more serious and fierce guy and that’s a result of Luke pouring himself into his work and that’s also what Luke does best. And, so, that is always fun to do is to have somebody be at their best and getting to do that.
Oh, absolutely. Sounds like something good to watch out for. And, you know, I’m a big Supernatural fan, so aside from Luke, when I think or your roles, I think of your episode as Brady and his rather harsh advice to “do the best of someone better.”
But, moving forward with the season and next season, too, of Rookie Blue, what is one piece of advice you’d pass along to Luke?
That’s not a bad one, “do the best of somebody better.” I think the thing for Luke that I hope he learns eventually is a little balance in his life. And, it’s something that, you know, there’s an aspect of Swarek that he needs to have, which is just trusting his gut. There’s an aspect of Andy that he needs to have, which is having more heart and empathy in his job that he does mixed with what a factician he is and how analytical [he is], which is what makes him such a great detective, but finding a little more heart and being honest with himself I think would be something that Luke needs to learn.
Thanks so much for speaking with me today! Do you have a final message for your fans and the visitors of Pop Culture Madness.com?
Do yourself a favor and watch this episode of Rookie Blue! It’s by far the biggest and it’s a huge turning point to everything in Rookie Blue. You gotta watch it!
Conclusion of the Two-Part Story Arc on Rookie Blue, “Out of Time,”
Airs Thursday, August 9, at 10/9c on ABC.