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'Rookie Blue' 'Exit Strategy' review: Trapped

'Rookie Blue' season 5 episode 8 "Exit Strategy"
'Rookie Blue' season 5 episode 8 "Exit Strategy"ABC/Caitlin Cronenberg, used with permission

The Thursday, Aug. 7 episode of "Rookie Blue," 5x08, "Exit Strategy," sees 15 Division investigate a home invasion case. Meanwhile, things get worse between Chris and Dov, Traci makes the wrong decision when it comes to Dex and Oliver still just wants to rip that white shirt off and leave the Staff Sergeant position behind. He really needs a vacation.

"Screw you, Wednesday."

Let's get the discussion about the case of this week's "Rookie Blue" out of the way. It ends up being nothing really new. There's a home invasion, and it's pretty much a guarantee that it's an inside job, even before they discover that someone broke the window from the inside. The cool musician stepdad of course has weed in his studio, his stepson hates him and the wife is hiding major financial problems from everyone and thought that taking a vacation would be an instant magical band-aid for her marital problems. Really, no one in this family seems above staging a robbery and trying to make it look like they're the innocent victims, but it's the stepson's face when he sees the video recovered from the nanny cam of the thief in his stepdad's studio that confirms he knows what happened.

Everything up until then, well, it's predictable. Seth going into the studio and trying to kill himself? Not so much. Yes, it's foreshadowed a bit by the comment about the gun in the lockbox, but it's still surprising. Then, to make matters worse, while at least he survives, his aim puts the bullet in the wall and triggers a gas leak, one that Chris and Dov can only escape by breaking through the wall to open the door from the outside because of problems with the studio door.

Everyone lives and the case is as much a success as it'll get, but that's not what's important here. What is is the ongoing conflict between Chris and Dov, and that's why, despite being a bit lackluster, the case is a bit necessary because it can fade into the background while they deal with their problems. Even when they're trapped in a room with a gas leak, the only real concern is what will be left of their friendship when they get out, not if they'll get out. Despite promising he's getting things together and attending meetings, Chris is still spiraling, completely out of control, showing up to work but doing no actual work, setting up meets with his dealer and saying the wrong thing to the only person who would stand by him like he has during this, Dov. But even Dov has his breaking point, and in the end, he gives Chris no choice but to tell Oliver himself – or he will.

"Rookie Blue" has been doing a decent job of handling Chris' drug problem and showing how it's not only affecting him. It's affecting the job, it's affecting Dov and now, with this episode, it seems to be affecting Dov's relationship with Chloe because he's keeping it from her and avoiding her. That said, it does feel like they could maybe be doing a bit more with it, but with Dov forcing Chris to tell Oliver, they seem to be heading in that direction.

Meanwhile, Oliver eventually gives Steve the team he needs to raid a back room gambling ring, but when they get there, the place is empty, except for a box of donuts. That's because after Steve clues Traci in on the fact that her ex is part of it and therefore, when he's caught and in jail, her custody problems will be over, she goes to Dex and tells him not to go. When Oliver, with Jarvis breathing down his neck and still that whole rosebush of thorns in his side, calls him out on it, Steve takes the blame himself and says he was wrong. Yes, Traci can be mad that her boyfriend has been spying on her ex, but really, look at the two of them. Dex hasn't changed, and because of that, he can afford the lawyer he needs to take he son from her. Steve has been looking out for Traci, and she just really messed things up for him at work.

Finally, Andy tries to take on a "pretend to be happy until I am" approach when it comes to Oliver, as she explains to Sam over coffee, and it's nice to see Sam assuring Oliver that he knows he was looking out for Andy. At a time where Sam could be put in the middle, he's not. Andy and Oliver's final conversation, with Oliver telling her he is on her side and always will be, is a step in the right direction, but it's just that – a step.

"Rookie Blue" season 5 airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC. What did you think of episode 8 "Exit Strategy"?