“Rookie Blue” showrunner Tassie Cameron talks Gail Peck, Season 5 storylines and lesbians in the writers’ room

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Rookie Blue is the little Canadian cop show that has captured our hearts. More specifically, Officer Gail Peck (Charlotte Sullivan) has arrested our attentions since the moment she swapped kisses with Holly the forensic pathologist (Aliyah O’Brien). While Holly left at the end of the mid-season finale, gay Gail is still very much on board.

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This season is showrunner Tassie Cameron’s last at the helm of Rookie Blue. She took the time to speak with us about Gail’s big storyline, her growth, and her potential love interests.

AfterEllen.com: What is Gail’s central storyline or storylines for this second half of the season?

Tassie Cameron: Gail is hoping to adopt this little girl that she came upon, whose mother was killed. She’s got this sort of big adoption storyline going on this year. And it was inspired by–we’d spoken to many first responders and, also, read some really amazing stories about first responders–cops and paramedics and stuff–who end up bonding with kids that they meet in times of trauma and sometimes in some cases actually end up adopting them.

So that’s a big storyline. And it’s not just about Gail trying to adopt a child. I think it’s Gail searching for some sense of stability and family, and trying in her own unusual way to grow and ground herself, and to stop thinking about only herself. Especially in the loss of her romantic relationship.That’s the main one. She also has quite an interesting family story that happens this coming season, but it’s hard to talk about without giving stuff away.

AE: These first few episodes have been light on Gail scenes. When can we expect to see significantly more of her?

TC: Gail is one of our favorite characters, and if we were light on her in the first half of the season–we’re pretty balanced. We did season 5 as one big 22-episode arc. So the people that we were light on in the first half are played up more in the second. So I’m pretty sure we see more of Gail in the second half.

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AE: Is Gail going to actively try to date, or is that pretty much on the backburner for her?

TC: She’s backburner-ed it. Doesn’t mean that it’s not going to find her.

I think the implosion of the Holly/Gail relationship really did a number on that character and she was devastated by it, and I think has turned her focus–as one often does when your relationship blows up. You kind of turn to something else. That’s sort of her mindset. But on Rookie Blue love usually comes a-knockin’.

AE: Will we see the return of Holly before the season wraps up, or can we just forget that idea?

TC: We do not see Holly’s return in this coming season, I’m sad to say.

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AE: Do you know right now that if you were guaranteed another season that you would want to bring Holly back?

TC: I won’t be running the show so I won’t be in charge of that decision anymore. If there is another season I will be consulting with Sherry [White], but it will be up to Sherry. I will say, personally, from my perspective, if there were to be another season I would love to see Holly come back.

Certainly there’s logistics and scheduling and things like that, but I think we felt that Gail had a lot of growing to do on a kind of personal level, on a familial level, on a professional level, and just as a human being. She’s quite a complex character, and I think we wanted to let her grow up before trying to – I think she would have imploded that relationship with Holly anyway, you know? And I think that we were trying to let Gail get to a place where she’s actually ready to be in the right relationship.

AE: Will we be introduced to a new love interest for Gail this season? And if we will be, can you say for certain that it’ll be a female love interest?

TC: I’d say yes to both. You will meet a new love interest for Gail in this season and it will be a female.

The actor always thought her character was a lesbian. She kept saying, “I think Gail’s a lesbian.” And we were like, “That’s really interesting.” We kind of had it in our back pockets for a long time. And when we finally did it, you know, we decided if we were going to do it there was no going back. Any love interests for Gail will be female.

AE: Can you say anything about this love interest? Is she on the force with Gail? Is she someone Gail meets on the field?

TC: It’s someone she meets on the job.

AE: Speaking of relationships, is Gail just one of those characters who’s always going to be a little bit distant? Like she’s not going to find her best buddy at work.

TC: Well I think Gail’s getting more open every season, and more self-aware every season, and more open to friendship and honesty every season. But the Gail Peck as a character, as a character that we created and envisioned and the character that Charlotte helped bring to life, is quite a prickly, unique, caustic person. And I think it’s that friction and that sarcasm and that biting truth and honesty that Gail embodies that is one of the most delicious things to watch with that character.

I really enjoy the fact that Gail’s honesty and caustic wit kind of always end up keeping her at arm’s length, whether she wants to or not. She’s a competitive person and a guarded person, and I think that’s just part of who she is.

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AE: You’ve now had plenty of time to realize that tons of fans love them some gay Gail. What has been most exciting for you about taking that turn with this character?

TC: It’s been one of the most gratifying storylines we’ve done. The support for that–there was no negative feedback from that switch. It has been a thrill and an honor. Watching Charlotte embrace that and working–you know we have a lesbian writer on staff and a lesbian producer on staff, and working carefully with everybody to make sure that we were telling it as honestly and as slowly and as thoughtfully and as romantically as we could. It’s been an amazing storyline and one of my favorites to work on and one of my favorites to watch unfold.

If you’re watching in Canada, the second half of Season 5 has already started and you can check new episodes out on Thursdays at 9 pm EST on Global TV. The show will return to ABC on Thursday nights at 10 pm EST on June 25.

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