Eric Johnson Previews Luke's Return in Rookie Blue's 'Biggest Episode': 'He's More Fierce'

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Rookie Blue Eric JohnsonRookie Blue welcomes back one of its own this Thursday (ABC, 10/9c) when Eric Johnson‘s Detective Luke Callaghan returns to the 15th Precinct — and he’s sticking around!

Before you Andy-and-Sam fans get up in arms about her ex’s arrival, rest assured that Luke is a changed man who’s got a lot more on the brain than romance. After all, Gail Peck has been kidnapped, which leads to “the biggest episode that the show has done,” says Johnson.

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“[It's] a major turning point for everyone at [Precinct] 15,” he adds. “Luke is coming in and, hopefully, is a bit of a stabilizing factor for the division.”

Below, the actor previews Luke’s mind set, how he feels about working with lovebirds Andy and Sam and whether any romance — with Gail? — is in store for his detective.

TVLINE | What brings Luke back into the picture?
Luke is coming back to the precinct under extreme circumstances. Gail has gone missing, and they believe she’s been abducted by a potential serial killer. So Luke is bringing all of his knowledge and know-how back to [the precinct] to try and save Gail’s life, essentially. Everything that happened in the past doesn’t matter when he comes back. Everybody has one thing on their mind, and that’s getting Gail back safe and sound.

TVLINE | Did he pick up any skills while he was away in the gang unit?
You should see how well he grows a beard now. That’s a major skill – not shaving. It’s pretty rad. It’s a good beard.

TVLINE | Did his time away change him at all – aside from the facial hair?
Besides the beard? [Laughs] Absolutely. In Season 2, there were a few moments where Luke’s emotions got the best of him… You really saw him crack. That sort of easygoing Luke is gone. He’s far more fierce and determined. He’s not as willing to let things get to him. It’s not just the beard that makes him a little more bristly. [Laughs] He’s definitely very work-focused and more determined and more ambitious than ever before.

TVLINE | I think it’s safe to say the Andy-and-Sam fans are a little apprehensive about Luke’s return. Can you reassure them that he’s not there to stir up relationship drama?
[Laughs] The last thing on Luke’s mind when he comes back is any sort of relationship. I think you’ll find that Luke’s presence back at 15 may surprise you in terms of how it plays into that dynamic.

TVLINE | What is that first moment with Andy like? There’s a lot of history there.
Thankfully, there’s an officer missing and the potential hazards of a serial killer, so they don’t have to talk about it right away. [Laughs] That super-awkward moment is made a little less awkward by the fact that they have a very important and serious job to do.

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TVLINE | When I talked to executive producer Tassie Cameron, she said, “[Luke] causes some conflict between Andy and Sam, but perhaps not in the way you’d expect.” Can you elaborate on that?
That’s the best way of putting it, really. Luke has always admired Andy’s passion and heart, even when it’s put him at odds with other people in the force in terms of believing in her ability to do things that other people didn’t think she was ready for. You’ll see a little bit of that. In everything that they’ve done, Luke and Andy — first and foremost — really respect each other as officers. People might not always agree with how [Luke and Andy]  feel about each other in that situation. Also, being able to call Andy on her B.S. is something we’re going to see… He’s able to look [at the whole] division objectively and call them on their crap.

TVLINE | Rumor is that there’s a death coming.
There’s definitely changes coming to 15. [This episode is] tense.

TVLINE | Is there something that compels him to stay this time?
There’s a lot of drama that happens. So he’s coming in to do what he can to help everybody through a challenging time. He’s here for a short time is how it really starts. He’s coming in here, and all the reasons to stay keep getting piled up on each other. Luke has definitely moved on in his life from 15th Division. It’s like every time you leave, they keep sucking you back in. It was really interesting to play. You’re going to see some conflicted Luke in there.

Rookie Blue Luke GailTVLINE | Any chance he’ll get a new love interest?
I think Luke has probably learned his lesson for a while, anyways. [Laughs] When he first comes back, relationships are the last thing on everybody’s mind. We’ll have to wait and see if anything develops.

TVLINE | Gail and Luke definitely had some chemistry last season.
There were a lot of people who picked up on that one little look! It was one little look, sitting in my office, and everybody got all excited on Twitter. I get asked about that probably every week on Twitter. “What’s the deal? What’s the deal with Luke and Gail?” She’s definitely got her hands full with Nick Collins, so we’ll see.

TVLINE | Will we see more of them, not necessarily in a romantic sense, but working together?
You’re going to see Luke and Traci [teaming up], and a new dynamic with that. That’s a big thing for Luke.



Comments (19)

  • I was always and still am on Team Luke. I’d be thrilled if Andy and Sam broke up and Luke got back in the picture. It would be great drama if Sam was the one that got killed…. Just a thought.

    Comment by GD – August 8, 2012 01:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’m an Andy-Luke fan as well. (But I don’t want Sam to die). Glad he’s back. I’ve missed him.

      Comment by Daisy – August 8, 2012 01:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Glad to see I’m not alone! I’ve never wavered on my Team Luke stance. Hate what the writers did with his character. So glad he’s back!

        Comment by Eliza – August 8, 2012 03:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • soo glad luke is back, but I hope he does something with his beard! the look he’s sporting in the promos that aired a couple weeks ago is NOT cute…

    Comment by Maggie – August 8, 2012 01:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Aw, I love the beard! I think he looks a little more rugged and a little less “good boy.” With it. He’s got a little more edge, which was always missing from his character for me. Hopefully it’ll carry over. And, I love Luke being back, as long as he stays out of the Sam/Andy relationship! I love them together too much to deal with more drama.

      Comment by lisa – August 8, 2012 03:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I like Luke, but I’m a total Sam and Andy fan, all the way. It would be great if he hooked up with someone else (not Gail or Traci though). Maybe a new character. He’s a great character, just don’t want to see him back with Andy.

    Comment by Patty – August 8, 2012 03:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I actually always liked Luke, and I’m not a big shipper of anyone on the show, I like the characters as characters, I don’t care who’s hooking up with who. A while back, though, I think it was Ilana Frank that commented that in the future they planned to explore the Gail/Luke thing.

    The thing that’s going to happen, though, has a lot to do with the death. I got from spoilers who it is, and once you know you kinda can figure it out how it comes into play. It’s probably because of the death they brought him around, too.

    I LOVE Rookie Blue. I hate someone’s dying, though. I don’t love the character or anything, but I like them all, and, really, I’m just scared they’ll make it a habit :( Like in Grey’s Anatomy, which the show is often compared to. That’s the last ting we, Rookie Blue fans, want to happen.

    Comment by Barbie Furtado – August 8, 2012 10:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m thinking Det. Barber might be the one that doesn’t make it. ??

    Comment by Kim R – August 9, 2012 06:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Glad Luke is back. I love Eric Johnson. I am a huge sam and andy fan so please no more luke in picture which i think is done. I never felt that there was any chmeistry between Luke and Andy at all. I also know who dies tonight. I hate to see anyone leave the show becasue i like all of them. I also hope this does not become like Greys Anatomy when characters are killed off.

    Comment by Nicole – August 9, 2012 07:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think Gail would be a great love interest for Luke. She’s has a strong personality which make a great match to Luke’s more layed back personality

    Comment by susan – August 12, 2012 05:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I like the Luke-Andy thing. I want to see them get back together. Gail should hook back up with Diaz. I hope Luke is back for good.

    Comment by Bet – August 13, 2012 04:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • i thought Andy killed Luke when they were engaged?

    Comment by Terry Busch – August 16, 2012 07:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Rookie blue … Sam and Andy is a must!

    Comment by Jayme Vincent – September 2, 2012 05:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • That’s why I am glued to Rookie Blue!!! Love the characters but my absolute favorites is Andy and Sam!!
    They need to find each other next season or I’m switching stations!!’ just being honest, they are the ones that make me drop everything on Thursday night!! Love the show!!!

    Comment by Janet – September 6, 2012 09:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • First of all, I love Jerry, and if anyone they should have killed Gail! Although, a relationship between Luke and Gail would be fun to watch :) Also, I agree, Sam and Andy’s relationship is the only reason I watch Rookie Blue. Andy needs to quit her secret mission or Sam needs to find Andy, and they have to get back together because they belong together and it just makes the show that much better when Sam has to come to Andy’s rescue!!! But yes, Luke and Gail, and Sam and Andy need to come to their senses and at least date each other. It would boost ratings for the show by far!! :) The finally for season 3 was really depressing…

    Comment by Nib – September 7, 2012 02:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I want Luke and Andy back together!!! Sam and Andy have no chemistry.

    Comment by Marcia – October 13, 2012 10:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love the show. Andy and Sam are cool together. Luke cheated and doesn’t deserve Andy’s affection.

    Comment by Samantha – November 15, 2012 12:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think Luke and Andy are perfect together, I hope he doesn’t end up with Gail. Sam I’m don’t think he and andy have that chemistry that she had with luke, they better as friends.

    Comment by faz – December 7, 2012 09:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think Luke and Andy were never given a proper chance cos Sam was always in the picture.. The one so conveniently always there when she needed him. Luke has many walls but Andy seemed to scale those and I think he’s only truly realised his love for her… The steaminess that would have given the Luke/Andy was diluted to make way for the possibilities of Sam….I think that Andy and Luke should have a second chance with both giving each other priority…Andy/Luke are super sexy when given a chance

    Comment by Pamilla – June 3, 2013 04:24 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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