19-2: Nightmares haunt Ben, Nick, Audrey and J.M.

It’s no secret to 19-2 fans that anything can happen to the fine men and ladies who patrol Montreal’s streets.

That was certainly the case in last Monday’s Season 4 return when a bombing connected to the city’s underworld ripped through a restaurant. That set off a chain of events—the suspected bomber drove through the streets to escape with Audrey and Ben in pursuit—that led to Audrey running over a university student and killing him. Cue an investigation and Ben taking blame for Audrey, literally saving her job while putting his in jeopardy. Would Ben lose his job in Episode 2?

During Monday’s newest “Driveby,” in a story by Greg Nelson, teleplay by Lynne Kamm and directed by Sturla Gunnarsson, that storyline did advance while others from last season were revisited. Nightmares seemed to be the theme of the instalment as our favourite characters dealt with them while asleep or awake.

Audrey, who was viciously assaulted in Season 1 and has been dealing with the PTSD and anger issues that emerged from the awful experience, is awakened by the nightmare of running over the 19-year-old. She’s desperate to shake the awful feeling and move on, but how can she? Killing someone, no matter if it’s an accident or not, changes you forever.

For Nick and Ben, the nightmare continued regarding Elise Roberge. She got off on the murder charges and turned state witness, reopening the wound involving Amelie’s death. Ben, who believes in fairness, was shattered by the information a drunk Nick gave him.

Ben was reeling following the news he’ll be cleared of any wrongdoing in the deadly accident. Turns out there were some drugs in the kid’s system, so the police dismissed it as a bad kid who made a wrong step. Trouble is, Ben and Nick know he was an honour student who never got into scrapes with the authorities. As much as I was happy to see Ben get off—remember, he was covering for Audrey—the decision to cover it up was wrong. His decision? Overtime surveillance on the mob where he took mental notes of everything going on. But not before he voiced his disgust at police services and told Nick, “We’re supposed to be better than this.” Ben’s flailing, trying to get his groove back, but things haven’t been right since Amelie’s death. And probably never will be.

Suffering from severe lack of sleep, Ben was visited by Amelie during his stakeout, admonishing him for just sitting there rather than taking photos. His question to her? How she was able to keep her experiences as a social worker from dragging her down. Her answer? It did, but she chose to focus on little victories rather than the big picture. I’m hoping Ben is able to do that. He’s a good cop and it would be a shame if the gig consumed him. But for now, Ben took action and broke into the car owned by the target and scooped a bag full of cocaine and weapons from the trunk. Ben should never have shown Audrey the guns and drugs he stole, even if it was to prove he doesn’t always have it together. She’s already confessed to J.M. that Ben wasn’t driving the car; I can’t help but think she’ll blab about this too. As for that quick, frenzied sex? Ill-advised. They may have agreed it was just an outlet, but it’s going to stay in the back of Ben’s mind. Thank goodness Ben dumped the drugs and guns off the bridge. (Did anyone catch Ben saying, “Hard no,” the classic response uttered by Jared Keeso’s Letterkenny alter ego, Wayne? I wonder if that was an Easter egg for fans of both shows?)

J.M., meanwhile, faced the nightmare of being shut out by his fellow police. The physical assaults against his wife, Justine, resulted in a suspension. Now, his usual spot at the 19 table is gone and he’s feeling left out. He and Nick traded jabs at the bar until Nick delivered a verbal uppercut: Justine has a new man in her life. You could see a veil drop down over J.M.’s eyes as he walked away from that comment.

I was waiting for “Driveby,” to live up to its episode title; that came in the closing minutes, as Tyler, Dulac, Bear and Audrey came under fire when a car bristling with bullets cruised by the mob picnic the four cops were watching. While everyone was assessing the situation or chasing the baddies, J.M. did the unthinkable: he turned off his radio and shut down. Ben and Nick saw him sitting in his car just before they collared a suspect; the ensuing verbal showdown at 19 completed J.M.’s fall. He may have been an a-hole for three seasons, but you could count on J.M. to have your back in the field.

Now they can’t count on that.

19-2 airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on CTV.

What did you think of “Driveby”? Will J.M. turn things around? Will Audrey keep Ben’s secret? Let me know in the comments below!