'Rookie Blue': Peter Mooney Previews Nick's Tragic Past and Romancing Juliet

by Philiana Ng 7:30 AM PDT, July 16, 2015
Photo: ABC

The tragic story behind Rookie Blue’s resident golden boy Nick Collins is about to get out.

In tonight’s brand-new episode, “Letting Go,” Nick’s past comes roaring back when his estranged older brother Finn (guest star Peter Stebbings) emerges with new intel regarding a man who may be responsible for their parents’ deaths in a car accident. The episode will test – and change – Nick forever.

“For me, it’s the most significant [episode]. It’s the one where the audience will find out everything about his past,” actor Peter Mooney tells ETonline of Nick’s journey. “There’s a little crack that happens at the beginning of the episode and then everything comes rushing out.”

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The fact that none of his colleagues at 15 Division was aware of the existence of Nick’s brother speaks to his intense desire to keep that part of his life hidden.

“His biggest secret is all housed within that [part of his life], and in this episode, it’s all finally coming out,” he says.

The 31-year-old actor, who will also co-star on Heroes Reborn, jumped on the phone with ETonline to dish on his character’s big episode and what it could mean for his budding romance with fellow 15 Division officer Juliet, who has a secret of her own.

ETonline: What’s intriguing about the possible repercussions of this episode is that when Nick was first introduced several seasons ago, he was seemingly the perfect guy – he had no cracks. But there is a darkness to him that maybe we weren’t privy to in the beginning.

Peter Mooney: That’s right. You see him challenged in this episode and with all the opportunities to make the perfect, flawless, right decisions but he’s human and this is the episode where those decisions get pushed the most and he’s challenged. He has to make some really, really tough choices on the spot and those choices aren’t always perfect. 

ETonline: The fact that Nick hasn’t mentioned his brother says quite a lot about their relationship. Where do they stand when they do reunite?

Mooney: Yeah, they’re not Facebook friends. Nick, if given the choice, would rather have never encountered him again or rather just bury it deeper and deeper, and hopefully never bump into him. But circumstances bring them clashing together in the beginning of the episode and it’s not something Nick can dodge. It’s been something he’s been dodging his whole adult life really, and then he finds himself at a place where there’s nowhere left to turn and he’s face to face with it and he has to deal with it.

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ETonline: How do the dramatic events of this episode change Nick moving forward or others’ perceptions of Nick?

Mooney: It sort of depends how much of the story the people of 15 are going to find out. Nick’s riding with Juliet in this episode so she’s put into a difficult position as to how much she’s going to let people know about the things she sees in this episode and the challenges that she sees Nick face firsthand. Hopefully she doesn’t talk about it too much because I have a feeling that Juliet is a little bit more complicated than Nick knows. (Laughs.)

ETonline: They’re definitely on the same playing field in terms of secrets. But let’s talk about Juliet.

Mooney: I think [creator] Tassie [Cameron] had a great idea in that all the relationships on the show are complicated but Nick and Juliet have a great thing in that they’re not complicated inter-personally – they’re fine and they have a real ease with each other – but their professional obligations, or rather her professional obligations more so, make it really, really tricky for them so it's complications coming from the outside. But, under completely different circumstances it would have been a whole different story. That’s a fun thing to play because Nick’s dating history has been nothing but complicated. (Laughs.) He’s been through some pretty vigorous twists and turns and heartaches – there’s something that feels different about this one.

ETonline: I feel like Nick’s dated everyone at 15 Division.

Mooney: Pretty much. Tracy’s been in a long-term relationship so he’s never been able to time that one out. But other than that! (Laughs.)

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ETonline: What can we expect for Juliet and Nick moving forward?

Mooney: What we’ll find out very soon down the pipeline is Juliet’s got a very big secret and the nature of her secret. The question then is can they make it work in spite of everything. They’re in a unique place, in that all their baggage spills out in front of each other. Instead of it coming out piecemeal or bit by bit, they have a full assessment of really who the other person is and then they have to decide, “Do I still want to be with them?”

ETonline: Anything you can tease about what’s coming up for Nick in the rest of the season?

Mooney: I think for Nick this really challenges his relationship to his job and challenges how he relates to being a police officer and what that means to him and what justice means to him and where his allegiances are. It’s all tossed on the table. There’s going to be a rebuilding period after [this episode]. The foundation that he relies on, that all the rookies rely on, their comfort in 15 Division as home base, as a consistent place they can return to is going to be really challenged when they start to find out that maybe it isn’t as straightforward a place they think it is.

Rookie Blue airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.