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The Rookie recap: Choice & Tension are intertwined

Harper, Chen & Nolan looking down in surprise on The Rookie.
Harper, Chen & Nolan looking down in surprise on The Rookie. Pic credit: ABC

Tension was in the air in tonight’s hour of The Rookie and given what happened last week, I can’t say I’m deeply surprised. Granted a parent showing up out of nowhere will always disrupt your routine, but I sadly can’t say that’s the only reason we ran into issues in “La Fiera.”

Our choices inform who we are

Every day, we wake up and a lot of people make the best choices in the situations we find ourselves in. Others sadly assume the choice they make is always the best one, and if there’s one notion I universally disagree with it’s assuming you’re always in the right.

In regard to the former, basically everyone except Stanton leans toward these choices. I’m not going to stand here and pretend these guys are perfect, no one is but even at their worst they are willing to learn from their mistakes and at the very least listen.

Lucy Chen learns the hard way even people you want to genuinely help can disappoint you at first for compelling reasons and John Nolan is correctly called out at wanting special treatment for the punishment he received for his actions in regards to Nick Armstrong.

Jackson, who I want to give a thousand hugs to, struggles to make the choices he believes are best on the job. Especially when he’s being challenged to go the opposite direction in every way possible by his training officer.

While his former T.O. is absolutely acing it as a detective, which is no surprise, it takes all of five seconds for her to pick up on the tension Jackson is feeling riding with Stanton. I understand why Jackson didn’t say anything at the time, but I loved that she asked anyway.

The truth is, I’m not a police officer and have never been in a job like it, so I can’t imagine how stressful it can get. However, I have to give this show credit for making it as clear as it can be that when you are given the power of an officer of the law it, comes with the same amount of responsibility.

When the power is acknowledged, but not the responsibility, it can get really bad, which was glaring when Stanton terrorized an innocent family after cuffing the wrong guy. Ignoring every single reasonable observation that came from Jackson about their “suspect” in a blue type hoodie.

Thankfully Tim Bradford stepped in with a cool head and deescalated a situation that I’m sure has happened in reality that didn’t go the way it did in tonight’s hour. The question we were left with, unfortunately, is what do we do now?

Fighting for others, and standing up regardless of circumstance

As difficult, and necessary as it was to see what happened with Stanton, it felt good to see others fight for strangers instead of against them. The translation would be Nyla Harper has a heart of gold, and don’t let anyone tell you differently.

Seriously I loved her sticking up for this pregnant lady from the Airbnb all the way to the crappy doctor at the hospital until she got the care she deserved. Which sadly was just someone who could, I don’t know, listen!

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Lucy continued to be her compassionate self and listened to why Tamara sold the car she gave her while admitting trust is difficult for her. Given her life, I can’t say that’s a surprise, but I was relieved to see she was willing to try with the cop who gave her a car.

Detective Angela Lopez however, learned standing up to defend others means attracting the attention of a lady aptly named “La Fiera.” A sharp businessman with a dangerous life is what I first heard about this character, and frankly, I was impressed against my will.

She’ll be sticking around for the foreseeable future, and I’m hoping it will be less creepy than the good luck doll she left in Angela and Wesley’s home for their kid. Seriously did anyone else get shivers down their spine?

Nolan who clearly has a bad history with his mom’s habit of love them and leave them gets a little bit of perspective from his T.O. more than once tonight. It may be the start of a long road, but a step in the right direction is a step nonetheless.

The one I have to give kudos to in this sense was Jackson. He refused to stay quiet and made it clear in specific detail why Stanton shouldn’t be out there with Officer’s Bradford support no less.

Even if the reality is all Gray can do is bench his T.O. I’m siding with Jackson on this one. It’s not good enough, and Bradford giving guys like Stanton a “pass” is permission to act that way now and in the future if he says nothing.

I get the feeling he and others won’t be keeping quiet in the future. Especially if Sergeant Gray decides to stick around and keep trying to change things.

Final Thoughts

  • As serious as this episode was, I loved the light moment of Lucy being so proud of beating her T.O. at the shooting range. She is capable and she freaking knows it!
  • The writers of this show never fail to impress me on how intertwined they can make their stories despite their characters being scattered about literally on the job. I wasn’t sure how it would all work with Angela being a detective now, but please keep going with this I love it.
  • The amount of accountability I saw onscreen tonight may not have been a lot, but to see it at all was refreshing. I hope this continues throughout the season because it calls up conversations that need to happen.
  • Case in point, Lucy, and Jackson calling out Bradford for not stating the obvious and giving cops like Stanton a pass. The criticism is valid, but the difference between Doug Stanton and Tim Bradford is the latter is willing to admit his mistakes, and learn. I don’t trust Stanton to ever do the same.
  • If Nolan’s mom wants to stick around for a few episodes please do because she is freaking hilarious!

The Rookie airs on Sundays at 10/9c on ABC.

Sarah Thomas


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