The Rookie recap: Ending on a good, if surprising note

Nathan Fillion, Melissa O'Neill, and Titus Makin on the set of The Rookie
Jackson, Chen, and Nolan are all smiles at work Pic credit: ABC

So nothing like missing a week of writing due to sickness to come back to an episode of The Rookie where a prank raised some eyebrows among an Amber alert. Pardon my absence as the last time I got to spend some time writing about this crazy show, we glimpsed into a true crime “documentary.”

Now we are at Lucy & Jackson’s final shift as rookies, and man was it a day to remember. Shall we dive in?

A Day to Remember

Lucy & Jackson’s happiness at no longer being on probation was honestly wonderful to see, even if Nolan has to wait another month to join them in this endeavor. Thankfully he’s the kind of man who doesn’t care about waiting to be happy for them, especially when Lucy has a glint in her eye on her last shift under Tim Bradford’s charge.

Jackson, however, gets the lovely surprise he’ll spend his last shift where he started, with Detective Lopez. That in of itself was a treat, and not just because I’ve missed these two quite a bit. After over a year on the job, it’s easy to get nostalgic, which takes a turn when they all get an amber alert that a newborn baby was abducted.

These types of crimes are never easy to hear about, let alone be on the job about. Seeing it get played out even on television somehow makes it even graver as you know this scenario has happened more than once in real life.

Digging into a crime on the fly is part of the job description, something made more difficult given the high expectations police officers are automatically placed under by the general public at large. As much responsibility they wield, and should be held accountable for, it’s interesting to see the challenges they face trying to meet those expectations.

Case in point, between Harper, Nolan, Chen, Bradford, Lopez, and Jackson plus their airship backup, they have to figure everything out from the get-go as to why this baby girl was taken, who could have done it, and then use this knowledge to find her before something happens.

All of it going down during a single twelve-hour shift and making so many judgment calls on what choices maximize their odds at finding this child unharmed by whoever kidnapped her. It’s a stark reality for many police officers in real life. Also, having Professor Ryan along with the flip side of why she’s writing a book about changing police, made for a good dichotomy of opinions.

The best part of this story, personally, was seeing Nolan and Lopez do nothing but talk to resolve this situation, and get this baby girl back to her family safely. No guns blazing, no going straight for violence, but using their training to not making an already potentially dangerous situation worse.

This probably is not saying the best about my own opinion, but it can be hard to forget the numerous instances I’ve seen in the news of the opposite type of situations playing out. The Rookie writers going out and showing what a difference officers can make to help is a good reminder.

Though I also can make a case that these writers really know how to reel an audience in with pranking.

The Denouement for Two Rookies

Look, I’ll be straight I definitely watched the promos for this episode with a grain (or a bucket) of salt, and I’m glad because I was not sure what to expect with Lucy Chen and Tim Bradford. Thankfully the writers didn’t disappoint with the real surprises.

However, I’m getting ahead of myself. Lucy decided to celebrate her final shift as a rookie by going through a checklist of the end of an era. Tim Bradford being, well him, completely disregarded the emotional aspect as he flat out refused to say he was going to miss riding with her.

I mean, that might as well give it away, but I’d say Lucy taught him a lesson after she made it clear she definitely has the instincts to work undercover. If she can even for a minute, convince Tim Bradford she has feelings for him (RUDE) to the point he’s scrambling for what to say, she can do anything she puts her mind to.

Something I wholeheartedly believe in because Lucy is the best for many, many reasons, and she certainly should never be underestimated. Would I have picked another way to do it? Yes, but I’m a chenford shipper all the way, and I won’t be deterred so easily.

Regarding Lopez and Jackson, these two have come a ways since their first shift when she threatened to bounce him after freezing up on the job. Jackson admitting he didn’t know how much he’d come to value her period was the best kind of sappy, and that was before his gushing confidence in her and Wesley becoming parents.

From his experiences, it won’t be an easy thing, but I agree with Jackson that she and Wesley will be able to handle it. Though all respect to Angela, I’d take Jackson up on the nanny suggestion, given Wesley definitely has the money for it, haha.

Last but certainly not least, Nolan faced down another 30 days of being a Rookie while watching Jackson and Lucy finish out all smiles. I know he’s genuinely happy for them, but Grey being straight that he wasn’t done yet was not easy for him to hear.

Harper making him take her and Lyla out to dinner to cheer him up was adorable and a testament to how far they’ve come after she was read the riot act first day out being his T.O. I don’t know how his time is going to finish, but I’m curious to see how it goes the rest of this season.

Final Thoughts

  • Whoever does the marketing for this show, friendly suggestion if you are going all-in promoting an episode for a ship, you might tip off those fans it’s not going to be what it looks like in the promo. Particularly if they’ve been fooled in the past and are skeptical at writers following through on character chemistry.
  • Am I Chenford shipper, god yes, but I was more relieved than anything Chen was pranking Bradford about having “feelings” because it felt way too out of the blue at this point. Bradford being taken in by the so-called confession was interesting though, so I’m really curious to see what happens next with these two for real.
  • Anytime this show has ladies supporting ladies, it is the actual best and hilarious when you have Lopez asking Harper for real details on having a baby over the shared radio.
  • I didn’t expect to learn so much about Professor Ryan, but her perspective on the part race plays into police and media response and why she wants change to happen was a good voice tonight. It felt as if a kind of hope was being brought onscreen because as many bad cops (cough, Stanton cough) are working, there are also officers who are willing to listen and be open to change.
  • How this show is on a bubble list, I will never understand because the writing is as close to top-notch I’ve seen in a long time regarding police work onscreen, and I really want to keep getting to know these characters for many seasons to come.

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

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