So why is a lone male sitting in a running vehicle behind a closed business that deals in cash?
We have all the elements of your police drama from the VIP visit to a harrowing shootout in a foiled robbery at a marijuana shop. The show stayed in format, jumping back and forth to each pair and fed us the typical bits of “a day in a life” of an LAPD officer.
However, The Rookie also went microscopically on each character. We went from amusing anecdotes to something more intimate.
And in her mind, I chose the job before family. Again.
West faced backlash when he continued onto the academy at the face of potential tragedy in the family. Chen faced the possible destruction of her career as a police officer if she was indeed infected. And Nolan thought he was about to have nothing left to leave his son with the house being sold; in turn, losing all ties to his old life and maybe his son.
In the end, all our rookies came through unscathed. However, not unchanged. The bond between TO and rookie evolved after this episode. And we were treated to some personal details of the TOs and better yet, they shared it with their rookies.
The Rookie always revolved around the new officers and their TOs. They started out with reluctance and gradually worked to a closer relationship. They weren’t instant best friends the moment either pair partnered up. But that’s okay.
Watching the partners evolve after each episode was far more rewarding. And the payoff after “Redwood” was the best; each set of partners offered to each other a bit more of themselves instead of it being only one-sided.
Ultimately, it felt like the episode was about loyalties and where they lie. The characters were at each’s side, but it was never vocalized. In this episode, their actions spoke out loud.
My guys were under fire. Your guy? Was going for a sandwich.
Grey, after Agent Danvers complained that Lopez and West left their posts to give Bishop and Nolan backup, showed his loyalties were with his fellow officers. He’s been a great mentor figure throughout the season so far. He told Danvers “it’s a no brainer” when the choice came down to watching the Veep eat his sandwich or help Bishop and Nolan.
There weren’t a lot of scenes for the watch commander in this episode. However, this scene proved Grey was a man who has his officers’ backs.
Can’t leave you alone for a minute.
Bradford, the stickler to duty, stuck by Chen’s side and quick to rush to Chen’s aid after her “Tim” radio call in the hospital. He’s been one of the more interesting characters on The Rookie. His backstory with Isabel revealed a dimension beyond his hard-as-nails demeanor. His steadfast support of Chen proved his bark is worse than his bite. Sometimes.
We always had better access to what makes Nolan tick. It was nice that this time, we get to see what makes Bishop tick as well.
When Nolan fretted about the house being sold, Bishop offered a bit of her past and some reassuring advice. Plus, Bishop expected Nolan to think less of her after hearing she was seeing a therapist. Instead, she found she earned more of his respect. And in a way, I think Nolan won more of hers.
We’re redundant standing around in a hallway.
Lopez, instead of berating West for his distraction, advised him and guided him rather than report him. She’s finally growing into the role of West’s TO.
Lopez and West are somewhat alike: they always stuck by the rules, rigid about duty. But when Bishop and Nolan radioed for backup, she proved she knew what was important. They left their post and hurried to their fellow officers’ aid.
That’s actually an excellent perspective.
“Redwood” looked like it was going to be a typical episode. It wasn’t.
Going personal instead of concentrating on the main event about the Veep, made the episode a pivotal one, a tipping point for our partners.
The Rookie so far has avoided turning mundane or cookie cutter. It managed to be both amusing and serious at the same time. And at this point, it looked like The Rookie is keeping that strategy as its MO.
Is it too soon to make jokes about that?
The show has been structurally strong and enjoyable. The addition of Ben (Currie Graham) also provided an outsider POV to Nolan’s new life. That and the occasionally off-duty pizza scenes we had at the end kept the episode from becoming insular. Will this continue? I hope so.
However, the show needs to watch out for some of the characters as well. Lopez and West often have some of the weaker storylines among the three sets. The two’s dynamics haven’t progressed as far as the others.
West still has a respectful distance towards Lopez. Even after confessing his distraction was about his mother, he didn’t elaborate until he was with Chen in the hospital.
Lopez has been vague about her own past as well. We got hints about her family that implied her motivations, but out of all of them, she’s still a little two dimensional. To be fair, her attitude towards West have softened, but she remains a mystery to both the audience and West.
The show needs to develop these two more like they’re doing with Bradford/Chen and Bishop/Nolan. The two are too distant with each other which is a shame because their backstories could make great stories.
Right now, Lopez/West often fall into the anecdotal side, not really contributing much to the episodes. They need to share some stronger scenes together. They also need to step out of their “super-cop” roles and show there’s more to them than the uniform. Otherwise, like a tree, if Lopez and West fall into obscurity, no one is going to hear and they’ll be quickly forgotten.
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