The Rookie Episode 10
The Rookie changed it up. Again.
After halfway into the season, the show finally introduced Henry Nolan whom we heard about, but never seen.
Get ready for a big, embarrassing hug.
John Nolan (Nathan Fillion) hurried to park and meet Henry at LAX’s baggage claim. Except he locked his keys in his truck. And then was arrested after the airport cop didn’t believe it was his car, even commenting “now I know you’re lying” when Nolan tried to explain he was a rookie cop.
So our first introduction to Henry was when he walked into his father getting cuffed.
The episode started off great and kept the momentum going with only a few minor hiccups.
Sergeant Grey, I’d be honored if you rode with Officer West today
Previously in “The Switch,” the rookies and TOs were swapped around like it was the LAPD’s version of a square dance. It gave the viewers a great glimpse of how Bishop, Bradford and Lopez interacted with the other rookies.
This time around, the switch was more lateral. Captain Anderson donned a uniform and partnered up with Lucy Chen. Bishop and Bradford are TOs without a rookie to train and are now sharing the same shop. Nolan, to his dismay, got Sergeant Grey riding shotgun.
These were interesting combinations spanned from the two determined and ambitious female officers, two TOs and a commander who has been critical of Nolan since day one.
Do you really think Nolan is Grey’s favorite?
To be fair, Grey seemed to have an increasing begrudging tolerance for Nolan; far less outright disdain compared to the pilot. The episode also tossed in a common factor: both their kids were in the station that day.
Chen, on the other hand, felt the pressure of having her captain ride along, especially after the other officers’ warnings.
You made a friend.
Grey’s daughter Dominique and Nolan’s son were the bonuses in the episode. They were both intelligent (except for a C in macrobiology), mature and caring kids who understood the dangers of police work. It was also an excellent opportunity for the viewers to gain an outsider’s view.
Henry shared his experiences of college with Dominque, who was going to college in a few months. And Grey’s daughter revealed the hazards and worries of having a police officer for a father. Henry was new to Nolan’s life and career change; hearing about it from someone who dealt with it all her life was an eye-opener for him.
The switching of partners in The Rookie was done before, but it’s not a rehash of a previous episode. This version gave the viewers additional insight into our characters.
Do I look like a game show host to you? Go find some crime.
Patrol began with a few false starts for each set of partners.
Nolan’s routine traffic stop became a comedy of errors under Grey’s watch. Watching these two as Nolan fumbled through parking their shop correctly empathized the fact we need more scenes with these two together.
The domestic disturbance Anderson and Chen responded to ended with a suicidal. I winced at Anderson’s annoyance when police flocked to her location despite Chen’s all-clear radio call. Her stern talking to West when he rushed in made me cringed.
Bradford and Bishop posturing to be the senior officer was amusing. Bishop was Bradford’s rookie for two weeks. It appeared Bradford believed it gave him seniority. Bishop, of course, wasn’t having any of it.
Despite the hilarity of the first act, the insights we get later were no less meaningful.
Now you created a real problem, instead of the fake one you made up in your head.
Lopez was the only officer not paired with someone new, yet we learned a lot about her. She warned West not to underestimate Anderson; the captain was not “a damsel in distress.” Under all her rough talk, Lopez proved to be a great TO for West.
There’s a right way and a wrong way.
Bishop and Bradford couldn’t agree on most tactics. From the start, the two couldn’t decide on who would get the gear.
Unfortunately, I felt a little shortchanged with this storyline. After a mishap with a skunk, we don’t see anything more with the pair, which was a shame.
Bradford has been one of my surprising favorites as the tough-talking, but well-intentioned TO. His storyline with Isabel was heartbreaking.
While this episode served as a nice break for Bradford, shunting him to comic relief (police versus skunk, guess who won?) for the rest of the episode was a shame.
You’re criticizing my arrest?
Lopez and West got lost in the episode’s many threads as well. After encountering a lawyer and helping him get his briefcase back, they vanished off the screen, popping up only to comment on Anderson’s return and to introduce a potential love interest for Lopez.
The episode, instead, focused on two pairings: Anderson with Chen and Grey with Nolan.
I shouldn’t have ducked.
Chen was nervous partnered up with Captain Anderson. Along the way, we learned Anderson was in the Marines.
Anderson never made it known and let others assumed she was a transfer from elsewhere. However, Anderson proved she has the skills and then some; she spoke Farsi on a domestic call and tackled a perp with a live weapon, her sidearm locked up in the gun safe.
It was a chance to see our captain in action. She also gave Chen a much-needed boost of confidence. The past few episodes, I felt like Chen was bombarded with worry about her relationship with Nolan and her own abilities.
The captain told Chen she chose to ride with Chen because she “admired her,” maybe hinting Anderson saw something in Chen she had. It was a great way to acknowledge Chen and her abilities as a police officer.
Let this be our one and only heart-to-heart moment, Officer Nolan.
Once again, it was great to see Grey out of the bullpen and find out more about him through his daughter. Nolan was understandably nervous with Grey in the shop. But the two proved to be a great team, first in breaking up a wild fight between two brothers and rescuing a family after a main gas line explosion.
It got real important that you get up, buddy!
Luckily, the episode didn’t resort to a cliché storyline that resulted in Grey and Nolan becoming best buddies. Nor did they begin to call each other by their first names (although Nolan did try to offer, but nope) in the end after the hairy rescue inside a gas-filled home.
There was still a nice payoff, though, where you could see them coming to a better understanding, especially about how to tell their kids about their jobs.
Don’t tell me I just passed some ridiculous Tim Bradford test.
We learned a lot of great things and opened the door to opportunities, especially with Bishop admitting she wanted to stay on patrol because she still has a rookie to train. The switch added another dimension to our characters like the previous episode did.
One of my favorite aspects of The Rookie was that the show never forgets Nolan was a father as well. I regret we didn’t have a lot of screen time with Henry Nolan. It would have been nice to see how well Henry was with his father’s fellow officers. Hopefully, they’ll bring him back soon.
Despite the lack of some elements, The Rookie still gave us a strong episode, going from comedic to intense as the storyline progressed. I’m glad they left the Nolan and Chen arc in the backburner, for now, to give us the added dimensions to our characters instead.
The Rookie managed to keep things interesting even though they used the same ploy as they did in “The Switch.” They proved “same old, same old” for this cop drama can still make great entertainment.
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