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The Rookie - Greenlight - Review

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The rookies must face one of their most challenging weeks yet when IA reversals begin taking place. The reversal process involves Internal Affairs agents disguising themselves as criminals to assess how police officers are doing their jobs. Captain Zoe Anderson takes the week seriously even if some of the officers think it's more like a "narc week". She wants her entire squad to pass with flying colors.

It's not always easy to differentiate between a reversal and a regular run-of-the-mill criminal. Unless you're suddenly pulling Mario Lopez over for running a stop sign and he consistently tries to bribe you. Bradford sees right through the smokescreen (and yes, Lopez is here playing himself). In what is clearly a set up for a new romance for Tim, he tracks down Agent Murphy, an IA officer who has had it out for Tim since he let Isobel slide on the force knowing she had a drug addiction.

Richard Cartwright/ABC
Murphy rattles Tim enough that he begins suspecting every case is a reversal, even when it's clearly not. For instance, Chen and Bradford's next call is to a mushroom grow house where a crook has gotten his leg stuck in one of the booby traps. Bradford actually believes it's fancy FX make-up, until the wound starts spurting blood.

Nolan and Bishop have their hands full (pardon the pun) with their own potential reversal when they arrest a woman with model-good looks and a high fashion taste for screaming at a valet and nearly stabbing him to death over a minuscule scratch on her car.

Her tacky dress tears away when Nolan cuffs her, exposing her lingerie to the camera. It's an act of - accidental - disrespect that will come back to haunt him later.

Photo Credit: Richard Cartwright/ABC
Meanwhile, Lopez has a run in with Wesley who isn't keen on forgiving her after the breach of trust she made searching through his phone. She's distracted while on patrol and West can't help but input his two cents, "it's messed up", sums it up. Speaking as someone who is a fan of the Wesley/Angela pairing, I liked Wesley for keeping it real with her about what she did and why he doesn't feel he can trust her anymore. "You're a grown woman, having a bad childhood isn't a valid excuse anymore."

They're interrupted by a driver veering across the road and almost causing an accident. Pulling the car over and expecting a drunk driver (or disguised IA drunk driver), West is shocked to find a young kid driving. His sister is in the backseat overdosing on narcotics. Lopez is able to save her with the NARCAN. Poor little dude has witnessed both his mother and sister fall prey to drugs. They're able to get him to social services while his sister recovers.

Back to the woman Nolan arrested. Her name is Astrid Heisserer and she is the lady of the current leader of a violent, white supremacist gang known as Southern Front. Even though is father, a man known as King Midas, is the actual puppet master, while he serves three consecutive life sentences behind bars, Cole runs things. He takes Nolan's supposed humiliation towards Astrid as a major offense and puts a greenlight out on him. A greenlight essentially means his entire criminal organization has permission to kill a cop.

Photo Credit: Richard Cartwright/ABC
The first guy takes his shot while Nolan is leaving a get together with Lucy and Jackson. He narrowly avoids dying when the gang member shoots up his truck. Once Sergeant Grey and Captain Anderson arrive, they assure Nolan his safety will be their number one priority. It's all hands on deck as they try and get the greenlight lifted and keep Nolan safe. Even Jackson and Lucy spend the night with Nolan to make sure he isn't alone, though no one manages to get any sleep. I've grown fond of this trio together. I hope they're all able to move forward to pass their rookie exams.

Even though everyone tells him to take the day off, John shows up at work anyways and he gets a standing ovation and sign of respect from every cop in the room. Talia feels he's letting his ego get in the way, but Zoe commends him for showing up to face the day. Instead of Talia riding with Nolan, he's riding with the Captain for a change.

While his team makes arrests and shuts down Southern Front organizations all over Los Angeles, Sergeant Gray pays King Midas a visit in prison. He makes it clear to the "King" he needs to force Cole to lift the greenlight on Nolan or his entire revenue stream is going to be choked. They've already cost him millions, imagine what they could do with a few more days? Weeks? Months? It works, Gray gives Zoe the all-clear about the greenlight being lifted.

Photo Credit: Richard Cartwright/ABC

Before she and Nolan call it day and he returns to being a regular old rookie, they take one last robbery call together. And this is the part of the episode where I had to start walking around the room because I was getting so stressed out. From the too loud opera music and the eerie home emptiness, I had a feeling it was going to be a set-up. I just never guessed how sideways things were going to get.

Ambushing Nolan and Zoe is none other than Cole and a few of his cronies. They handcuff the Captain and Nolan to a few chairs by a swimming pool. Cole is as big of an idiot as you would expect a white supremacist to be. He doesn't even factor in Zoe being a Captain and the kind of heat that's going to bring down on Southern Front if she winds up dead. He's off the deep end and whipped by his girlfriend. All this drama for what?

Things take a turn for the worse. Cole tries to drown Zoe, throwing her into the pool while forcing Nolan to film an apology video at gunpoint for Astrid. But Zoe is Captain for a reason. She breaks her thumb to get out of the cuffs and resurfaces with her gun at the ready, taking down several of Cole's co-conspirators before he makes the final, heartbreaking shot. It nicks her in the neck and it's all over from there.

Despite John's best efforts to save her, it's too late and she dies. I'm so upset! I feel like it was way too soon for her character to die. She had so much potential and The Rookie didn't do anything with it. Still, I can't deny this was an exceptional episode and even though I'm upset, I respect the way they handled her death. I just wish it hadn't happened. It's not even sweeps!

The officers arrest Cole for killing Zoe and even though every single one of them wants an excuse to shoot him on site, they know it's not what Zoe would want and instead arrest him to ensure he'll go to prison. Let's hope the show doesn't forget about her existence in the next few episodes.

Favorite Lines

Talia: Officer Nolan, are you familiar with the Crack Almanac?
John: Is it available on Kindle?

Wesley: Everybody's dad bailed. No one's mom was perfect. Doesn't change what you did.
Angela: No, I know, but -
Wesley: You're a grown woman, so having a bad childhood isn't a valid excuse anymore.

John: You were right. I was selfish. I got her killed.
Talia: No. Don't do that. Don't make this about you. She didn't die because of your choice. She died doing her job the only way she knew how. Look at it any other way, you diminish her.

Lucy: Please don't tell me to "use it" the grief or the anger to make myself a better cop. I can't handle that right now.
Tim: I wasn't going to. Okay? Grief is grief. It's a hole that can't be filled, but over time, it'll shrink enough so that you won't fall in every time you take a step. But trust me, if there's one thing you can use to make yourself a better cop, it'll be her life not her death.

Cole: Come on! We both know I won't live to stand trial.
John: Yes, you will. Because the woman you killed taught us it's not our job to punish you. Just to see to it that you are.

Gray: She asked for you to be assigned to Mid-Wilshire. You know that?
John: No. Why? She didn't even know me.
Gray: She felt your experience would make you a valuable addition to our house.
John: Guess I got a lot to live up to.
Gray: We all do.

New episodes of The Rookie air Tuesday nights on ABC.

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