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The Rookie - Manhunt - Review

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Need a refresher? Read the recap of last week's episode here.

Sarah Shahi kicks off her guest arc on The Rookie with a bang, literally. Well sort of. Turns out her character, Jessica Russo, is an expert in hostage negotiations in from the FBI to instruct the precinct on the best way to handle precarious situations. For example, when you have someone with a deadly bomb strapped to their chest, how do you talk them down? Unsurprisingly, Nolan is the only one who succeeds at showing empathy. Even Bishop recognized his talent last week.

After the briefing wraps, they get wind of a prison bus crash, a pretty gnarly one at that. Seven fugitives escape. Nolan tries to save the deputy who was on board, Graham, but his injuries are too severe. All he manages to say is he wants Nolan to tell "Beth" he loves her. Before Nolan can make head or tail of this message, he gets a surprise chain wrapped around his neck as a fugitive sneaks up behind him.

Eric McCandless/ABC
Luckily, Nolan is able to regain the upper-hand with some well-timed pepper spray. Between his arrest and one made by Lucy and Tim, they're down to five fugitives on the loose.

Everyone spreads out to make a perimeter, the goal is to round up the remaining fugitives before they breach it and cause a manhunt and widespread panic.

Lopez and West catch another fugitive joy-riding. But Lucy and Tim run out of luck when they come across a bigoted group of gun junkies intent on "protecting the neighborhood", in reality, they're hunting for excuses to attack anyone whose not white.

Bishop and Nolan are checking the people driving out of the perimeter. Nolan takes special notice of one very sweaty man, he's clearly hiding something as he doesn't want to open his trunk. Noticing an empty child's car-seat in the back, Nolan theorizes the man's child is being held hostage by a fugitive. He lets the guy go, hoping they'll be able to save the child. Bishop balks at this, what if he's wrong?

Eric McCandless/ABC
He wasn't. And Nolan gave him a note to take the car to the precinct so the fugitive rises from the trunk and lands straight in custody.

Finally they're down to two remaining fugitives, Marcos Gibson and Caleb Jost. Russo is called in to head the manhunt.

Tim calls in an old contact of his, Deacon, his first arrest and one of the few convicts to be fully reformed after serving in maximum security prison. He had a former close friendship with Gibson and Tim hopes he'll help them track him down before his old gang, the 5-4, find him. Gibson was sleeping with the leader's girlfriend! Meaning if the cops don't find him first, he's dead meat.

Not only does Deacon offer some advice about Gibson, he points out how Tim has changed. Apparently Bradford is more sensitive than he lets on, since he takes Deacon's comments to heart and starts questioning his status in life. He feels like maybe he's not challenging himself enough. When he realizes these concerns to Lopez, she mostly blows him off and laughs at his sudden burst of sensitivity.

Eric McCandless/ABC

Later on, Bradford gets a chance to remember who he is and what he stands for. There comes a point where they have to protect Marcos from the 5-4 gang leader, Keon. Tim approaches him face-to-face as the group intends to kill them all in order to get to Marcos if they have to. But Tim doesn't back down. "One thing I've learned, is that I'm never alone and I'm never outnumbered." Cue the arrival of his back-up! They arrest Keon and Marcos is escorted back to prison in one piece.

His epiphany inspires him to try and elevate his career status. Tim decides he's going to take the upcoming sergeant's exam.

Eric McCandless/ABC
Nolan is still troubled by the deputy's death. He can't seem to find Beth. Apparently Graham was single. Russo is a surprising comfort, she understands the trauma he must feel from seeing the injury. At the end of the day, everyone's human. She offers to help Nolan track down Beth if he needs it. They're interrupted by Bishop who finds out Caleb's mother has suddenly changed her schedule. Could she have been visited by her fugitive son?

They track Caleb down at his aunt's house where he has the poor woman all tied up and a booby-trapped shotgun rigged to go off. Looks like Nolan is going to have to put his negotiation skills to work faster than he anticipated. But Caleb doesn't want to talk to him because he's not "important" enough. When Jessica arrives, she tells Nolan exactly how to play it. Caleb is a narcissist, and he doesn't want to die. When push comes to shove, he'll cave because of his will to live.

It works exactly as Jessica predicted, though she commends Nolan for his bravery, after all, she could have been wrong. It's a nice parallel to her and Nolan's similarities since Nolan made a similar call of his own with the father of a kidnapped daughter from before.

Back at lock-up, West is dealing with the joy-rider. He's got plenty of stories about West's father, it turns out he used to be an informer for Percy and they had a working relationship of sorts. Until he ran out of valuable intel and Percy planted a weapon on him to get him thrown into jail for life. West appears rattled by the news, but is it true?

Eric McCandless/ABC
He turns to Lucy for words of comfort. She thinks it sounds crazy, his father is one of the most straight-laced cops they know. Him once being a dirty cop doesn't add up, though West doesn't seem 100% convinced. By the end, the convict tells him, "if you want to know the truth about your dad, read my file." Uh-oh.

As the episode wraps up, Nolan does eventually find Beth. Her full name is Elizabeth and she worked with Graham for five years. If you needed more reason to have your heart broken, get this: Beth had been waiting for Graham to ask her out for ages. He never got the chance! But at least Nolan can leave her with a fond reminder of how much Graham did love her.

Before leaving for the night, John has one last visit to make. He asks Jessica to sign his copy of her book. "I've never met someone whose written a book before." (Nice sly Castle dig, writers). She slips him her digits and her signature and Nolan, adorably, can't wait to call her.

Within moments he's dialed her number: "Too soon?"

And now the dreaded two week hiatus. Ugh!

Eric McCandless/ABC

Favorite Lines

Lucy: 647b is the code for prostitution.
Tim: They don't know that.

Tim: Have I changed, since I met you?
Lopez: You're more annoying.

Jessica: I miss pushing your buttons.
Gray: I don't.

A new episode of The Rookie titled "Greenlight" premieres March 19th.

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