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The Rookie - Episodes 2.01 to 2.10 - Review

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With The Rookie back tonight I thought it would be nice to do a round up for the show’s second season so far.

Mild spoilers ahead

Where we left off
After some BTS turmoil in the summer, which resulted to a cast shake up, S2 picks up where S1 effectively ended: with Tim in peril, the threat of a bio weapon still at large and the stress of the 6 month exam looming over the rookies. The direct aftermath of the S1 cliffhanger gets resolved pretty much in the teaser of the S2 premiere (I’m sad to deduct probably because of Afton’s exit, as it would have been hard to excuse her absence for the whole hour if that is what the episode had focused on). However the ramifications of the whole situation affect the storylines and our officers for the rest of the outing.

Nolan deals with Talia leaving the force for a job at the ATF (explaining away Afton’s departure from the show with an exposition-y bit of dialogue, that at least holds up narratively) and following up on him having to come to terms with how different he and Jessica see this line of work. There’s Tim putting up his walls about any suicidal thoughts he was having in the S1 finale, and taking it all out on Lucy for trying to protect him. After their cute one-on-one Angela and Wesley take the next step in their relationship and have officially moved in together. Meanwhile Jackson continues to struggle with the shattered idolized perspective of his views about both his father and the job, which are reflected in his score of his exam. As opposed to Lucy and Nolan, he does poorly. Really, really poorly. Not enough to fail out of the program, but enough for Grey to hold him back.

Where are our officers at

So far in S2 the show’s titular Rookie seems to be killing it professionally, getting a near perfect score on his exam, finding a new mentor who gets and respects him and having to navigate dealing with a new loose cannon training officer that challenges him in different ways than what he’s used to. On the personal front John finally moved out of Ben’s guest house and bought himself a fixer upper to finalize his move to LA. This little side plot has offered a nice window into us getting to witness how Nolan used to be in his life prior to the show starting. When he’s doing work on the house there is a calming certainty in how he conducts himself which is very interesting to see. His whirlwind romance with Agent Jessica Russo came to an abrupt halt. Even though their differences in how they view their take on their work seemed to be something they could work through, what ended up bringing an end to the relationship was that they were at two were not on the same page about this relationship.
Jessica, an accomplished career woman in her 30s, is all ready to get serious and settle down. Nolan put his whole life on hold because he had a kid too young. Never having lived alone and having to care for someone else his whole adult life he is not ready for a do over where he has to put himself second. The realization that they are at very different places in life makes them have one of the most adult and real break ups I’ve seen on TV. Also another minor crisis presented in the form of seeing Henry possibly make the same mistakes he did, introducing to his dad his new fiancĂ©. Henry seems happy and settled and John after a failing at first to not go all "concerned dad" John seems willing to be supportive.

With her constantly rising to the occasion and keeping up with the standards of her tough and demanding T.O. Lucy continues to be one of the “best rookies Tim has ever trained”. After Cpt. Anderson’s death last season it was clear she lost someone who she saw as somewhat of a mentor. She attempts to make a connection with Nolan’s new training officer in order to fill that void, as she sees some qualities in this new presence in the precinct she aspires to. After a rocky start in trying to make an impression she gains their respect. Though being on the ball at work, her personal life seems to be a bit of a mess. There is no doubt she is over her relationship with Nolan. However as we do hear a lot throughout the season of her pursuit to find someone (a pursuit that ends up getting her in trouble... but more on that later) it is clear something is missing in her life. Getting another glimpse of her upbringing by meeting her mother as well this season only helped to shine a light as to why commitment comes hard for her.

As reflected by his low score in his 6 month exam Jackson doesn’t take the failure well, and he continues to struggle and stumble with his new shifted reality. It has certainly been interesting to see the “Golden boy” lose a bit of his shine and IMO it has made him a lot more relatable. Also after busting his landlord for drug possession and for a quick minute entertaining the idea of living in a trailer at the precinct parking lot with some other down on their luck cops, Angela comes to his rescue. She kindly goads Lucy to let him room with her. We still haven’t gotten any great roomie storylines, but if Lucy intruding on a date Jackson has with a TV star, and Lucy’s mum getting along better with Jackson than her own daughter for the few nights she crashed at their place are anything to go by, there’s a lot of potential for fun little sideplots on that front down the line.

After a shaky divorce and brush with death in S1, Tim seems to be ready to get back out there... with a push from Lucy. A new relationship with a social worker and former college classmate/friend of Lucy’s that she sets him up with has occupied quite a bit of his storylines this season. It's a good rebound realtionship for now but I don't see it lasting. Having said that,actively seeing Tim in relationship has certainly added even more layers to what is, IMO, the show's most nuanced character.
Tim's pursuit to take the Sergeant’s exam is still also very much at play. However he never loses sight of the sacred duty of training new police officers. Because of that he clashes with Nolan’s new T.O. who puts him on edge for not taking the task as seriously. Lastly, we finally got some decent backstory on Officer Bradford. While on a PR assignement with Jackson, in trying to bond with a troubled youth we found out he too grew up in a troubled household and used playing football as a "way out".

Even though Jackson’s crisis of faith did have some effect on her and how she has been faring as his training officer, overall Officer Lopez seems to be on relative steady footing professionally. Where things seem to be more interesting on the Angela front, is in her personal exploits. Her relationship with defence attorney Wesley Evers keeps on getting more and more serious. As previously mentioned the two moved in together and also she got to meet his mother (and we, the audience, got some nice little Wes backstory). However things are seemingly hitting a rough patch for the two of them as it appears he is suffering from some PTSD after being involved in a shooting.

Sgt. Grey has been all too consumed with having a new training officer at the precinct he knows he can’t control and for the first time sees and uses Nolan’s age as asset, pairing them up. Also he’s dealing with not only becoming an empty-nester soon, but also with any good parent's nightmare, if they’ve done their job right: his daughter wanting to move on the other side of the country for college. Any follow up of any serious "retirement talk" has been kept at bay so far this season, but I can see that little plot thread popping its head again later in the season.

The new crew

Dt. Nyla Harper
The aforementioned notorious New Training Officer. Dt.Harper built her career by going deep undercover and lost her family in the process. The only reason she is back on patrol is because she seems determined to be back in her daughter’s life. Still, her unorthodox way of policing because of her background makes her an unpredictable training officer, and one that more often than not seems to be less interested in teaching her rookie than getting HER job done. She drives Nolan crazy, infuriates Tim, aggravates Grey. Angela loves her and Lucy wants to be her... (Me? I’m unsure. Her intro was shaky but the last few episodes have turned the tide a bit.)

Dr. Grace Sawyer
In what is essentially a (re)meet-cute, we are introduced to a formed college flame of Nolan’s, the woman he left behind to go start a family. There is clearly and fairly some bitterness and resentment on Grace’s end because of the way John ended things between them.... there’s also still of a spark, though. But the two decide to rekindle their friendship at least and have done so successfully. The fact that she works at Shaw Memorial (otherwise known as the hospital our officers always find themselves in) only makes it easier for her to stick around. Now with Jessica also out of the picture, it seems like these two star-crossed lovers might get a second chance.

Dt. Nick Armstrong
Introduced in the second episode of the season, Dt. Armstrong is a seasoned LAPD cop who has the outmost respect for patrol officers. He’s all class and full of wisdom and takes a genuine shinning to Nolan. The two become fast friends and Nick has more or less taken John under his wing. He even does a background check on Henry's fiance when he seens it's eating John up. Sweet... if a bit intrusive. Regardless it has been a refreshing dynamic to see Nolan find an older cop in the department who doesn’t treat his age as a defacto depilating factor (which is important to remember, that was some of the best training officer advice Talia gave him in S1). Not without his own demons though, Nick Armstrong does fight with the ghost of his deceased wife and how he neglected her while she was sick for the sake of a case, something we learnt more about in the fall finale...

The winter finale/cliffhanger
The final episode of the winter finds our team getting involved with a serial killer... or two... We meet Dt. Armstrong’s nemesis, the “rarest of unicorns” as Sgt. Grey puts it: a female serial killer, Rosalind Dryer. After promising to point out the location of where some of the bodies of her victims that were never retrieved, in return of some leniency, the team stumble upon some fresher corpses. It is then revealed that she has an apprentice working for her and this whole thing was just a ruse for her to get back in the game via her lackey. Everyone rushes to find and save the victim and come out victorious, only to have one of their own taken in her stead.

Lucy, having flirted with a guy named Caleb earlier in the episode, and with some urging from Tim that it’s good to loosen up after an awful day, decides to grab a drink with him. By the end of the date (and the episode) she finds herself drugged and getting stuffed in the trunk of a car. And our newbie serial killer is revealed. It’s easy to deduct that Caleb was probably tailing Armstrong at Rosalind’s bidding, from even before he talked to Lucy.

Will the team get to save Lucy, and catch Caleb? Tune in tonight and find out!

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