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The Rookie – Sabotage – Review

With a new episode on tonight, let’s do a recap of the show’s previous outing.

For an episode that was pretty “heavy” overall, it was maybe a good call to open with one of those silly and funny throwaway cases for the teaser. Usually those are viewed via the shop’s dash cam, but this time we get the video from a computer where we see a guy in a mask blackmailing another man we only hear. Then Harper and Nolan show up for something unrelated. And so our blackmailer, Dennis, is busted for trying to get one over his P.E. teacher. As I said: fun, silly and the teaser is about as much time as the episode will spend on it.

Nolan’s mother is still around and driving him crazy by refusing to leave. Her buying into a scam of CBD oil makes things go from bad to worse when not only does she sell the stuff (which BTW turns out to be toxic) to the whole of the precinct, but also ropes the Sarge’s wife in this mess. For her part Luna was just trying to follow John’s advice and wait for her epiphany for her Second Act. Instead she got tricked by Evelyn into thinking buying the “business” was it. Thankfully Grey and Nolan step up to help her get her money back, only to find out the CBD oil supplier is waaaaaay shadier than originally thought: they’re apparently arms dealers as well. After Grey and Nolan get made fun of for their age, they happily go into cop mode and hand the dealers their asses, with a nice assist from Mrs. Grey no less.
While Grey is pissed with Nolan and happy to blame him for the mess, it’s his always level headed wife who gets John off the hook. Truth is he can’t be held accountable for his mother’s behaviour, and Luna being the daughter of an alcoholic knows this all too well. She also proceeds to give John her own bit of advice regarding Evelyn: He has to make the choice of how she fits in his life without letting it hurt him or hold him back. This results to a hard decision on John’s part, as he sends his mother away. Evelyn lashes out and says some terrible things, which pushes John to possibly cut his mother out of his life for good.

Elsewhere, Nyla’s crusade to get Lila into a music program for the summer results into some cute flirting with another single dad whose daughter is friends with Lila. It’s a sweet small D-plot, which offers some laughs along the way; Nyla continuing a fight with Donovan while using John as placeholder being a prime example of that. But more than anything, this storyline gives us a chance to peek behind the bad assery Dt. Harper justifiably flaunts, and that’s always welcome.

Angela on the other hand finds herself dealing with less “fluffy” matters. Wesley reveals he has a genetic condition which could be inherited by the baby and cause other problems, and that’s the reason he’s been a bit pushy and hovery about the pregnancy. Angela is upset and confused and tries to process all this new information. Feeling overwhelmed she begins projecting her concerns onto work, worried her new Sergeant will bench her after he passes her on for an assignment. In the end she stands up for herself and also announces her pregnancy, much to Sgt. Caradine’s surprise (see everyone! I learned his name!), who not only wasn’t aware she was pregnant, but also had no intention of sidelining her. And even now that he does know doesn’t plan to. He likes Lopez and that sure makes me like him.

Finally the main storyline of the episode concerns the nightmare cop that is Doug Stanton. Grey having taken to heart Jackson’s words from the previous episode decides to start up an investigation on Stanton and is putting West in charge of that, with Tim and Lucy as his backup.

Lucy is, for good reason, concerned about Jackson. As she shares those feelings with Tim and when an off handed comment he makes about not being able to imagine what riding with a guy like Stanton feels like gives Lucy the opportunity to bring up the unpleasant experience with the gardeners on her first day, and criticize some of his blind spots yet again. Lucy mistakes his rancour as being directed at her, however Tim is merrily upset with himself, as the exchange gives room for more self reflection for Officer Bradford and he vows to do better. More accountability and people owning up to their mistakes in cop shows please! Be more like Tim Bradford, TVcops... and real cops while we’re at it...

Jackson follows Grey’s orders but Stanton continues his problematic behaviour without ever crossing the line to anything actionable. Even a Black woman who got overcharged and arrested during a stop makes doesn’t really give him the leeway to corner Doug, leaving Jackson feeling helpless. Lucy and Tim try another angle and meet up with Doug’s last rookie, Officer Owens, to possibly dig up some dirt, but come up empty.
Tim thinks the young cop is conflicted and might come around. Instead Owen tips Doug off. Stanton makes it a point to misplace his body cam and mistreat a suspect. This worries Jackson enough that he leaves some evidence unattended to catch him before he could hurt the suspect. Sadly it was all a ruse so that Doug could expose all three, Lucy, Jackson and Tim. Later as Tim and West confront Owens for his betrayal, Owens only explains that he’s just playing by the rules and that there is a reason why cops like Stanton survive. Not to mention Doug is vindictive and conniving. A point which is nicely driven home, in the end of episode as the situation with the unattended evidence also allows Stanton to write up a blue page on Jackson’s report, which he gleefully announces to Grey.

I will say for a show that’s had mob bosses, psychopaths and serial killers as its baddies, Officer Doug Stanton might very well give every one of those characters a run of their money in the “despicable” department. I do believe extra kudos need to be granted to Brandon Routh though for his Machiavellian performance here. He’s got the right feel for the guy and is giving us just what we need from such an antagonist.

That’s that for the previous episode. Tune in tonight for a brand new instalment of The Rookie!


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