This week, The Rookie failed to dazzle me. Parts of it amused me, sure. But I didn’t love the episode like I did the first two. I’m sure Lee will point out the plethora of procedural mistakes—if he has the time or space, because there were so many. I’m certainly not a law enforcement professional, but my ten years of WPA attendance has taught me that Tim—Lucy’s TO—would not have challenged that biker to a fight in real life.

Yeah, Tim came back to work too soon after being shot, but having him pick a fight on duty in order to “prove himself” was just too far out there, IMHO. His wife, a drug-addicted ex-cop, had just popped back up in his life before he got shot—and he obviously has a type A personality—but that’s no excuse for the writers to make him look stupid. In real life, he’d probably be out on his aching butt after pulling a stunt like that.

John and Lucy are still seeing each other despite Angela’s warning to Lucy, telling me they must truly care about each other. But they’re doing a poor job of hiding their relationship, especially from West, their fellow rookie. I predict that everyone will know pretty soon, and they’ll have to make a tough decision. Sigh. So predictable.

Much of the plot centered around the three rookies—and the other cops, when they first started out—having a plan B in case their plan A career plan in law enforcement went south. John Nolan (Nathan Fillion), of course, is on plan D in his life, because he’s the oldest rookie in the history of the LAPD and has already reinvented himself multiple times. His bid at being a cop is only his latest venture. West, on the other hand, only has one plan: to be a cop like his father. Whether he’ll succeed or not is still up in the air.

The verdict isn’t in on Nolan, either. He assumed that a former military helicopter pilot they were after had stolen a hospital’s medivac copter and fled, only to have the woman come out of hiding and press a gun to his neck. His fast talking made her pause long enough for Angela to taze her, but in real life she probably would have shot Nolan.

The procedural mistakes sidetracked me this week, but I will continue watching to see if the writers ever get a clue—and if one of the three rookies washes out. My guess is that none of them will—especially not Nolan, because Fillion is the star of the show.

We’ll see what happens next week. 🙂


Lee Lofland

I’m liking the show less with the passing of each episode. I grew weary of the sergeant’s contact badgering of Nolan during week one, so to have this constant piling on is way up there on the list of things that annoy me—nails on a chalkboard, bamboo beneath the fingernails, and people who clip their toenails while onboard jet airliners at 33,000 feet. And the sound of a dentist’s drill.

Come on, Alexi Hawley, you can do better than to deliver a constant barrage of stale insults about growing older. As a result of the age-battering and cliché-tossing, perhaps a better title for this week’s episode would’ve been “The Not-So-Good, the Pretty Bad, and the Ugly, Ugly Writing.”

I get it, the show, and Nolan, needs conflict. That’s Writing 101. But real-life cops have enough drama and potential injury to their flesh and bone without intentionally wading into the midst of a mass of brawling outlaw bikers all while calling out one of the mean and nasty dudes who’s in the process of “earning his patch.” This was, as were several of the mini scenarios were saw this week, totally unbelievable.

I’m not sure why Alexi Hawley decided to write this show as he has, but for me it’s simply not working. He said early on, though, “We try to approach it from how we think cops should act in these situations.” I suppose this is the reason why the show rings so untrue and is practically unwatchable for me, because it’s coming across as how the writer, someone not involved in law enforcement, believes police officers truly behave and how they should perform their duties instead of how they’d react and perform in the real world.

This sort of thinking and writing is what sets this show so far from center of other more believable shows, such as Southland. I know, “The Rookie” is not meant to be an accurate portrayal of police work. It’s meant as entertainment. But in this day and time, many people fall for television hook, line, and sinker, believing what they see is the real deal. Therefore, a good portion of a TV audience will think officers pick fights with members of the public, act in a totally unsafe manner, disobey the rules as regular practice, etc.

They could at least have the officers wear protective vests beneath their uniform shirts.

Anyway, Melanie’s right, there were so many procedural wrongs this week that I’m not going to begin to try to point them out. In fact, the number of eye-rolling and glaring goofball things written into a single episode was way over the top.

One tactic mentioned during the briefing by the SWAT commander, however, was an actual police procedure (I know, something “real” was a surprise). He mentioned using a tactic called “Break and Rake.”

For those of you who don’t know, Break and Rake/Rake and Break is sometimes used during dynamic entries of buildings where the the danger level is high, such as was the case in this episode where they believed armed suspects were hiding out in the place to be searched.

Break-and-Rakes typically utilize teams of two or three SWAT members each, who break windows to distract the people inside the target house. Once the glass is broken and raked away the officers then point their rifles inside to provide cover for the entry team.

While “hitting” the front door a secondary team will also break through a second entrance. However, they typically stay put and hold the doorway safe and secure to prevent occupants from escaping and to guard against intruders who could come inside to engage the officers. Also, if the second entry team were to move further inside they’d run the risk of crossfire with the first entry team who’d breached the front door.

Entry teams may also use flash-bang grenades to further distract the bad guys.

Example of the devices police could/would use as breaching tools are:

Gerber Downrange Tomahawk [30-000715]

These devices/tools are actually perfect for motorists to store in the trunks of their cars, and for truckers. They also come in handy around the home for chopping branches, nail removal, as pry bars, and more. It’s not too late to order your Christmas gifts! 🙂

Trucker’s Friend Demolition & Multitool

Professional Fire & Rescue Tool

I’m surprised at the writing of “The Rookie,” because Hawley wrote some of the better “Castle” episodes. In fact, he pulled the show out of more than one ridiculous storyline funk. But now, for some reason, he’s opted to go the goofy route.

However, I fear that the goofy is not intentional and that it could be the way Hawley believes police officers should and do behave. That this show is his opinion of the good and brave men and women who put their lives on the line to keep us safe is a bit troubling, especially if that’s a sign of how others believe officers should carry out their duties. If so, well, that’s nothing short of scary and disturbing. I say this because several “goofy” things we’ve seen on this show would land a real-life police officer in a pine box six-feet underground while a bagpiper serenades the surviving family members.

Again, in Hawley’s own words … “how we think cops should act in these situations.”

Yeah, that’s truly bad, and ugly. Good … not so much.

4 replies
  1. fletcher
    fletcher says:

    This show just makes me miss Southland so much. That show got it right. This show is fluff that I may not continue to watch. I have yet to decide. Not that fluff is bad, per se, but it’s not terribly well written fluff. Thank you for your review.

  2. James
    James says:

    I was also disappointed with this episode. It’s getting repetitive (and it’s only the 3rd episode). Love Fillion, but he has no chemistry with the actress who plays Lucy. They need to end this story-line and move on, quickly. If they are going to make it through 22 episodes they are going to have to bring in more characters. Nolan’s ex-wife and son might be a place to start. This show follows the 9-1-1 format of quickly moving from one scene to another, but 9-1-1 does a much better job of giving all the characters complicated, interesting back-stories.

  3. Kevin Tipple
    Kevin Tipple says:

    My thought about Tim and the Biker fight nonsense was not that he was trying to prove himself, but that he was looking for something to hit that would fight back and he could burn off some rage about the ex wife. It also seemed kind of stupid, in addition to the things already noted, to have Nolan and his TO bounce their heads above the wall the bad guys with guns had just gone over. Seems like a good way to get a head or two blown off.

  4. Marni Graff
    Marni Graff says:

    Yup, definitely a sluggish episode. Same things repeated over and over. Impossible and improbably scenarios galore. Will be surprised if this one makes it long. Only Fillion’s presence is saving it now…

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