The Rookie s2 ep 15

At the start of this busy and entertaining episode Nolan suddenly realises that his credit rating is tanking, and on further investigation it looks as if he’s been the victim of identity theft. He takes it to in-house expert Detective Summerland (Jeremy Davies, giving it the full twitchy Jeremy Davies number. Which, I will admit, I quite like) who confirms that his son’s college fund has also been emptied, but reassures him that if they find the baddie, Nolan might be able to get a few cents back in five or six years. This isn’t entirely welcome news. Fortunately, the miscreant (Seth Green) was dumb enough to spend some of his money on a watch with inbuilt GPS, which means that Nolan and Harper can track him easily enough (I’m not sure that Nolan should be investigating a case in which he is the main victim, but whatevs). Despite all the evidence pointing to him as the thief, he’s pretty insistent that it wasn’t him, to the point where I wondered whether the driver of the mysterious SUV which parks outside his house was going to be a lot more involved than he turned out to be.

In the slightest of this week’s storylines Jackson finds a case file which has actually, rather than metaphorically, fallen down the back of a filing cabinet. It’s a relatively minor vandalism from a year ago which was never assigned, and when Jackson brings the victim in and apologises for the LAPD’s apparent indolence, it’s perhaps no great surprise that the victim doesn’t want it taken any further. He’s very insistent, though, to the point where Jackson decides it might be better to do some digging after all. Unsurprisingly, the victim is hiding something. Quite a big something.

The other storylines are heavyweights. Grey and Lopez are attending the parole hearing of the man who, ten years ago, shot Grey and killed his partner; Lopez, on her first day, was on the scene. This becomes particularly interesting when Lopez reveals to Grey that his partner, who Grey thought was sober after battling an alcohol problem, had been drinking on the day of his death. Which gives Grey something to think about, particularly when he encounters the killer’s young son at the prison. Now, the traditional stance of American cop procedurals, even those with an otherwise liberal worldview, is somewhat Old Testamentary on issues of punishment, particularly for cop killers. It might just be confirmation bias on my part, but it does seem to me that this particular tide is turning, and Grey is notably ambivalent about whether the killer should get parole. He doesn’t, this time, but Grey puts down a marker: if you do get out, turn yourself into a man your son can be proud of.

The other storyline starts out light and ends up dark, and I’m not really sure to make of it. Rachel’s father Colin – old school small-town cop – is in LA to see his daughter, and to meet Bradford. To start with, the two of them face off – maybe, I idly wonder, Colin senses that Bradford is trifling with his daughter’s attentions, and would sooner be hitting it with his boot – but game recognise game, and soon enough they’re teaming up to catch the guy who broke into Colin’s hire car. So far, so standard. But then Colin warns Bradford away from his daughter, because he’s a cop, wedded to the job, and is he going to look after Rachel when she gets sick. Uh…? says Bradford. Oh, says Colin, you didn’t know. My bad.

Because Rachel has a chance of developing Huntington’s disease, and Bradford didn’t know. Nor did Chen, as it happens. Rachel isn’t particularly happy about such an intimate detail being revealed to everyone, when her desire is to live a normal life for as long as possible without everyone looking at her as if she were dying. Bradford, of course, vows to stick by her. Not sure whether this makes Chenford any more likely, mind you, which is a problem.

4 thoughts on “The Rookie s2 ep 15

  1. CJ Cregg April 28, 2020 / 4:39 pm

    I found this episode a bit different from the show’s usual style, for a number of reasons, which is not a bad thing, but I wouldn’t want it every week if you know what I mean.

    As unpopcult’s genre liaison, I should flag up that, as well as being off-screen friends (or so I understand), Seth Green and Nathan Fillion are linked work-wise through various things (eg Robot Chicken, even Castle), as well as them both being part of the Whedonverse – Seth in Buffy, Nathan in Firefly. So their reunion was particularly cute for the fans, although I found the identity theft thing really stressful and therefore a lot less funny than I think it was meant to be. It really does ruin people’s lives in real life. I was very relieved that he was going to get most of his money back, even if there was little doubt – no way the show is going to plunge Nolan back into years of debt and depression and have us watch him struggle with it, it’s just not part of its vibe or how it presents Nolan as a character.

    Well done to Nolan for the bathroom-cam and to Harper for that shot on the rail tracks after the assist from the guys in the chopper, meantime. I always enjoy an “On your six!”

    The Grey story was interesting – I think he’s a great character, and Richard T Jones is fantastic, so it was nice to see him get his own storyline and give Angela something different to do as well (away from Wes, whom I just cannot get behind as a convincing partner for her). I was surprised as well by the slightly different attitude of the show, and it’s a difficult line to walk, but I thought his speech was written and delivered just right. It’s too soon to release the man now, but one day it won’t be, and while he can’t fix what he did in the past, he can try and do good in the future. RTJ nailed it. I wouldn’t be surprised if it is part of setting up Grey’s retirement though. This is pure speculation, I love him and I’d be sorry to see him go, but there was a hint about his wife wanting him to retire earlier in the season, and you know it would leave a Sgt spot open for someone currently on the waiting list whom we don’t want to see leave the main cast either….

    Onto the most perplexing sub-plot, then. At the moment, this is at least the third show I’ve seen (the other two being Neighbours and Casualty, I make no apologies for either) which has featured characters coping with either knowing they’re going to develop Huntington’s in the future, knowing they carry the gene and might pass it to any kids, or knowing they *might* have it and struggling with whether to be tested or not. So maybe it’s one of those storylines that’s going through a bit of a phase and cropping up everywhere. I don’t think it worked here though. I think it was just too early in a relationship nobody has seemed that invested in as yet, not even the characters themselves. It would have worked better had it been Angela and Wes, tbh, at least they’re well-established as being wholly committed to each other.

    I initially thought Colin’s resistance to Tim was based on race tbh – didn’t want his daughter going through prejudice aimed at interracial couples or something along those lines – and was surprised when it turned out to be the Huntington’s issue. It was a bit out of the blue, and a weird stage in the relationship for it to happen. I think it might just be because I binged the season so quickly, but I feel like Tim and Rachel are still at a relatively early, relatively casual stage in their relationship so I thought it was too soon for the show to manoeuvre him into suddenly giving it the full “I’m not going anywhere” aka I will stand by you through death and disaster etc commitment. Too soon for both of them. I mean, never mind Tim – just for a moment, I promise – does *Rachel* think Tim might be the one? I wouldn’t have thought she was anywhere near thinking that yet, and neither’s he. Hence why she hadn’t told him herself.

    FWIW, though, I don’t think it will make any difference to the likelihood of Chenford happening in the long run. Officer Tim Bradford and his hero complex were never going to say “Well, that sounds rough, sorry, babe – I’m out, but have a nice life!” It goes against everything he’s made of. So I think it’ll be Rachel who ultimately decides to split with him nonetheless, probably because much as they like each other, she knows it’s not long-term and she might not have time to waste. She’ll probably even hint that she knows he’s more into someone else, just to get us all excited….. I saw someone online describe her as the “starter girlfriend”, so Tim can learn how to be in a functional, happy relationship again before he eventually goes out with Lucy, which is… not a nice position for Rachel, but probably pretty accurate….

  2. Jed Bartlet April 29, 2020 / 11:52 am

    The Huntington’s plot is a pretty standard one, to be fair. I must have seen it a dozen times in a variety of shows over the years.

    My guess is that Rachel will decide to spare Tim what’s coming, despite his insistence. This will restore her roadbump status, and also spare the awkwardness of any suggestion that the person he’s more into is, in fact, her BFF.

  3. Dani May 9, 2020 / 2:42 pm

    I was completely blindsided by this episode. After all the chenford build up in episodes 10 to 14 (five in a row!!) we find out Tim’s feelings are getting deeper for *Rachel*.
    I don’t know if the show was misleading on purpose until episode 14, or if it was just bad planning, but the whiplash is not appreciated.

  4. CJ Cregg May 10, 2020 / 4:58 pm

    Hi Dani, welcome to unpopcult 🙂 I agree with you, the Rachel stuff seemed very out of kilter with the Chenford mood of the last few episodes – another reason why the storyline just did not work in this ep. I think it’s maybe bad planning as you say. I’m still convinced Chenford is the endgame, though. They’ve done far too much of the groundwork for it to be anything else. And their chemistry is off the charts – 😉

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