The second episode of The Rookie, “Crash Course”, provided the same nonsense energy of the pilot, but at least it serves entertainment value.
After the fast-paced nature of the pilot, The Rookie keeps that same energy in the follow-up. “Crash Course” is almost the same episode, with the rookies still finding their place, but at least this time the characters are bedded in, so we can enjoy some slim development. The second episode felt acutely better, but most importantly, it is still entertaining, like a guilty-pleasure popcorn movie.
John Nolan’s (Nathan Fillion) limit is tested in “Crash Course”, with the lively episode opening up with a high-speed chase, which oddly ends up with a woman in a bridal dress threatening to commit suicide. The Rookie shows that John has the intuition of a God, as he smartly gets the distressed woman to consider living instead, in an extremely quick fashion. I must add that I refuse to believe this scenario would be left to the rookie and not his experienced mentor. The Rookie does have this habit of making episode-long situations feel like a small part of a cop’s day.
But this was not John’s ultimate test in “Crash Course”. Whilst he is working under the pressure of ageist Sergeant Wade Grey (Richard T. Jones), who seems to find any excuse to blame John for anything despite doing more than a worthy job on the streets, he becomes an untitled detective, investigating the whereabouts of kidnapped women, whilst at the same time pissing off the actual detectives who feel like he is intruding, causing his mentor Talia Bishop (Afton Williamson) to halfheartedly have his back. The Rookie keeps testing John, with quick and unrealistic results, but little emotional value.
Meanwhile, John’s quickly-formed love partner and fellow rookie Lucy (Melissa O’Neil) is feeling the pressure from Talia Bishop to call off the relationship. If we swiftly revert our minds to the pilot, according to Talia, there is a culture within the police force where women are looked down upon if they form a relationship with a cop, due to the masculine nature of their male colleagues, and implies that her career will be over if her peers find out. This does not stop Lucy from hesitantly continuing her relationship and so far, it does not seem to affect her day to day job at all, with the rookie making a successful arrest before helping John with the kidnapper.
As the episode ends, Jackson West (Titus Makin Jr.) overcomes his fears on the streets, Lucy feels unnecessarily bullied by her mentors and John is, once again, not only the most speedily-developed cop in the history of the human race but respected by the seniors at the police department. The second episode pretty much ended like the first, giving us that unfamiliar feeling that this is going to be it for The Rookie.
And like the first episode, “Crash Course” serves little sense, preferring to show off with unnecessary body and dash cams. For a show that is meant to be about rookies of the police department riding around with their mentors, you are forced to suspend your disbelief on many occasions. I get that The Rookie is cop entertainment, but as it douses itself in nonsensical rules (i.e doing a fine job gets arbitrarily punished) you can slowly feel your brain mellowing as you resort to such generic trash. At the same time, I felt guilty for kind of enjoying it.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.