Almost from nowhere The Rookie episode 8 “Time of Death” produces the best chapter of the series so far, as John ends up in hot water.
This recap of The Rookie Season 1, Episode 8, “Time of Death”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Apologies folks for the late coverage of The Rookie episode 8. Unfortunately during the release of “Time of Death” our website went through a migration that caused me to pull my hair out for two weeks. I also thought that missing the last episode before the holidays will not be that important, considering it’s only The Rookie. However, as if sod’s law struck down on me, this was the most crucial episode of the series so far. It gave us something to actually care about. I cared about this nonsense series!
Before we move on to the episode’s major plot, we have an equally important story making considerable progress. “Time of Death” sees Tim Bradford’s (Eric Winter) wife taking a deal to go undercover to set up some primary drug dealers. Tim is fuming, as he suspects that the force does not have his wife’s wellbeing in mind. The cop is struggling to separate professional and personal but can you blame him? It’s his wife after all, and its a tough ordeal.
He gets an inside scoop that she will have a wire, which angers him further, forcing himself to be on the task team with Talia Bishop (Afton Williamson), who is trying to get promoted to an investigator. The trap goes horribly wrong as the drug dealer easily suspects that she is undercover, despite her pleas that she is a known drug addict. “Time of Death” concludes this story for now where she has been kidnapped, and Tim is panicked by the sight of blood.
Anyway, to the big break in the story; the morally principled John Nolan (Nathan Fillion) finds himself chasing a criminal, and unfortunately the person refuses to lower their weapon, even turning around without showing the intention that he isn’t a threat. John shoots him straight in the center of his chest. Talia hesitantly announces that the suspect is deceased, leaving John in a daze.
He spends the rest of the episode traumatized, barely unable to speak as he is placed under homicide investigation. He is given all the resources he needs to provide himself with a defense, but he bumbles through the process with PTSD taking over. The reason why “Time of Death” is the most significant episode so far is that John is overly noble, strongly principled and always feels morally obligated to do or say the right thing. And even though he knows deep down he had to pull the trigger, killing another person freezes him with guilt, understandably.
Chapter 8 is a risky episode for The Rookie and one that I was surprised by. If you pause and think about the number of stories that come out in the US media about police shootings, mostly at the black community, this is a story that is usually slapped with accusations of mentally unstable trigger-happy (and racist) cops. The Rookie sideswipes the racism issue because the man who is killed is white, but still, this is a story where an officer kills a member of the public, and the police do everything in their power to give as many resources to the officer as possible.
As “Time of Death” ends, John Nolan reconciles with Lucy (Melissa O’Neil) who takes him home to comfort him. Comfort turns to sex, which will undoubtedly confuse the broken-up couple even more. As Lucy showers and John babbles about whether or not that was “the last time”, a man walks into his house and smashes him with a baseball bat. The light from gunfire is seen as Lucy looks down the corridor and then “To be continued” appears. Luckily, I only have to wait two days after a thrilling episode showing some goddam character development for once.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.