The Rookie Series Premiere Recap & Review
Last night, actor Nathan Fillion’s (best known for Firefly and Castle) new show, The Rookie, premiered on ABC about 40-year-old divorcée, John Nolan, who decides to become a police officer for the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). In the first episode, John deals with trying to prove himself to his superiors, keeping up with his peers, watching a man die in front of him, and getting involved in an in-office romance.
We first see a bit of John’s past, as in why he later decides to become to enroll in the academy. Post-divorce, John heads into a bank to put his ring in a safety deposit when a robbery ensues and John distracts the robber long enough for his friend and manager of the bank to press the panic button. After that, we skip forward to John going into the LAPD, for his first day as a rookie.
There, we meet the other rookies and their commanding officers. But not until after we see a rookie, Lucy Chen, arrest the guy that was trying to steal her broke down car, which I thought was pretty badass. She gets paired up with hard-ass officer Tim Bradford, who’s giving her a hard time, just merely because she’s a rookie. But later, they respond to a call where Tim gets shocked and Lucy drags him away from the scene, shooting back the criminals that shot first. Then there’s Jackson West, the son of internal affairs and a legacy because he apparently broke all the records at the academy, who works with officer Angela Lopez. They both show up to that same scene but Jackson freezes up and isn’t able to shoot back.
John ends up working with Bishop, who is reluctant to work with him, but I think he proves that he’s up for the challenge. In their first go at it, John tries to chase after a runner but gets stuck in a fence that he was trying to catch, so Lucy swoops in and jumps on the guy. Later, John gets ridiculed for getting his foot stuck in between the fences but he doesn’t let that phase him. He does end up saving a boy stuck in a hot car after the LAPD catch his father, who was spouting nonsense about unicorns.
But despite the victory, John goes to another scene he was at earlier in the day, responding to a domestic violence disturbance and watches a man die in his arms after his wife turned out to be the perpetrator. What made matters worse was the fact that John suspected that the wife could be the abuser, but he wasn’t sure, so he didn’t push it. Later, all the rookies go to the bar together to grab a drink and John is still sulking over the man who died. Lucy consoles him and informs him that the waitress is into him.
But he doesn’t go for it. Instead, he ends up hooking up with Lucy, which is against the rules. At least it is if someone were to find out. Unfortunately, Bishop figures it out and warns Lucy to break it off, not because it’s against the rules but because she doesn’t want Lucy’s career to be defined by her relationship with John.
Then there’s Sergeant Grey who constantly teases John for his age and sees him as just a guy going through a mid-life crisis. Which is understandable because it’s what we’re led to believe, but by the end of the episode, it’s clear that John’s committed to becoming a police officer after going through a rough first couple of days.
Overall, I thought reinvention as the premise of the entire show was nice because it’s something I think most people can relate to. Nathan Fillion does a great show as the main character but John Nolan hooking up with Lucy seemed a little random in my opinion. I also don’t think John stopping a robbery is enough of a reason for John to be that committed to being a police officer. It’s enough for him to enroll in the academy and go through the training but I don’t know if that’s enough for him to be a great officer. But fortunately, the show has plenty of time to tell us more about John’s background as well as the rest of the characters.
What did you think of ABC’s newest show, The Rookie? Let me know in the comments!
The Rookie airs on Tuesday nights on ABC at 10/9c.
Samantha Nguyen covers entertainment news for MFST. You can follow her on Twitter @mzsnguyenthai and @mzsamnguyenthai. Also click here to read her personal blog.