Officer John Nolan is no longer known as the oldest rookie. Well, he’s not only known as the oldest rookie.
Other cops refer to him as the “trouble magnet” and with reason, as Nolan was taken hostage on The Rookie Season 3 Episode 5.
But the hostage situation and ensuing lockdown felt like filler compared to the real drama going on between Officers Stanton and Jackson West.
Don’t get me wrong, a huge bomb in a truck outside of a police station would normally feel like the focal point of any installment. But we knew that the odds of Nolan being killed or the bomb going off and destroying the station was slim to none, so it was difficult to drum up a lot of concern.
Jackson’s situation was much different. He was willing to put it all on the line to get a racist, dangerous cop off the street.
I don’t want a career if it means making way for guys like Stanton.
But I’m not sure that Jackson, or viewers, realized he wasn’t just risking his career but his life in going up against Stanton.
As it turned out, Stanton wasn’t just a racist but a misogynist too when he mocked Officer Chen calling her Bradford’s “hot, little boot.”
I loved that Chen didn’t get flustered or back down, even when Stanton threatened to write her up. As usual, anyone who doesn’t know Lucy underestimates her. It wouldn’t shock me to see her take Stanton down.
And her quip about experiencing a testosterone contact high made me laugh.
Bradford: What happened to deescalate or it will only make things harder for Jackson?
Chen: I don’t know. That was super weird. I feel like I had a testosterone contact high.
In part, Jackson wasn’t wrong about Stanton. Doug Stanton is a bully who would get off on seeing West grovel.
Stanton is all ego and always has to be the alpha male in every situation. If West hadn’t both called him out and threatened him with an Internal Affairs investigation, Jackson’s feigned mea culpa and plea for forgiveness might have worked.
But the moment Stanton felt threatened, there was little doubt he would retaliate in some way.
Putting Jackson in peril was far too easy. Having a partner you can’t trust is a horrifying situation for a cop because there are times they are the only person available to have your back.
Was Stanton willing to let Jackson be killed? It certainly seemed so. The only reason he came to Jackson’s aid, even after the mob had stopped beating him, was because Officers Bradford and Chen had arrived.
When Jackson reached up and turned Stanton’s bodycam back on, saving the last two minutes of data, I actually cheered out loud.
Making me audibly cheer, shed real tears, or yell at the screen are all signs that the story has me hooked, and Jackson West’s story, at different times, has done all three.
The Rookie went all in with this story of the damage one racist cop can do not just to the community they serve but how they affect the other cops around them.
Many officers saw Stanton as a “good cop.” Jackson was told to keep his head down, get through his training, and don’t make waves by trusted colleagues such as Bradford because that’s the way it’s always been done.
Cops don’t turn on other cops, even when they’re in the wrong.
Sgt. Grey and Commander West, two respected black men, have been a part of the LAPD for a quarter of a century, and yet how much has really changed if Officers like Stanton are not only tolerated but still admired by some in their ranks?
Jackson: Who knew that getting my ass kicked would get this thing done?
Grey: You could have died.
Jackson: Yeah, well, it was worth it to get the needle moving in the right direction.
Grey: You shouldn’t have to risk your life to get a bad cop fired.
To put it bluntly, Jackson West has serious balls. He was willing to do whatever it took, from risking a career he’s dreamed of since he was a toddler to putting his life on the line to “move the needle,” as he put it.
It shouldn’t have come to that, but it’s probably a lot closer to reality than we’d care to believe.
That said, I hope this story isn’t over. I have little doubt that there won’t be backlash for Jackson and even Bradford for taking down another cop, no matter what the circumstances.
The one scene I was missing was a conversation between Commander West and Sgt. Grey. I can barely imagine what these two men would say to one another as West’s son lay in that hospital bed, but it’s something I’d love to hear.
Back to our “main” story…Officer Nolan was in peril once again. I always wonder what the protocol is for a cop giving up his weapon. There must be some sort of policy for that, right?
And are handcuffs really that easy to break open?
When Graham fell unconscious with the dead man’s switch still in his hand, it did get my heart rate up a bit.
Graham: My blood pressure must have bottomed out. It happens sometimes.
Nolan: Well given that fun fact how about we disconnect the deadman’s switch?
Graham: That’s not happening.
Constructing a fake bomb and threatening an entire police precinct seemed a little over the top for Kelsey’s circumstances. I mean, what were the odds she’d actually be able to grab a key card and avoid all of the cops in the building to try and steal her own fingerprints.
It felt like there had to be a better way. Graham didn’t care about going back to prison because he didn’t have long to live, but they had to realize that Kelsey could still end up doing substantial jail time for this stunt if she were caught. All of that made it difficult to take this plot seriously.
Finally, we get to Angela, who got the results of the amnio without telling Wesley.
The fact that we got the good news so quickly, their baby is not a carrier of Fragile X syndrome makes me think that Angela’s anger over being blindsided by this will turn into a larger conversation.
And it should.
This is something Wesley should have discussed with her either before or shortly after they became engaged. That he didn’t must have Lopez wondering if there could be other important topics they haven’t discussed or if this will become a pattern they repeat in the future.
But for now, I’m thrilled their baby is healthy, and I’m looking forward to watching her pregnancy play out the rest of this season.
So what did you think, TV Fanatics?
Were you more interested in Nolan in peril, or was Jackson’s story the main draw for this episode?
Hit that big, blue, SHOW COMMENTS button down below and tell us what you think. Then sit back and watch The Rookie online here at TV Fanatic.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.