‘The Rookie’ Recap: Nolan And Chen Learn To Think Like Criminal Cops


After starting with Chen flipping her and Bradford’s car, The Rookie doesn’t take long to get into the focus of the episode. The police are dealing with the grave shift’s calls, which include searching the apartment of a guy who has been searched multiple times and speaking to a witness who happened to take down a homicide suspect.

This is an episode about thinking like a criminal. Bradford has plenty of lessons to teach Chen and he’s certainly growing as a T.O. Meanwhile, Nolan learns that heroes aren’t always good guys.

West and Lopez Investigate a Shooting

While the others deal with the main story of the week, West and Lopez attend the hospital to investigate a shooting. The dad makes it clear that it was a drive-by shooting, but West knows that it definitely wasn’t the case. The bullet wound doesn’t match a drive-by.

The son won’t talk, but Lopez refuses to leave until she gets some answers. They’re there when the son’s boyfriend shows up. It turns out the dad couldn’t deal with his son being gay. Unfortunately, things don’t end great with the boyfriend stabbing the dad. It’s a good thing they’re in the hospital!

The boyfriend is sent to jail, but the dad is in surgery and things look good. West admits that he thought the son had tried to kill himself. Now he realizes that the son tried to kill the dad.

Nolan Learns Not to Worship His Heroes

To start the episode, Nolan meets up with Hawke, his training officer at the Academy. It doesn’t take long to realize that the guy is going to be the focus for the episode.

When his soon-to-be ex-wife calls in a domestic, she initially tries to say it was a mistake. However, she later admits that Hawke beat her new boyfriend and held him at gunpoint. Nolan and Bishop go to see him at the motel he’s staying at but he takes off.

With Bishop and Nolan being questioned about Hawke taking off, Chen and Bradford end up on the case when Hawke’s cellphone is tracked. Hawke has ditched his phone and Bradford realizes that he’s thinking as something worse than a criminal. He’s thinking as a criminal cop, which means he knows all the tricks.

Out of questioning, Bishop and Nolan are back on the case. The two pairs find Hawke driving around the streets, setting up fake calls and attacks to throw the police off his scent. It doesn’t work and Nolan is given the approval to ram the truck. When Nolan sees that Hawke’s son is in the car, he bottles it. There’s no way they’re taking down an innocent boy too.

Catching the Bad Guy

With a chase on, the police realize that Hawke has a radio. Nolan tries to use it to talk some sense into Hawke, but it doesn’t work. Instead, Hawke turns to a shopping mall to try to hide in a group of people. The police catch up to him and he locks himself and his son in a shop.

His son now learns the truth about what really happened, but he idolizes his dad and refuses to leave him. Hawke cuffs his son to a rail and then takes off, leading to a chase. With another fake call, Nolan starts thinking like a criminal crook. He’d want to divert the force to get away. 

Bradford and Nolan catch up with Hawke and manage to talk him down from suicide by cop. However, Hawke has trained both of them and knows their weaknesses. Just as it looks like Hawke will get away, Bishop and Chen step in with pepper spray and a taser. Hawke is arrested.

What did you think of the lessons Chen and Nolan learned? Had you guessed the outcome of Lopez and West’s case? 

The Rookie airs Tuesdays on ABC.