Despite a late start, a shortened season, and a Covid impacted filming schedule. The Rookie Season 3 gave our TV Fanatics, Christine, Jasmine, and Sarah, plenty to talk about.
From Officer Jackson West putting his life on the line battling racism within the LAPD, Officer Nolan’s Ethics and Criminal Law Professor tackling police reform, Officer Lucy Chen’s foray into dangerous undercover operations, and Angela and Wesley’s much-anticipated wedding, our TV Fanatic team tackles it all.
Check out which stories they loved, what was a crushing disappointment, the characters that shined, as well as the one they don't yet trust...
What did you think of The Rookie's season finale and the non-wedding wedding?
Sarah: I loved it as a regular episode, but it didn't really feel like a finale to me, you know? Maybe because we all knew that something would happen at the wedding and that we weren't actually going to see them walk down the aisle.
It was just kind of underwhelming.
Christine: I agree. This had nowhere near the high-intensity impact of The Rookie Season 2 finale. I’m just so tired of being teased about weddings and then having someone abducted, and the wedding doesn’t happen.
That was a horrible season finale that happened on Castle, and now, when I see it elsewhere, I roll my eyes and want to tune out. It doesn't help that I know some of the same writers were on that show, making it feel like a bad plot being rehashed, which only makes it worse.
Jasmine: Yeah, I agree. Part of the issue was promos revealing too much again. And while the episode did end on a cliffhanger, it just felt like another episode of The Rookie with a predictable twist at the end.
I think it would've been better if they followed through with the wedding. Sometimes the happy moments are just as worth it and compelling as action and drama.
Sarah: Exactly! Last year's finale really raised the bar because it was so intense and twisty, and you didn't know where the story was going. With this finale, it all seemed very predictable.
And, as you said, the whole interrupted wedding thing has been done before, so it didn't surprise me. I would have loved actually to see Angela and Wesley get married! Hopefully, one day.
Jasmine: I'm actually afraid that after all of this, they'll have them go to the Justice of the Peace, and we won't get the big wedding and will get robbed of that.
Christine: Yup, I worry that now we'll end up with some quicky wedding for Wesley and Angela instead of a real wedding with family and friends, in which case they'll have taken an event fans were looking forward to and made it disappointing all over again.
Sarah: I would not be surprised at all if they end up having just a quicky wedding, which would be disappointing because Angela deserves to have her big day!
It seemed fans were upset on two fronts. One was the interrupted wedding, and the other was that they were teased about a dance for Tim and Lucy and never got to see it.
Jasmine: I was really annoyed that they just dropped that whole dance thing too. Why with the ship bait? I hate 'ship baiting.
Just give us something or not, but stop with the manipulation and attempts at fandom service.
Christine: Yeah, I understand that they think it's too soon for Lucy and Tim to get together. He was her T.O. like five minutes ago, but I hate it when they play with fans like this and don't give any type of payoff.
Fans would have been thrilled to have that moment of a dance between them, but we couldn't even get that.
Sarah: Yes! The show keeps on teasing Tim and Lucy in all of their promos just for it to be a misdirect. They know that most of their viewers are Tim/Lucy shippers, so they're using that to their advantage.
But it's so annoying when it doesn't pay off. All I know is that many viewers will riot if they don't get their Chenford dance...
Christine: What's sad is that the payoff doesn't have to be anything huge at this point. I think fans are invested in the little moments between the two of them.
Tim asking for the dance was fantastic, but the dance itself, which would have been a whole minute of screen time, would have made shippers extraordinarily happy. Instead, they're ticked off for being teased and getting nothing.
Sarah: That's a great point. Tim and Lucy's relationship has always been an understated but poignant part of the show; fans will be happy with anything they can get. Hopefully, the writers consider this when planning the next season.
Christine: Yeah, I think the writers have another year before fans want serious movement with this relationship. But sometimes, I think writers forget that TV fans have a lot of shows to choose from now.
It's not like decades ago when fans would stick around for seasons on just the hope that their favorites might get together. Now, if couples don't get together within two to four seasons, fans get bored and move on.
What did you think of Lucy going undercover? Was it over too soon, or was this the right amount of drama?
Jasmine: Lucy going undercover this soon after graduating from rookie status was already a stretch and sudden, so for it to happen and then to end this soon felt disappointing.
I thought she would be under for months, and then we'd get an interesting arc next season where she returns from undercover, and she's more hardened, paranoid, or just changed. All of her friends (and Tim) have to reconcile with that and her trying to shed months of being another person.
I feel like that would've been compelling on so many fronts. I liked the drama well enough, but I would've loved it more if they wanted to introduce it like this.
Sarah: I loved seeing Lucy undercover, but I agree. I was surprised that it only lasted an episode. Since they said she was going "deep undercover," I suspected this would be a multi-episode arc.
Of course, there will probably be more undercover chances for her down the line, but I wanted more from this specific one.
Christine: I agree. The way they played it up, I thought this was going to spill over into next season. Having her wrap up the assignment in one episode was strangely disappointing.
What did you think of Prof. Fiona Ryan?
Christine: She was a good way to bring in the topic of police reform, but it began to feel like someone was running to her every other episode.
Jasmine: I really liked Fiona! I enjoyed how she challenged Nolan and how he did the same for her. It was a decent way to bring in some police reform.
And I love that their relationship didn't become romantic, which easily could've happened.
I do agree that it felt at times like they shoehorned her in for almost every little reform thing, though. But overall, it was a refreshing approach that she challenged but wasn't an outright antagonist or anything like that.
Christine: I liked the topics and different points of view she brought up. Sometimes I agreed with her and sometimes I didn't, but that's what makes it interesting. But towards the end of the season, it felt like they were looking for ways to insert her into every episode.
Jasmine: I totally agree about how it got toward the end.
Sarah: I agree! It was nice to see a character on a cop show that was not one hundred percent pro-cop. Fiona's introduction brought in a nice change of pace and actually made the viewers think about all the points she brought up.
As Jasmine said, she wasn't written to be the "villain" or annoying in any way, which I was glad about. And I thought that she and Nolan would get together until the show brought in Jenna Dewan on the finale.
Jasmine: But then it just petered off. So her address was released on a white supremacist site. Did she ever move or anything? Because damn.
Christine: Yes! I had forgotten about her address being published. In real life, that would be horrifying, and I doubt arresting just a few would solve the problem.
Jasmine: Exactly! So I've always wondered about that. It was just hanging there.
Sarah: Especially because she has such a strong social media presence!
Christine: Yeah, the way that was dropped makes little sense, other than it's a TV show, and they can do that.
What about Jackson's story arc this season? Were you surprised they dove into such a dramatic story about racism within the department and how difficult it is to combat?
Sarah: Jackson's storyline was probably my favorite this season, even though it was quite hard to watch. I was a bit surprised that it got to the point it did with Jackson getting beat up to catch Doug, but it just reinforced the seriousness of it all and how hard it is actually to punish bad cops.
Plus, it's very difficult to make me hate Brandon Routh, and The Rookie did just that, so kudos. And after having a bland season two, I was so happy that Jackson got to step into the spotlight.
Christine: Yeah, Doug Stanton was despicable! I liked that he got his job back because that was realistic. I've seen how difficult it can be to fire someone on other jobs, and police officers seem to have even more protection.
But I would like to see what happens to Doug moving forward.
Jasmine: I was really surprised! I mean, they didn't hold back with Jackson's storyline at all. Many shows tackle these issues and try to play in safe, serve two masters, so to speak. But The Rookie WENT there.
I was pleasantly surprised by that, and it also was great because Jackson was notoriously a neglected character who got robbed of more solid storytelling. So on both fronts, it was one of the strongest arcs of the season.
And my goodness, I didn't think sweet Brandon Routh could play a character I hated so much, but he did a damn good job playing a villain. I have to commend him on his range. I was glued to the screen and verbally reacting to that entire storyline.
Christine: It was great to see Jackson get such a solid storyline and that it pulled in Sgt. Grey and his father, Commander West.
Jasmine: It's very realistic that Stanton got his job back, too. So as much I wanted to scream, I appreciated the reality of that.
Sarah: Me too! I expected never to see Doug again, but I'm glad that The Rookie isn't afraid to portray the sad truths of the world.
As of the finale, it appears Nolan has a new girlfriend. What did you think of Jenna Dewan's debut as Bailey, and are you hoping she sticks around? Would you like to see any of Nolan's previous girlfriends return?
Sarah: I don't know if it was just me, but I was totally expecting her to turn out to be a bad guy. Her introduction just seemed too perfect, like the kind you would find in a rom-com.
I do enjoy her chemistry with Nolan, but I'm still wary of her. Things seem too good to be true with her!
Christine: Yes, it felt like something directly out of a rom-com meet-cute moment. So much so that I kind of rolled my eyes when he opened the door and found her there in the towel.
Jasmine: I don't know what it is about Nolan, but I have ZERO interest in his love life at all. At best, I'm ambivalent. At worst, I'm just annoyed.
I wasn't exactly excited when Jenna Dewan's character showed up, and the way things progressed felt strange to me. I didn't feel like I could trust her? Like maybe they were angling for something sinister or something? I don't know.
So I can't say I care enough about her sticking around unless she turns out to be a stalker or a plant or something. And meh. I don't care if any of his previous love interests return or not either.
Sarah: None of his previous girlfriends ever struck a chord with me, though. So, hopefully, I'm wrong because I do enjoy their banter so far.
Jasmine: LOL! I love that we all were suspicious of her.
Christine: I liked Grace, the ER doctor, and was sad to see her go. They had nice chemistry and felt like adults. Jenna comes across much younger, although I think the actress is about 40 years old in real life.
Jasmine: She definitely had a sorority girl vibe or something. It was weird.
Christine: As far as Bailey goes, she's interesting, but I'm not sure how I feel about her paired with Nolan. It felt like they moved fast with this. Nolan just felt more natural with Grace, where this feels a little more forced, but maybe that will change given time.
Sarah: Is it sad that I actually don't remember why Nolan and Grace broke up? Like Jasmine, I've never been too invested in Nolan's love life. They were cute, but they didn't stick with me.
With Bailey, things are definitely moving too fast, and that's probably why we are all suspicious of her.
Christine: Grace decided to give her marriage one more shot for the sake of her son. Odds are it won't work, so I hope we might get her back someday.
Did you have a favorite character or moment this season?
Christine: My favorite moment was Wesley standing up to La Fiera’s henchman. I’m sure the guy expected Wesley to cower, and I loved that he came back at him so hard.
Also, Tim convincing Angela there was no reason to hide her baby bump for her wedding. This isn't the 1950s, for goodness sake, and she's beautiful pregnant, or not pregnant. And it's not like hiding it under a bunch of tulle was going to fool anyone!
Jasmine: Oh man. I loved Jackson this season. He had so many great moments as he spoke his mind and asserted himself.
Tim as Angela's perfect Man of Honor, also made me smile. And I loved his approach to teaching his rookie, Barnes, who left.
And there, of course, were so many good moments with Lucy. And Nyla, I love her. I love her relationship with both Nolan and Lucy. There were many great moments.
Christine: Yeah, the character interaction is top-notch. The show has such a talented cast.
Jasmine: And they all have great chemistry and play off each other well. There's always a new dynamic to play with, and they're always evolving. They know how to use their ensemble cast properly, and I LOVE that.
Sarah: I did really enjoy Tim becoming Angela's man of honor. They share a beautiful friendship, and I am always excited when we get to see the soft side of Tim.
I also loved every interaction between Angela and La Fiera. It was so interesting because it wasn't the typical hero/villain dynamic, even though that's what they were at the end of the day. I'm excited to see what else is in store for that story and that relationship as the show continues.
Christine: Yes, too many shows try to focus on their "stars," but The Rookie has a wonderful, diverse cast. Because there are so many characters in which I'm invested, I never feel like I'm waiting for the good stuff. It's all good stuff.
Sarah: Yes, the chemistry in this cast is beyond incredible! They all play off one another so well.
Christine: I also loved how they didn’t make Silas a one-off character, and they showed how his autism made him an asset in helping Patrice with the wedding.
Sarah: Me too! There were a lot of great new characters introduced this season.
Jasmine: Oh my goodness, yes. I loved that so much!
Anything else you'd like to discuss before we sign off? Anything you're looking forward to for next season?
Sarah: I am looking forward to seeing Angela and Wesley actually get married, have the wedding of their dreams, and have a healthy baby. I am manifesting this because it needs to happen. They have already been through way too much.
Jasmine: I think they did well this season, considering COVID and all. I'd like to see more of the same.
I still want my Wesley and Angela wedding, and I want a beautiful delivery of their baby. Let them be happy!
I like Nolan's trajectory of trying to be a TO and would love to see him in action there. I want more undercover for Lucy, maybe something akin to what I mentioned above, and obviously, more Chenford however I can get it.
Sarah: Yes, I am a shameless shipper, and it's time that they give the people what they want! I still want there to be a slow build to a relationship between Tim and Lucy, but I want feelings to be mentioned at the very least.
Jasmine: I'd like them to continue with their police reform storylines. There are so many different avenues they can take with it, showing how good policing can be. The community outreach and such was so good to me.
Sarah: A great way to go about that is with more undercover work for Lucy.
Now it’s your turn! Grade The Rookie Season 3 Finale!
Grade The Rookie Season 3 Season as a whole.
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C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.