The Rookie Season 6 Episode 8 Review: Punch Card

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Well, The Rookie sure knows how to cram in the maximum amount of stress and pain in 45 minutes or less!

To say The Rookie Season 6 Episode 8 was an adrenaline-inducing, nail-biter, filled to the brim with revelations, badassery, and soul-crushing moments would be an understatement.

While we already knew Monica, the second most interesting redhead to grace this series, was shady as willow tree in July, learning that she's working alongside Blair was a shock.

Secret Partners - The Rookie Season 6 Episode 8

But that's not to say most of us weren't suspicious of Blair initially.

The Rookie tips its hat as a procedural because it can be formulaic despite all the unpredictable and intense moments.

Gang War in a Hospital Shocks - tall - The Rookie Season 6 Episode 8

One thing consistent about this series is that when they introduce a new recurring side character, nine times out of 10, that person is a Baddie or at least adjacent to some nefarious things.

Blair has been high on everyone's suspect list since she batted those eyelashes when we first met her.

It made little sense that someone with such little experience in her field somehow nabbed the department shrink job. It's a tall order to give to even the best therapist, but someone still wet behind the ears isn't your ideal candidate.

It's not like public defenders, after all. No shade to them; it's a grueling gig, and For the People was a wonderful example of how they get a bad rap.

Monica Tells Them Off - The Rookie Season 6 Episode 8

Blair has been incredibly inappropriate as a therapist. She hasn't handled herself well at all with Thorsen.

Regardless of how she wanted to play it off, she flirted with him and led him on, pushing boundaries or downright bulldozing past them.

It was offputting when she welcomed Bradford into the fold because it felt like she had ulterior motives. She's far too expressive not to suspect something was off about her.

So, by the time she came face-to-face with Monica after the latter killed a man, it tracked that she and that diabolical redhead were in cahoots with each other.

Sneaky Monica - The Rookie Season 6 Episode 8

Every time Monica pops up again, there's this wonderful combination of loathing her and enjoying how shady and unapologetically evil she is. She's kind of a baddie that you can't help but love, or at least be entertained by.

Opening with her was a great start to an installment that felt like the series got a jolt of adrenaline during the second half of the season.

Grey: In the name of the Los Angeles Police Department, I hereby appoint you as acting training officer for the day.
Chen: Is that something you can do, sir?
Grey: I'm all-powerful.

She put up a fight when that mercenary tried to kill her, and you can't say that woman isn't scrappy and has about as many lives as a cat. Evil never dies easily, though.

But then, one thing about Monica is she always comes across as a survivor more than anything else. It makes her a more compelling antagonist from that angle.

Partners in Nefarious Deeds - The Rookie Season 6 Episode 8

And she's had her work cut out for her being a good one on a series with Elijah Stone and a host of other antagonists that are a few notches about the fray.

She shot that man when she didn't need to and damn near pulled a move out of that '90s flick A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, ensuring she went to the hospital with her attacker.

Her determination to get to that man despite all the chaos that ensued was admirable, or unhinged, perhaps both.

But what did she think she'd get out of that? We all know that man wouldn't tell her who sent him. It was apparent he was a professional, and they never talked.

Juarez and Chen - tall - The Rookie Season 6 Episode 8

If anything, the situation was purely her giving into her predatorial instincts and getting to kill the man for coming for her in the first place or maybe to send a message.

It was frustrating that the Hollywood cop left the gunman, but they at least built up enough chaos where the action was forgivable.

Lopez and Harper know she's responsible for that man's death, but they have to have all their ducks in a row if they ever have a shot at taking Monica down.

They have to sit and wait for this woman to slip up if they want to nail her to the wall for her misdeeds. And the turning point for her could be Blair.

Suspicous Doctor - tall - The Rookie Season 6 Episode 8

Blair seems like a weak link in a long chain of something that goes above her pay grade, so she may be crucial to unraveling so much.

The gang war angle delivered on the action. It was hard to keep up with everything happening there.

The leader of one faction was murdered, and all hell broke loose. Can you imagine a full-blown gang war happening inside of a hospital? It was absolutely mad!

Angela: Quickie in the janitor's closet?
Wesley: Wait, do you have time?
Angela: A girl can fantasize.

But everyone rose to the occasion for this. One perp got the jump on Smitty, but  Chen was right there to take him down, and she was such a badass.

Nolan had his fair share of heroic moments as well, and his meeting in the men's room as the criminals were loading their weapons was hilarious.

Bailan Hospital Visit - tall - The Rookie Season 6 Episode 8

Lopez and Harper coming in as backup as if they were in the wild, wild west, and they were the heroines there to save the day, was peak badassery, but we don't expect anything less from them.

Bailey even had her moments to shine and stepped up well. She probably appreciated the distraction after learning that she'd have to go through IVF.

It knocked the wind out of her sails, and we may have reached a turning point in this storyline.

She seemingly wanted to have a kid on a whim, and now it's ended just as fast. However, it could still lead to a fostering or adoption storyline.

They still have their bond with Celina to hold them over.

Rookie Ladies Run Point - The Rookie Season 6 Episode 8

Celina paired with Lucy was great. She shined well, and like Lucy when she got to work with Harper, there's something about having the women train each other that delivers some of the best results.

It's male-dominated, and women approach the job differently and deal with different things. The Rookie is fortunate to have multiple badass inspirational women, especially in a series about cops.

It works best when they take full advantage of that.

While the detective thing didn't work out for Chen, it's clear that she's great at the job and would do just as well as a T.O. And it was adorable that Grey has all the confidence in the world of her and wanted to make her an honorary T.O. for the day.

Arresting a Perp in a Gown - tall - The Rookie Season 6 Episode 8

Grey is so Dad-Coded with Lucy these days in the sweetest way possible. It was absolutely hilarious and sweet when Grey point-blank told Bradford that if he didn't work things out with her or at least make things less awkward, he'd send one of them away, and he wasn't getting rid of Lucy.

Everyone stayed on Bradford's neck for the entire installment. He was getting chewed out left and right.

Grey isn't happy about his pseudo-children's breakup. He's been a closet Chenford shipper for a while now.

Thorsen, who is consistently comedic gold-prying and trying to understand why they broke up, was classic. And, of course, he's giving her the best present for her birthday and not batting an eye over it.

Bloodied Thorsen -tall - The Rookie Season 6 Episode 8

Mad Dog had a word with him, too. But, of course, that makes more sense in hindsight.

They're laying the Chenford angst on hard these days. But amid all that emotion is the glimmer of hope that they'll find their way back to one another sooner rather than later.

Thorsen: Can I ask you why y'all split up?
Bradford: No.

The card he sent her via Kojo was cute, and we know that in saying Kojo loved her, he also meant it was him. But one couldn't help but wish he'd be a big boy about this and face her and say these things himself.

Of course, he's also in uncharted territory and likely trying to respect her boundaries right now.

Grey is Confused - tall - The Rookie Season 6 Episode 8

It's a tough time in the Chenford Camp, but if you're an angst lover, they give us all these delicious crumbs to snack on. Both of them being teary-eyed and apart from each other? That's quality angst right there.

But then they took things further with those final moments.

Grey: That wasn't awkward at all.
Bradford: Believe it or not, this is better than it has been.
Grey: Well, you need to fix it. Dysfunction kills team efficiency, and I'm not going out like that, so you need to work it out. Otherwise, I'm going to have to choose who stays or who transfers to North Hollywood, and trust me, it won't be Officer Chen who goes.

It's already upsetting that a man who has bottled up so much and has so much unresolved trauma, like Bradford, finally broke down and went to a therapist, and his experience with that is Blair.

She's now a suspect in what's going on. He and Grey have surmised after that pulse-pounding explosion that there's a mole, and all signs point to her.

Out the Van - tall - The Rookie Season 6 Episode 8

One would hope it wouldn't turn him off from continuing to see someone because it's apparent that he needs the therapy, and it would be beneficial.

But he has trust issues, and he's guarded, so this is more than enough reason to have him shut down.

Worse yet, they've added to his traumas with Mad Dog's death by suicide and the chance that he'll be hauled in for killing him.

When will Bradford catch a break?

Tim and Aaron on the Move - The Rookie

Mad Dog's association with Blair was suspect enough, but it was easy to write that off as her preying on another cop for some nefarious plans.

But Mad Dog's stubborn refusal and defensiveness when Bradford questioned his op instantly put him in suspicious territory. It didn't make sense that he wouldn't consider what Bradford said for the team's safety.

It made it glaring that he was involved with something. When that explosion happened, and we learned that he was barely injured, unlike others, it confirmed it.

And it wasn't lost that Blair showed up to see him specifically when so many of her other clients were probably there. It also outed him as someone who was seeing her.

Mafia War - tall - The Rookie Season 6 Episode 8

But then Mad Dog shut down on Bradford when the drugs started kicking in because he didn't want to say something he couldn't take back.

The rooftop scene was nerve-wracking because once someone gets called to a rooftop and a distressed person stands near the edge, you already know where it's headed.

Mad Dog: It wasn't supposed to go down like this?
Bradford: What do you mean? Did you compromise the op?

Mad Dog shared just enough to confirm that there's something bigger at play and point the finger in Blair's direction, but not enough to be of real use.

But because he fell over backward like that, it's apparent his last assignment was probably to set Bradford up for his death, and there was enough motive they could use for the situation.

Metro Trap - The Rookie Season 6 Episode 8

Bradford's troubles are only just beginning, and they're leading into what will undoubtedly be an off-the-wall two-part finale that will have us on the edge of our seats and talking until Fall.

Poor Bradford, though!

Over to you, Rookie Fanatics. Which moment shocked you the most? Did you see the Blair/Monica connection coming? Let's get into it all!

The Rookie airs Thursdays on ABC. You can stream the episode the following day on Hulu.

Punch Card Review

Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (89 Votes)

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is an insomniac who spends late nights and early mornings binge-watching way too many shows and binge-drinking way too much tea. Her eclectic taste makes her an unpredictable viewer with an appreciation for complex characters, diverse representation, dynamic duos, compelling stories, and guilty pleasures. You'll definitely find her obsessively live-tweeting, waxing poetic, and chatting up fellow Fanatics and readers. Follow her on X.

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