The Rookie returned with another solid hour that pulled at the heartstrings.
It continues to be remarkable how much the series hit its stride during The Rookie Season 2.
The Rookie Season 2 Episode 9 was another well-balanced hour that fleshed out our characters and gave us intense moments and cases worthy of investment.
It's impressive how the series has continued to develop Nyla Harper.
She ran roughshod and was a hardened character upon her introduction. However, between the writing and Mekia Cox's performance, Harper has become more likable the more time we spend with her.
Her chemistry with Fillion is delightful and refreshing, and it has contributed to the series breaking away from Nolan as the butt of the jokes, and it has given him a chance to be the straight man to her particular brand of "crazy."
Their scenes together and partnership gives off the dynamic duo vibes of traditional buddy-cop movies, and it works so well for them that it makes their scenes entertaining.
Harper's seniority doesn't account for much most of the time; while she has useful advice, she's so reckless that it leaves Nolan reining her in most of the time.
For someone who gave up undercover work you sure go back to it a lot.Nolan
It's a job suitable for the seasoned Rookie, who also tends to come out on top when giving her personal advice, and their relationship, while new, feels more like an equal partnership.
Considering he had to catch up with his fellow rookies in that regard with their T.O.'s, it works. But dear God, he has his work cut out for him.
Harper is stressful. She hurls herself into dangerous situations at any given turn, and it takes someone special to keep up with her.
She's relentless in how she tackles a case, so when she found out about Eva, it was bound to go pear-shaped in a way only something that involves Harper can.
It makes you wonder how long Harper plans on sticking around. She and Nolan are great together, but he was right to point out that she jumps at any chance she gets to go back undercover.
She lives for it; it gives her an adrenaline rush she doesn't get when she's a beat cop. She took this job to spend more time with her daughter, and it's respectable, but does it matter when she takes the most outrageous and dangerous path when doing her job?
She was so caught up in Eva and Ripper, she didn't get to put together her daughter's bed properly. She loves two things in equal measure, but they conflict with each other.
Nolan: Harper, you know you don't have to do this.
Harper: Relax five percent, this is what I do.
She looked into Ripper when she said she wasn't, went undercover when she denied doing it, and she jumped into a car with Ripper when it was ill-advised.
Harper's recklessness is almost a compulsion, and it doesn't seem like she's capable of stopping. It at least led to a great moment with Nolan.
He's great at improvising and thinking on his feet, and he was a total badass stopping the truck and demanding he gets "Crystal" back.
Nothing good could come from Harper getting in that car. Her undercover alias had been M.I.A for a while and Ripper didn't trust Eva and thought she stole from him, so he had zero incentive to be bothered with some connection to her.
Nolan: We got to get in there.
Det: We won't get there in time, she's gotta get herself out of this.
Chen and Bradford's case was intriguing in how it involved the death of a woman whom Rachel knew and wanted to help.
If anyone is a fan of Prodigal Son, the kid who played Malcolm (here, not on Prodigal Son where the main character, ironically is also named Malcolm) was a killer there too.
He even had a stabbing scene. Talk about typecasting. The young actor is great at playing these roles, so kudos to him.
Malcolm was upset with his mom and blamed her for running off her boyfriend. His reaction was quite extreme.
It's always fascinating how these cases affect the cops and other characters we've come to learn more about and love.
Nick: What did you do?
Malcolm: I hit her with the knife.
Nick: You hit her with the knife, you mean you stabbed her.
Nick wanted to get to the bottom of it, and he suspected Malcolm was guilty of killing his mother, but he didn't bother suggesting or waiting for Malcolm to have some form of representation on his behalf.
Lopez picked up where the interview was headed and suggested a lawyer on Malcolm's behalf. It's understandable that she wanted to respect this kid's rights, especially since he was a child, but it also felt like there was a story there.
They didn't touch on it later, and she didn't go into detail about why she was adamant about this, but it makes you wonder what the story is behind her strong reaction.
Lopez: You want to talk about anything?
Lopez: We're going to get through this.
Wesley: Yeah, I know.
It was subtle compared to Wesley's reaction to the case, which was heartbreaking, to say the least. The series deserves kudos for not glossing over the traumatic event Wesley endured and how it affects him.
Wesley is battling PTSD. Ashmore's portrayal of it during the interview was fantastic, from his profuse sweating and claminess to the flashbacks he was having, to the anxiety attack he had in the hall, it was all done beautifully, and it was heartwrenching.
It's possible he came back to work too soon, but then, sometimes it's never a good time, you have to dive in and work through it.
Did they mention if he saw someone after the stabbing? The station would recommend or even order therapy if he were a cop, but he's a lawyer, and they don't enforce the same things.
He has the perfect partner to help him through this. Lopez is as loyal as it gets, and she has a way of not judging others. She can find the perfect balance of supporting him without making him feel broken.
He's not ready to talk about it, but he needs to at some point, and hopefully, it involves a therapist.
Wesley's battle with this was easily one of the best parts of the hour, and it's the type of thing the series does right.
It knows how to strike the right emotional chord. The same goes for the scene where a soft and sweet Bradford comforted Rachel after what happened with Malcolm.
Some things really are out of our control. All we can do is cherish the small victories.Bradford
He's another character who has some of the best character growth, and the softer side to him, while he's dating Rachel, is endearing.
We also saw some of that compassion and emotion coming through with Nolan and Howard. Does Nolan not lock doors?
He deals with so many intruders, they should take his badge for that alone.
Howard was an addict, and he had brain cancer, and he just wanted to get in contact with his estranged family, but he went about it the wrong way.
I'm dying, brain cancer. I just found out. Maybe it's selfish, but I want them to know that I'm sorry before I'm gone.Howard
How do you respond to someone breaking into your home and stabbing themselves in the leg repeatedly with a screwdriver?
What makes Nolan an endearing character, particularly in his police-style, is how he focuses on peacekeeping and community-oriented policing.
He's always willing to go the extra mile to help anyone who crosses his path.
Eve: You stole this.
Harper: I did not.
Eve: To the best grandma ever.
Harper: She's in a coma, she won't miss these.
And the character growth continues with Jackson. He's come such a long way as a character, and it's enough to make any viewer proud.
He and Lopez's experience on the movie set was entertaining, but it came along with a stalking case. It's never a dull moment, right?
The Jackson of the past wouldn't have taken a bullet to the vest with ease and not freaked out, but he's more self-assured in his job now, and it's always nice to be reminded of that.
He and Sterling hit it off, and Jackson has the best track record for meeting potential dates while on the job. What happened to the nurse from the hospital?
Anyway, he has a hot actor named Sterling he's dating now, and out of everyone, he always seems to be living his best life in the dating arena.
Of course, Nolan and Grace are dating without calling it that; at least, that's what it seems like.
The moments with Grace at the hosptial are cute, and they have chemistry, but it's one of those things where you're left waiting for the other shoe to drop somehow.
Grace: Is this a date?
Nolan: Uh, do we have to name it?
Grace: No. I guess we don't.
Where is this leading, and what's the point? It's more than just the two of them rekindling something, right?
Nolan's idea of going to three or four separate events for their not-date was adorable, though.
Over to you, Rookie Fanatics.
Will Harper's recklessness catch up to her? Do you think Wesley will seek help for his PTSD? What do you think will happen in the winter finale?
Hit the comments below!
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Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.