TV ReviewsThe Rookie Season 1 Episode 5: The Roundup Review

If you would like to read my review of last episode of The Rookie, click here.

Synopsis: Nolan, the rookies and their training officers get involved in a competition that pits them against each other, while Officer Lucy Chen notices Officer Tim Bradford is obsessed with winning at all costs. (TVGuide)

Writer: Marcus Black

Director: Brooke Valentine

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 43mins

Airs: Tuesdays at 10pm on CTV (Canada)/ABC (United States)

“The Roundup” starts off with a block party where the rookies are setting up a blood drive for the community. As Chen and Nolan go off on their own, he asks if she’s okay, but she quickly says it’s time to move on and walks off. Grey comes by and tells the rookies to step it up so the fire department can’t gloat about being more popular when Nolan notices Chen getting close with one of the firefighters. He walks off to a group of kids playing with water guns and notices one of them has fallen into a pool unconscious.  Nolan races him over to the street and the firefighters are able to revive him.

Nolan awakes the next morning to noise in his house. He grabs his gun and cautiously walks towards it to find his best friend and landlord home a week early. They catch each other up on their personal lives with his friend deciding it was a good thing he came home. At the precinct, the rookies learn that the roundup is upon them. The TO units compete on for the most arrests during their shift for bragging rights. While the rookies are naive, Bradford and Lopez are getting highly competitive and want to come out on top with Bishop wanting nothing to do with it. As they leave, Bradford stays back a second to bring a gift to one of the call dispatchers as leverage for favouritism and he manages to charm her.

Nolan and Bishop respond to a vandalism where Bishop again remarks about her distaste for the competition. Lopez and West arrive at the house of an elderly man who seems to be hiding something. They notice he stole a bunch of medication from the hospital and that counts as another felony for team Lopez/West. At the vandalism, Nolan is commended for his actions at the block party by the firefighter before he asks about Chen’s dating life. Nolan receives a text about the other teams getting points causing his competitive nature to jump into action. He climbs up to the vandal and after learning of his distaste for cops, he throws them off the scaffolding onto a giant blow up bed beneath them.

They bring him in with Bishop criticizing his actions considering he injured his shoulder. She questions if his actions were for the competition or his jealousy over Chen, but she doesn’t care what the answer is. With Nolan and Bishop now on the board, Bradford calls him dispatcher friend and gets word of a hit and run followed by a noise complaint at an apartment building. Nolan and Bishop respond to the latter where a man is having some fun with some escorts, but they notice an unlicensed firearm and are able to arrest him. En route to the hit and run, Chen discusses how the dispatcher has feelings for Bradford, but he shuts the conversation down quickly when they notice their suspect. They chase after him, but after crashing into a gate, he’s impaled through the chest.

Bradford cuts off the pole impaling the man, but then starts reading the man his rights while he’s dying in front of them. He’s more concerned with the arrest of someone who hit a child rather than letting him live. Bishop and Nolan bring in their suspect when she’s called off to see the Captain. Nolan talks with the man about his line of work and the shady business when he’s released by his lawyer who happened to show up with a same-day permit meaning one thing: organized crime.

At lunch, the TOs talk about the competition and whether or not it teaches the rookies the right lessons. The rookies talk about it too, letting slip a time that Nolan and Chen hung out without West. Lopez grabs him leaving the others to sit and chat about Antonio, the firefighter that Chen is moving on with. In the car, Bradford justifies his actions on the last call to Chen saying that it’s about perspective and getting the guy. They receive a call from dispatch about an armed robbery being big points. They arrive at the scene and are welcomed by a barrage of bullets.

They engage with the robbers, but the suspects barricade themselves in the armoured truck. Rather than wait around all day and lose the competition, Bradford shoots pepper spray into the air vent and forces them out. Nolan and Bishop learn that the man Peter they brought in is the money man for the Russian Mob. West brings news of Bradford’s points to Lopez, but she isn’t worried and wants to play the long game because to her slow and steady will prevail. Bradford goes to his dispatcher, who is off the clock, and asks her to stay in exchange for a drink after shift.

Nolan and Bishop arrive at a disturbance where a young mother and her son are trying to force their way into a shelter to stay off the streets. Nolan grabs a blanket for the kid and Bishop says they still need to escort them out, but Nolan decides he would rather find them a place to stay than win the competition. They search all day, but find no places to take them. Bishop tells Nolan that she doesn’t play because to her it’s not a game. He apologizes for blaming Bishop about Lucy and then feeling excluded in the contest, but she says she understands.

Bishop and Nolan receive a call about an intruder at Peter’s house, but it’s quickly shrugged off as a raccoon. They aren’t buying it and race to his home to check it out. Bradford and Chen tag along to try to score some big points. As they enter the premises, they find a maid with her throat cut and see Peter and his family being tortured. Nolan and Bishop take the main floor, but Chen falls when entering the upstairs taking away their element of surprise. Luckily, they subdue the three assailants and arrest them. In the locker room, Chen overhears Lopez and Bishop rigging the competition so that Bradford can win. It’s revealed that Isabelle used to take part in the Roundup with Bradford and this is the one day he feels connected to her and they don’t want to take that away from him.

At the food truck stop, they announce Bradford and Chen as the victors. Lopez asks West when was the last time he lost something and he cannot recall. He just wants to prove himself and she says to give himself a break. Bradford thanks the dispatcher for helping him, but reveals his complicated marriage and she appreciates the honesty. Chen and Nolan talk about his jealousy and he apologizes for being an idiot. The episode ends with Nolan talking with his buddy about his dating life, realizing he was never single and needing to rediscover who he is.

Captain’s Log

  • Will Nolan and Chen get back together at some point?
  • Will the TOs and Rookies continue to go after big fish?
  • Is West cured of his stage fright?
  • Will Bradford and the dispatcher end up dating down the road?
  • Will Grey and Nolan become reluctant friends?
  • Which rookie won’t make it the year?

Overall, this was a good episode. The friendly competition of the Roundup showed more of the TOs’ personalities as they all have their own perspectives on this contest. Nolan and Chen’s change in relationship looked like it might causing some tension on a job that requires absolute focus, but that was quickly wrapped up to continue the trend of high intensity cases in rapid succession. With everyone feeling optimistic at this point it’s only a matter of time until things go from good to bad and then bad to worse, the question is who will be on the receiving end?

Score: 8/10

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