TV ReviewsThe Rookie Season 1 Episode 16: Greenlight Review

For our review of the last episode of The Rookie, click here.

Synopsis: Officer Nolan gets a lesson in respect after his arrest of a gang member leads to a free-for-all on his life. Meanwhile, Officer Chen and Officer Bradford pull over Mario Lopez, who thinks he can talk his way out of a traffic violation. (ABC)

Writer: Brynn Malone

Director: Valerie Weiss

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 43mins

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

“Greenlight” starts off with Nolan and Bishop investigating a potential drug dealer situation with a man named D’Andre (Romeo Riggs). Nolan has to look through the scene before they find the guy’s money and drug stash. At the precinct, the team is told that this week will involve Internal Affairs integrity tests. Captain wants them to look for reversals to see any suspicious situations where cops are undercover to critique them. On their way out, Lopez and West run into Wesley which results in an awkward conversation because apparently they broke up some time offscreen.

Nolan and Bishop arrive at a call where a woman (Lyndon Talley-Smith) is complaining that a valet damaged her car. She gets hostile and pulls a knife, but as Nolan arrests her the woman’s dress breaks open. Nolan questions if this woman is a reversal and she acts very suspicious while they process her. The rookies later make fun of Nolan’s suspicion of the reversal thinking that the dress acted like tearaway pants.

Meanwhile, Chen and Bradford have an interesting day when they have to pull over Mario Lopez. He tries to schmooze to get out of his ticket, but Bradford knows what is up. He approaches a nearby unmarked vehicle where Detective Murphy (Alicia Coppola), a reversal cop is watching over the situation. Bradford returns to the vehicle and writes up Mario Lopez for a slew of misdemeanors.

They respond to a second call where a man broke into a drug lab trying to steal money. The guy is stuck in a beartrap, but Bradford feels suspicious about the situation. He prepares to pull off the beartrap, but it starts to bleed profusely. Thankfully Chen stops him and they are able to contain the bleeding. Chen questions Bradford’s motives and suggests it has something to do with Isabelle, but he deflects and quickly leaves.

West and Lopez pull over a drunk driver that ends up being a young boy who was recklessly driving. His sister overdosed and he was trying to bring her to the hospital. The officers try to treat her while EMS is on the way. At the precinct, West takes care of the boy. They listen to his story about his mother and sister both overdosing. This causes Lopez to catch Wesley on his way out to explain why she is so hesitant to open up. She came from a broken home and that caused her behaviour, but he can’t trust her.

On his way home for the evening, Nolan notices an unusual man watching him. As he peers up again from his car, the man starts to fire a weapon at him. The team comes to the crime scene where they reveal Nolan has been greenlit by the Southern Front. The gang put a hit out on Nolan because the woman Astrid is the baby momma of the gang’s leader. The first order of business is to take Nolan home.

The Captain fits him home with high-tech surveillance and tells him to just go about his routine. It’s all part of the job. Before she leaves, she runs into West and Chen who decide to stay with Nolan for extra protection and comfort. West wants to go about this tactically, but Nolan and Chen go straight for the sweets. They tell Nolan to stay at home while they head in for shift.

At roll-call, the Captain has called all hands in to take down Southern Front and force them to lift the greenlight. They are shocked and silenced to see Nolan walk in which causing Bradford to stand and start a standing ovation. It’s time for them to fight back, an eye for an eye. Bishop questions Nolan’s motives to come in, but the Captain intervenes and says that she will be riding with him until things are resolved.

The police go on a raid of the Southern Front’s three sources of income: drugs, weapons and sex. Lock-up is stuffed with gang members, but Bradford becomes enraged to see Murphy there continuing her reversal tests. She berates him for his decisions with Isabelle and advises Chen to switch TOs, but she respectively rejects that notion. Grey visits Midas (Andy Mackenzie) the leader of Southern Front in prison. He asks them to drop the greenlight, but only his son can make that call. Grey talks about destroying his business further and threatens him to shut it down.

On patrol, the Captain notices a tail on them. The tension rises, but the vehicle turns causes a sigh of relief. The Captain opens up about her past to Nolan before Grey calls in. Midas was able to get the greenlight lifted and Nolan is now safe. However before he is returned to Bishop, they decide to take a burglary call. They find the house empty, but are surprised by a flashbang. A group of armed men come out and incapacitate the Captain and Nolan.

They awake tied up by the pool where Cole (George Tchortov), Midas’ son, planned a false surrender to bring Nolan out. The Captain tells Cole of his mistake capturing a police captain. It’s a line that not even his father would cross. Cole doesn’t care and shocks the Captain before kicking her into the pool. Nolan tries to reason with Cole to save the Captain and offers to make an apology video. Thankfully, she manages to get out of her cuffs and take out a few of Cole’s men. However, he grabs a gun and shoots her in the neck before fleeing the scene.

Nolan tries to break free from his chair as he watches the Captain sink into the pool. He dives in and grabs her, but it’s too late. The rest of the officers arrive to find Nolan cradling her body as he mutters, “it was Cole.” The officers line up and salute their fallen Captain as the coroner takes her away. Grey rushes into Midas’ prison cell and tells him to give up Cole or face his wrath.

The next day, the officers wear a black bar to mourn their Captain. Midas gave up his son’s location and while Grey knows that they want to kill this cop killer, the Captain wouldn’t want that. She would want justice. The team prepares to capture Cole while Nolan blames himself for the Captain’s death. Bishop tells him not to do that. It was not his fault. Cole’s vehicle arrives and they quickly swarm him telling him to step out.

With Cole exposed, Grey advises Nolan to approach and arrest Cole. Bradford notices Murphy watching them from afar and approaches her. Murphy apologizes for her actions and her returns the favour by apologizing for protecting Isabelle. Nolan discusses the first time he met the Captain to Grey as they both agree with her death they all have a lot to live up to.

Captain’s Log

  • Will Russo become a recurring character?
  • Will Bradford take the Sergeant exam?
  • Who will become the next captain?
  • Which rookie won’t make it the year?
  • Does Nolan have what it takes to become detective?

Overall, Greenlight was a great episode. This show may throw ridiculously unrealistic situations at its audience each week, but man does it know how to pack an emotional punch. The tension of this episode surpasses many of the others before it as the officers are forced to make risky decisions that ride the line of the law. With the shocking death of one of the characters, it not only shows that these characters are not safe, but potentially pushes forward a new dynamic in the precinct for the remaining officers. 

Score: 9.5/10

What did you think of “Greenlight”? Let me know in the comments below!

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