The RookieTV ReviewsThe Rookie Season 1 Episode 19: The Checklist Review

Dylan PhillipsApril 10, 201980/100
John Fortenberry
Elizabeth Beall, Fredrick Kotto
Running Time
44 minutes
Tuesdays 10pm
Overall Score
Rating Summary
The time sensitive storyline this week makes the rookies do whatever it takes to fulfill their requirements. It not only shows how close these calls can hit to home, but how much their TOs care that these rookies make it out of the program. No matter how hard they are on each other, this is a tightly knit family of tough love. Bishop's hearing is a tough situation, but it allows Nolan to reveal firsthand how instrumental she has been in the officer he has become. Nolan’s journey has been a long one with a ton of traumatic experiences within his first year, but his life experiences have prepared him to be the most well-prepared, and well-seasoned, rookie of the LAPD.

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

“The Checklist” starts off with Nolan and Bishop responding to a silent alarm call. They enter the premises where they find a teenager hanging from a tree attached to a parachute. Before they can question how or why, they are interrupted by the homeowner Will.I.Am. Nolan and Bishop managed to keep their cool, but learn that the teenager was trying to stalk Selena Gomez so they cut him down and take him in.

At home, Nolan is boxing to distract himself from the situation at hand. He wants to help Bishop with her disciplinary hearing, but Ben and the other rookies advise him to not because his low status at the station won’t make a difference. At the bullpen, Sergeant Grey has some exciting news for the rookies and their TOs due to the department’s stricter rules. They must finish a checklist of specific crimes as the primary officer within 48 hours to qualify for their final exams. However, while Chen and West have a number of outstanding crimes to complete, Nolan is finished and given a different task.

He is sent to Detective Wolfe who needs help grabbing Craig Lawson (Adrian Anchondo), a fugitive who escaped custody, but is returning for his father, Donald Lawson’s (Mauricio Mendoza) funeral. On his way out, Wolfe asks about how Bishop is doing and again Nolan debates saying something, but he is reminded that he is a rookie. Bishop and Nolan oversee the funeral while waiting for Craig. His brother (Ramon De Ocampo) approaches them and tells them how disrespectful it is that they are there. However, this is interrupted when Craig arrives and looks at his father’s body. Suddenly, his father awakes and attacks him causing Nolan and Bishop to intervene.

West decides to have a bit more fun with the job and wears some stereotypical shades. However, Lopez is not amused and tells him to remove them quickly. They receive a call for an assault and while West doesn’t want to take something not on his checklist, Lopez reminds him that they don’t skip calls. A man was attacked in a bar by a drunk soccer fan where West makes the situation into one on his checklist and arrests the assailant.

Their next call is for a roadside check with a person (Danny Hamouie) who has a history of drug possession. While Lopez is wary that the man, who is four years sober, has been using any drugs, West decides to strip the car. He finds an empty baggy in the back and tries to pin it on the driver, but Lopez shuts it down and tells West that he needs to smarten up or she will make sure he fails his exam.

Meanwhile on the streets, Bradford tries to help out Chen by stopping one of his regular meth heads (Jasper Cole), but the man has been clean for a while. They receive a counterfeiting call and Bradford hopes that maybe it can turn into one of Chen’s tasks. At lunch, Nolan gives a pep talk to the other rookies about finishing their checklists while the TOs give Bishop a pep talk on her situation.

They are interrupted when a carjacking call comes in, a vital piece of both Chen and West’s checklists. They race to the scene so both of them can try to claim it for themselves where they are startled to find the victim is Ben. Nolan swings by the hospital to take his statement and asks his friend Paige (Kathryn Taylor Smith) to stay by his side until Nolan can come back. They discuss a possible carjacking ring and how Ben’s high valued car would be a big payday. Detective Wolfe decides to intervene and they advise Nolan to clock out and head back to the hospital. Nolan brings Ben home to his place for a sleepover to make sure he has someone in case at some point Ben isn’t fine.

Chen and Bradford search the streets for a stolen vehicle when they find a woman driving a vehicle with the wrong plates. She blames it on a rough marriage and needing to get to her job. Bradford advises Chen that she can either give the woman a citation and take the exam or a warning and be held back a year. Chen decides to be the better person and lets the woman drive off. While she is upset about missing the carjacking, the situation checks off her ethical dilemma requirement.

The next morning, Nolan is put on desk duty, but not before he delivers a memo to Bishop detailing how great a TO she is. He decides that he cannot be on desk duty and confronts Detective Wolfe about putting him on the case. Wolfe shows Nolan a very expensive Lamborghini and reveals it is actually a trap for the carjacker. They plant the car and watch a guy (Lane Carlson) try to steal it. With the car securely locked, Nolan and Wolfe arrest the man and notice his bruised hand from his assault on Ben.

They use the guy to catch a bigger fish named Jason Bowers (Craig Johnson). Nolan, Wolfe and a team of officers raid the car stash house, but two men flee the scene. West and Lopez grab their vehicle and pursue one of them while Nolan chases Bowers on foot. While racing through the side streets, West carelessly drives and almost hits a woman with a stroller. Meanwhile, Nolan screams “Police, everybody down” in the middle of a crowd to reveal Bowers before he tackles him for the arrest.

Chen and Bradford receive a call that helps them with one of her requirements. However when they arrive, the woman (Natasha Marc) becomes increasingly hostile and manages to fulfill six of Chen’s outstanding checklist items. West confides in Chen for his reckless behaviour, but Bradford interrupts to say that they aren’t clocking out until they get her meth possession. Bishop is confronted by Lisa who says that Nolan made a good speech and offers her a choice. She can be cleared of all charges on the spot if she becomes Lisa’s rat for internal affairs.

Bishop prepares for her hearing with a pep talk from Grey. He advises her not to make any excuses. They enter and Bishop pleads her case to Chief Williams (Stephen Lang) and Lisa (Presciliana Esparolini). She explains that what she did was inexcusable and Williams agrees as they go through a list of infractions for Bishop over the past year. At the end of the hearing, Nolan decides he needs to be heard and bursts into the room to say his piece. This of course is frowned upon by both Williams and Grey, but Bishop stands up for Nolan because they have each other’s backs. The episode ends with Nolan and Ben discussing their traumas and how his job helped him persevere.

Captain’s Log

  • Will Russo become a recurring character?
  • How will West’s reality check affect him?
  • Does Chief Williams already dislike Nolan?
  • Is Commander West really dirty?
  • Will Bradford take the Sergeant exam?
  • Who will become the next captain? My bet is on Gray so Bradford can be promoted.
  • Which rookie won’t make it the year?
  • Does Nolan have what it takes to become detective?

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

If you liked this, check out my YouTube channel The Film Fanatic, my other reviews and my website!

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