The RookieTV ReviewsThe Rookie (2×05) Tough Love Review

Dylan PhillipsOctober 28, 201980/100
Rachel Feldman
Vincent Angell
Running Time
44 minutes
Sundays 10pm
Overall Score
Rating Summary
Tough Love was a good episode. The rookies are tasked with finding their own CIs allowing them to try to show if they can survive on their own. The family drama that underlies this important milestone helps to elevate the characters and their journeys.

For our review of last episode, click here.

“Tough Love” starts off with Nolan making a list of things to fix around his new house when Henry (Zayne Emory) and his girlfriend Abigail (Madeleine Coghlan) make an impromptu visit. They scare Nolan with a pregnancy announcement only to retract it for the more reasonable we’re engaged one. As they discuss a date for the big day, a light bursts into flames and Nolan quickly goes to deal with it. At Chen’s apartment, she talks to West about her boy troubles when her mom shows up with the news that her parents are getting divorced. She’s decided it is best that she stays with Chen for a bit.

At the precinct, Grey reminds Harper about the due diligence of paperwork as a patrol officer and she reluctantly agrees. They head to roll call where they discuss “friendlies” or confidential informants. While Harper seems chipper about these CIs, Grey informs Chen and Nolan that they will be developing CIs for the next phase of their training. At the end of the meeting, Lopez begs Grey to let West take part in the training to prove he is on track with his fellow rookies and Grey agrees. With West in the mix, Lopez has the perfect potential CI for him, but it will cost a pretty penny.

On his way out of the station, Nolan runs into Armstrong as they discuss his son’s engagement. Armstrong brings up putting Abigail through a background check which causes Nolan to question things. He goes to his CI target Bianca (Eve Harlow), who starts to run because she has some drugs in her bag. Harper is surprisingly helpful during their talk with Bianca and Nolan thanks her for that. Bianca agrees to take them to her supplier, but believes she will probably die. She asks to go to the bathroom first, but Harper catches her before she runs away. Bianca meets her contact and gives him back the drugs before returning to the hotel room. Harper, Nolan and the detectives move in on the suspect where they find a sizable amount of heroin. However, upon returning to Bianca they find her high and bloodied on the floor.

Grace tells them that Bianca will survive allowing for some awkward banter between her and Nolan. However, Harper questions the longevity of Bianca as a CI and Nolan agrees he needs another prospect. They are interrupted at the precinct when Harper’s lawyer comes by asking her to sign some papers. She takes him to one of the interrogation rooms to sign as he has good news about her petition. She gets a bit emotional about the situation, but he reassures her that he is taking all the right steps. Meanwhile, Armstrong comes by to talk to Nolan. He tells him to find a forger as his first CI because they are at the center of all criminal activity. Oh and he also ran a background check on Abigail and tells Nolan to take a look. At lunch he asks the rookies for advice, but before he can open the letter, Henry and Abigail show up and complicate his feelings.

Harper comes by and asks Nolan where they are heading and he has a list of forgers to check out. They arrive at the first location and make the photographer sweat over his illegal business. He offers Nolan money, but they tell it to him straight: he will be their snitch in exchange for them pinning his business on someone else. He manages to give them word of a potential big deal going down and will call them with more information. Nolan returns home to find Henry and Abigail have set up shop. He questions all of her tattoos and she talks about almost convincing Henry to get one too. With this last straw, Nolan is on the verge and decides to call Grace for some advice. She tells him to stop by the hospital so they can chat. He is struggling with what’s going on and Grace tells him to just confront Abigail so that no bridges are burned.

The next morning, Nolan and Harper are approached by the forger who was asked to make passports for young women for the cartel. The deal will go down at the airport in a couple hours, giving them time to set up on site. While they wait, Nolan brings up the lawyer that Harper met with and digs a bit into her personal life. She tells him to lay off and he says he will for now. Nolan receives a call from Grace who told him that she read the background check. Turns out she was arrested for arson and using a caustic substance on a former boyfriend. This call is interrupted when the cartel contact arrives. As they head in to arrest them, they learn that these women are running away from the cartel leader. Unfortunately his wife kept her phone allowing him to track them to that location. Nolan and Harper are forced into a standoff with a number of cartel members, but as sirens approach the men flee from the scene.

Chen and Bradford head to the location of a potential CI. She believes that a pawn shop with no calls meaning its either a perfect place or its smuggling stolen goods and she hopes to use this leverage to gain her first CI. The store owner Opal (Dot-Marie Jones) instantly distrusts Chen, but after a bluff of bringing down Code Enforcement, she reveals some suspect items. They arrive at an upper class house where they find Daisy (Hina Abdullah) the owner of the stolen bag. She accuses the housekeeper believing her to be the culprit, but it’s actually her stepdaughter Olivia (Grace Van Dien). She tells the officers to arrest her stepdaugther and tells them to leave her house. At the precinct, Olivia reveals that her mom died and that she’s stuck with her dad and stepmom. Chen receives a call from Opal who tells her that Olivia came by the pawn shop looking to exchange more items for a gun. They rush to Daisy’s place to find Olivia shooting Daisy’s expensive purses. As they plan to cart her off, Daisy starts to belittle her stepdaughter. The recently fired housekeeper steps in and decides to tell them about where Daisy keeps all of her drugs.

West and Lopez talk to their potential CIA on the green. They hope by paying his golf time that the guy will give them some intel. They are able to find a couple of stolen cars and report to Hickey who agrees to be on board with them. However, they are pulled into Grey’s office to learn that Hickey is an FBI informant and they are told to stand down. Grey believes that this is a strikeout and dismisses them. Questioning his future, West lays down and chats with Chen’s mother about what happened. She tells him to go back to a time when he knew who he was. He arrives at work and tells Lopez that he plans to flip Hickey and prove everyone wrong. West finds that Hickey lied about the motive behind the stolen cars and wants to dig deeper to leverage him. They arrive at the golf course and successfully blackmail him into becoming their CI.

Grey commends them for taking away a CI from the feds and showing them that they are equals. He congratulates all the rookies on gaining CIs and tells West to come in short sleeves. Chen and West come home to find that her mom is headed home after her father apologized. As she leaves, Chen questions her inability for a relationship and West keeps her positive. He asks how he stopped their divorce and learns that she got Wesley to call them and tell the cost. At Nolan’s house, he confronts Henry and Abigail about the elephant in the room, but he reveals he already knew. Abigail tells her what happened: her ex posted personal videos of them online for revenge and she retaliated by torching his car. The episode ends with Nolan apologizing and Abigail throwing another pregnancy joke in.

Captain’s Log

  • Will Nolan end up with Russo or Grace?
  • Will West melt down?
  • How will Nolan break down Harper’s walls?

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

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