Spoilers

The Rookie Season 5 Episode 1 Review: Double Down

If there is one thing The Rookie has learned over the years, it’s that it can never go wrong with Rosalind Dyer.

They have so much fun with the character that you understand why they never want to let her go. Rosalind’s escape on The Rookie Season 5 Episode 1 brought the right kind of momentum to the season opener.

And now, she remains a looming threat over the rest of the season who can appear at any point.

The Rookie is back, and so is the formula that’s distinctively theirs from the casual incorporation of humor, some intensity, shocking moments, and some delicious ship teasing.

The hour mainly addressed some of the lingering points from The Rookie Season 4 Episode 22 and laid the foundation for the season.

Only a couple of things came to mind regarding the latter. For Nolan, the hour set up where he would find himself in his career.

We knew going into the season that he’d focus his time on becoming a training officer, and that’s where I wish that weren’t a tidbit of information shared with the masses.

It sucked the fun and wonder out of the experience of Nolan receiving a Golden Ticket and weighing his options when we already knew the outcome.

Nolan’s Wild Wild West antics at the border were what upgraded him and sent him on a rare fast track, sharing an honor that Harper previously earned.

Was it noble that Nolan chose to use the opportunity to get back on track as a training officer? Sure. But was it equally foolish when he could’ve gone ANYWHERE in the department? Absolutely!

Nolan is pure of heart and intent, but if it were anyone else who squandered that opportunity when they could’ve gone into specialized fields and jobs with the department’s backing, we’d be calling them idiots.

I’m not crazy, I’m special. Rosalind told me that.

Beth

And the rest of the team will get their jokes in, but they expect this from Nolan.

It was the perfect win for him to account for all the Rosalind hoopla. A Golden Ticket and a chance to be a T.O. is probably a hair better than a “not your birthday birthday” cake confoundingly made in 30 minutes and shower sex.

So, are they just committed to getting on our nerves with Bailey? She doesn’t even feel real anymore, and she gets inserted into random things just for the sake of it. We can add baker to her long list of talents, and she must be good if she was able to bake, let set, and frost a cake in the time it took Nolan to run for 30 minutes.

Of course, Bailey didn’t even have to be brought to the station for security purposes because she was already involved with the Rosalind thing from the beginning for reasons unknown.

She also expressed weird jealousy about Nolan’s relationship with a serial killer obsessed with him. As if Nolan has any control whatsoever when it comes to Rosalind or wants anything to do with the woman.

Rosalind had a jolly good time toying with Nolan in the brief moments she spent with him. And she especially loved leaving Nolan the video of her murdering Beth’s parents and taunting him about Lucy.

Maybe dipping into the Rosalind well at some point will get redundant and lose some luster, but for now, the woman is just good television, so one understands the urge to pull her out like the trump card to kick things into gear.

You could guess that Beth was one of Rosalind’s minions. But it was still jarring when she stabbed and killed Suriel in the room and served as a decoy while Rosalind fled.

Rosalind: Do you think I’m a monster, Deputy Suriel.
Suriel: It’s not my job to decide. Do you think you’re a monster?
Rosalind: No. I think I’m a genius. I just had to the misfortune of excelling in mutilation instead of music.

Can you imagine just throwing your whole life away like that? If the only thing Beth got of the deal that cost her years’ worth of schooling and work as a lawyer and her livelihood was the murder of her parents, couldn’t she have hired an assassin and saved herself some trouble?

That awful squelching noise as she dug Rosalind’s name into her arm during the interrogation was icky, but something tells me it won’t be the last of Beth.

Rosalind’s escape was relatively smooth, credit where it’s due, and she has the entire city in a chokehold, not to mention she’s mentally in the heads of so many of our favorite characters.

We know she’s escaped and left a few parting gifts, but many characters will face mental and emotional imprisonment until they find her again. No one will ever be able to shake that Rosalind is out there and can return to do goodness knows what.

It’s heartbreaking the levels by which this will impact Lucy particularly. It took a long time for her to shake the effects of her experience with Caleb and Rosalind. She was finally on solid ground and had moved on with her life.

But now she’s trapped again because Rosalind couldn’t resist messing with Lucy for one final time before she left. She left Chris for dead, bleeding out on Lucy’s couch. It was so sadistic and evil!

Lucy held up well despite how much it rocked her when she found out Rosalind escaped, but there are many layers to how this situation with Chris could emotionally hurt her.

We’ve seen so much confidence out of Lucy recently, and we know she’s so damn good at the job when it comes to undercover work.

But regardless of if Chris lives or dies, this situation and Rosalind out in the wind after doing something so heinous to hurt Lucy deliberately will occupy so much space in Lucy’s mind that one hopes she’ll get to work it out in therapy.

One of the pitfalls of the finale was that they introduced the doppelganger storyline and then robbed us of the opportunity to see it.

We won’t pretend that most of the arc wasn’t just 52 fanfic tropes under a trenchcoat.

We got kisses for cover, Vegas trips, stolen moments of comfort, unintentional voyeurism, playing with fire under the guise of the job, skirting around conversations about attraction and feelings– and we fell just short of “there’s only one bed” and sharing that. Boo, hiss!

So much of this undercover gig felt like it was contrived for the fun of Lucy and Tim playing a couple and getting to explore their feelings in an environment outside of the station. And Melissa O’Neil and Eric Winter slayed the hour. It was Lucy’s hour to shine.

Lucy: I already told you that kiss didn’t mean anything.
Tamara: Right, Right. It was for the case. Make out. Stop crime. That totally tracks.

However, there’s a chance that the Madras aspect of things could grow more legs later into the season.

Dim/Jake and Juicy/Sava’s value to this operation came from helping the baddies access the Brain, who had all the valuable intel about a massive cartel operation. The bad guys wanted to kidnap and torture him so they could sweep the competition.

Angela and the others, however, could use this one man for valuable information about breaking up the cartel. But so much of that got lost in the Chenford ship goodness. As someone who doesn’t mind the pairing, it’s no skin off my back, but the case itself falling to the background could probably be annoying for those who aren’t into it.

We didn’t even get to follow Angela and sweet Thorsen, who is FINALLY getting utilized on their part of the mission to nab Madras.

I can get a private jet there in 45 minutes. Also, what kind of caviar do you guys like? I’ll just get an assortment.

Thorsen

But as a Chenford arc, they delivered all the goods, and the ramifications of this sole installment on the rest of the season are enough to have you glued to the screens.

It would be too easy to say that Lucy pulled a certain confidence from playing someone like Sava. In reality, it’s something that had been building for her subtly over time.

She’s become more confident and comfortable in her skin and just oozes a natural sexiness. It’s hard to miss as a viewer, and it sure as hell was difficult for Tim to ignore, too.

He spent most of the hour just visibly gobsmacked and knocked off his feet by how forward Lucy was and how direct she could be.

Last season, Lucy had bouts of childishness and immaturity during some questionable writing and dialogue choices for her character. They’ve left the door wide open for Bradford to see her as a woman, not just his mentee or subordinate.

And I just loved every second of the facial expressions that Eric Winter served up throughout the hour because they captured that shift in how Tim perceived her so beautifully.

Even the casual nature that they didn’t initially address the apartment kiss for a bit spoke volumes. They were not awkward or uncomfortable around one another, which bodes well and brings a more grounded, mature nature to how they’ll continue exploring their dynamic moving forward.

It doesn’t put either of them at a frustrating disadvantage or even exploits the power dynamic discrepancy between them because the entire hour showed how well they balance each other out equally.

Timothy, do you have feelings for Lucy?

Angela

And the fun of Dim and Juicy was more grounded, too, because they didn’t feel as much like caricatures anymore once the mission came into play.

The two built up a nice gimmick of this couple being a lovey-dovey affectionate sort, which gave them enough cover to steal moments to collect themselves or have the necessary exchanges with Angela and Thorsen.

When the bad guys told her about Rosalind’s escape, Lucy got rattled to her core. And Tim was right by her side, dragging her into that bathroom to ensure her head was still on the job and she could pull off the mission.

I appreciated that he didn’t tell Lucy what to do and trusted her own judgment about if she could follow through or not. And how it played out where he pulled her aside as her partner and mentor, and she turned the tables on him with the makeout session to sell their mile-high encounter, catching him off guard.

Was it a necessary kiss? No. However, it obviously ran deeper than maintaining a cover.

Tim: Do you want to talk about it?
Lucy: What?
Tim: The airplane bathroom. Your apartment, I mean, call me crazy, but it doesn’t feel like pretend.
Lucy: It’s an intimate act, I mean, we’d have to be dead inside for it to not trigger something, right? It’s basic biology.
Tim: OK, so you’re saying it’s not a big deal. It doesn’t mean anything.
Lucy: Right?

The unresolved sexual tension between the two of them since their initial kiss wasn’t something they could put the cap back on, for starters. But also, it allowed Lucy that moment of intimacy, safety, and comfort.

If the news of Rosalind’s escape brought up some of those disturbing feelings and trauma Lucy had from her kidnapping and beyond, then surely, the sense of safety she specifically got from Tim, whose arms she landed in when they found her is an understandable factor. He generally tends to be a safe harbor for her anyway.

The hour spent a lot of time exploring how this thing between the two isn’t one-sided. Sure, Lucy had dreams about kissing Tim, but he was the one who confided in Angela and couldn’t confirm or deny that he had feelings for her.

We spent a lot of time seeing this attraction from Tim’s eyes, which was a smart and necessary choice to make to really sell and evolve this ship.

And you can appreciate how direct Tim is about it. When he saw glimpses of Lucy as she undressed for the shower, struggling to tear his eyes away, he was ready to air everything out full stop.

It’s commendable that he stated that it felt like the apartment and bathroom kisses were more than pretending. He acknowledged the elephant in the room while not necessarily revealing his hand, and she reacted similarly.

They didn’t play it the typical way where Lucy denied or played it off. Instead, her conflicted feelings, confusion, and vulnerability were an answer in itself and seemed to mirror Tim’s sentiments, too. Sure, it is basic biology that they would have these responses to each other, it’s also chemistry, and it was damn near physics too!

They didn’t get to revisit that again until the infamous moments at Lucy’s apartment that feel like a game-changer and will have fans talking for ages.

Tim: I guess this is it. Tomorrow we are back to being us.
Lucy: Right. And everything that happened undercover we will leave behind.
Tim: Right. What happened undercover stays undercover.
Lucy: You know, in a sense, since we haven’t been debriefed we’re still undercover.
Tim: Yeah, I guess you’re right.
Lucy: Do you want to come in.
Tim: I-I shouldn’t.

Tim walking Lucy to her apartment after everything they’d gone through and with the Rosalind escape in mind made all the sense in the world.

But with the notes of their mutual attraction simmering between them, it had the vibes of a date that goes well before the extension of a nightcap comes into play.

And again, it’s a mark of them portraying Lucy as a confident, sexy woman that she had Tim eating out of the palm of her hand by taking the lead in this situation.

She was the one that suggested that their cover didn’t technically end until they were debriefed. And she was the one who invited him inside.

His words said he didn’t want to come in, but everything else screamed that he did. Not only were they playing with fire here, but he was like a moth to the flame when it came to her and couldn’t resist.

And Lucy knew it — not only did she still leave the door open as the invitation was, but she offered him a drink when he got in too.

They seemed entranced with one another, some unspoken spell fell over them, and it’s doubtful if it would’ve broken before anything transpired.

Of course, it was broken in the most horrific way when Lucy realized that Chris was on the couch, then bleeding out.

Tim’s expression between the second Lucy mentioned Chris to when she recognized something more sinister had transpired was amusing, one filled reality setting in faster than he’d like because Lucy’s boyfriend was there, and maybe some regret.

And that’s where Lucy and Tim will be in such a fascinating place now. They were tempting fate with what was escalating between them leading up to that moment.

They’re both dating other people, and no one deserves to get cheated on, and it’s doubtful either of them would’ve been happy with themselves or not wracked with guilt if they had gone any further, betraying their current partners.

It’s also something to be said about how disastrous things could’ve been if they went through anything in this precise moment where Lucy is more vulnerable and in her feelings about Rosalind.

Harper: What can I do?
Grey: You sure? You’re like eleventy months pregnant.

We know their connection is genuine because it has been building for some time. However, the timing could’ve left room for sowing seeds of doubt if they had consummated anything while Rosalind triggered Lucy.

It would’ve led to questions like whether or not it was some form of trauma response, coping mechanism, distraction, or so forth, and frankly, those things will still likely get explored.

Chris becoming a victim of Rosalind’s changes things, too. Of course, Lucy will feel guilty about what almost happened with Tim when Chris was only a victim because of his relationship with her.

She’ll beat herself up about that whether Chris survives or not. And she’s already lost so much that the prospect of losing the stability of Tim for who he is as a partner and friend could also have her backtracking on the sexual chemistry that has been simmering between them.

Other Thoughts:

  • Harper was so colossally pregnant, and it was hilarious to see her in pajamas and slippers and on a gurney but still working. Bless her, when is that baby due?! Goodness!
  • Can we please have all the Thorsen? His ability to call up a private jet, casually pick an assortment of caviar like people do these things every day, and clean up while gambling was so much fun.
  • No, but really, Bailey is like the Barbie of The Rookie, and I do not understand why she is there.
  • I, too, wondered why they forgot to add the gut when Bradford was going undercover.
  • Lucy snatching up the Blackjack Barbie who later exposed them was badass.
  • Lucy kicking all those guys’ asses wearing nothing but a bathrobe and joking about how she flashed them was also badass and hilarious.
  • DelMonte was so guilt-ridden. He’s an interesting character, and now that Wesley will be working at the D.A’s office, I hope to see more of him.
  • Angela calling Bradford “Timothy” while she teased him about his feelings for Lucy was everything. Their friendship is the best.
  • Tamara was all of us poking fun at this notion that Chenford had to practice kissing of the job. Sure, sure, sure.

Over to you, Rookie Fanatics.

What would you rate the season premiere? How long do you think it’ll be before Rosalind returns? Will Chris survive?

How are you feeling about all this Cheford, and will Chris’ near-death change everything? Did Nolan make the right decision? Sound off below.

If you need to relive the highlights, you can watch The Rookie online here via TV Fanatic.

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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