The short hiatus did The Rookie good!
The intensity of The Rookie Season 4 Episode 8 was off the charts. Most of that was due to the creative decision to have most of the installment shot as if it was via body cam and other alternative footage.
Between that and the personal arcs that had you wanting to hug Brandford, Harper, and Wopez, it was an entertaining and gratifying hour.
Marvin’s case was the perfect one to get most of the characters involved and adequately utilize this method of depicting the storyline through various body cam, cell phones, and surveillance footage. He took them on a journey with his radicalized antics, and the longer it took to nail him down, the more concerning it was that he was out there.
You’d have thought things would be fairly simple, but the moment Angela put her kevlar vest on to knock on the door and confront Marvin on his attacking a federal worker, you knew it wouldn’t be your typical case.
Instead, we went down the rabbit hole of Marvin’s anti-government ranting manifestos, apocalyptic level plans, and the implications that he was moments away from a domestic terrorist attack.
It was easy to buy into this case when we’ve seen how many people have easily gotten sucked into fake news, misinformation spreading around social media, and radicalized groups have reached the most level-headed individuals through screens.
Cooper was partly to blame for Marvin’s descent into madness, conspiracy theories, and all of that other malarkey. And it was a treat to see The Flash’s Matt Letscher guest-star during the hour.
For someone who had such grand opinions and radical beliefs, it was hilarious that he kept proclaiming how unafraid he was of the cops and the government, only to run away the moment he had a chance.
Angela: I outrank you!
Nolan: Take a step back, Ma’am.
Although Angela was equally smoking hot and hopping mad throughout this hour, I would’ve run away from her, too.
The body cam and other footage used while each team worked to track down Marvin made you feel like you were right there in the moment with them. It was dizzying at times as they chased him down or ran through the ship, and sometimes it was hard to tell whose cam was what, but it made it all the more exciting.
The shipyard chase was probably the best moment of that arc, and that shot of everyone peering down upon Marvin’s body after he fell, his cell phone capturing the image, was a great shot.
Amid the crazy intensity of the case, each partnership dug into some personal things, and none of those arcs were disappointing.
I miss it when Harper and Nolan work partner together, and the loss of West lingers. However, Thorsen has been coming into his own as a character.
He and Harper have a lovely dynamic blossoming, and this installment had their best interactions yet. More often than not, they remind us of the power imbalance between them. However, it was surprising and refreshing that Harper opened up to Thorsen about her personal issues.
It’s safe to say that part of the reason Harper’s ex is hellbent on relocating to San Francisco is because of what happened between them on Halloween. It made sense that Harper would’ve been avoiding conversation with him if she thought that he’d be bringing that up again.
But it’s bullcrap that he plans to take their daughter to another city despite the custody agreement they have. Thorsen is 100% right about Harper hanging tightly to her guilt and never believing she has a right to fight for anything.
How long can she punish herself or allow her ex-husband to exploit her guilt? She’s proven herself as a mother, and no one can say otherwise.
She has to stop taking whatever he doles out to her and feeling like she doesn’t have any say or stake in anything. She lets him hold all the power over her instead of putting her foot down and executing some of her own. It’s gone too far.
And she made an excellent point about her lawyer. Divorce and custody are complicated, and sometimes you need different methods for specific cases and matters. If her attorney was too nice and passive, Harper required someone else.
She needs a shark, and thankfully, Thorsen helped her in that area, too, setting her up with his attorney. Thorsen is a decent guy and a genuine, supportive figure to those around him whenever they give him the chance to be.
Harper: You’re right.
Thorsen: About what?
Harper: I need to fight for Nyla. Even if I lose, she needs to know I fought for her.
He also needs to work on wanting people to like him all of the time, and it’s likely some baggage from his past, but I appreciate that in addition to proving his capability at the job, he wanted to show Harper that he is a good friend if she let him in.
It took Harper a minute to warm up to Nolan and get personal with him, too, and her life is all the richer for it. The same can apply to Thorsen.
Yes, it’s crucial to establish some boundaries, especially with subordinates, but they’ve all been through so much together and are like family, which sometimes requires some space and vulnerability.
And that’s precisely what we saw with Bradford. My heart ached for him the whole time.
While some of the other details they tossed in seem incongruent with previous background facts about his character, they’ve previously alluded to childhood abuse. However, this was the most outright they’ve been on the topic.
Peyton List is a welcome addition as Tim’s sister, and Genny is already a fascinating character.
The instant bond she formed with Lucy provided the levity the arc needed because when it got serious, it was heartwrenching.
Childhood traumas combined with sibling relationships are intricate. Two people can grow up in the exact same household and still have totally different experiences. Even if they endured similar abuse, the reactions to it will be different.
Genny: Tim? Look, I know you don’t feel the same way I do, but our childhood wasn’t all that bad.
Tim: Are you really getting nostalgic over that place? What do you want, some other family to cuddle up near the broken plaster where dad slammed my head in a wall?
Genny: Dad had a lot of demons.
Tim: Dad was a monster.
In that sense, it’s hard when you have situations where one sibling wants to either unpack the past or impose something on the other sibling.
I loved Genny, and I cannot wait to see more of her and continue with this deeper look into Bradford’s personal life, but I disagreed with her bumrushing her brother at work to talk about their abusive father’s house.
And maybe she’s aware of Tim’s fondness for Lucy, so she felt comfortable mentioning private family affairs openly in the shop. She tagged along with them, but it felt inappropriate and offputting.
It didn’t feel right that she kept pushing the issue about their father while Tim was on duty at work in a job that requires focus. It felt as if she was disregarding or perhaps not considering if any of what she had to say would trigger him.
Bradford: Have you been drinking?
Woman: It’s not illegal to drink and bike.
Does anyone want to remember or talk about how their father put through head through a wall when they were a child at work?
It genuinely felt uncomfortable.
And while Genny was seeking some help, so she wasn’t in any of this alone, it felt as if she was badgering Tim and not allowing him to determine what he did and didn’t want to deal with, nor was she respecting his boundaries. He hasn’t seen his father in 20 years, and he probably hasn’t been to that house either.
It should’ve been okay if he wanted no parts in any of that. But instead, he had Genny and Lucy teaming up on him about personal traumas that he still carries to this day, and the “right” solution apparently was for him to cave to his sister’s desires for her sake.
Narratives about toxic and abusive people, particularly family members, can be tough to execute. Sometimes there’s the implication that forgiveness, amends, and healing is some requirement, and that’s not true at all.
Now that we know he’s dying, Tim coming face to face with the man is inevitable.
As a fan of Chenford, in any capacity, there is something one can say about the level of comfort between them that Tim could indulge his sister’s need to have these conversations in front of Lucy. And in the end, it was Lucy who managed to get through to him.
None of that is surprising, even though the confirmation is always pleasant.
But as well-intended, as Lucy was, her presence and insertion into the Bradford family affairs felt intrusive. It’s one thing for the siblings to have these conversations in front of her, but it was another for her to insert her thoughts during moments when it wasn’t warranted.
Some of the moments in the car probably called for Lucy to stay quiet and take things in, maybe approach Tim later about them if she wanted to do so, but her jumping into the conversations at times felt off.
Lucy’s connection between Tim’s father abandoning him with a compass with the infamous Tim’s Test was one of those moments where you wondered if Tim would make the association and reevaluate things about himself concerning his father.
Nevertheless, it’s great getting more character background on Bradford. The more we learn, the easier it is to understand how and why he is the way he is.
Eric Winter was fantastic during those scenes, from the glossy eyes to the tremble in his voice. He and List play off one another well, and I can’t wait to see more of this storyline.
As if the case wasn’t intense as hell, we got some more movement on the Elijah situation, and it’s stressful.
Angela isn’t a woman who handles a lack of control well, and she’s protective of the people that she loves. She was trying to come up with a way to nail Elijah to the wall.
She knows what it’s like for some figure to have this hold on you. It’s what makes her behavior during this hour understandable.
Her mind was racing, trying to find a way out, and Wesley wasn’t giving her much to work with at first. He kept shooting down everything she offered, and sometimes, it felt like Wesley wasn’t taking it as seriously as he should.
He knows the type of woman he married, and life would’ve been easier if he had told her about this situation sooner. Angela suggesting that they build a RICO case against Elijah was predictable, but it was her best legal shot.
She couldn’t shut her personal life down while on the case, though, and whereas Lucy felt intrusive in an uncomfortable way with the Bradford siblings, Nolan’s prodding felt more organic.
You have to love Nolan. When Angela told him the truth, he didn’t even need to know any more details before asking what “we” do?
It never crossed his mind that he wouldn’t be part of helping Angela figure it out, and it speaks to how close-knit this squad has become and how they’re family.
Nolan is all-in. They all are going to be.
Angela: We can’t screw this up. Not a single mistake. Not one.
Wesley: We won’t. I promise you.
Thankfully, Wesley filled Grey in on everything, and it means they can all find a way out of this. It’s terrifying that Wesley will become a witness, and it’s concerning that he may lose his license amid all of this.
But if they intend to get from under Elijah’s thumb and take him down, it’ll require a team effort. It’s what family does for each other.
- The drunken lady on the bicycle who called Tim a Ken doll was hilarious. Genny talking to her like one of her fourth-graders made the whole scene even better.
- Where does one get one of those ball cams? So awesome!
- Lucy and Genny talking about HGTV were the cutest, and I could watch half an hour of them just being besties.
- Did anyone else catch Lucy’s face when she heard that Tim may be seeing someone? They keep dropping those little nuggets to feed the Chenford fandom.
- Poor Nolan, everyone taking advantage of his expertise as a contractor was amusing. It was a great episode for Nolan appreciation.
- Tim publicly supporting Nolan after years of abstaining from any of that was the cherry on top. Nolan can definitely beat Smitty with the Bradford endorsement.
Over to you, Rookie Fanatics.
What are your thoughts on Bradford’s arc with his sister? Do you think Harper can win against her ex-husband? Are you buzzing with anticipation over this plan to take down Elijah? Hit the comments!
You can watch The Rookie online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.