The build up to The Rookie Season 2 Episode 10 cliffhanger was palpable as viewers were promised that a character we knew would be the next victim.
The suspense had me holding my breath while guessing at the identity of the latest casualty.
It also had me dreading the big reveal with every scene.
Because Annie Wersching, as any Castle fan who remembers her portrayal of Dr. Kelly Nieman knows, is a pro at playing a quietly creepy, diabolical serial killer.
We didn’t have to witness Rosalind Dyer committing any of her murders to be frightened by her.
All that was necessary to feel terror was to simply hear her wax poetic about cutting off her date’s hands and feet during a romantic sunset picnic.
It was clear that she got almost as much of a high from retelling the story as she did from performing the torture itself.
Rosalind: I’ve always known, ever since I was little, no one was coming to save me. Is that why you’re so good? Yes, ma’am. No, ma’am. Serve and protect, ma’am.
Nolan: I’m good because my brain’s not broken.
Is that what causes someone to be a serial killer? Has their brain gotten miswired somewhere along the way? Does a lack of empathy guarantee a penchant for cruelty?
Rosalind enjoyed being cruel and if she couldn’t do so physically, she’d settle for mentally and emotionally.
And she adored tormenting Nick Armstrong.
Five years later and Nick was still torn apart with grief and guilt. Should he have taken time off to be there for his wife as she fought a fatal illness?
Of course, but answers like that are always easier to see in hindsight.
At the time, Rebecca’s suffering was probably difficult to watch, especially since there was likely little Nick could do to stop it, while at work, he could feel useful and let this case consume his every thought.
Catching you was worth everything it cost me.
I don’t believe that Nick believes it was worth it. I’d guess he might go back and change that decision if he could, but that’s not an option.
And that’s what fueled Nick’s anger and frustration over the DA’s office giving Rosalind this deal. Before this, Nick could find some comfort in the fact that Rosalind would eventually be put to death for her crimes but now that was being taken away too and the families of ther victims were left to suffer.
Nick’s pain had me worried that he might end up dead before the episode ended. I kept wondering if Rosalind had a partner and was somehow targeting Nick as her final act of revenge.
But Rosalind enjoys playing with her prey, and her newest target appeared to be Nolan.
Rosalind: I was just thinking about how you saved my life. I’ve literally pealed a woman’s face off and yet you put your body between me and a bullet. Why?
Nolan: It’s my job. I don’t get to choose who I save.
To Nolan’s credit, he never let Rosalind get under his skin, but perhaps it was more difficult for her to do so since she knew so little about him whereas she’d obviously done her research on Nick.
When the LAPD began finding new bodies buried next to Rosalind’s other victims, that’s when things got even more intriguing.
She knew what they were going to find, which meant she was working with someone.
Even if Dyer was using the prison library books to send messages, how did her accomplice get them if he’s out in the world and she’s had no visitors outside of her attorney.
That’s a question that has me captivated, how does one serial killer find another serial killer?
I still think that Rosalind has had to have some sort of help on the inside because all of this has been too well planned.
No doubt, the woman is a brilliant psychopath and she’s certainly had plenty of time on her hands but I just don’t believe she could make her outside connections without the aid of someone in the prison.
So far, we’ve only met two characters who have interacted with Dyer during her prison stay.
The first is Corrections Officer Hernandez who was diligent with his paperwork. That’s certainly not a bad thing, but it did cause me remember him.
The second option is ADA Sean Delmonte. As Delmonte is played by Michael Trucco and I’ve been a fan of his since he guest-starred on Castle season 2, I’d be terribly disappointed to learn his character is aiding a serial killer.
When I wasn’t pondering who could have been Dyer’s co-conspirator, I was fearing who would be the next victim.
As Angela fought to wake Wesley up from his drug and alcohol-induced stupor, I fretted that he could end up being a casualty that had nothing to do with murder.
Thankfully, that wasn’t the case and I hope that Lopez can get Wesley the support he so desperately needs to battle his PTSD.
But then the quarry became evident and it made me sick to my stomach.
In so many ways, Lucy Chen is the heart of this show.
Lucy doesn’t have the life experience of Nolan and she doesn’t have the family cop experience of Jackson.
Officer Chen is smart, both strong and vulnerable, and truly a rookie on this job and I abhor the possibility of losing her.
It was cute when Bradford conducted that mini-interrogation of Caleb which felt more like a big brother than a partner. But Caleb comes across both charming and normal, which makes him all the more dangerous.
The name Caleb, actually sent up a red flag for me, as it was the evil character that Nathan Fillion played on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He was so effectively scary that I refuse to rewatch those episodes.
However, I told myself that the name was merely a coincidence. I should know that there is no such thing as coincidence on TV!
Do I think Lucy’s a goner? I hope not.
I love Lucy and after killing off Captain Anderson and losing Officer Bishop, I don’t believe the show can sustain the loss of yet another female character, at least not any time soon.
But anything is possible, although it’s clear that Lucy will be holding on to give her friends and colleagues every available second to save her.
The question is, will it be enough?
What do you think TV Fanatics?
Were you surprised to find out Lucy was the latest victim?
Did you see Caleb’s evil streak coming or was it a shock?
Was Annie Wersching’s Rosalind Dyer everything a fiendish serial killer should be?
And, most importantly, will Officer Lucy Chen survive this ordeal?
Hit that big, blue COMMENTS button down below because I want to hear your thoughts on The Rookie winter finale. And until its return, you can watch The Rookie online here at TV Fanatic.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.