Lucy Chen is a badass when she’s undercover.
We got more undercover Lucy on The Rookie Season 5 Episode 7, which made for an intense hour. The case managed to bring most of the characters together, which was interesting in and of itself.
And we also got some forward movement with Elijah, and it’s not looking pretty.
First, we have to give props to Castle alum, and This is Us veteran Jon Huertas for directing the installment. He did a fantastic job!
But when it comes to the storylines, we’ll kick things off with the weakest one: Nolan and Bailey’s plotline about her feeling uncentered in his home was so inconsequential it’s barely worth mentioning.
It was one of those things where one didn’t even realize that she hadn’t fully moved into Nolan’s place or didn’t feel like it was hers yet.
Whether the hour was exploring this to give us more domestic, loving scenes of Nolan and Bailey or it’s one of those things that doesn’t bode well for their future is hard to say.
But that dynamic among Nolan, Bailey, and Celina was still in full force. Celina and Bailey have a surprisingly close, quick bond, and Celina is a solid person to give Nolan some advice.
It all fared well in the end, broken knick-knacks not included.
Nolan and Celina’s case had some twists and turns, and the original concept of a woman shooting a corpse was entertaining in spurts. However, it didn’t remain gripping enough to last the entire hour.
Most of the entertainment lay in the cops trying to figure out what to charge the shooter with once they realized that she only shot a corpse and not a living man as she had intended.
Nolan and Celina are great partners, though. Their chemistry is great, and the dynamic they have developed continues to work. They put both of their skills to proper use when they’re working on cases.
Their combined skills led them to take down a pharmaceutical ring and solve the most loathsome doctor’s death by determining that the man’s wife poisoned him for the insurance money and lack of hassle.
The more interesting case involved the other characters. Harper and Lopez’s murder investigation merged well with Thorsen and Bradford’s random domestic, leading to Thorsen adopting a “puppy.” Both duos are gifts that keep giving this season.
It was a hell of a coincidence that the cases connected, but it worked all the same.
Lucy got a puppy over a year ago, now she’s living with her.
I love that the season is finding ways to put Lucy undercover whenever possible. Lucy thrives when she’s undercover. She’s a natural at it, and we see this unshakeable confidence in her when she’s playing a role that we don’t always see when she’s herself.
It’s like she’s more liberated while playing someone else, which is fascinating and makes her more convincing than ever. Her rolling up on the female gang, burning some serious rubber, and looking like a Chola was quality content.
When Lucy gets into character, she embodies it and is so convincing. Maybe not convincing enough that the gang leader would instantly trust her based on who she claimed she was in a cell with and take her on runs for their illegal activities and tell her things, but still convincing.
The setup to get to that point felt needlessly complicated. They needed to find a way to get Lucy in with the group and trusted, but it didn’t seem like it was some impossible thing that only required the angle of using her brother.
The need for Lucy and Tabin to be in the mix and putting Tabin at risk felt a bit contrived for the sake of the drama.
It led to a lot of uneasiness all around. Thorsen was right to be concerned about Tabin, and interestingly, while there’s no doubt as to others’ intentions and care, he had the best understanding of this situation and even the perspective about police with all of this.
Thorsen had Tabin’s best interest in mind the entire time, and he didn’t want to put him at risk even for the advancement of the case. Maybe that’d be considered a rookie move, but in a field that requires a lot of restructuring and rebranding, Thorsen’s approach is what’s needed more.
It was scary to think of how easily things could’ve taken a turn for the worse when Tabin’s sister gave him that gun. Tabin was clearly still in shock from everything happening at once, and he hadn’t processed everything yet, but suddenly he had guns trained on him and more than one person yelling at him.
Harper: They’re a real threat.
Lucy: Well, so am I.
Things could’ve ended badly if Thorsen wasn’t there to defuse the situation. And while that’s not an indictment on Bradford or anyone else, it simply goes back to what’s at stake and how sometimes it takes someone more conscious and aware to help a situation.
We even saw that when Thorsen and Bradford first responded to the call in the first place. Bradford seemed surprisingly out of touch regarding what the mother wanted, and he only focused on if Tabin was affiliated with gangs, had drug issues, or so forth.
Thorsen instantly knew what was at stake, and he took that community policing style and put it to use, speaking to Tabin, trying to give him advice and an open line of communication whenever he needed.
Fortunately, Bradford didn’t mind letting Thorsen take the lead with that situation and Tabin, and that’s what was needed. It was a rare instance where Bradford seemed woefully out of his depth.
Bradford and Thorsen have already been a highlight of the season because their partnership bears many fun, entertaining, and enlightening fruits. But I love the idea that Bradford can learn from Thorsen as much as Thorsen does from him, and it’s a different relationship than Bradford had with Lucy.
Thorsen got attached to Tabin, but even when he was most antsy, he never felt out of line with his concerns. Even when he questioned Bradford, it was easy to understand why that was.
While we know Bradford’s choices weren’t strictly about serving Lucy’s career advancement, it was about her safety, something Bradford admitted to, as it should have been.
Fortunately, Bradford didn’t take Thorsen’s statement personally. And hopefully, Thorsen can work things out with his “puppy.”
Tabin will need all the help he can get. His sister is a loose cannon who seems like she’d hold a brother against her “soft” brother, who snitched on her to the cops. And who’s to say that her friends or the guys who roughed him up won’t be after him in some capacity?
It’s also concerning that Lucy blew her cover. I get that she was worried about all the parties when things escalated because of the gun, but it’s dangerous to burn an identity like that. It could bite her later, which is a terrifying thought.
We know the show isn’t above something like this since they brought back Elijah to wreak havoc.
Elijah using the same legal system that he felt tried to bury him is oddly hilarious. What do you even say when the career criminal tries to sue everyone?
Elijah is a brilliant enough person to lose the same system his opponents work within against them, and there’s something delicious about that.
He’s unpredictable as a result. While revisiting him as a villain feels unnecessary, the potential for intriguing moments exists.
Wesley was a fool for doing that press conference and public apology. No way on earth he should have to tank what’s left of his career to appease Elijah and rebuild this man’s reputation.
Wesley’s name is likely dirt now. He was already in trouble before and barely got out of that. At this rate, he should probably get into working at the community center with James or something else.
Thorsen: You are endangering this kid all because it’s good for Lucy’s career.
Bradford: Excuse me?
Wesley felt he was doing the best thing to protect himself, Angela, the department, and the D.A’s office by falling on the sword and making nice with Elijah publicly.
But the city is paying him a handsome settlement, and now, Elijah is a free man who will likely go back to doing all of his nefarious things. If they can’t prove it, he’ll be untouched.
And the thing is, he can go back to doing whatever he pleases. Unless they have an airtight case against him, they can’t make any sort of moves without it appearing as if there was a vendetta, or they’re obsessively going after an innocent Black man.
They’re not winning here. And Elijah’s in the best position ever. It’s doubtful he’ll let this go without rubbing it in, so who knows how he’ll continue to pop up this season.
Over to you, Rookie Fanatics. Sound off below!
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Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.