The Rookie Season 3 Episode 11 Review: New Blood

The new blood didn’t last long on The Rookie Season 3 Episode 11, and I found that oddly disappointing.

I say oddly because I had no interest in the new rookies coming into this episode, and I have to admit, The Badger made me cringe when crowed about Nolan being his role model for joining the force. 

The Badger was exactly the kind of recruit Sgt. Grey had dreaded would be inspired by Nolan’s success, and it turns out he wasn’t wrong.

I immediately wondered who The Badger would be paired with since Harper was still officially training Nolan, Bradford was being paired with Officer Barnes, and Lopez was now a detective.

Having Officer Maser wash out at roll call in one of the most inept and dangerous ways possible made that question irrelevant. But his few minutes of air time were worth it just to hear this interaction between Bradford and Harper…

Harper: How much did you have to bribe Grey not to give you Bizarro World Nolan?
Bradford: As a training officer of the LAPD, it is my duty to train any and all recruits assigned to me. Two pairs of Lakers tickets.

Officer Bradford training Officer Barnes ended up being the highlight of this hour. 

Lucy almost reveled in the fact that someone else would have to endure Tim’s training methods. So, when she realized that none of Tim’s rules seemed to apply to his new rookie, Lucy was irritated and downright annoyed. 

Why was Bradford so hard on her and yet appeared to be so lenient on the new recruit?

Because Tim Bradford knows his job, and that is to mold each individual into a good cop. To do that, he understands that each new rookie is a different person with different needs. 

Lucy needed discipline and toughening up, but Officer Barnes had served in the military where toughness and discipline were already well-honed traits. 

Bradford: People with strong military backgrounds can struggle with the transition to being a cop.
Barnes: That won’t be me. I’ve been on combat patrol doing exactly this.
Bradford: Wrong. There are three major differences between police and military. If you want to be a cop instead of a soldier, you’ll have to conquer all of them.
Barnes: Tell me.
Bradford: One, cops are expected to be proactive. You don’t wait for orders. Two, you are no longer bound by military objectives. The actions you take are at your discretion. And three, the people we come up against on the street aren’t enemy combatants. They’re our fellow citizens.

Where Tim had to teach Lucy to keep her head on a swivel and constantly assess possible threats, he needed Barnes to realize that not everything or everyone was a threat. 

I don’t think Lucy Chen ever appreciated how good Bradford is at his job until she realized how completely he was able to change his methods to suit the individual he was training. 

And when he told Lucy he thought she was a good cop, it meant the world to her because Tim Bradford doesn’t hand out compliments as a matter of politeness. He really meant it. 

Although I had dreaded the show bringing on new rookies, I was unexpectedly sad to see Officer Barnes resign.

I was intrigued by how her previous military experience could both help and hinder her ability to become a good police officer. It could have been compelling to watch Barnes and Bradford work through those pitfalls throughout the rest of the season. 

Maybe she’ll be back. I’d be happy if it works out that way. 

Elsewhere, Nolan ended up playing bodyguard to Prof. Fiona Ryan.

I appreciated learning where Ryan’s passion for police reform originated. It made her far more human. Also, I had never heard about the MOVE bombing in Philadelphia, so this was a gripping if horrifying history lesson. 

But when Fiona insisted on taunting her stalkers in that video, I couldn’t help but think her bravado came across less like courage and more like stupidity. 

Fiona: If I succumb to their threats, they win.
Nolan: I understand, but it’s an irrefutable fact that you can affect a heck of a lot more change if you’re alive.

Also, her security system seemed pretty useless, considering she had a glass door that could probably be broken in a matter of seconds. 

I had gone into this story suspecting that Fiona would be Nolan’s next romantic partner, and I’m relieved it didn’t go that way. First, I don’t feel any real chemistry between them, and second, I really don’t want to have to sit through scenes of these two dissecting the ethics of every case. 

Speaking of happy couples, Wesley and Angela recruited Tim to mediate wedding plans with Wesley’s mom, Patrice. Bradford seemed more annoyed with Wesley and Angela’s inability to speak up to Patrice than Patrice herself. 

In the end, it was a relief to see Patrice and Angela finally talk. They’d always gotten along well in the past, so all of the current animosity surrounding this wedding has felt very contrived. 

That said, I am looking forward to seeing Tim taking charge of Man of Honor duties at the actual wedding, which I hope we get to see by season’s end. 

Over at the community center, James asked out Harper, and I’m curious to see how this pairing works out. Plus, it was great to see Silas back, and having him as James’ wingman was both sweet and amusing. 

Finally, we get to Henry’s visit. 

It was good to see Henry was still with Abigail, as I wondered if they were still a couple. And Nolan was doing his best to accept that his son was taking a different path than he had expected. 

Is Henry’s collapse Covid related? The show hasn’t really focused on the pandemic very much, so I’m guessing this may have to do with the heart condition Henry was born with. 

Nolan hasn’t had much of a personal storyline since Grace and he broke up at the end of The Rookie Season 2, and I’ve been waiting for them to explore his life outside of work. But this certainly wasn’t what I was expecting. 

It appears we’ll get to meet Nolan’s ex-wife next week, and I’m thrilled to see she’s being played by Emily Deschanel, formerly Dr. Temperance Brennan on Bones! 

So what do you think, TV Fanatics?

  • Would you have liked Officer Katie Barnes to have stuck around, or are you glad she’s gone?

  • Has your opinion of Tim as a training officer changed?

  • Do you want to see more of Prof. Fiona Ryan or less?

  • Will Henry survive past the next episode?

  • And are you as excited as I am to see Emily Deschanel guest starring on The Rookie Season 3 Episode 12?

Hit that big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button down below to share your thoughts, and then check back in for our next The Rookie review. Also, don’t forget that you can watch The Rookie online here at TV Fanatic. 

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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