The Rookie Season 1 Episode 15 Review: Manhunt


The LAPD was put to the test when a prison transport bus overturned on The Rookie Season 1 Episode 15 and things got bloody, fast. 

The last thing Nolan expected to find in those bushes was a deputy with his leg severed. 

I know it was an intense moment because I found myself yelling at the screen for Nolan to hurry up and use the man’s belt as a tourniquet.

Nolan did just that but it didn’t help. 

As if Graham dying in the bushes with half his leg gone wasn’t distressing enough, learning that he’d never had the courage to tell his friend, Beth, that he loved her while he had the chance was downright tragic. It was a lesson about regretting the chances not taken most of all. 

Sarah Shahi made a great addition as former FBI hostage negotiator, Jessica Russo, and her presence pushed the officers to take new chances.

Not only am a fan of Shahi (Fairly Legal, Person of Interest, Reverie), but Russo came across as confident, smart, and fun.

Related: The Rookie: Sarah Shahi Cops Recurring Role

Jessica was quick to use tactics that not every officer may have been comfortable with but she never flinched when those tactics were questioned.

Officer Bradford: Predictive analytics.
Jessica Russo: You sound skeptical.
Officer Bradford: No, Ma’am. I’ve just found that the best way to catch a criminal is to hit the streets.
Jessica Russo: That’s because you have no experience doing it any other way.

Of course, Nolan wasn’t questioning her. Having read her book twice, he was a little in awe. 

Which brings us to Caleb Jost, whom Firefly fans may have recognized as Sean Maher. 

You’d think that being a former investment banker doing time for securities fraud would make Caleb the least dangerous of the escaped fugitives, that is until you factor in that he bit off someone’s nose! 

This guy bites off noses, I don’t want to get surprised by him.

Officer Nolan

Anyone can be a psychopath, and that thought will probably keep me up at night.

At first, I questioned why Nolan and Bishop didn’t just back off when Caleb wasn’t aware they were there.

They could have waited until he’d retrieved his money and tried to leave to arrest him, but I suppose there was always the possibility that he would have killed the aunt before leaving the room. 

As much as I enjoyed Nolan and Russo determining how best to handle Caleb and figure out if he was a narcissist or suicidal, the best The Rookie quote came from Caleb’s brief interaction with Bishop as she leveled her gun on his head.

Caleb: You don’t say much, do you?
Officer Bishop: If you kill that woman I’m going to shoot you in the face, a lot.
Caleb: Good to know.

Elsewhere, Bradford and Chen had their hands full as they tried to take Marcos Gibson back into custody, the challenge being that his former gang wanted him dead.

I almost didn’t blame Chen for asking whether sending Marcos out of the house to meet his fate was an option. No doubt, that gang of about 50 men outside could have stormed the house and killed everyone inside.

Bradford’s response is why I have such respect for him because when you break through that cocky exterior, he truly believes in himself and the job.

Officer Bradford: We’re here to serve and protect. We don’t get to choose who we serve or who we protect.
Officer Chen: So you’re willing to die for that guy.
Officer Bradford: I am unwilling to let fear make me do something I’ll be ashamed of in the light of day.

There aren’t a lot of people who would hold that line as an angry mob converged on them, but as Bradford said, he’s learned that being a part of the LAPD means that he’s never alone and he’s never outnumbered. 

Thankfully, this time he was right. 

Officer West got an earful about how his father may have done business in the good old days of the LAPD. 

Could the man be telling the truth about Commander West? Considering it all took place in the 1990s, anything is possible but Jackson really needs to let it go.

I’m not saying that Jackson needs to idolize his father, he’s no longer a kid and he’s on the job. Jackson should know that things get complicated. 

Diving into the possible gray areas of his father’s past won’t do him any good. That being said, it wouldn’t surprise me if he does end up taking a look at the man’s file now that his curiosity has been piqued but it will likely lead to more harm than good. 

But back to Nolan’s skill has a hostage negotiator.

Nolan’s sense of empathy doesn’t come for reading it in a book, not even Jessica’s. It comes from being a generally good person who has lived a full life and an understanding that people deal with difficult times in different ways.

You said there was nothing in my past that suggested that I could connect with people in high-stress situations. I mean, obviously negotiating with a suicide bomber is stressful but honestly, you need to try telling a single mother of four that her kitchen is delayed because her tiles are on back order or convincing a bank to give you an extra week to come up with the mortgage.

Officer Nolan

Life is high-stress, it’s how you handle it that makes all the difference.

I wasn’t surprised when Jessica gave Nolan her phone number but I am a little torn. I really like John and Lucy together, but if they have decided that a relationship doesn’t work for them right now, then there’s no reason why they can’t explore other options. 

And there was definitely some chemistry between John and Jessica.

Related: Get True Crime Files by ID via Prime Video Channels for Over 1,000 Real-life Mystery & Suspense Shows!

So what do you think, TV Fanatics?

Should Sgt. Grey retire? I hope not; I really like having him around!

Should Bradford take the Sergent’s exam? I’m happy for him to take it but I’m not ready to lose him as a training officer just yet.

And would Jessica Russo and John Nolan make an entertaining couple? 

Check back for my review of The Rookie Season 1 Episode 16 and until then, 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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