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The Rookie 100th Episode Review: Nostalgic Installment Honors Beloved Characters & Relatio

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Warning: SPOILERS for the 100th episode of The Rookie.

Summary

The Rookie’s 100th episode feels like a true ensemble series.
The episode addresses character relationships and loose ends.
Tim and Lucy’s deep love and struggles are highlighted in their storyline.

When The Rookie premiered in 2018, Nathon Fillion served as the show’s main draw. Fillion took on the unique role of John Nolan, a 40-year-old contractor who impulsively joins the police academy after stopping an armed robbery at his local bank. Because the series is centered around Nolan’s late-life career change, the rest of the cast was often used to further his law enforcement journey. One hundred episodes later, The Rookie feels like a true ensemble series. Every character has come into their own and proven that there is endless storytelling potential outside the show’s initial premise.

The team comes together to celebrate John and Bailey’s wedding; Celina discovers a discrepancy in her case, leading to a new discovery; Lucy and Tim’s relationship is put to the test.

ProsThe Rookie’s 100th episode makes it feel like a true reunion”The Hammer” highlights Tim and Lucy’s relationshipThe Rookie’s 100th episode celebrates the series best elementsThe episode ties up some loose ends and gives the characters breathing room
ConsNot everyone appears in The Rookie’s 100th episode

Season 6, episode 2, “The Hammer” evokes considerable feelings of nostalgia for those who have been watching the series since its debut. While there are a fair number of missed opportunities, such as the inclusion of Pete Davidson (who likely couldn’t return for the episode), only so many plots can conceivably fit into a 40-minute time slot. Regardless of who was onscreen, the character and relationship-driven installment managed to capture my attention from beginning to end.

The Rookie’s 100th Episode Successfully Pays Tribute To The Show’s Most Notable Aspects

As soon as “Daddy Cop” began playing in the cold open, it became clear that this episode would be in keeping with the show’s comedic roots. While Pete couldn’t attend the wedding, sending Randy as Chastity’s date was a clever way to bridge the gap and create an opportunity for more beloved characters to join the festivities. Abigail was also missed, but seeing Henry for the first time since season 4 made the installment feel like a true family reunion.

The Rookie is full of checks and balances, making us laugh at a situation’s absurdity, only to fear for a character’s life moments later. Although the “ruined wedding” trope isn’t new to television, the specificity of Nolan and Bailey’s mix-ups offered a fun spin on an otherwise overplayed concept. It also allowed Grey to act as Nolan’s wedding officiant, showing how far their relationship has come since the sergeant’s initial dislike of the protagonist.

The episode took a heavier turn when Aaron tried to kiss Celina, only to be rejected by someone he’d grown close to. Nyla acknowledged that Aaron was leaning too intensely on Celina following his shooting, so it’s hard to say whether his feelings truly go beyond friendship. As awkward as the situation is, the show needs to tie up the loose ends between them before they can return to a healthy place. Fleeing the wedding did cause Celina to end up in harm’s way, but it wouldn’t be The Rookie without an exhilarating rescue at the end of the hour.

The Rookie’s 100th Episode Recognizes That The Central Romance Is Not At The Altar (Yet)

The Rookie’s strength hails from its main cast, and Nolan and Bailey’s wedding reception offers a bit of room for everyone to breathe. This short-lived time off the clock allowed characters to examine their current feelings and how intensely they are affected by their past traumas. It feels necessary to mention Nolan and Bailey’s heartfelt vows, given that the episode revolved around their wedding day. However, despite their compatibility and entertainment value, Tim and Lucy are easily the most well-developed romance in the series.

Since the early episodes, I’ve always felt that Tim and Lucy were the heart of The Rookie, both individually and as partners. This belief has grown with each installment, as the show continued to lean into a pairing that wasn’t necessarily planned. Once the two officially became a couple in The Rookie season 5, it was only natural that Lucy’s undercover work would pose a threat to their relationship. The 100th episode was an excellent time for the show to address their obstacle head-on, while also including the love confession that was six years in the making.

Tim and Lucy’s conversation served as a reminder that their struggles are rooted in a deep love and concern for each other’s well-being. While their feelings may manifest as frustration, this roadblock is devoid of hostility.

Now that Tim’s unease is no longer simmering beneath the surface, it feels as though he and Lucy can move on to the next chapter of their relationship and begin to process their worries together. Having Tim end up on one knee with a ring in his hand was a less-than-subtle way to foreshadow the pairing’s hopeful future. Outside of Tim and Lucy, “The Hammer” provides closure for several of its ongoing storylines, marking a new era for ABC’s police procedural.

The Rookie writers developed an incredibly enjoyable hour of television and gave a nod to fans who continue to pour their love and support into the series. There’s truly not much else I could ask for from a 100th episode of anything.


The Rookie

airs Tuesdays at 9pm ET on ABC and is available to stream the next day on Hulu.

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