Reposted from: The Rookie Season 1 Episode 20: Free Fall Review

For our review of the last episode of The Rookie, click here.

“Free Fall” starts off with the rookies studying for their final exam over a late dinner. They are able to put their knowledge to the test when one of the food trucks is robbed. The three rookies rhyme off penal codes while they arrest the two suspects. The next morning, Nolan and Russo are enjoying their morning together when he brings up his son’s arrival to LA. He is unsure how to go about introducing them and Russo quickly leaves.

At the precinct, Ruiz approaches Bishop about her proposition to be her mole, but Bishop took another route. She informed Grey and Commander West which helps resolve her outstanding issue. At the bullpen, the TOs chime in on their rookies upcoming exams. Bradford doesn’t want to ease up on Chen whether that is during their morning patrol or months later. However, before they can take their written exam they have a short six hour shift.

Lopez talks to West about his abilities and blames herself for failing him. She wants to request a new TO for him if he passes, but he doesn’t want a different instructor. Because he didn’t get a Plain Clothes Day, Lopez is letting him run things for his last shift. They bring in two suspects where Lopez runs into Wesley. She tells him that she will be getting off early due to the exams and he tells her to call him.

Meanwhile, Bradford and Chen respond to a heated argument where a man, Randy Fischer (Brian McGovern), is freaking out about his psychic reading. Turns out after checking with the precinct that the man is wanted in the disappearance of his wife. Bishop and Nolan respond to a homicide at a bus station where they find the body of Clash (Isiah Adams). However, things escalate when Russo and Dr. Morgan (Felicia Day) arrive with concerns that the body may be infected with a homegrown biological weapon.

Russo and Morgan fill the bullpen in on the current situation. Two men from a terror group, Clash and an unknown accomplice, traveled to the city that morning and while the one was found dead, the other is still missing. With such an important profile case, the rookie exams are postponed and they are on high alert. Nolan approaches Russo about her hesitation about Henry. It wasn’t about meeting him, but the dangerous situation at hand. He isn’t happy, but is pulled away.

Bradford and Chen respond to a call from a disgruntled bus passenger (Shawn Michael Howard) who lost his bag. However, the one he has is filled with science equipment that he cut himself on. Bradford knows exactly what that means, but as he tries to contain the situation the man coughs blood on him exposing Bradford to the virus. She pleads with Bradford to leave the room, but he tells her to keep a level head.

Nolan and Bishop meet with a production crewmember named Brad Dallas (Ruy Iskandar) who has a photo of the men in question. They grab his phone to bring to the FBI. Russo apologizes to Nolan for not telling him to protect Henry and he easily forgives her. Luckily they find one of the men from the photo in the FBI database, Jimmy Roskin (Gabriel F. Bellotti). Grey explains the situation with the bus passenger and that Bradford may be infected.

The CDC arrives and go through their list of protocols. While the bus passenger starts to have a terrible nosebleed, they instruct Bradford to go through the mysterious bag. Inside they find a misting fan that would be used as the delivery device for the virus. While he continues to investigate the bag, he is hit over the head by the man. Bradford awakes, manages to taze the man and regain control of the situation. Unfortunately, he watches the man slowly succumb to hemorrhagic fever as he bleeds out of every orifice.

Meanwhile, they find Roskin’s last known location and car. The patrol vehicles scour the streets of LA looking for him. With no information from the homeowners, Bishop decides to ask some of the local homeless. They find out that the man lives in a nearby apartment and when they arrive they manage to find documentation with his name: Brendan Mitchell (Trenton Rostedt).

While Lopez and West go door-to-door they are stopped by Wesley. He wants answers, but when she tells him the truth he questions the ethics behind hiding this from everyone. This causes Lopez to arrest Wesley so they can avoid him leaking this information. However, as they discover that the two men are planning to pose as TSA at LAX, the teams decide they need to converge on the airport.

They positively ID the vehicle as the remaining patrol and Grey engage in a pursuit. Nolan manages to bump the back and spin the vehicle out, but the terrorists start a firefight. Nolan hits one of them, but the men flee prompting a foot chase. West chases one to a bus that he takes hostage with the virus. Lopez arrives with her patrol car and they enter the bus. The man starts to threaten to release the virus while West tries to talk him down. The man stands to take his shot, but Lopez hits him in the chest and they contain the situation. Wesley apologizes for lashing out at Lopez while Commander West applauds his son for his bravery.

Nolan and Russo walk through the streets with Bishop following in her vehicle when they notice something suspicious. They head to the backyard and the man starts firing at them. However, the man is injured and Nolan reasons with him to give up and become the face of his cause rather than a martyr. The man agrees, but Russo believes she saw movement and shoots him. Bishop congratulates Nolan on their job, but he has reservations about Russo’s actions. She tells him to not question it and to sleep on it so he doesn’t jeopardize his relationship or career.

After watching the man die, Tim starts to break down his walls to Chen and show he is scared to follow a similar fate. She talks him off the ledge, but isn’t awake that he is preparing his gun just in case. Dr. Morgan arrives with the vaccine and asks Bradford to open the door. They administer the experimental vaccine as the rest of the rookies and TOs arrive to greet him. The episode ends as Bradford leaves with the CDC only to collapse on the front lawn.

Captain’s Log

  • Does Nolan trust Russo?
  • Is Bradford okay?
  • Will the rookies pass their exam?

Overall, Free Fall was a great finale. The intensity comes to an all-time high as lives are put on the line. While the impending rookie exam was the anticipated end to this season, this twist in the narrative allowed them to show their experience and growth throughout the past season of calls. The comradery and family bond of these officers make for an entertaining and emotional ride. Leaving some of the storylines open on such a strong freshman year should surely mean a second season pickup.

Score: 8/10

What did you think of “Free Fall”? Was it the finale you expected? Let me know in the comments below!

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