Big spoilers below for those who haven't yet watched The Rookie's Season 3 premiere. You've been warned!
The Rookie was finally able to launch its Season 3 premiere on ABC nearly eight months after capping off its second season with an impromptu finale that was forced due to COVID-related hiatuses. While the episode was likely worth the wait for viewers craving answers about Nathan Fillion's Nolan after that big cliffhanger, the storyline took a hard left turn that could totally derail his career in law enforcement thanks to an untimely, though largely deserved, letter of reprimand for his unlawful actions investigating Harold Perrineau's Nick Armstrong.
Nolan and his in-the-know colleagues technically accomplished what they set out to do, which was basically to bring justice to a dirty detective by any means necessary, with Nolan's wire-wearing scheme ending in Armstrong's death. But creator Alexi Hawley made a point to not just sweep those legality-eschewing tactics under the rug while giving Nathan Fillion's patrol cop a big pat on the back. Part of how The Rookie is rejiggering its narrative for Season 3 involves putting more attention on the consequences of unlawful policing, which may not bode so well for Nolan's dreams of rising up in the ranks. Here's how Hawley explained where things are going to EW:
While I doubt many viewers would consider John Nolan to be bad at his job, or even a bad influence on other much younger patrol cops, there's absolutely a sliding scale where his actions are concerned, since The Rookie's creative team is technically capable of explaining away these characters' less virtuous actions as duties performed for the greater good. But Alexi Hawley wants to break up that long-standing "cop show" mold in order to make the show stand alongside social justice movements aiming to eliminate unwarranted police brutality and to keep the offending cops accountable for their violence. Plus, this move helps Nathan Fillion's character maintain the rookie status of the title for a while longer.
Rather than having Nolan react to his punishment in drastically negative ways that would potentially put him in more trouble with his superiors, Alexi Hawley touched upon the idea that Nolan could find a way to hone his optimism and more, even if he's likely going to be stuck in a promotion-free future.
It sounds like Alexi Hawley and the writers are setting Nolan up to sit tight within the LAPD's ranks, even if it means potentially working beneath an impenetrable glass ceiling in his current position. The way he puts it, this whole run of events is largely to put Nolan through the self-evolution wringer, so that he might come out a more positive and principled person. Below, he explains how the rookie probationary period is being extended for Nathan Fillion's Nolan, and how the character will feel about such major changes.
So while The Rookie fans might not see Nathan Fillion smiling a whole lot as his character goes through the motions related to his punishment, it sounds like there also won't be any vengeful displays where Nolan tells Richard T. Jones' Wade Grey that he'll rue the day he ever slapped that reprimand down. It wouldn't do the creative team any good to set up a proper set of consequences for the titular character only to then have him rail against the rules while still coming out on top as the protagonist. It'll definitely be interesting to see what Nolan's career path is at the midway point of Season 3, at which time Legends of Tomorrow vet Brandon Routh should have arrived to shake up the status quo even further.
The Rookie airs Sunday nights on ABC at 10:00 p.m. ET. While waiting for new episodes, be sure and check out our Winter and Spring 2021 TV premiere schedule to get a look at all the big shows that will be debuting in the near future.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Thank you for signing up to CinemaBlend. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.