The Rookie: Feds Delivered A Shocking Winter Finale Cliffhanger For (Spoiler), But I'm Not Too Worried

Spoilers ahead for the fall finale of The Rookie: Feds, called “Flashback.”

The Rookie: Feds has aired its very first winter finale, and “Flashback” proved that the spinoff can deliver cliffhangers as intense and unexpected as those from its parent series. The episode delved into Garza’s past in Panama and the loss of a woman he clearly loved years ago, while he was accused of espionage and arrested by the FBI in the present. It was up to Simone and the team to find a way to help him without much information to go on. By the end, his name was cleared, and he took a quiet moment to honor the dearly departed Camilla… only to collapse to the ground. It was a shocking twist, but I’m not freaking out just yet!

How The Rookie: Feds Left Garza’s Life In Jeopardy

“Flashback” foreshadowed the collapse minutes before, when he admitted that he was tired to Simone, and was choked up before admitting that he and Camilla had made plans for the future together and he wished that she was there with him. Simone had to admit that there’s no closure for grief, but told him that he “definitely honored her memory today.” When he had a moment alone, he said “today and every day." That emotional note could have been the end of the episode, if only it wasn’t a fall finale worthy of a cliffhanger! 

Garza went to a cemetery to visit Camilla’s grave and leave her some flowers, while also flashing back to when he had to watch her die and carry her body away with bullets flying. Then, the episode seemingly decided to make his emotional heartache into literal heartache as he clutched his chest and collapsed to the ground, entirely alone and unmoving. 

And I’ll admit it – when I first saw the scene, I was as freaked out as any fan of The Rookie: Feds could have been when it comes to Garza after he’d had a rough enough episode! With nobody there with him to see him collapse into unconsciousness and call for help, it’s hard to imagine him quickly getting the help he needs if he did have a heart attack. But it didn’t take long for the show to make me feel a whole lot better about his fate. 

Why I’m Not Too Worried About Garza

As it turns out, The Rookie: Feds (which has already been picked up for a full season) only needed thirty seconds to make me feel better about Garza’s survival odds in the second half of Season 1. Even though the show is heading into a hiatus that won’t end until January, there was a promo that aired right after the episode that revealed the return will also be one half of a crossover with The Rookie, as the two shows will be paired in the ABC lineup starting in the 2023 TV premiere schedule.

The promo didn’t ease my mind by showing Garza alive and well, but it was 30 seconds of action-packed footage that didn’t give any hint of recent tragedy on Feds, or even tease the resolution of the cliffhanger. If the resolution was going to be as huge as killing off Garza, I can’t imagine that the trailer wouldn’t already hype it at least a little bit. 

I can imagine that he’ll be benched and/or need some recovery time, but the footage that previewed a fun crossover with no suggestion of heartbreak has me feeling pretty positive about his future. Does the promo guarantee that he’ll live, recover, and be back with the team before too long? Definitely not, and I could be reading too much into it, but I’m going to assume the best for now. Take a look:

Find out whether I'm right to be optimistic or will be eating my words when The Rookie: Feds returns to ABC on Tuesday, January 3 in its new 9 p.m. ET time slot. It follows The Rookie in its move to 8 p.m. ET on Tuesdays after the Nathan Fillion-led series spent the first half of its fall season in the 2022 TV schedule airing on Sundays. If you want to revisit earlier episodes and see the Rookie: Feds cast in action in their first investigations, you can do so streaming with a Hulu subscription

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.