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‘The Rookie’ Recap: Season Three Finale – Lopez Wedding, Chenford Dance


The following contains spoilers from the season three finale of ABC’s The Rookie.

ABC’s The Rookie that Sunday night wanted to end season three with a somewhat impromptu wedding, but like all good finalsThe ceremony did not go smoothly. Far from the fact that pregnant future Angela went missing, the vengeful inmate of archenemy Sandra De La Cruz aka La Fiera was released shortly after the prison transport of arch enemy Sandra De La Cruz aka La Fiera was intercepted.

Before Angela and Wes’ almost big day, La Fiera had been caught by an undercover Chen whose cover was on the verge of being blown after meth cook “Nova” was introduced to the crime of the Ascending Lady – and trusted him seemed to be boss.

Days before The Rookie officially stopped picking up season four, TVLine spoke to showrunner Alexi Hawley about the tragically crashed wedding, Tim and Lucy’s “rescued” dance, the secret casting coups of this season and much more.

TVLINE | That was a pretty bold move with Lopez (played by Alyssa Diaz) disappearing when you weren’t officially handed a season four renewal yet.
You know, sometimes you have to dream big. It felt like a way to ultimately bring people back, and we gave everyone a wedding – so the start of a wedding – to be excited about, so let’s go. We’ve been making La Fiera history all season so felt we should give it a try.

TVLINE | Is that still a mindset to make a finale without renewing it yet, to give the network something to renew it? Don’t some showrunners believe that if you don’t end up on a cliffhanger, a network has one less reason?
In all honesty, I think they end up making the decisions they make regardless. I mean, I don’t want to go back to the end of Castle, but there were two endings we came up with. Terrence [Winter] and I basically made a decision that we had to shoot the one that aired, the one with the happy ending, just in case. Nobody told us, but you can imagine if we ended up with it [Rick and Kate] Bleeding on the loft floor – “See you later America!” That would have been bad.

We felt very positive this season. It was a very difficult season for many reasons, but many things went very well. I think it’s both the hardest and the best thing I’ve ever done.

TVLINE | Should we be worried about both Jackson (Titus Makin) and Lopez?
You got that right? That was a little on purpose, yeah. You definitely want to come to the audience’s mind, “Wait a minute, where is Jackson?” We have to see.

TVLINE | Offer a little to calm the fans down. Does La Fiera (Camille Gauty) have a possible need for Lopez other than just killing her?
She does. I don’t want to reveal it, but she definitely does. This is not the end of Lopez, but rather an escalation of that dynamic that they basically had all season. There is this friendship, a kinship. You have connected [La Fiera’s] Son and [Angela’s] future child and also Latinas who are two sides of the same coin.

Rookie Chenford

TVLINE | I have to think that in the inevitable excitement that Lopez will be kidnapped, Tim won’t get this dance with Lucy …
You’re going to have to end the wedding at some point, but yeah, we probably won’t have a dance in season 4.

TVLINE | How much should we read about Tim posting this in the first place?
Ultimately, I don’t know if what I say about how much people are going to read it makes any difference. I mean, I think if she goes a step further than a newbie, they’re not the same – because he’s obviously still superior to her and he’s been there a long time – but it removes a barrier that could possibly be there.

Rookie Deschanel VideoTVLINE | I have to ask, having you here, what is your strategy for casting messages? Because you got some really funny things, but they were kept a little quiet. I watched like, “Hey, it’s Molly Quinn! … Hey, it’s Jenna Dewan! … Wait, is that Emily Deschanel freaking out ?!”
I’m working as fast as I can to put on a show in the middle of the pandemic so I haven’t really paid too much attention, but … these decisions are not me. In Season 4, we may be looking into how to deal with it because these days anything you can do to make eyeballs pop up is a plus. Obviously, I thought that having Castle and Bones together would be a coup for us …

TVLINE | It was like the Yankees in 1927 or something. How did that happen?
When we made up the story that we were going to bring Nolan’s ex-wife back, that felt meaningful to us, and we started to see who was available and who was in town. And when I saw Emily’s name, I said, “Can we get her?” That would be great. And she was so wonderful.

TVLINE | And she and Nathan Fillion were very good together.
They had such a good chemistry together, yes. That was really great.

Rookie boardTVLINE | Could Bailey (played by Jenna Dewan) be a keeper when speaking of Nolan’s love interests?
Absolutely. I think Jen is another coup for us so yeah that’s my plan. We couldn’t really get a ton of love interests in the middle of the pandemic, but at the end of the day it felt like, “Let’s find someone who may bring us into the next season. And Jen is really special and I love the character.

TVLINE | I told our employees that you immediately gave it a spin-off-worthy character. She is a reserve in the army! She is a firefighter! She is a Capoeira teacher!
I really love the idea even though I don’t know if we can pull it off that it keeps coming up and it’s there and it’s just one more thing that it does. [Laughs] She is the most accomplished person you have ever seen. They also have phenomenal chemistry together. Nolan had some girlfriends along the way, but it’s been a minute and I feel like we really want to find out how it is with him.

TVLINE | What will Nolan do as P2 in season 4?
Basically a version of what we see of him now because he’s driving around as a patrolman. P2s can go in solo cars, which we never really did. He could also go with Lucy or Jackson…. It’s exciting for me to go into season four with things we haven’t done before, with a dynamic that we haven’t put together. Also, it is inherent in not being a beginner, student, or trainee that he will have a little extra strength because he will be the one making the calls. He’ll drive his stuff a bit more without having to check in to a TO or you know you have to pass a test every episode.

Rookie Chen Season 3 FinaleTVLINE | I was a bit disappointed that Chen’s undercover assignment was over so quickly, but what does this experience do for the character who is evolving? Is it something for her to dip her toe once a season or something?
Ultimately, that’s something that will still be on her radar as what she wants to do. Obviously, she’s been tossed in the deep without all of the training you need to be a real undercover cop. I liked Grey’s statement about “It is not a mistake not to prepare for a job that you did not prepare for.” A lot of shows people just throw people undercover and they’re really good at it even when they haven’t had practice, but we try to do the inside baseball as much as possible. This was a special circumstance, but I think she will be a little more conscious when it comes to learning this stuff before embarking on a long-term assignment.

Rookie FionaTVLINE | Talk about Tok’s Olagundoyes character and how you decided to implement Professor Ryan to address some of the police problems that exist.
As we sat down to really plan the season, we felt an obligation to honor the serious conversations that were being had about systemic injustice and policing. As a patrol show, we can do so many different things – we’re not relegated to “a very special episode of The Rookie” – so we felt we had a chance to really explore all of these different facets. Of course, we did a lot of studying the Doug Stanton story, but I had planned to send Nolan back to school since the end of season two. I happened to have a conversation with a cop about how fast you can become a TO and they said, “If you graduate from college, you can do this two years faster” and I think, “Oh, I must have planned this when I was creating the show and Nolan didn’t finish college! ” [Laughs] It was one of those moments when something we had set up worked really well because it allowed us to put it in a classroom setting. The classroom, and Toks specifically, were a great way to get involved in a lot of different things.

TVLINE | Even smaller things like “wobblers” that I had never heard of.
It was very important to us that we also honored these conversations in the final. By the way, we’ll be talking about this in season 4 too, because at that point this is part of the show. It feels like we have a responsibility to really get into real policing and still be ambitious. But Toks, we’ve obviously loved her since the castle days, and she just walked in and managed to put a real human face on some very serious subjects.

Want more about The Rookie or another show? Email and your question can be answered through Matt’s Inside Line.


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