The BEST Episodes of The Rookie

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Jan 27, 2020

Network: ABC (US)

Starting over isn’t easy, especially for small-town guy John Nolan who, after a life-altering incident, is pursuing his dream of being a Los Angeles police officer. As the force’s oldest rookie, he’s met with skepticism from some higher-ups who see him as just a walking midlife crisis. If he can’t keep up with the young cops and the criminals, he’ll be risking lives including his own. But if he can use his life experience, determination and sense of humor to give him an edge, he may just become a success in this new chapter of his life.


#1 - Greenlight

Season 1 - Episode 16 - Aired Mar 19, 2019

Officer Nolan gets a lesson in respect after his arrest of a gang member leads to a free-for-all on his life. Officer Chen and Officer Bradford pull over Mario Lopez, who thinks he can talk his way out of a traffic violation.

star 8.15
1,138 votes
Directors: Valerie Weiss
Writers: Brynn Malone
Free Fall

#2 - Free Fall

Season 1 - Episode 20 - Aired Apr 16, 2019

As the rookies prepare for a big exam to see who moves on to the next stage of training, Officer Nolan and Officer Bishop are called to the scene of a murder and learn that the victim may be tied to a potential terrorist attack on the city of Los Angeles.

star 7.93
1,059 votes
Directors: Mike Goi
Writers: Alexi Hawley
Crash Course

#3 - Crash Course

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Oct 23, 2018

Talia forces Nolan to confront his personal moral instincts in order to be a good cop after he encounters a kidnapping victim. Meanwhile, Lucy is temporarily placed with a new training officer who tests her patience, and Jackson must confront his failures head-on if he wants to be an officer.

star 7.89
1,460 votes
Directors: Adam Davidson
Writers: Alexi Hawley

#4 - Impact

Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 29, 2019

Danger is ever-present as the officers of the Mid-Wilshire precinct grapple with the aftermath of a plotted attack on the city of Los Angeles, leaving Officer Bradford fighting for his life. Flash forward two weeks and the rookies receive the shocking results of their latest training exam, leaving one officer questioning what the future holds. Meanwhile, tension develops at home as Nolan and Lopez advance in their relationships with Jessica and Wesley.

star 7.89
960 votes
Directors: Michael Goi
Writers: Alexi Hawley
The Dark Side

#5 - The Dark Side

Season 2 - Episode 10 - Aired Dec 8, 2019

Nolan and team are charged with escorting a notorious female serial killer to the graves of her previously unrecovered victims. However, when they arrive, they unearth even more than they expected. Chen meets a seemingly perfect man who sparks her interest, and Lopez worries about Wesley as his PTSD continues to increase.

star 7.88
591 votes
Directors: Bill Roe
Writers: Alexi Hawley
Warriors and Guardians

#6 - Warriors and Guardians

Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired Oct 20, 2019

Nolan gets off to a rocky start after being introduced to his new training officer, who has an unconventional approach to police work after her stint as an undercover detective. Bradford struggles to think of an appropriate birthday gift for Rachel. Lopez finds herself navigating a case that triggers a personal memory.

star 7.84
825 votes
Directors: Lisa Demaine
Writers: Brynn Malone

#7 - Standoff

Season 1 - Episode 9 - Aired Jan 8, 2019

Officer Bradford’s wife is found shot but alive, and he vows to track down the man responsible. Officer Nolan must protect his home and the truth after a home invasion attack.

star 7.84
1,148 votes
Directors: John Terlesky
Writers: Alexi Hawley
Clean Cut

#8 - Clean Cut

Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 17, 2019

Nolan kicks off his birthday by babysitting a crime scene at a law office. Bradford and West are set to receive special awards, and Sgt. Grey rides patrol with Harper after she requests an early annual evaluation.

star 7.84
702 votes
Directors: Toa Fraser
Writers: Mary Trahan
The Checklist

#9 - The Checklist

Season 1 - Episode 19 - Aired Apr 9, 2019

Sergeant Gray informs the rookies that they must track down a specific set of crimes in a 48-hour period in order to qualify for their final exam. Officer Nolan and Officer Bishop answer a silent alarm call at’s house.

star 7.83
1,025 votes
Writers: Elizabeth Davis Beall, Fredrick Kotto

#10 - Manhunt

Season 1 - Episode 15 - Aired Mar 5, 2019

When a prison bus crashes, all units must respond as some inmates face severe injuries while others seek an opportunity to flee. In the wake of the accident, Officer Nolan tries to impress an FBI hostage negotiator while tracking down an escaped convict.

star 7.83
1,099 votes
Directors: Bill Johnson
Writers: Robert Bella
The Bet

#11 - The Bet

Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired Oct 13, 2019

Nolan navigates building tension in his relationship with Jessica and a developing rapport with Grace, while working a high-stakes criminal case involving an undercover homeland security agent. Chen meddles with Bradford’s love life. Lopez learns some surprising news about Wesley.

star 7.82
876 votes
Directors: Barbara Brown
Writers: Corey Miller
Plain Clothes Day

#12 - Plain Clothes Day

Season 1 - Episode 14 - Aired Feb 26, 2019

The rookies are really put to the test when their training officers accompany them out of uniform for Plain Clothes Day, which forces them to make all the decisions while on patrol. Officer Nolan tries to prove he has been progressing faster than the other rookies to justify his desire of becoming a detective within five years.

star 7.81
1,112 votes
Directors: Mike Goi
Writers: Terence Paul Winter
Time of Death

#13 - Time of Death

Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired Dec 11, 2018

Officer Nolan and Officer Bishop respond to a silent alarm call at a local convenience store where two men are attempting to rob the place. Officer Nolan pursues one of the suspects on foot and is forced to make a split-second decision that will affect both of their lives. Meanwhile, Officer Bishop helps coordinate a drug bust that hits a little too close to home for Officer Bradford.

star 7.80
1,174 votes
Directors: Mike Goi
Writers: Brynn Malone
The Night General

#14 - The Night General

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired Oct 6, 2019

Nolan teams up with new night detective Pablo Armstrong for a murder investigation case that results in an unexpected reunion with a former love interest. Bradford reluctantly accepts help from Chen as he prepares for his sergeant exam. West pursues an unconventional move after finding himself in need of a new home.

star 7.80
897 votes
Directors: Rob Bowman
Writers: Fredrick Kotto

#15 - Fallout

Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired Nov 3, 2019

An emergency alert of an impending missile attack sends Los Angeles into chaos and uncertainty, while the officers each try to keep the peace and deal with their own disasters.

star 7.79
794 votes
Directors: Bill Johnson
Writers: Robert Bella
The Shake Up

#16 - The Shake Up

Season 1 - Episode 17 - Aired Mar 26, 2019

A massive earthquake rocks the city and throws everyone’s patrols and its citizens into chaos. Agent Russo recommends Officer Nolan for a protective detail of Brad Hayes, a man whose dealings have put a target on his head.

star 7.78
1,075 votes
Directors: Steve Robin
Writers: Alexi Hawley

#17 - Homefront

Season 1 - Episode 18 - Aired Apr 2, 2019

When one of their colleagues is arrested by Internal Affairs for lying on the witness stand, it leads to the release of three felons whose cases he worked on and the team being asked to check in on them now that they are free. Meanwhile, Officer Nolan finds out he is being sued by a man who claims he used excessive force which led to an injury.

star 7.77
1,065 votes
Directors: April Mullen
Writers: Bill Rinier, Natalie Callaghan
Tough Love

#18 - Tough Love

Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 27, 2019

As part of their second phase of training, the rookies are asked to develop their first confidential informants. Nolan soon discovers that no two informants are the same and struggles with his newest task. Chen’s mother complicates her home life when she comes to stay with her.

star 7.76
805 votes
Directors: Rachel Feldman
Writers: Vincent Angell
The Switch

#19 - The Switch

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired Nov 13, 2018

The rookies are temporarily paired with new training officers, and Officer Nolan is paired with Officer Lopez. When Nolan and Lopez track down an escaped criminal, they discover a little kindness goes a long way. Meanwhile, Jackson is forced to face his fears when he is partnered with Officer Bradford, while Officer Chen and Nolan must face a hard truth.

star 7.75
1,223 votes
Directors: Toa Fraser
Writers: Vincent Angell

#20 - Pilot

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired Oct 16, 2018

Starting over isn’t easy, especially for small-town guy John Nolan who, after a life-altering incident, is pursuing his dream of being a police officer.

star 7.73
1,635 votes
Directors: Liz Friedlander
Writers: Alexi Hawley

#21 - Safety

Season 2 - Episode 7 - Aired Nov 10, 2019

John and Jessica’s relationship gets a lot more complicated after she delivers some surprising news. Bradford and West are assigned a community policing project helping out the Watts Rams as volunteer coaches at their Fall clinic.

star 7.73
732 votes
Directors: Sylvain White
Writers: Terence Paul Winter
Flesh and Blood

#22 - Flesh and Blood

Season 1 - Episode 10 - Aired Jan 15, 2019

On Captain Andersen’s orders, Officer Nolan and Sergeant Grey are paired up for the day on patrol. Additionally, Nolan’s son and Grey’s daughter visit their dads on the job and see them in action. Meanwhile, Officer Chen is paired up with Captain Andersen, and Officer Bradford tells Chen to protect her at all costs.

star 7.73
1,106 votes
Directors: Jessica Yu
Writers: Inda Craig-Galván
Breaking Point

#23 - Breaking Point

Season 2 - Episode 9 - Aired Dec 1, 2019

Nolan’s trust is tested when he tries to help the previous owner of his home reconnect with his family. Harper has finally earned an overnight visit with her daughter that is put into jeopardy when her past undercover life resurfaces again.

star 7.72
708 votes
Directors: Leslie Libman
Writers: Alexi Hawley, Corey Miller
Caught Stealing

#24 - Caught Stealing

Season 1 - Episode 13 - Aired Feb 19, 2019

The rookies become the prime suspects after a large sum of money used in a drug bust goes missing.

star 7.72
1,119 votes
Directors: Omar Madha
Writers: David Radcliff

#25 - Redwood

Season 1 - Episode 11 - Aired Jan 22, 2019

An unscheduled visit by the vice president of the United States puts the station on high alert. The Secret Service tasks Nolan and Bishop with checking out a possible threat to the vice president while the rest of the team tries to keep the streets safe for his visit.

star 7.71
1,118 votes
Directors: Sylvain White
Writers: Ally Seibert, Liz Alper