The BEST Episodes of The Rookie

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Mar 22, 2021

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 8.12
1,320 votes
Directors: Valerie Weiss
Writers: Brynn Malone
The Q Word (1)

#2 - The Q Word (1)

Season 2 - Episode 19 - Aired May 3, 2020

Their rookie year is coming to an end and Nolan, Chen and West are about to be squeezed harder than ever before as their training officers evaluate whether they are truly ready for the job. After one of their rookie classmates is involved in a shooting, the team uncovers some unsettling evidence.

star 7.95
916 votes
Directors: David McWhirter
Writers: Natalie Callaghan, Nick Hurwitz
Day of Death

#3 - Day of Death

Season 2 - Episode 11 - Aired Feb 23, 2020

Nolan and the entire team are in a desperate search to rescue Chen after her abduction, and must attempt to get Rosalind to help them in their search. After Lopez discovers Wesley unconscious from a dangerous cocktail of alcohol and pills, she is forced to keep him close by.

star 7.94
967 votes
Directors: David McWhirter
Writers: Brynn Malone, Fredrick Kotto
The Hunt (2)

#4 - The Hunt (2)

Season 2 - Episode 20 - Aired May 10, 2020

Nolan’s discovery goes much deeper than he expected and could put his life and career in jeopardy.

star 7.94
858 votes
Directors: Bill Roe
Writers: Alexi Hawley
Free Fall

#5 - 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 7.91
1,248 votes
Directors: Mike Goi
Writers: Alexi Hawley

#6 - Consequences

Season 3 - Episode 1 - Aired Jan 3, 2021

Nearing the end of his training, Nolan now faces his biggest challenge as a police officer yet when he must come to terms with the choices he has made in pursuit of the truth.

star 7.90
682 votes
Directors: Bill Roe
Writers: Alexi Hawley

#7 - Control

Season 2 - Episode 17 - Aired Apr 12, 2020

Nolan’s relationship with his first confidential informant is tested when he discovers her back on the street dealing drugs. Lucy’s fear of dating following her abduction and her intrusion into Jackson’s relationship is beginning to threaten their friendship.

star 7.87
870 votes
Directors: Marcus Stokes
Writers: Alexi Hawley, Robert Bella
The Dark Side

#8 - 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 7.86
997 votes
Directors: Bill Roe
Writers: Alexi Hawley
Crash Course

#9 - 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 7.85
1,671 votes
Directors: Adam Davidson
Writers: Alexi Hawley

#10 - Lockdown

Season 3 - Episode 5 - Aired Feb 14, 2021

Officer Nolan is taken hostage by a man with nothing to lose while the station goes on lockdown and races to identify the suspect before time runs out. Officer Jackson and his training officer, Officer Doug Stanton, reach a tipping point in their relationship that could end Jackson’s career.

star 7.85
585 votes
Directors: Anna Mastro
Writers: Elizabeth Beall, Robert Bella
Under the Gun

#11 - Under the Gun

Season 2 - Episode 18 - Aired Apr 26, 2020

Nolan and Harper escort 4 juvenile offenders to a Scared Straight program at a correctional facility that quickly becomes a riotous situation. Nolan is uncertain about his relationship with Grace after she fails to introduce him to her ex-husband.

star 7.84
882 votes
Directors: Tori Garrett
Writers: Elizabeth Beall, Terence Paul Winter

#12 - 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 7.83
1,325 votes
Directors: John Terlesky
Writers: Alexi Hawley

#13 - 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 7.83
1,215 votes
Directors: Michael Goi
Writers: Alexi Hawley
Clean Cut

#14 - 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 7.82
995 votes
Directors: Toa Fraser
Writers: Mary Trahan

#15 - 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 7.81
1,270 votes
Directors: Bill Johnson
Writers: Robert Bella
Plain Clothes Day

#16 - 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
1,286 votes
Directors: Mike Goi
Writers: Terence Paul Winter
Warriors and Guardians

#17 - 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 7.80
1,090 votes
Directors: Lisa Demaine
Writers: Brynn Malone
The Bet

#18 - 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 7.79
1,134 votes
Directors: Barbara Brown
Writers: Corey Miller
The Checklist

#19 - 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 7.79
1,203 votes
Writers: Elizabeth Beall, Fredrick Kotto
Time of Death

#20 - 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 7.79
1,357 votes
Directors: Mike Goi
Writers: Brynn Malone
The Overnight

#21 - The Overnight

Season 2 - Episode 16 - Aired Apr 5, 2020

Officers Chen and Bradford respond to a call at the Los Angeles auditions of American Idol and Officer Chen ends up facing Ryan Seacrest and the judges. Chen befriends a reporter whose motives are not clear.

star 7.77
894 votes
Writers: Corey Miller, Racheal Seymour
Now and Then

#22 - Now and Then

Season 2 - Episode 12 - Aired Mar 1, 2020

Nolan takes his son’s fiancé on a ride-along after she shows an interest in becoming a police officer. Jackson’s relationship becomes complicated at work.

star 7.77
982 votes
Directors: Chi Yoon Chung
Writers: Robert Bella
The Night General

#23 - 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 7.77
1,156 votes
Directors: Rob Bowman
Writers: Fredrick Kotto
The Shake Up

#24 - 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 7.76
1,247 votes
Directors: Steve Robin
Writers: Alexi Hawley

#25 - 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 7.75
1,075 votes
Directors: Bill Johnson
Writers: Robert Bella