The BEST Episodes of The Rookie

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Oct 31, 2019

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

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 8.13
1,046 votes
Directors: Valerie Weiss
Writers: Brynn Malone
Free Fall

#2 - Free Fall

Season 1 - Episode 20

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 7.94
962 votes
Directors: Mike Goi
Writers: Alexi Hawley

#3 - Impact

Season 2 - Episode 1

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
805 votes
Directors: Michael Goi
Writers: Alexi Hawley
Warriors and Guardians

#4 - Warriors and Guardians

Season 2 - Episode 4

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 7.85
594 votes
Directors: Lisa Demaine
Writers: Brynn Malone

#5 - Standoff

Season 1 - Episode 9

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 7.85
1,074 votes
Directors: John Terlesky
Writers: Alexi Hawley
The Checklist

#6 - The Checklist

Season 1 - Episode 19

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
964 votes
Writers: Elizabeth Davis Beall, Fredrick Kotto
Crash Course

#7 - Crash Course

Season 1 - Episode 2

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 7.83
1,305 votes
Directors: Adam Davidson
Writers: Alexi Hawley
Time of Death

#8 - Time of Death

Season 1 - Episode 8

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 7.82
1,098 votes
Directors: Mike Goi
Writers: Brynn Malone

#9 - Manhunt

Season 1 - Episode 15

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 7.82
1,012 votes
Directors: Bill Johnson
Writers: Robert Bella
Plain Clothes Day

#10 - Plain Clothes Day

Season 1 - Episode 14

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
1,025 votes
Directors: Mike Goi
Writers: Terence Paul Winter
The Bet

#11 - The Bet

Season 2 - Episode 3

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 7.80
692 votes
Directors: Barbara Brown
Writers: Corey Miller
The Night General

#12 - The Night General

Season 2 - Episode 2

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
732 votes
Directors: Rob Bowman
Writers: Fredrick Kotto
The Shake Up

#13 - The Shake Up

Season 1 - Episode 17

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 7.77
988 votes
Directors: Steve Robin
Writers: Alexi Hawley
Tough Love

#14 - Tough Love

Season 2 - Episode 5

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
425 votes
Directors: Rachel Feldman
Writers: Vincent Angell

#15 - Homefront

Season 1 - Episode 18

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 7.76
980 votes
Directors: April Mullen
Writers: Bill Rinier, Natalie Callaghan
Flesh and Blood

#16 - Flesh and Blood

Season 1 - Episode 10

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 7.75
1,034 votes
Directors: Jessica Yu
Writers: Inda Craig-Galván

#17 - Redwood

Season 1 - Episode 11

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 7.73
1,039 votes
Directors: Sylvain White
Writers: Ally Seibert, Liz Alper
Caught Stealing

#18 - Caught Stealing

Season 1 - Episode 13

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

star 7.73
1,038 votes
Directors: Omar Madha
Writers: David Radcliff

#19 - Heartbreak

Season 1 - Episode 12

The most dangerous day of the year – Valentine’s Day – has the team on high alert, and Officer Nolan invites everyone over for a party now that he is single.

star 7.71
1,002 votes
Directors: Carol Banker
Writers: Vincent Angell
The Switch

#20 - The Switch

Season 1 - Episode 4

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 7.69
1,132 votes
Directors: Toa Fraser
Writers: Vincent Angell
The Hawke

#21 - The Hawke

Season 1 - Episode 6

Nolan and the team must help capture a cop and his former mentor from the academy after he becomes a fugitive following an assault. Meanwhile, Officer Tim Bradford needs Officer Lucy Chen to learn to predict the moves of criminals in order to capture them.

star 7.69
1,091 votes
Writers: Fredrick Kotto

#22 - Pilot

Season 1 - Episode 1

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 7.69
1,496 votes
Directors: Liz Friedlander
Writers: Alexi Hawley
The Ride Along

#23 - The Ride Along

Season 1 - Episode 7

Sergeant Grey informs Officer Nolan and Officer Bishop that they are going to have a movie director as a ride-along during their patrol after a fun afternoon granting the wish of a Make-A-Wish kid as honorary police officer Kaydence Patton. Meanwhile, Officer Bradford is tested once again after he learns that his wife, Isabel, has been arrested for drug possession.

star 7.65
1,079 votes
Directors: Cherie Nowlan
Writers: Robert Bella
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

#24 - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Season 1 - Episode 3

After Nolan and Talia lose control of a crime scene, they begin to debate whether people are fundamentally good or bad and what that means for a police officer. Meanwhile, Lucy is concerned Tim is enabling his wife’s destructive behavior and not taking care of himself.

star 7.64
1,223 votes
Directors: Greg Beeman
Writers: Ally Seibert, Liz Alper
The Roundup

#25 - The Roundup

Season 1 - Episode 5

Nolan, the rookies and their training officers get involved in a competition that pits them against each other. Officer Lucy Chen notices Officer Tim Bradford is obsessed with winning at all costs.

star 7.63
1,118 votes
Writers: Elizabeth Davis Beall