The Rookie was back with what felt like a regular installment, and that's not a bad thing.
The Rookie Season 3 Episode 8 didn't feel as though it was filmed around Covid-19 restrictions, and it wasn't putting the spotlight on racial injustice and prejudice in law enforcement.
Not that any of the above didn't make for captivating TV. I've applauded many of the episodes this season that took those subjects seriously and incorporated them into engrossing storylines. But there was almost a sense of nostalgia in getting back to a basic, crime of the week type of show.
Det. Angela Lopez was in charge of a high-profile kidnapping case that brought Oscar Hutchinson, the man who stabbed Wesley, back into her orbit.
Thankfully, Lopez showed part of the intelligence and control that helped her earn that new detective shield when she put Nolan and Harper in charge of dealing with Oscar.
Nolan: I’m guessing your conflict of interest is that he stabbed your fiancé.
Angela: Technically, my conflict is my desire to kill him for that.
Nolan: But you wouldn’t really.
Angela: I’m pregnant. Don’t try me.
Did Angela want to kill Oscar? Sure. Heck, I have little doubt she not only fantasized about it but probably planned out the murder in her mind.
But she had a job to do, and it had nothing to do with getting her revenge on the man who almost killed Wesley.
Angela not only kept on point but didn't even lose her cool when that condescending FBI agent told her to go home and put her feet up. I was surprised he didn't pat her on the head and try to send her on her way.
Even once she was officially taken off the case, Angela was astute enough to have Harper and Nolan stick around, knowing the odds were good that Oscar would try to escape.
Too bad for Oscar, because I'm sure he lost any chance at garden club privileges and that name-brand case of ginger ale every week.
I was surprised they bothered taking Oscar out on that field trip as he seemed to know nothing, but if they hadn't, we would have never gotten to see that snazzy Member's Only jacket. Talk about nostalgia.
Any former Castle fans quickly recognized Molly Quinn, who did a great job portraying Oscar's wayward daughter, Ashley. My only regret was that she didn't get more interaction with Nolan, given that Nathan Fillion played Quinn's father for eight seasons on Castle.
I suspected that the kidnapping was Austin's idea, at least to begin with. Still, it made for a nice segue into Wesley and Angela's discussion about their different mindsets when it comes to how money will affect their child.
Wesley: Believe me, there are complications to having money.
Angela: Like always being able to pay the rent or buy food.
Wesley: Like having your child kidnapped for ransom.
It was a relief to have them compromise and decide to find a way to ensure their child's future while not allowing them to become an entitled brat.
Elsewhere, Bradford's reaction to his shop getting spray-painted with graffiti made me think the person who did it was a sniper, a serial killer, or a terrorist.
Did he really call in air support for a tagger who made him look bad when he was a rookie? That seems extreme even for Tim.
I suppose he had built up the image of this tagger as an enemy in his mind for so many years that he couldn't see them as a normal human until they came face to face.
In the middle of that drama, Lucy got dumped by Emmet via text message, something Tim wanted no part of despite Emmet saying he'd have Bradford bring him the rest of his stuff from Lucy's.
Bradford: We don’t talk feelings. We drink and watch sports together.
Lucy: That’s guy for friends.
Jackson: Straight guy for friends.
Since we hadn't seen Emmet all season, I'd begun to wonder if the show remembered Lucy and he were dating, so their break-up wasn't a surprise.
That Lucy wanted a revenge date with Emmet's colleague was completely understandable, considering that breaking up via text is the coward's way out. But Lucy's too good of a person to knowingly use someone else, so it wasn't a shock that she backed out on the date.
Back at the station, Commander West and Sgt. Grey were making Jackson their personal tug of war toy as each thought they knew the next steps for Jackson's career.
Oddly enough, that both men were trying to push Jackson in the direction they thought he should go may have made it easier to stand up to both of them.
Jackson West has grown so much since the start of the series. He's his own person with no one to impress or gain approval from other than himself. I'm excited to see in which direction he decides to head next as a police officer.
Finally, there was Nolan's missed exam.
Anyone who went to college had professors who were sticklers about missing exams, but it's not as though Nolan is some frat boy slacking off because he partied too much the night before.
The question she posed seemed impossible to answer because there wasn't enough information given to make an appropriate decision.
She kept insisting that Nolan had to choose from the answers she'd given but then let him take the exam when he chose none.
Was that the point, for him to reveal the flaws in her scenario and stand up to her despite her position of power?
We can only assume that was the case as she didn't elaborate yet gave him the exam to take. Still, I wish she'd explained herself better in the end.
So what did you think, TV Fanatics?
Do you care about Emmet and Lucy's break-up?
Were you hoping for more interaction between Molly Quinn and Nathan Fillion?
Where do you think Jackson will end up in his career with the LAPD?
What was the merit in the professor's question to Nolan?
Did this feel like the most normal episode of the season, and is that good, bad, or something in between?
Hit that big, blue, SHOW COMMENTS button down below to answer those questions and more!
Then check back in for our next The Rookie review, and don't forget, you can watch The Rookie online here at TV Fanatic.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.