The Rookie – Punch Card



In tonight’s intense episode of “The Rookie,” the groundwork was laid for the return of the Big Bad, unveiling a complex web of connections that runs deep, even within the police department itself. 

The episode began with Monika suffering an attack in her home. The attack was odd, as she clearly had no idea who sent the attacker but she also staged some of her injuries for the police. It was later revealed that she faked her injuries to guarantee a hospital visit, allowing her to silence her attacker and uncover who was behind the assault. Monika’s inconsistent story about her attack and her reluctance to press charges against her assailant, raised suspicions among Nyla and Angela.

Meanwhile, Tim spotted Mad Dog in an elevator with Dr. London under suspicious circumstances, it’s clear that something shady is afoot which Tim began to unravel as the episode progressed. Sergeant Grey, citing being short staffed, assigned Lucy to be acting Training Officer for Celina, while pushing Tim to resolve his issues with Lucy, emphasizing teamwork and hinting at a potential transfer for Tim if he doesn’t make things right with Lucy. At the same time, Grey tasked Tim to play a small role in a Metro operation, monitoring a suspected base of operations for a Mexican mafia offshoot—a tip provided by a confidential informant. 

“Punch Card” – THE ROOKIE, Pictured: Eric Winter as Tim Bradford and Tru Valentino as Aaron Thorsen. Photo: Raymond Liu/Disney ©2024 All Rights Reserved.

Bailey and Nolan were at the hospital for fertility testing when chaos ensued—a brawl between Eastern and Russian mob members. The violence escalated, threatening to spiral into a gang war if the Eastern mafia boss, now critically injured, died. Nolan and Bailey’s appointment was overshadowed by the urgency to manage the gang crisis at the hospital. 

Angela and Nyla attempted to manage the volatile situation by separating gang members. Meanwhile, Lucy proved her mettle as a Training Officer with Celina, demonstrating calm and effective leadership—she was actually made to be a Training Officer. Maybe she has been vying for the wrong role all along. Perhaps this is what she is truly meant to do.
Things took a turn when the Eastern mafia boss succumbed to his injuries, and a woman inexplicably opened fire in the hospital, complicating matters for Nolan, whose hearing was compromised by the gunfire. 

Meanwhile, the tension mounted in Tim and Aaron’s stakeout van, where a bomb exploded at the Metro-targeted building, hinting at a possible leak from within the department. Clearly Monika is in on whatever is happening with the Big Bad, and it was finally proven that so is Dr. London. The two women solidified that they are connected, but the extent of Dr. London’s involvement is unknown as she clearly felt guilty about so many people getting caught in the crossfire of whatever the bigger plan is. 

“Punch Card” – THE ROOKIE, Pictured: Bridget Regan as Monica. Photo: Raymond Liu/Disney ©2024 All Rights Reserved.

The episode closed on a poignant note with Tim and Lucy, their personal struggles mirroring the broader chaos. Lucy and Celina headed to Lucy’s apartment. Although Celina wasn’t officially moving in until the morning, she opted to spend the night. She deeply valued Lucy’s mentorship and was grateful for her assistance. A knock at the door revealed sweet Kojo waiting with a card in his mouth, sent by Tim. It was a birthday card from Kojo. Both Tim and Lucy were visibly emotional, shedding tears. The two have so much love for eachother, which makes the situation so difficult. Especially since the break-up is truly not something either of them wanted. Once again, Melissa O’Neil and Eric Winter delivered outstanding performances, capturing the complex emotions of a couple caught between their desire to be together and their commitment to doing what is right. Their inner turmoil was palpable, it could be felt through the TV screen. The return of Kojo was a brilliant touch by the writer’s, as he is so deeply woven into Tim and Lucy’s love story. 

The moment was suddenly interrupted when Tim received a distressing message from Mad Dog, stating that he needed to talk. Tim encountered him on the hospital roof, poised to jump. He confessed to Tim that the situation wasn’t meant to escalate as it did. He admitted to sabotaging the operation but insisted that it was never supposed to result in anyone getting hurt. He refused to reveal who he was working for, explaining that this person holds knowledge of all his secrets. Ultimately, he leapt to his death while Tim helplessly watched. 

“Punch Card” – THE ROOKIE, Pictured: Eric Winter as Tim Bradford and Tru Valentino as Aaron Thorsen. Photo: Raymond Liu/Disney ©2024 All Rights Reserved. 

It’s baffling why, amid such a major gang war, the writers thought viewers would be interested in Bailey and Nolan’s efforts to conceive a baby. This subplot felt completely disconnected and out of sync with the tone of the rest of the episode. Thankfully, they’ve decided against having a baby for now. Hopefully, this is the end of that storyline once and for all.
The storyline involving the Big Bad is finally beginning to unfold, revealing deep entanglements within the department. Tim is piecing the puzzle together, yet it seems no one truly understands the extent of the situation or how profoundly its consequences will impact everyone involved. 

As we near the end of the season, it is clear that the repercussions of whatever is going on, will profoundly affect every member of Mid-Wilshire, challenging their beliefs and their bonds.
Your turn, Rookie fans! What did you think of the episode? Who do you think the Big Bad is and what do you think is their ultimate goal? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Share them below and engage with me on X at @middleofcanada.


Cristina manages the site and reviews several shows. She is an Elementary
School Counsellor by day and avid TV buff by night. True Crime, thrillers,
dramas and dramedy’s are her favourite genres. When she is not at work or
managing SpoilerTV, she loves spending time with her two dogs, a Chihuahua
Pug mix named Holly and Terrier mix named Penny. She also loves Travelling
to visit family.

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