“The Rookie” Season 2 “Fallout” Brings Disaster Porn To Network TV [SPOILER REVIEW]

This week’s brand new episode of ABC’s The Rookie, “Fallout,” has all of the drama of a disaster movie. For a show that usually aims for lighthearted and wholesome, “Fallout,” is disaster porn for the masses. In an echo of the 2018 incident in Hawaii, the LAPD takes to the streets when everyone is notified of an incoming ballistic missile attack. The entire cast must police a panicked city with the knowledge that they may only have thirty minutes to live. While the situation pushes the cast to confront their own relationship issues, there are surprisingly few surprises. Lots of drama, few revelations.

Be on alert, spoilers incoming.

The episode, and the day, starts like any other. Angela (Alyssa Diaz) and Wesley (Shawn Ashmore), the best couple on the show right now, discuss an anniversary. Nolan (Nathan Fillion) prepares for his first day in court. And Detective Harper (Mekia Cox) maces a literal man-eating dog. But one text alert changes everything. All of the sudden, nothing that mattered in the first part of the episode matters anymore. Faced with the possibility if imminent disaster, the cops still need to be on the street.

THE ROOKIE – “Fallout” – ABC/Mitch Haaseth

Interestingly, Detective Harper is the only cop to choose her family over her duty. When the warning comes in, she immediately picks up her daughter from school and brings her to the police station. Then, she stays there, refusing to go back out on the streets with all of the other cops. Harper choosing spend time with her daughter rather than brawling on the streets is a big reversal for the character. After four years of her work coming first, this move is a big deal. And everyone except her ex notices. Nolan, finally putting the pieces together, is able to save Harper’s butt yet again, this time from kidnapping charges. Someone needs to remind her that she is the training officer and Nolan is the rookie.

Nolan and Jessica Russo (Sarah Shahi), who was in court to support him, manage to bumble their way through the attack threat. In general, one would expect a Department of Homeland Security agent to be capable of a bit more in an emergency. Russo seems content to follow Nolan and Wesley’s lead, even making out with Nolan in the bomb shelter. She trusts the judge’s assertion that the building doesn’t have a bomb shelter, and doesn’t even check it out herself. Conversely, it is Nolan and Wesley who are dealing with the personalities and conflicts within the shelter. Admittedly, I have never been a big fan of Nolan and Russo’s relationship, but this episode made me start to dislike her as a character.

THE ROOKIE - "Fallout" - ABC/Mitch Haaseth
THE ROOKIE – “Fallout” – ABC/Mitch Haaseth

While Chen (Melissa O’Neil) and Bradford (Eric Winter) are day drinking and plotting how to ruin a wedding, Lopez and West (Titus Makin Jr.) are out on the streets until the very end. Despite a touching radio conversation with Wesley, and a promise to seek cover, Lopez stays where she is needed. She refuses to give into her own fear, or to let her rookie give in to his. Largely dues to Diaz’s excellent acting, Lopez is quickly becoming one of the most entertaining and intriguing characters on the show. And, at the very end, it is West’s badass moves that stop a prisoner from escaping the courthouse. I just wish the writers would leave Angela and Wesley alone. They are the best couple on the show, and deserve a break!

Despite the possibility of only thirty minutes left to live, a panicking city, and pressing personal concerns, the missile threat in “Fallout” elicited very few surprises. Bradford and Rachel (Jasmine Mathews) had a touching kiss. Nolan and Russo cuddled. And everyone but Harper continued to do their jobs. Was this episode of The Rookie only disaster porn? While there were a few light moments sprinkled throughout the drama, the show’s overall story didn’t move forward. At the end of the episode people were relieved, scared, and a bit emotional, but they were largely unchanged – Wesley excluded, of course. It is hard to see this episode as anything other than drama for the sake of drama. The Rookie can do better.

The next episode of The Rookie, “Safety,” airs Sunday November 10 at 10PM on ABC.

THE ROOKIE - "Fallout" - ABC/Mitch Haaseth
THE ROOKIE – “Fallout” – ABC/Mitch Haaseth

About Erin Wilhelm

Erin is a lifelong geek who is a part-time writer for Bleeding Cool. Between her day job and her mom job, Erin reads and watches all the fantasy and sci-fi she can get her hands on. She is a Trekkie, Warsie, Potterhead, recreational WoW nerd, and Whovian. Find her on twitter @pearlsandchucks.