The characters in The Rookie all have a unique line of dialogue that perfectly encompasses who they are.
Although The Rookie is heavily driven by plot, the characters are what make it stand out from other police procedurals. John Nolan isn’t an average protagonist, and his story is heightened by his lack of experience in the field and his empathetic personality.
By giving different members of the cast a chance to shine, the series has created a strong ensemble. There are several likable characters in The Rookie, and its success doesn’t rest solely on one person’s shoulders. Each has a different persona that can be embodied by a quote they said on the show.
Angela Lopez: “Don’t Try Me.”
Being on Angela’s good side is the key to success. She accomplishes everything she sets out to and doesn’t let anyone stand in her way. It’s never wise to underestimate her, which Angela proved when she took La Fiera down. La Fiera did break out and kidnap Angela in a shocking plot twist in The Rookie, but she still accomplished her goal and put the drug lord behind bars.
Angela says what she means and means what she says, and can be lethal if the situation calls for it. When delivering bad news about her wedding venue, Tim and Jackson showed up with a riot shield to protect themselves from Angela’s wrath.
Wade Grey: “You Are Without A Doubt The Biggest Pain In My A– I’ve Suffered In 25 Years On The Job.”
Many of the funniest moments in The Rookie are a result of the relationship between Grey and Nolan. Grey doesn’t have too many storylines outside of his officers, and he’s forced to clean up Nolan’s messes daily.
The sergeant was annoyed by Nolan the moment he set foot into the precinct, and while he’s come to respect him, Nolan attracts trouble. Grey has probably had to deal with more issues since Nolan joined the LAPD than he ever has in his entire career as a cop.
Wesley Evers: “This Is About Basic Civil Liberties, Guys.”
Wesley has started developing several of his own storylines, but he’s always offered an opposing point of view. Law enforcement officers need to be held accountable for their actions, and Wesley’s role as a defense attorney allows the audience to hear both sides.
He sides with the people rather than the state, which is what made his romance with Angela so unexpected. Wesley believes that everyone is entitled to basic civil rights, and he works hard to ensure that his clients get them.
Tim Bradford: “Air Conditioning Makes You Soft.”
Even though it’s unintentional, Tim has some of the funniest quotes in The Rookie. He’s a good police offer because of how serious he is about the job, and he has more sides to his personality than the other characters. Yet one of Tim’s most outstanding characteristics is that he goes to extremes.
Tim has plenty of oddities and he enjoys making things as difficult as possible on his rookies. Lucy wasn’t allowed to turn the air conditioning on in the morning, because Tim saw it as a sign of weakness. His rules might be frustrating to trainees, but Tim wouldn’t be the same without them.
Nyla Harper: “You Ride With Me, You Ride The Roller Coaster.”
Anytime a rookie rides with Nyla, they’re in for a crazy day. Her longterm undercover operation made her street-smart and gave her the ability to switch gears at a moment’s notice.
Nyla is a risk-taker, but she doesn’t ride the roller coaster without putting on her seatbelt. She thinks before she acts, and understands that brute force should be avoided when necessary. As one of the most intelligent characters in The Rookie, she can outsmart the enemies she can’t physically overtake.
Jackson West: “It Was Worth It To Get The Needle Moving In The Right Direction.”
Jackson is a genuinely warm-hearted and affectionate character who never fails to make others smile. As the show even said itself, he has a calming presence. But Jackson is capable of much more than cheering up his friends on a bad day.
He’s always been someone with strong morals, but by putting the fight for justice over his own life, Jackson showed what he values most. Jackson will do whatever it takes to make change and preaches that doing nothing is the same as being complicit.
Lucy Chen: “I Did Not Need Saving.”
Even as a rookie, Lucy could handle herself better than most of the officers. She arrested an armed robber before clocking in on her first day of training, and she is consistently successful during her undercover operations despite her lack of experience in the field.
Whether it’s a physical or verbal fight, Lucy doesn’t need anyone to defend her. Although Emmett’s intentions were good when he spoke up for Lucy, she didn’t appreciate that he felt the need to step in.
John Nolan: “It Would Nice To Be Applauded For Something Other Than Almost Dying.”
Nolan has the worst luck of everyone on the show, and while his plot lines usually require a suspension of disbelief, the entertainment value makes it worthwhile. The number of insane situations Nolan finds himself in would be enough to make anyone turn in their badge.
Still, he isn’t deterred by the danger and finds being a cop emotionally fulfilling. Nolan always gets applauded by his fellow officers after close calls, and it’s the only time they’re not making fun of him with Grey.
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