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'The Rookie' Season Wraps with a Seriously Random Callback

By Dustin Rowles | TV | May 3, 2023 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | May 3, 2023 |


Another season of The Rookie has come and gone, leaving fans with yet another major cliffhanger. The fifth season finale of the show was somewhat of a bizarre episode, largely because it called back to a character from a forgotten episode in the series’ first season, which aired back in 2019.

The episode opens with the series’ two newest regular cast members, Officer Aaron Thorson (Tru Valentino), who joined the team last season, and Officer Celina Juarez (Lisseth Chavez), who joined this season. The two are attacked by masked men, with Celina getting beaten up and Aaron getting shot.

As Aaron fights for his life in the hospital, the rest of the department - including Detective Lopez (Alyssa Diaz), who is also in the hospital due to going into labor - starts investigating who is behind the attack. It turns out to be an elaborate conspiracy involving a group of well-paid mercenaries who attack not only Aaron and Celina but also Officer Nolan (Nathan Fillion) and his fiancée Bailey (Jenna Dewan) in Nolan’s home, briefly kidnap Detective Cox’s baby, and corner Lucy and Tim in an intense shootout with masked men hiding behind bulletproof shields.

Everyone survives the attack (except for the mercenaries), and the investigation ultimately leads the team to Luke Moran (Chet Grissom), who was arrested for elder abuse in the show’s first season. Luke tied up his mother, who had dementia, to keep her safe while he was out for a job interview. He returned home late due to traffic caused by the Vice President being in town, and Officers Lopez and West (RIP) arrested him. Luke served nine months in jail, which he said ruined his life. He tried to exact revenge killing the entire police division, which seems like a wildly disproportionate response. Suicide by cop is what ultimately kills Luke, who refuses to go back to prison.

What’s odd is how a rando nobody managed to bankroll an elaborate scheme. As it turns out, he didn’t. In the final minute of the episode, two Escalades drive past several police cars responding to Luke’s scene, and one of them — played by Orphan Black’s Kristian Bruun — says, “Money well-spent” in response to cops driving in the opposite direction. “And by the time they realize the damage we’ve done,” he adds, “we’ll be long gone.”

Introducing new characters and a completely unknown crime at the last minute of the season is a choice, but if cliffhangers in past seasons are any indication, this one will be resolved quickly in the first episode back in season six. However, the final scene of the season sees Aaron — in a coma — struggling to stay alive. With Celina at his bedside, he flatlines and doctors rush in, leaving Aaron’s fate unknown.

There is no indication that Tru Valentino will be leaving the series after two seasons, although if he did, he would be far from the first series regular to either leave or be killed off. If the series is asked to reduce costs between seasons, however, Aaron could become an unfortunate casualty.

The Rookie has been renewed for season six and will return in the fall, assuming the Writers’ Strike is resolved in time.