To borrow from Lucy Chen in the very same installment, is that it?
While there was much to enjoy about The Rookie Season 4 Episode 22 with its fun, action, and Chenford plots and developments that felt like fanfiction come to life, it didn’t feel like a season finale at all.
The hour just… ended.
You can sense that they went balls to the wall and had pure fun with this installment, leaning heavily into the silly, lighthearted, nonsensical, with a mix of action aspects of the series more than anything else.
It was a finale where, as it progressed, you realized that there were no longer any overarching storylines that required wrapping up, and there haven’t been any significant plot points in the back half of the season.
Angela: Not the brightest bulb, though.
Lucy: Oh my God. It’s Tim and Dim.
Recently, each installment has been playing it by ear as a procedural with nothing connecting one episode to the next.
And that’s probably why the finale itself felt like they realized at the last minute that they had simply run out of time, reached their quota of installments, and abruptly wrapped it up.
The only dangling thread came in the form of the fan-favorite Chenford, as we surmise that one or both individuals may have feelings for each other after that trope-filled kiss.
And, of course, we still have to see the two go undercover as their doppelgängers.
It felt like the first part of a two-hour finale where the second part never appeared. It’s not to say that the hour wasn’t entertaining; it was, however, it was nothing like one would expect.
Nolan’s assignment at a border town almost played out like a western and an action movie combined. Well, there was a dash of comedy in the mix, too, when you factor in Pete Davidson, Sara Rue, Alan Tudyk, and “Chasity.”
Nolan knows how to make the best out of a punishment. They stuck him in a desolate town with no resources, expecting him to be bored to tears, and he ended up flexing his T.O. skills and making a massive arrest of a crime ring.
It’s impossible to keep him down or make him look bad, so they may as well let him step into his own as a training officer now.
He did well with Navar most of the time. His reprimands to her when she screwed up the traffic stop were sound as it could’ve jeopardized all of them.
As a mentor and leader, he instilled a lot in Navar in a short period. However, many of his actions at that diner/police headquarters were unfathomable.
He was poking a bear facing off against the crime ring’s spokesperson when he didn’t have any backup resources. When the guy came in with that bribe, he should’ve known things would escalate beyond his control.
Weirdly, he didn’t put in a call for backup while he was watching the group convene and plot their next moves. And with a bunch of gunmen with machine guns lining up outside the diner, you would think they’d have gone for cover sooner.
Anyone lay a hand on our UC, you put them down.
Nolan wasted precious time on the phone with Bailey instead of other authorities, and coming up with a plan and figuring access to more weaponry would’ve been a bright idea.
Nolan and the crew only got out of this situation alive because he’s the hero, and the script dictates it. We had to stretch the lines of credulity to make sense of Nolan and Navar taking out six armed men with automatic guns with two Glocks and a forensic geek using tai chi.
It was particularly ridiculous when all the gunmen put their weapons down before attempting to breach the diner one by one. They could’ve and should’ve taken everyone out with ease without even walking over the threshold.
It seemed like Navar got shot and was done for good for a brief moment, but it must’ve been the camerawork. She earned her heroic moment when she took that one guy out, saving Nolan and guaranteeing that their perpetrator stayed secure.
Meanwhile, Bailey’s fiasco was more absurd and less entertaining than Nolan’s if you’re not counting the amusement over Pete sleeping through a full-blown attack.
At this point, asking why Bailey remains a thing is redundant. Again, what doesn’t she do?
Somehow, Nolan opted to turn his assignment into a vacation with The Rookie’s version of Barbie and her bottomless skillset and Ellroy and his girlfriend.
Of course, she came in handy when it was time to drive the brother with the shard in his neck an hour away to a hospital.
But they were pushing it when she somehow got the attention of the one gunwoman and ended up dodging bullets, jumping over cars, and disarming two baddies with sheer will and nothing more.
We get it. Bailey is a badass. By now, it must be a running joke, and they know how annoying this is but love messing with us for kicks.
It was beyond reason that we spent as much time with her as we did, or that she somehow got dragged into the crime ring drama, or hell, that she was even in this border town with Nolan in the first place.
And her fight sequences were action-packed albeit poorly choreographed or executed unless they intended it to come across like old-school kung-fu movies where the punches never land.
Some of the time spent in the border town could’ve gone toward the Chenford plot and actually shown the two go undercover. It was delightfully absurd and fun.
They got a hell of a case dropped in their laps with all that heroin in the trunk of Tamara’s car.
Of course, nothing prepared us for seeing double twice over with “Dim” and “Jucy.”
They threw all the fanfic tropes at us with this Chenford plot, and it was solely meant to please its biggest ‘shippers. I’d say they succeeded in that.
Who hasn’t read, written, or daydreamed about their favorite couple “going undercover as a pairing” and discovering their feelings for each other?
And doppelgängers are always a blast, too. The running theory is that every person has at least seven lookalikes out in the world, and Bradford and Chen had the displeasure and amusement of meeting theirs.
Eric Winter can definitely rock the tatted-up bad boy look. He looked hot as Jake, and the accent was perfection. The squad’s reaction to the uncanny resemblance between Tim and “Dim” was priceless.
And it’s not lost that everyone agreed to the undercover assignment just to indulge Lucy. It seemed like the drug pen’s henchman suspected something was off with Bradford, but instead of getting tossed off a roof, he got offered another job.
We saw Jake’s girlfriend, Jucy, which had Melissa O’Neil giving us her best Claws Palmetto impression.
It’s too damn bad that we didn’t get to see the two of them go undercover yet, and we likely have to wait until the series’ return for it.
But to hold us over, we got some significant development on the Chenford front, which is something that was long overdue if the series wanted to continue teasing this ship.
The writing for this pairing has been inconsistent all season, and it was hard to tell what direction they were trying to go with them.
Is that it?
The content they were giving us all season didn’t exactly align with the teasing. However, they went for it during the finale, and it managed to work.
By leaning into all these classic tropes, it had the desired effect of pushing Chenford toward a place where they both could have some realization about their feelings without it coming out of the blue.
It makes sense that Lucy was more relaxed and unguarded around Tim in her own home. And she came across as playful without seeming immature as she’s been at previous points in the series.
She was fun and flirty; that felt natural for her. Part of it was her getting a kick out of catching Tim off guard. And he played into it, too.
We need to talk about the elephant in the room. If we’re going to see that we’re boyfriend and girlfriend we might have to uh… umm.
In reality, the two of them have been close partners for years, and it seems unlikely that they would struggle to sell themselves as a couple for a brief assignment. It wasn’t as if they had to go undercover for an extended period of time.
And it’s doubtful that the drug pin would expect them to be making out in front of him or something. But alas, these are the things we had to go along with for the fun of it all.
Lucy’s incredulous “that’s it” to Tim’s ridiculously chaste smooch was funny. When she pulled him in for a deeper one that could’ve escalated if not for Tamara, you had to give Lucy credit for her unabashed temerity in the face of Tim’s rare timidity.
Chenford’s first kiss may have come under the guise of undercover work, but their respective reactions to it after the fact reveal that there is more to explore for them.
We’ve always guessed that Lucy had some feelings for Tim in some capacity that could have easily read as romantic or pining. However, Tim is traditionally the one whose reaction to Lucy could be interpreted in several ways.
His expression as he stood outside her door is that of a man who consciously recognizes that he’s attracted to or has feelings for Lucy.
And their interaction in the parking lot was the right mix of awkwardness and curiosity to explore more.
Of course, they’re doing this under the guise of an undercover operation. They’re both seeing people, so things are about to get messy, whether they’re lying to themselves or doing so to their significant others.
How about aliens?
Of course, we can’t also put it past the show to troll us with this and then retreat into a slow burn will they/won’t they or only intend this as a tease and nod at its diehard shippers.
Pete Davidson had the most straightforward job with this guest-starring role. Pete did absolutely nothing the whole installment.
I love that they let Resident Alien star Alan Tudyk slip in that alien line even though Ellroy and Nell were very underused and just randomly there without any preface.
Why did Bailey not take the gun after beating that guy up? They were outgunned. Isn’t that common sense?
You could’ve blinked and missed it, but they actually worked Thorsen into the episode. Will he be a series regular that they actually use next season? Why is he so underutilized?
Harper becoming a detective feels right for where she is now, and I love that she’ll be paired with Angela! They’ve become such besties.
It was a good kiss, a great kiss even.
Winter and O’Neil had so much fun with their alter alter-egos. You could tell.
Over to you, Rookie Fanatics?
Did you love this finale? How do you feel about Chenford? Are you disappointed there wasn’t a cliffhanger? Sound off below.
If you want to relive the season, you can watch The Rookie online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.