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The Rookie “Lockdown” Review: Jackson’s Arc

The Rookie “Lockdown” Spoilers Ahead

Jackson in The Rookie "Lockdown"
Source: ABC

It was a loaded workday for the LAPD and its officers on the latest episode of The Rookie. We saw Nolan (Nathan Fillion) get taken hostage in a truck laced with explosives, resulting in a lockdown. However, the real intensity lay in the storyline between Officers Stanton (Brandon Routh) and Jackson West (Titus Makin, Jr.). After a home visit from Sergeant Grey (Richard T. Jones), Jackson decided he was willing to risk his career in order to remove a dangerous and racist cop from the street. During their patrol, Jackson directly called out Stanton and threatened him with an Internal Affairs investigation, but Stanton didn’t cower into a corner–he retaliated by purposefully leaving Jackson as he got beat up in a rough neighborhood.

Thankfully, Lucy (Melissa O’Neil) and Bradford (Eric Winter) arrived to help, forcing Stanton to join. They found Jackson lying on the ground, bloodied and bruised, but he managed to turn on Stanton’s body cam, which allowed the prior two minutes’ footage of Stanton’s actions to record. Caught red-handed, Sgt. Grey immediately placed Stanton on administrative leave as Jackson was at the hospital. At the hospital, Sgt. Grey and Jackson share a heartwarming conversation in this week’s most exquisite moment.

In The Rookie’s “Lockdown” the sergeant is a seasoned and effective leader with a no-nonsense demeanor. While he does seem to enjoy giving his rookies a hard time, he cares for and supports each of his officers. In a misty-eyed moment, he shares how proud he is of Jackson and commends him for his honor and bravery. There is also disappointment alongside the achievement–Grey realizes the removal of a racist cop was the result of the near-death of his rookie. Sgt. Grey and Jackson’s father are two Black men with respected and established roles within the LAPD, but even so, not much change has come about in a system that still continues to praise and tolerate officers like Stanton.

It’s an emotional moment delivered brilliantly by Jones and Titus Makin Jr., one that encompasses sorrow for those they could not save, relief for those they could save, and hope for the change and fight they can bring. Although the scene is brief, their conversation explores a topic sorely needed in today’s social climate, and it reinforces the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement. Stanton does not appear to be the type that goes down quickly or quietly, but given the exchange between Grey and Jackson, this is a department that has cemented its stance and is ready to forge its battle, united. 

The season has barely begun, but we’ve already tackled some pretty heavy discussions. Although we may not know exactly what lies ahead, we can expect the series to further explore changing the current police system, allowing for more poignant moments like this one to come.

Now streaming on ABC: What are your thoughts on The Rookie’s “Lockdown?”

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Alice Sarkisyan View All

Born and raised in Los Angeles. Fluent in sarcasm and film references.

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