In honor of March being women’s history month, we here at Marvelous Geeks are going to take the time to highlight and celebrate some of our favorite ladies in TV and Film. This week, we’re taking a closer look at the ladies from ABC’s The Rookie.
As much as The Rookie is a procedural, its strength is without question found in its female characters–old and new, women of The Rookie are the sole reason so many of us tune in weekly in order to find fleshed out characters (each with their own incredible layers and stories to share), along with the remarkable friendships that are solidified in the process.
Police Officer I Lucy Chen
Over the course of three seasons, Lucy Chen (Melissa O’Neil) has proven she’s as much as the “hotshot” title she earned on her first day with the LAPD. As a rookie, Lucy has faced some dangerous situations, from engaging in shootouts to getting kidnapped and buried alive. Despite the hazards of her job, it is clear that Lucy is eager to part of the police force and to make a difference. She is committed to establishing a long-term career with the LAPD and has demonstrated that commitment by her eagerness to learn from her superiors and her proactive involvement during threatening calls.
Furthermore, Lucy Chen had displayed skills and capabilities that would make her tough-as-nails training officer Tim Bradford bursting with pride. She has repeatedly exhibited quick-thinking on her part during unprecedented events, whether she’s on the field or is facing one of Bradford’s surprise tests. For example, she was able to impress Detective Harper by helping subdue a serial bomber. Lucy is also able to assess and adapt to her environment depending on current circumstances. In another instance, Lucy roused the attention of the department after successfully assisting an undercover stint by maintaining her composure. Not only is she badass on the field, she’s readily recited psychological methods and theories and has apparently the grasp for multiple languages–so far we’ve seen her casually bust out Spanish, Cantonese, and Tagalog. On the occasions when things don’t go as Lucy would have liked, she consults for the advice of her peers and focuses on what she can do to improve.
Despite the gritty nature of her job, Lucy remains optimistic and strives to help those she can. Lucy has illustrated that she is someone who always has her friends’ backs without hesitation. She jumped to Bradford’s defense when he rear-ended someone and helped clear his name. She stood by Jackson when he realized Stanton was a racist cop and provided support as Jackson navigated his way to expose Stanton. She takes Tamara, a homeless teen, under her wing, even though Tamara stole Lucy’s car and later sold it without permission.
Given what we’ve seen, Lucy Chen is a well-rounded police officer that has the natural talent and passion for police work. I doubt there is any type of challenge for her to face and be unable to handle.
Police Detective I Nyla Harper
We were first introduced to Nyla Harper (Mekia Cox) as John Nolan’s new training officer after Detective Harper had received a “golden ticket” and was allowed to choose an assignment of her choice. The reassignment was NOT smooth sailing at first as Harper definitely made a splash on her first day, butting heads with Bradford and nearly risking her and Nolan’s careers and lives to pursue a lead from her undercover years. Harper returned to patrol still trying to figure out how to transition to normal life. She was initially distant and closed off to Nolan and abrasive to her fellow training officers, but eventually those layers shed as it’s revealed that her time undercover affected her personal life, resulting in the breakdown of her marriage and her losing custody of her daughter.
Even though her character may have rubbed us the wrong way in the beginning, Harper’s tough exterior and lone wolf attitude slowly fades as she relearns how to integrate herself with her fellow officers and work as a team. She also bonds with Nolan, and eventually opens to him about her parenting struggles and seeks his advice. As a mother, Harper is motivated by doing the best for her daughter and to prove to her daughter that she can provide stability and be there for her.
Harper has also been stepping into her role as a mentor, guiding Nolan during his probationary period as a rookie and looking out for his best interests. She believed Nolan when he figured out Detective Armstrong was a dirty cop and assisted Nolan in attempting to expose Armstrong. Harper has also extended a helping hand to Lucy on a few occasions. In many ways, she is an example to Lucy–Harper shows Lucy the ropes as a police officer through a woman’s perspective and how the stakes are different (and also empowering!) while sharing some of her hardships after seeing Lucy struggling with her own.
One described by Cox as a “wild card”, Naya Harper has come around as a complex character that’s tough but warm-hearted. Harper’s resilience and her experience as a cop makes her game to handle any situation headed her way.
Police Detective I Angela Lopez
Angela Lopez (Alyssa Diaz) was originally assigned as Jackson West’s training officer, but she’s always made it known that she had her sights set on becoming a detective. As a police officer, she is calm and collected, but she is deeply dedicated to her role as law enforcement. When a suspect ran into a bus with a deadly virus in hand, she (along with Jackson) stepped inside to subdue him, even after romantic partner, Wesley, warned it was too dangerous. She also has no issue arresting Wesley when she believed he was interfering with her job. As a training officer, she covers for Jackson when he struggled to fire his weapon, thinking she’d be blamed for his failure. However, she does instill some hard lessons into Jackson–he may be the most prepared rookie in the history of the department, but she reminds him that he does not know all the answers to being a cop. One such lesson was scolding Jackson into following the letter of the law rather than the spirit of the law–Lopez knows that a cop can’t always be “holier than thou”.
One of the things we love most about Angela Lopez is that she unapologetically knows what she wants and doesn’t beat around the bush about it (especially when it comes to remaining in an air-conditioned car during the sweltering Los Angeles heat). She’s also not exactly in the running for the cleanest or most organized household in LA, but what’s most admirable is that she owns her messy lifestyle and doesn’t give a sh-t what others think. One of her strongest traits is her ability to stand up for herself and her work. When she got the chance to assist on a homicide case, she called out the lead detective for not properly investigating and arresting the wrong suspect. After Lopez’s promotion to detective, she continues to strand her ground during her first case and solves a murder investigation that her boss inititally believed was just a break in. She boldly stood up to her boss when she thought he wasn’t passing her cases due to her pregnancy (he wasn’t and was super thrilled about her pregnancy, just FYI).
And as much as Angela is a badass, she is also a good person with a great sense of humor (usually seen when she pranks the rookies). Though she has shown that the job has tremendous importance in life, she is also attentive towards Wesley and her colleagues. After Wesley’s panic attack potential suicide scare, she remained by his side with no hesitation to help him get through his trauma. She is also often there for Officer Bradford during difficult times–she brought him home from the hospital after he was shot and immediately returned to work on her day off when Lucy had been kidnapped and he had called for her help. She also tried to help Lucy to get comfortable with dating again after Lucy’s kidnapping by taking her for a night out speed dating with Harper.
Angela Lopez packs a mighty punch, whether it’s with her fists or with the words coming out of her mouth. She thrived during her time on patrol with the LAPD and is an asset to the police force, and it’s not a surprise that she is making her presence known as a detective.
Born and raised in Los Angeles. Fluent in sarcasm and film references.