The Rookie Season 6 Episode 9 Review: The Squeeze

Spoilers

My head is still spinning from everything that just transpired.

Seriously, if The Rookie Season 6 Episode 9 didn’t do anything else, it would have set the stage for a positively explosive season finale.

The hour was all gas and no brakes. So many names were thrown at us that it was hard to keep up, and with so many moving pieces, it was like watching a chess championship.

Listen, we know The Rookie can do season finales right, and if this hour was any indication, we’re gearing up for another epic one.

But as jampacked and head-spinning as this installment was, I’d be remiss if I didn’t wonder where this was throughout the season.

The shortened seasons have been more curse than blessing for so much of the series that we’ve come to enjoy. While The Rookie Season 6 has some solid episodes and the cast always rises to the occasion to entertain us, one has to wonder what we’ve been driving at all season.

They’ve been decent as individual installments, but this season, the series dropped the ball regarding any overarching plot.

We’ve been treading water since The Rookie Season 6 Episode 1 when we got the conclusion (if you can ever properly call it that) of the cliffhanger they left us with during the previous season finale.

But we were left with more questions than answers, and none were resolved.

We move on to business-as-usual installments that had the season feeling formulaic and miscellaneous plot points involving one character or another’s personal life.

But as far as leaving enough breadcrumbs throughout the season to build up to a grand finale?

All we had was Blair.

Yes, we all knew Blair was shady from the start, but they didn’t do enough when they showed her to conclude that she was a reasonable and strong character throughout the season.

Even things with Monica and Oscar felt a bit disjointed, so by the time we got here, it didn’t feel as if we were fed nearly enough to lead into the finale.

Weak links get fixed, permanently. I’m not the one you need to be afraid of. I’m your best shot at getting out of this alive.

Nolan [to Blair]

The case for that is in this episode, which was jampacked with so much that there was no room for a breather.

The frenetic energy of this hour wouldn’t have needed to be this strong if we had enough sprinkled throughout the season to lead us here. The aptly titled “The Squeeze” did just that: squeezed a hell of a lot of information and setup into a single hour.

Related: Will Trent Review: Residente o Vistante?

They dropped so many names it felt like someone was flipping through a Rolodex (that’s like scrolling through your contacts and shouting random names, for those of you too young to enjoy that reference).

Who is Eric Ramsey, and why is he after Monica?

When did Christian the money launderer become a thing? And what exactly is the deal with Monica and the fantastic A Martinez’s character, whom we barely know?

They info-dumped so much on us that it’s an hour that will require a rewatch or three to catch all the little details. I’m willing to admit that to you all; I will need to see this whole episode again.

But I’m doing my best here.

There should still be someone above Monica in the “Big Bad” category, but we didn’t get any hints about everything that was going on.

Thus far, they established her as the Queenpin of so much. She’s the one who had Blair working for her and Pearson under Blair’s thumb via blackmail.

She’s why Mad Dog took his own life, under the guise of something bigger going on and his not being able to handle the guilt of getting his colleagues killed and injured.

Lucy: To be clear, I am still mad at you, okay? This doesn’t change anything.
Tim: No, it doesn’t.
Lucy: Are you okay?
Tim: I am now.

During the season premiere, Monica seemed to be working for someone, but now, they’re leaning heavily toward the notion that Monica is our Villain.

And to Bridget Regan’s credit, the woman SERVED villaness so hard!

In any other scenario and with any other actress, her level of villainy would’ve been cartoonish. But she was so damn good at being so bad and loathsome that you turned right back around and enjoyed her.

It’s hard to say when exactly they turned Monica into some hybrid of Rosalind and Elijah Stone, but they have, and here we are.

I’d love to bake cookies for the wardrobe and hair department as a gesture of gratitude for dressing Monica as they did. That leather dress was absolutely fabulous and oozed Head B*tch in Charge, and those vibrant red tresses were arranged so perfectly.

Everything about Monica exuded that she wasn’t someone to be trifled with, and she was all-powerful and unstoppable.

It was positively delicious.

But we also got a glimpse of how psychotic she can be, as if we didn’t already get a feel for that after how she shamelessly murdered the man who tried to kill her during The Rookie Season 6 Episode 8.

She was practically gleeful over the opportunity to torture the other man who tried to kill her.

Monica’s evolution is so unusual because we don’t actually know when she became a full-blown villain. In that sense, it came out of nowhere, and processing that she’s some information broker with everyone in her hands and could successfully infiltrate the LAPD has been surreal.

I can tell you how off it is while still enjoying the ride.

Monica has had the upper hand for quite some time, but our folks have taken some jabs and landed those punches.

Surprisingly, considering that Bradford witnessed Mad Dog’s death by suicide and faced the possibility of getting framed, they didn’t spend much time on that at all.

Pearson was a hardass who tipped his hat so that he could have it out for Bradford, and the rest of that plot consisted of the others going to bat for Bradford to clear him.

I’m standing beside him 1000%. He’s family.

Angela

It was mainly Nolan and Celina. During this hour, Nolan was at his best, and he also had some great, dry, but funny lines.

He and Celina pursued their angle of working to clear Bradford’s name and expose Pearson, and Grey knew enough about his people to entrust them with the task.

And Smitty came through with his assistance in a truly Smitty fashion.

The Pearson takedown was satisfying, notably when Sergeant Grey defended his people against Pearson. When dad’s mad, you have to watch out. Grey doesn’t play about his work, children!

And the Bradford portion did give us two significant moments that fans undoubtedly loved.

The first was his epic friendship with Lopez. You have to love Angela and how she’s embraced the fact that she married into money.

She went from not being into it to flaunting the money, power, and prestige that come with her connection to Wes.

It was so quintessential for Angela to offer to whisk Tim away to a non-extradition country.

And her loyalty to him knows no bounds. Her adamance that he was innocent and she’d have his back fully was enough to warm the cockles of your heart. They’re such ride-or-die BFF‘s.

Of course, we also had a nice Chenford moment. Lucy knew that Tim wasn’t guilty of anything, and it was so sweet when she took that moment in the elevator to comfort him.

She pushed aside her justifiable anger to give him what he—well, they both needed. And if that doesn’t feel like a kernel of hope for Chenford, then what does?

Also, the elevator stop for such an endearing moment felt like something ripped from classic Grey’s Anatomy, and I loved it.

Bradford mostly disappeared for the remainder of the hour. Perhaps he went offscreen to spend time with Thorsen, who was nowhere to be found.

But so much of the focus was on Monica, it wasn’t surprising.

Someone is trying to kill me, and I need to know who.

Monica

Lucy Chen is such a precious nerd. Can you think of anything more fitting for her than maintaining eight different covers?

Sure, she thought she would make detective, so that part made sense, but she’s probably been doing that since her detective exam debacle.

Maybe she was keeping up hope, but it was so beneficial for this case.

It’s always a blast to witness Lucy’s undercover work. She’s made for it, and Melissa O’Neil always shows off her versatility through the different identities she gets to play.

It was a nice thing to incorporate, but it was a nerve-wracking position that had a few moments when it felt as if she’d be found out. And there’s still the possibility that Christian will figure something out, and Lucy could be in danger.

So much of the aptly titled “The Squeeze” put so much into play for the season finale.

Once given a deal, Blair will be open to spilling more about what’s going on and who she’s working for. Lopez and Harper will finally get something they can nail Monica for and so much more.

It was an exciting hour, no doubt, but admittedly hard to follow. They threw everything at us at once, and in hindsight, it highlighted how much they coasted this season without doing much actual plot-building for the finale.

Over to you, Rookie Fanatics. Did you love this episode? What did you think of Big Bad Monica? Let’s hear it below!

The season finale of The Rookie airs Tuesday at 9/8c on ABC. You can stream on Hulu.

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is an insomniac who spends late nights and early mornings binge-watching way too many shows and binge-drinking way too much tea. Her eclectic taste makes her an unpredictable viewer with an appreciation for complex characters, diverse representation, dynamic duos, compelling stories, and guilty pleasures. You’ll definitely find her obsessively live-tweeting, waxing poetic, and chatting up fellow Fanatics and readers. Follow her on X.

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