THE ROOKIE Post-Mortem: Alexi Hawley on Nolan's Potential Career-Jeopardizing Cliffhanger - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

THE ROOKIE Post-Mortem: Alexi Hawley on Nolan’s Potential Career-Jeopardizing Cliffhanger

May 10, 2020 by  

The Rookie Nolan Framed

THE ROOKIE – “The Hunt” – In part two of the season finale, Nolan’s discovery goes much deeper than he expected and could put his life and career in jeopardy on an all-new episode of “The Rookie,” airing SUNDAY, MAY 10 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (ABC/Eric McCandless)

[Warning: This post contains spoilers for the second season finale of THE ROOKIE.]

Has Nolan (Nathan Fillion) been outplayed?

After discovering that Armstrong (Harold Perrineau) was corrupt, Nolan recruited Harper (Mekia Cox) to try and dig up evidence to prove their case. But after baiting him to a remote location—to try and ping his burner cell—Armstrong caught on to their plan…and planted evidence that it was Nolan who was the dirty cop.

Nolan tore apart his–just finished!—home and discovered a wall full of evidence against him…just as the cops approached him. (Thanks to Armstrong’s connection pointing them in his direction.)

So what comes next? THE ROOKIE boss Alexi Hawley breaks down the finale and teases a potential season 3…

Certainly there were the cryptic comments from Rosalind about Nick months ago, but at what point did you know Nick would be this dirty?
It was planned from the start. What ended up happening was Harold was so good, and his chemistry with Nolan and everybody else was great, he was such a great person and fit in the cast. There definitely was a moment of, “Should we stay with this path?” But at the end of the day, we invested in all this storytelling in where we end up. I just think that you have to stay true to telling the most dramatic story you can tell.

Nolan is now in the position thought Nick would be in—essentially, potentially, tearing apart the department as they contemplate his guilt. How might Nolan react as his friends descend on his evidence-filled home?
[Laughs.] Yeah, we gave Nolan quite an obstacle to overcome, and, obviously, so much is on the line for him now. There’s criminal evidence in his house and the police are outside his door, so how is he going to overcome that? At the same time, as a still-rookie police officer who can be fired for anything, how does he—even if he does overcome Armstrong’s trap—still navigate through that and stay on the job? There’s a lot that we put upon him to survive going into season 3.

Without tipping your hand, certainly this is an interesting character to play twist with, because the show hasn’t been shy about taking its characters to extreme places with real consequences. However, with Nolan, you would imagine he’s not going to completely be off the force, even if it does take him a while to get back to where he’s at now. What is the balance that and still have the stakes be real?
It’s interesting, because that as a sort of existential question is something that we, as a show, deal with. We sometimes will get that question from, let’s say, the network, going, “Well, the audience knows that he’s not going to go away.” But, at the same time, you have to be able to give the star of your show some really incredibly intense acting and storytelling to do.

And, look, any movie that you see puts your hero in jeopardy and amps the stakes up against them. The audience is invested on how the hell he’s going to get out of it. That’s the line we walk with him, whereas, you’re right, with other characters, we’ve shown that if the storytelling goes to a much darker place, we’re willing to go there.

I imagine it’s a tough line to walk of how far you can go without being backed into a corner…
Yeah—although corners are where the most interesting storytelling happens. What you hope is that before you hit the corner, you know how to get out of it.

Nolan has spent the past two seasons building up relationships with his colleagues. How important will that be as he’s now accused of doing what feels like the unthinkable?
It’s going to be vital. What we’ve definitely shown on the show is that this is not a world in which people can just get by or make it on their own; these people are family and root for each other, lift each other up.

Obviously, Harper is not going to believe it for a second. And she’s going to be a fierce advocate for him. Nolan’s interaction with all our main characters during those first two seasons are going to be super important, because the question is, is anybody going to believe it? Obviously Gray is in a much more challenged position given that he’s overseeing it all. And IA and Jackson’s father’s are going to probably make an appearance.

The flip side is Nolan, Harper, and whoever else is going to be trying to prove Armstrong’s guilt [will be doing it] at the same time that Armstrong is hoping that he’s done enough to prove Nolan’s guilt. There will definitely be a high-stakes bit of a battle and a race to get to the truth. And have Nolan figure out how to make make his way around it, and still retain trust. But I do think that I couldn’t say with a straight face that the people inside the station are going to believe that Nolan’s a dirty cop. But then again, nobody believed Armstrong was either. [Laughs.]

How much is Nolan actually thinking like a cop in the final moments of the finale? He seemed fairly panicked as he destroyed his home trying to find the planted evidence. With the cops approaching, how much is he thinking about whether he should be upfront versus trying to hide it?
I believe that he’s slightly out of control in those moments. On the other side of this, I would probably bet that he would look back and say, “I shouldn’t have gone to Armstrong’s house by myself.” Clearly when he went home, when he saw a plaster dust on the floor and couldn’t see a place where it came from, he panicked a little bit. I think it’s a human reaction, but, ultimately, not one that’s going to be helpful to him in the short term.

For us, actually, his house, as a journey, has also been a whole season-long story for us. He started re-building it in the premiere, and I don’t know if you’ve noticed in the finale, but it’s finally finished. He put that bookcase in the middle and it’s all perfect…and then obviously, he destroys it at the end. So that was some fun storytelling to do during the course of season to make the house a character like that.

It felt very symbolic, but also unfortunate given how much work he put into it! Looking to Armstrong for a moment, he clearly can’t be involved in a future season the way he was this year, but do you anticipate Harold returning for the premiere?
We definitely are going to need him to finish this journey. So it’s not over yet. Nolan left him wounded in handcuffs in his house, bu what happened after that moment? Obviously, he is going to tell his own story, and try and rebuff Nolan’s attempts to sort of turn it back around on him. So Harold is definitely going to be needed for how to resolve what’s happened.

On a lighter note, it felt like the show’s couples are in a place of transition, whether it’s Lopez in wedding-mode, Nolan and Grace’s split, or Tim and Rachel embarking on a long-distance relationship. What do you anticipate comes next?
There’s a lot there’s a lot of potential; we think we’ve set up some really great dynamics between them.

Our hope is to end up at a wedding with Lopez and Wesley. The timing of that is a little up in the air, just because of production questions. I don’t want to cheap out on actually be able to do a wedding, but if I can’t have people standing [together]…and, look, that’s obviously something that the world is going through right now: how people go on with those ceremonial things. But I do think that a big chunk of season 3 will be sort of gearing towards the wedding. And she’s someone who comes from a very different economic place than he does and I think it’s important; those are real issues, especially these days, where people with money have the privilege of being able to stay at home, where people who don’t are much more in danger. That’s a very real thing. We want to walk the line on having fun with that, but also be truthful in the stress of engagements and preparation, all that kind of stuff.

With Tim and Rachel, obviously, she’s off to New York—how is he going to navigate that? In the last two episodes, we had set it up that he was going to rip off the band-aid and just end it, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it. So how is Tim, who sees himself as a tough guy, both emotionally and practically, going to deal with being a little out of control in this relationship? I think it is fun.

Lucy and Emmet is just beginning—how is she navigating that? How is she still dealing with the after-effects of what happened with Caleb, and her abduction back in episode 10? Because we don’t want to gloss that over either; the ramifications of that can come up unexpectedly.

And then Nolan and Grace, she closed the door on him. And obviously he’s got more life-threatening things to think about when we come back, but does he give up on that? And if she decides that she wants to change—which I’m not saying she will, but just as an idea—can they come back from this? Or is it over? I don’t know the answer to that, honestly, right now, but there’s a lot of potential there.

Right now, the industry is operating on a different schedule. THE ROOKIE hasn’t officially been renewed yet…how optimistic are you about a potential season 3? And if it does come, do you expect another 20-episode season?
I can say those are two very different questions. We’ve been told to start a writers’ room for season 3, so I think that’s an incredibly great sign. I do think that any delay can be pinned more on the unknown of how many episodes we might be able to make, practically. I do think that ABC is just trying to figure out, in the same way the entire industry is trying to figure [it] out, is when we might be able to safely go back to work. Whether there could be another shutdown once somebody gets a sniffle in October, and cold and flu season comes back around.

And so, can we physically produce 20 episodes? Or can we only do 13, can we only do ten? Nobody knows. So I think that’s the component that right now is up in the air. But I’m hopeful that we can get on top of this, as long as we can do it in a way that’s safe for cast and crew. Everybody wants to work; everybody wants to keep telling the story.

And this is probably not a show that can produce a remotely-filmed episode since these officers would be on the frontlines…
Yeah, that’s true. I do think that as a show, one of my joys is that we do so many different things. And we tell so many different kinds of stories, that there could be creative ways—and I don’t really know what they are now—to do an episode that still is our show. Whereas other shows, which are much more sort of the same kind of storytelling every week, might have a harder time. Because we can be funny and everything in between that, and also just structurally, we do a lot of unexpected things…I’m hopeful that we’ll put our brains together in the room and come up with some ways to tell production-friendly stories. My assumption would be the first half of the season is the one that would be the most impacted, obviously.

That being said, who knows when that would start? Who knows if the first half is separated by the second half by months—I mean, I don’t know. But my assumption is we really need to focus on how to tell the most production-friendly, safe stories in the first five or six. And then hopefully there’s a vaccine and we can keep going.


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Filed under The Rookie


2 Responses to “THE ROOKIE Post-Mortem: Alexi Hawley on Nolan’s Potential Career-Jeopardizing Cliffhanger”

  1. Mcfly on May 12th, 2020 2:42 am

    Hurry with Season 3

  2. Mcfly on May 12th, 2020 2:44 am

    Great Characters, great show