In “Backstabbers,” some unusual partnerships happen, making a case involving ambushed trains and a broken vase interesting. The episode was also full of searches for professional validation and a spur-of-the-moment proposal.
Nyla opens the episode by abruptly proposing to her boyfriend and father of her unborn baby, James. He happily agrees but has some apprehensions outside of the moment. After talking to Wesley about it, James asks Nyla to take the night and think about it, wanting to make sure this is what she wants.
The next day, Nyla pulls James away from where he’s talking to Wesley, Wade, and Silas at the station. She gives him a romantic speech in the breakroom about how their surprise pregnancy may have rushed things, but she loves him and wants to spend the rest of her life with him. James pulls out a ring he had been holding onto and gets down on one knee following her speech. It’s later revealed that Silas recorded the dual proposal.
The episode ends on a beautiful rooftop reception planned by Angela. During the reception, Nyla shares moments with her daughter from her first marriage, Lila. Silas shows the video of the proposal at the wedding.
At the beginning of the episode, Tim tells Lucy that she won’t be riding with him like usual. When doing this, a fellow cop congratulates Tim on an arrest made. Lucy gets upset by this because her role in the arrest isn’t recognized. She spends the episode upset over the lack of recognition she’s getting and trying to recover it while working with fellow officer John Nolan. John and Lucy being professional equals gives her the chance to take some recognition for herself.
Tim and Lucy share a long-awaited dance at Nyla and James’ reception. During this dance, Tim tells her about how great of a cop she is and how he wants her to have a successful career. This leads to Tim announcing that he’s going to let Lucy be listed as the arresting officer on all future cases despite him being the superior officer.
The Disgraced Billionaire’s Vase
The episode follows a case where a disgraced billionaire’s vase is stolen. Lucy and John report to a call where some trains have been ambushed. While there, they run into Larry Macer, who attempted his rookie year at the station they work for.
While the pair is getting a briefing from Larry, a gunshot rings out. They follow the noise and find Larry’s partner had been shot. After the paramedics arrive, John and Lucy investigate the train cars by where he was shot. They discover an opened crate where a vase previously was.
After some digging, they learn the vase used to belong to William Bloomfield. Most of William’s other belongings were seized by the government after it was revealed he was part of a Ponzi scheme. They learn shortly after that the man who shot the officer before this was William’s roommate in prison. When they take him in for questioning, they find the vase shattered and the man in question dead.
The vase pieces are brought in as evidence, and when put back together, they discover a piece is missing. Shortly after this, they bring three of William’s kids in for questioning. The kids, while suspicious, don’t give anything up. Later that night, Larry shows up at John’s house to tell him he figured out why a piece was missing. William had written the number to his offshore bank account on it. They talk to William about it to find out who would know about it, and he quickly gives up his kids as the only other people who would know. He also reveals that the passcode for the bank account was located in a music box he used to own. The officers on the case find all three kids back at the train cars trying to get the music box and arrest them all.
Larry has a big arc in this episode. Before this episode, he didn’t make it far into his time as a rookie when his firearm was accidentally discharged in the briefing room. He reveals that he did extensive training and was able to get a job patrolling around the trains. He even has worked his way up to the role of Sergeant.
Larry tries showing up at the station and helping with the case. Angela and Nyla, who joined as detectives for the case, dismiss Larry. After that, he tells John that he wants to show everyone that he’s capable and has grown since making the mistakes he made before. He gets that opportunity when he cracks the case by noticing the significance of the vase with the bank account number.
He gets the final arrest, and Lucy lets him call it in for that reason. This is a shining moment in Lucy’s arc as well with her recognizing that Larry was also in need of validation and letting him take the win. Nyla and Angela tell him how well he did to round it all out. Larry’s story ends with a group hug with the four officers.
With Nyla’s help needed with the detectives, Aaron rides with Sergeant Tim Bradford. He reveals to Aaron that he wants to find Aaron’s superpower as a cop. This makes Aaron spiral, questioning what the answer is. The pair respond to several calls, with the last one being a man fresh out of jail and wanting to see his son. Aaron sympathizes with the man about how hard it is to go back into the world after being incarcerated and gives him resources to help him.
At the wedding reception, Tim tells Aaron the compassion he has after serving time in prison after being wrongly convicted is his superpower. His experiences let him relate to some of the people they see while on patrol.
What to Do and What Not to Do
Off-screen, James has someone who he’s helping at the center after a nasty run-in with the police. He asks Wesley if he can help her, and he happily agrees. This leads to a discussion about people not knowing how to interact with cops when dealing with things like traffic stops. This leads Wesley and James to work together with Silas and Wade to make videos that show what they legally have the right to do and not do when dealing with the police.
They act out some scenarios of being pulled over and being in custody. While doing this, Wesley and James throw in bits of advice to help people. The bloopers to the videos are shown at the wedding reception later in the episode.
Next week, The Rookie is off, but it’ll be back on ABC on Sunday, April 24 at 10 p.m. ET with a special backdoor pilot event. Be on the lookout for more coverage of The Rookie in the future, as well as episodic recaps!