The truth behind Celina’s sister’s death was finally uncovered on The Rookie.
On the anniversary of Celina’s sister going missing, they get a lead on the case. Unfortunately, another child goes missing as they’re trying to look into it.
At the scene of the newest kidnapping, Celina introduces Nolan to an officer, Joel, that helped on her sister’s case. Nolan is confused because the name didn’t come up on any of the reports that he read about the case.
With some digging, they learned that Joel lost custody of his daughter, and that day that girls have repeatedly gone missing was his daughter’s birthday. He clues in Grey, and they have Nyla talk to him. She’s confident that he did it after talking to him.
Nolan and Celina talked to Celina’s mom and learned about Joel finding her passed out in her car when she was using. He brought her home and was supportive and continued to support her through her daughter’s death. They find a pattern of the other girls who have gone missing being children of addicts. Before the girls went missing, Joel responded to calls relating to their parents’ addiction.
Meanwhile, Angela is looking into another lead with a man who lives on the same street as the newest kidnapping. The man is currently on parole, and they find a stuffed animal that belonged to the missing girl buried in his backyard. When they bring him in, he tearfully tells Angela that while he knows he’s done bad things, he didn’t do this.
Things escalated with Joel as he leaves the station. Tim and Metro trail him and find him meeting up with someone to pass over a bag, which ends up being a distraction so another friend can bring him a bike to slip away on. Tim trails him but has to let him go because of safety.
Celina opens up to Nolan about how Joel has been a father figure to her for much of her life and how hard this is for her. When they join the group again, they discover that Joel recently cleared some squatters out of a foreclosed home, and he might be staying there.
When they get units out there, they send in a robot to scope out the situation. They’re able to see the girl passed out before Joel finds the camera. After that, they’re able to establish contact with Joel, but they aren’t successful in talking to him until Celina gets on the phone. She pretends to understand him, and they learn the full motive that Joel is trying to be the parent that these kids “need.” Celina is able to convince him to let the girl go. Once she’s out of harm’s way, Tim and some other officers head in.
It does come down to Joel attempting to shoot Tim and Tim having to take his life in defense. It’s clearly rough on Tim afterward and Grey and Lucy support him through it.
Lucy reveals to Tim that she got the tap for detective, and she’s going to go after it because it’ll be easier to get undercover if she’s a detective. When she gets to the station, though, she finds out from Smitty that someone’s blocking her from advancing.
She’s confused because he doesn’t reveal details immediately, but ultimately she learns that someone figured out Lucy’s five-player trade to get Tim into Metro, and they aren’t happy about it.
She doesn’t let Tim know this, though, when he brings the exam up again.
The Rookie returns on Tuesday, April 18 at 8 p.m. EST on ABC. Until then, check out our other coverage of the show!