How The Rookie’s Season 4 Finale Set Up Season 5

The following contains spoilers for The Rookie Season 4, Episode 22, "Day in the Hole," which aired Sunday, May 15 on ABC.

Season 4 of The Rookie included a number of important story arcs that contributed to major character development. The loss of Jackson West at the start of the season took a toll on everyone, and there was also a storyline about Bailey and her ex-husband that affected Nolan. Meanwhile, Harper and James were married -- while the long-awaited Chenford seemed to be pushed further away, as both characters dated other people.

The biggest developments, though, happened in the final two episodes of the season. "Mother's Day" featured several characters making big decisions, while the Season 4 finale "Day in the Hole" paid off a few of those choices... most notably a Chenford-centric cliffhanger that has fans poised to get what they want. Here's how all of that played out in the finale and how "Day in the Hole" set up Season 5.

Nolan Had His First Rookie

Officer Nolan received a letter of reprimand to start Season 3, and because of that, he knew he would never become a detective. In Season 4, he adjusted his goals and determined that he wanted to become a training officer. He's been working toward that end for most of the season, and in "Day in the Hole," he got a taste of what that actually means.

Nolan was temporarily reassigned to the border town of Frontera, and it was clear that the town's deputy was poorly trained. That became a problem when the duo arrested a man on the ATF's most wanted list and the man's thugs quickly made themselves known. Nolan was forced to teach on the fly as numerous high-powered rifles were firing at him and his new colleague. Luckily, they made it out alive, but this will be a valuable learning experience for Nolan as he continues his quest to become a training officer in Season 5.

Harper Became Angela's Partner Permanently

Season 4 introduced Aaron Thorsen as the show's newest rookie (and two-time murder suspect). Harper was his training officer. However, that didn't last the whole season because she became pregnant. She wanted to keep working while she was pregnant -- but Sergeant Grey let her work as a detective, rather than a uniformed cop. She and Angela Lopez worked really well together during the back end of the season, and in the finale, Grey approved Harper's permanent transfer from training officer to full-time detective. That means Thorsen will need a new trainer in season 5; maybe that's Nolan's cue?

Chen and Bradford Had Their First Kiss

In "Mother's Day," Bradford found out that his girlfriend didn't want to get married to him or anyone else. That development, combined with the trailer for the finale, made some fans believe Chenford might finally become official. Those fans were right, sort of. "Day in the Hole" had a Bradford and Chen subplot that ended with the biggest Chenford moment yet -- the duo finally shared a kiss.

Bradford and Chen decided to go undercover as a pair of criminals when they realized the couple looked exactly like them. To prepare for that, they had to practice their PDA, but the kiss between them went beyond professional preparation. It really looks like The Rookie is set to incorporate Chenford in Season 5 after years of anticipation, but fans will have to wait and see where the characters pick up next season. However, the Season 4 finale left them -- and several other characters -- in brand new places.

The Rookie airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on ABC.

The Rookie Niecy Nash
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