Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for Season 4, Episode 1 of The Rookie.
A very pregnant Angela Lopez (Alyssa Diaz) got kidnapped in the Season 3 finale of The Rookie. As the Season 4 premiere of the show reveals, she is still alive — but the same cannot be said about one of her co-workers, Jackson West (Titus Makin Jr.). So, what happened to Jackson?
So, what exactly happened to Jackson West in 'The Rookie'?
Sandra "La Fiera" De La Cruz's henchmen came for Angela and Jackson in the Season 3 finale of The Rookie. The episode came as a shock for fans, many of whom were eagerly waiting to catch a glimpse of Angela's wedding to Wesley Evers (Shawn Ashmore).
Jackson managed to deliver some lucky charms (something old, something borrowed, something blue, and something new) to Angela just before the tragedy struck.
As the Season 4 premiere shows (via security cam footage), Jackson and Angela are both taken by La Fiera's subordinates. Jackson resists — which more or less seals his fate. He is shot dead by a man named Armando before being pushed into the trunk of a car. Angela and the baby survive, however.
So, why did they kill Jackson on 'The Rookie'?
Jackson was murdered by one of La Fiera's subordinates, a security tape revealed in the Season 4 premiere.
Fans had some qualms about this narrative twist. The Rookie was up for renewal in May 2021, likely leaving the creators little time to come up with a thoroughly fleshed-out ending for Jackson's character. As some argue, the Season 4 premiere could have offered a more nuanced portrayal of the tragedy.
"OK, the Jackson scene was so quick I was like did they … no ... omg," wrote a Redditor named Makeup_queen17.
Why did Titus Makin Jr. leave 'The Rookie'?
Titus urged the creators of The Rookie to create storylines that adequately represented police violence in the wake of the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. He opened up about the discomfort he felt while playing a police officer in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
"I woke up one morning, and I was watching the news, and I was like, 'I can't do this. I can't play a cop on a show and not talk about the fact that I'm a Black cop.' My character hadn't addressed any of that," Titus said.
"I had that conversation with Alexi [Hawley], our showrunner. I did come to that point where I was like, 'If you want to write me out, I politely receive that. I would rather be written out than ignore the reality and not be able to tell the story.'"
The showrunners were already preparing to make some creative changes — and Titus's request likely made it even more urgent for them to tailor the plotlines. He ended up leaving the show after Season 4 wrapped, however. Many believe that he wants to focus on his music career.
Catch new episodes of The Rookie every Sunday at 10 p.m. EST on ABC.