Worst episode ever. Was it written by Hawley? Even if it wasn't, killing the Capt. wouldn't have happened if he hadn't conceived or okayed it. Unfortunately, I was spoiled. Argh, social media. I've commented before that this isn't the kind of show that goes dark, that has cops being bad etc., so count me surprised that it would kill off a series regular (at this early stage). Bad call imo. First of all I thought the storytelling was a melodramatic mess this episode and it was a cheap death with too much stupidity that neither the character of the Captain nor the actress deserved. I thought the climatic scenes were incredulous more than compelling myself. I'm never a fan when they turn the volume up to melodrama and that's what they did here. The show does better when it's slice of life rather than high action shootouts. I am sorry, but this episode wasn't well written enough to generate any pathos for me from the Capt's death. It was just like one minute she was here and the next she was dead and oh now life goes on except we'll wear black ribbons on our badges. It all felt like surface emotion rather than anything moving that good writing does.
Just the idea that it was the 2 of them out on patrol(which I would have loved to see more in any other circumstances, alas) with a target on Nolan's back without additional backup seemed the height of foolishness to me. I'm not sure the Captain egging on a killer with a fragile ego was the smartest idea ever either. And the idea that cops only turned on the pressure on gangs when one of their own was a target didn't sit well with me. The end scene of Nolan arresting the idiot didn't do anything for me. The sentiments delivered by the cops re dead Capt were well said but those lines were so heavy handed. No nuance, no subtlety, no messy emotions that come with a shocking death like this. So basically this episode did not work for me and not just because they killed off the Capt.
I also think they made the wrong move to kill the Capt because A) we'll see, but I'm not convinced that it's going to drive the storytelling forward in a big way and I'm not convinced that failing to save someone/one of them getting shot (which already happened) couldn't have driven storytelling in those directions. B) This is the first time I've watched Mercedes Mason in anything but I thought she had a really likable screen presence here which was an asset to the show, and she had good chemistry with NF as well as others. It's a shame to see her go. C) The Capt. character was definitely underutilized and as I've said before, kind of a thankless role in these shows because the writers never seem to know what to do with her. But the tidbits they dropped about the Capt being ex-Marine and being divorced could have been explored further. As was the idea that she chose Nolan to come to her precinct because she saw the value in his experience. It all just felt like an unnecessary death of a character and a cheap kill to shock, cheap way to shake things up for an episode or two.
Finally, I also don't think showing a white supremacist gang with military grade weapons was the most sensitive move this week in light of the white supermacist killing in NZ. But hey, if a fictional killing of a TV character by a white surpremacist with military grade weapons can actually make the U.S. do something about gun control for once, I'm all for it. But doubtful.
To summarize, this was the worst episode by far for me. It amplified all the weaknesses in the writing, especially when it descended into melodrama but even before that. The writing on this show has been mediocre at best, but there were moments when I thought it might get better. Not here.