The Rookie star Harold Perrineau says Armstrong "will always try to save himself" following season 2 finale

Joe Anderton
Photo credit: ABC

From Digital Spy

The Rookie season 2 spoilers follow.

The Rookie wrapped up its second season in the US over the weekend (May 10) and, phew, there were some twists. Line of Duty's 'H' eat your heart out.

John Nolan (Nathan Fillion) suspected his mentor Nick Armstrong (Harold Perrineau) was a corrupt cop, and was bang on the money, with Armstrong working for the Armenian mafia.

But what he didn't realise was how far Armstrong would go to save his own skin. He planted evidence in Nolan's home and then informed the cops about it, the rascal.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly about the twist, Perrineau said that he played the long game with it with his performance.

Photo credit: Getty Images

"We knew it was coming," he said. "But the mandate was to play it earnestly, play it like he's really there for everybody. He's there to do the job that he's meant to do.

"I played all the things there as real, really grieving for his wife so working late nights, really smart and confident and all those things. The thing was I just never knew what it was that was in the background. Whatever Armstrong was doing, I didn't have any idea about it and so none of that would come through during the performance."

Talking about why his character did with he did, the actor stated: "I think Armstrong is a guy that at the end of the day will always try to save himself. There are people like that. They're great and smart and they're really helpful; they have a lot of knowledge.

"But at the end of the day, if it comes down to you or him, he's always going to choose him. He's always going to bet on himself. There was a moment that he really tried to get it back, tried to redeem [himself], but I think once he shot Erin it was almost impossible to get out of it in any way clean.

Photo credit: ABC

Related: The Rookie showrunner reveals how Afton Williamson's character will be written out

"That's really where Armstrong was just like, 'John, I really like you. It's just too easy. I just set you up because you're the most earnest.' In that cynical way, Armstrong is like, 'Nobody is that earnest, so I'm going to frame you.'"

Can Armstrong ever come back from his betrayal? Perrineau isn't so sure that it's possible, stating: "That is really tricky. If there's a season 3 and we get to explore that, that'll be interesting. Armstrong will always bet on himself. Armstrong will push it all the way to the end; that'll be the most dramatic. He'll push and push and push to try to frame John, probably until he has to die.

"That's a theory, but I think — even given the genuine friendship — he'll never say, 'Alright you got me, I'll just go to prison.'

"You don't want to put yourself in prison as a cop. That's not gonna be fun."

The Rookie airs on ABC in the US, and can be streamed on NOW TV in the UK.

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