Why Did Jackson Leave The Rookie? (THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW!!!)

The death of Officer Jackson West occurred in the initial episode of Season 4 of The Rookie; the following explanation explains why.

Fans of the series realized something was terribly off when marketing material for the fourth season of The Rookie began to be released in the weeks immediately prior to the launch of the new season of the series. 

Officer Jackson West, played by Titus Makin Jr., vanished without a trace without anybody being able to explain what happened.

Followers were understandably apprehensive and correctly surmised that Jackson would be eliminated from the show during the first episode; certainly enough, their prediction came true. 

However, the question remains as to why Titus Makin Jr. decided to stop working at The Rookie in the first place.

In the first episode of Season 4, titled “Life and Death,” Jackson was executed in a sloppy and unceremonious manner by being shot in the back. 

After the ending of Season 3, there appeared to be a lot of discussion about what would happen to Jackson, but still, it didn’t really come just as much of a big a shock when Makin Jr. decided to quit the show.

The actor has been vocal about the fact that he considered not coming back for Season 3 after the loss of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor (as reported by Entertainment Weekly), however, ultimately decided to do so after following a “soul” discussion with showrunner Alexi Hawley.

Despite this, it will indeed nonetheless be his final season of working on the series in its entirety. The following is what we understand about the circumstances surrounding Jackson’s death in the first episode of Season 4 of The Rookie.

What Were the Reasons Behind Jackson West’s Leaving The Rookie?

Titus Makin Jr., who was one of the show’s initial cast members, has been playing the role of Jackson from the pilot episode of The Rookie. He was an essential component of the show. 

After Angela Lopez, his previous training officer, was elevated to the position of detective in Season 3, he was given a new training officer, Doug Stanton.

Sadly, Stanton’s racism was on full display, and he put Jackson’s life into a living hell during the last period of his rookie camp. As a result, Jackson collaborated with Sergeant Grey in an effort to remove Stanton from his position.

He did succeed, and Stanton’s real colors were shown, despite the fact that it required Jackson to be beaten up to make it happen.

Critics were upset that Jackson was murdered off since the social justice component of his character was a key element of the series, which was among the reasons he was so beloved by the audience.

On the show The Rookie, the circumstances surrounding Jackson’s death were surprisingly uncomplicated. 

In an interview with TVLine, Hawley stated that the choice to kill off Jackson was really not his or any other writer’s: “What I can say is that Titus [Makin Jr.] was not coming back to the show, so we needed to do the best that we could to honor the character who’s been so primally a part of the show.” 

The fact that Makin Jr. did not want to come back meant that he needed to be taken out of the story in a certain way. 

Because Makin Jr. did not participate in any press conferences or post anything at all on social networks related to his departure from The Rookie, the exact explanation for his departure remains unknown.

The Mysterious Circumstances Surrounding Jackson’s Death on “The Rookie”

The manner in which Jackson was murdered was also somewhat peculiar. The wedding of Lopez and Wesley served as the setting for the concluding sequences of the third and last seasons. 

There, La Fiera laid a snare in order to catch the future wife, and she was successful.

Fans were aware of this fact, but when Season 4 began, they learned that Jackson had also been kidnapped by La Fiera’s thugs. 

After a few minutes, the Los Angeles Police Department discovered surveillance tape that showed Lopez being removed as Jackson was shot in his back and stuffed into a trunk.

The whole of it seemed strange and contrived, and the explanation for that was due to the case that it really was strange and contrived. 

Hawley remarked, in reference to Jackson’s death and the manner in which it occurred,  “It’s heartbreaking, but I didn’t really have a choice. [Makin Jr.] wasn’t coming back, and because of the way we set things up with the finale, there was just no way to tell that story without Jackson.”

To put it another way, it might have been preferable for him to simply left the LAPD without getting murdered, but since Makin Jr. departed in the midst of a plot storyline, he just couldn’t simply vanish into thin air.

In the end, it came down to the fact that the authors had a challenging task ahead of them. 

They were forced to come up with a solution to demonstrate Jackson without him physically being there, so they resorted to using a stand-in and only recording from the back of the room.

Because of this, the departure of Makin Jr. came across as strange and unexpected, especially when compared to the relationship that developed between John Nolan and Lucy Chen.