Escape Rooms in Media: The Rookie

The Show

In a big city at night, two police officers respond to a burglary in progress. Flashlights out, they make their way down an office building corridor.

Game Flow

Final Thoughts

  • Nathan Fillion is great. His giddiness when his character realizes they’re in a game is very charming. He’s got a quick wit in delivery and I hope the show gives that quality some room to breathe.
  • I know it’s in service of moving the plot forward, but it’s always funny to me when there are easily-accessible puzzle elements (like the map behing a simple curtain, or the rib bone inside the chess piece) that characters didn’t find earlier, for no other reason than they didn’t actually look. It happens all the time in real life, too.
  • Without more context, it appears that the room requires you to know Latin to solve the exit puzzle. (Perhaps there’s a reference somewhere, like in the books they used for the map puzzle?) But — since you could access the rib from the bottom of the king chess piece pretty much immediately, and could then make the connection to the skeleton visually as soon as it was revealed, it wouldn’t be a game-breaking mistake.
  • The room appears to be fully automated, though that also means the facility leaves all their tech on overnight. Good thing, too, because otherwise the team probably would have just kicked the door down as soon as one of them needed to use the restroom badly enough.
  • The escape room shown here feels like someone genuinely thought through the game flow and theming of the set, while still making it easy for an audience to quickly read the situation and scene. It’s short and sweet, and showcases the characters’ personalities and strengths. Plus, it’s legitimately funny. This just might be one of my favorite depictions of an escape room on screen.

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Laura E. Hall

Laura E. Hall

Immersive, escape rooms, narrative, video games, ARGs, VR, puzzles, mysteries. PLANNING YOUR ESCAPE, Simon & Schuster. KATAMARI DAMACY, Boss Fight Books.