‘The Rookie’: Looking Back at Tim and Lucy Over The Years

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25 Min Read
ABC/Raymond Liu

One of TV’s most anticipated couples has finally taken a step toward being together. After over four seasons, The Rookie‘s Tim Bradford has asked Lucy Chen on a date, and to celebrate, we are going to look back at their relationship over the seasons.

The Beginning

The pair first met when Lucy was assigned to be trained by Tim. They have a rocky beginning due to Tim’s hard exterior and extreme teaching tactics. During her first shift, they get thrown into the current troubles of Tim’s personal life. His wife, who also used to be a police officer but got too caught up while working undercover on a narcotics case, shows up after being missing for a year. Tim is shocked to see her and lets her get away. At the end of Lucy’s first shift, she and Tim are caught in a shoot-out, and Tim is shot. Lucy has to pull him out of the line of fire, and Tim ends up fine.

“With all due respect, sir, you’re a pain in my ass.”

– Lucy to Tim

The Virus

During the season finale, Tim is helping a guy who, unknown to them, is infected with a deadly virus. When Tim realizes this, he locks Lucy out of the room before she’s exposed and tries to help him. Lucy fights hard to get to him and to get a vaccine so they can get him out, but all she can really do is wait. After Tim has to watch the man in the room with him die a violent death from the virus, he and Lucy sit back to back against the door, talking. She tries to reassure him, and he tells Lucy that he’d rather die on his own terms than go out like that. All she can do is hide the fact that she’s crying after he says it. A bit later, they get him out, but he collapses when outside. He ends up being okay, though.

Other Moments in Season One

ABC

Along with all the above, some other things happened between the two during season 1. A major one is the continuation of Tim’s wife, Isabel, in their lives. She gets into trouble, and Lucy supports Tim through it all. After it all, Isabel ends up going to rehab, and she and Tim split up.

The tradition of Tim and Lucy pranking each other started in season 1, with Lucy jokingly stealing Tim’s wallet when they’re all out getting drinks after work.

Another is while working; Lucy accidentally gets stabbed with a dirty needle. They get her to the hospital, where a worried Tim demands that she gets immediate care. Everything ends up being okay.

Lastly, after responding to a call at a paintball range, Tim and Lucy end up stopping by after work and having some fun themselves.

Audiobooks by Lucy Chen

While preparing to take his Sergeant’s exam, Tim is given a really old book that he pushed back on reading. He tries to have Lucy read it to him in the shop, but it’s not ideal. After seeing how he reacted and talking to Isabel, Lucy realizes that he struggles to learn by reading and records herself reading the book so he can listen to it. She makes sure to let him know that it’s perfectly okay that he learns this way and goes on to say that it’s probably why he excels at being a cop.

Day of Death

After meeting a guy at the bar, Lucy ends up going out with him again after Tim pushes her to. Nolan and Jackson are suspicious of her not answering her phone and not coming home. They bring it to Nyla, Tim, and Grey’s attention, and they all start looking into the guy, Caleb, that she went out with. After looking into it, they put the pieces together and learn that Caleb is working with a serial killer named Rosalind.

The search for Lucy begins, and we see Tim worried and struggling throughout it all. He tells Angela he feels at fault because he pushed Lucy to go out with Caleb. While interrogating a guy for information, Tim gets rough with him while saying that he’s responsible for Lucy’s life, so he’s going to get the answers he needs.

Meanwhile, Lucy is put in a barrel by Caleb and buried underground. She drops a ring before she’s buried and tries to hold on while trapped. They find a lead and get to her location but can’t find the barrel until Tim discovers the ring. He takes the lead on digging her up and pulling her out. After Tim performs a few rescue breathes and CPR, Lucy is okay. Tim holds her as she cries once she’s back to breathing. Later, when she wakes up at the hospital, Tim is at her bedside with her favorite meal.

She struggles in general after it all, which causes Tim to pull back for a bit and let her train with Nyla because he thinks that’s what’s best for her. They resolve it, though, because when Lucy was taken, she was tattooed with the date of her “death” on her ribs. She plans to get it removed, but Tim talks to her about it and opens up about his physical and emotional scars. When she pushes back, he tells her that she could get rid of it or she could see it as proof that she’s a survivor. He also gives her her ring back at that moment. Lucy doesn’t end up getting rid of the tattoo.

“You know me so well.”

– Lucy to Tim

Other Moments in Season Two

ABC

Season 2 was a big season for Tim and Lucy! Some other things that happen include Lucy ending up taking in a dog, but it doesn’t work out and Tim adopting him instead, and Tim turning down a Sergeant job at another station because he’s not done training Lucy.

Also, Tim and Lucy get into a car accident while on patrol. When Tim is beating himself up over it, Lucy decides to look deeper into it and learns that the people they hit got hit intentionally because they were trying to commit insurance fraud.

Lucy Going Undercover: Vol. I

In season 3, Lucy starts getting interested in undercover work. She gets pulled into working a case on accident, and Tim makes it clear that he isn’t okay with it. Lucy tells Nyla that she thought Tim would at least be proud of her. During the op, Tim anxiously watches and acts as a backup when needed while she’s under. Nyla is working the operation with her, and once they finish the drug trade they need to make, the LAPD swoops in and arrests them and the other people involved. Tim is the officer arresting her, and he tells her that she did good as he puts her in his shop.

Lucy gets pulled into another operation at the end of the season. While working the op, Tim pulls her over, and she talks the guys she’s with out of shooting Tim and Jackson and insists that she can flirt her way out of it. She propositions Tim, and he plays along before letting her go. Later, she doesn’t check in when she’s supposed to, and Nyla informs Tim of it. They know it’s because she’s stuck making drugs for the people she’s investigating. This whole time Tim is worried about Lucy and makes it clear that he is to Nyla. She insists that Lucy’s got this which is part of what Tim is worried about. He knows that she’ll do what she has to do. They start looking into where she’s at because she can’t let drugs she’s made out on the streets, and they know she’ll die fighting to keep it contained. Luckily, they find her before that happens. Tim applauds her on her work later at Angela’s last-minute wedding.

“Save me a dance.”

– Tim to Lucy at Angela’s Wedding

Lucy’s Last Shift

Lucy’s last shift as a rookie comes up. She insists that she and Tim go through a checklist of things to make the transition of not being a mentor and mentee easier. Tim resists until they’re deep into a hard shift and lets it be a distraction for her.

She brings up doing undercover work again, and Tim questions if she’s serious and capable of doing that kind of work emotionally because she’s “sensitive”. He doesn’t think that she isn’t capable of lying to someone’s face and befriending people only to stab them in the back. She turns it around on him and professes her love for him, only to start laughing and admit that she was joking and proving the point that she can do just that.

At the end of the shift, they finish the checklist, and Lucy gives Tim a gift as a thank you. He opens the gift, which ends up being a prank, and is covered in powder. She tells him it’s been a blast, and Tim makes a point of calling her by her first name rather than “boot” or “Chen” before she walks away.

Other Moments in Season Three

Season 3 had some other major moments for the couple. Lucy “adopted” a kid who stole her car named Tamara. The pair have a rocky start, but Lucy takes her under her wing, and Tim does a bit, too, with time.

Also, with Lucy no longer a rookie, Tim gets a new trainee. Lucy sees that he’s more gentle with her versus the harsh beginning that she got and is upset but learns later that Tim took a different teaching approach with this rookie because of their past experiences and needing a change of pace.

Tim’s Dad

ABC/Raymond Liu

Tim’s sister, Genny, comes to town because she wants to fix up their childhood home to sell it because their dad is in a hospice home. Lucy and Genny gang up on Tim and get him to let Genny ride with them for the day. She pushes him to talk about the house while they do, and he fights it, wanting nothing to do with it. When talking about the house, Tim talks about how terrible their childhood was. During one of the stories, Lucy unconsciously compares it to Tim’s “Tim Tests” that she hated as a rookie. After a while, he caves, and Lucy helps the pair work on the house. While working on it, they find a gun hidden in one of the walls. Tim insists that they look into it and finds that it was used in the murder of their neighbor.

This sets off red flags for him that his dad did it because his dad was having an affair with the neighbor’s wife, Monica, when Tim was a kid. Lucy doesn’t let Tim interrogate Monica, but he still meets them in the hall after the interrogation and talks to her. After that, Tim visits his dad to get more information, and his dad confesses to the murder. When he gets back to the station afterward, Lucy tells him that she talked to Monica again and got the full story. Monica killed her husband because he was abusive and went to Tim’s dad for help covering it up.

Tim goes to talk to his dad again and tells him that he knows the truth. When Tim’s dad insists that what she did was honorable because of how abusive her husband was, Tim gets upset because his dad abused him as a kid, too. After that, Tim leaves, and Lucy is waiting outside for him. He vents to her about how his dad protected the woman he was having an affair with but wouldn’t protect his actual family. He tearfully tells her that the Tim Tests don’t make him anything like his dad, and she quickly agrees before pulling him into a hug.

A Double Date

During season 4, Tim starts dating a woman named Ashley. When Ashley ends up with four tickets to a fancy dinner at a place that Tim knows Lucy really wants to go to, he insists they bring her. He gets Chris, a lawyer from the DA’s office that’s been around the station lately, to go as Lucy’s date. At the dinner, Tim and Lucy spend the whole night talking to each other more than their dates, and repeated occurrences show how much they know each other better than the people they’re with.

The Kiss

While working on a case, they discover that their suspect in a big drug operation looks like a tatted-up Tim. He goes undercover for the case and gets pulled into working a second operation, but they need to find their suspect’s girlfriend to work the next part. When they find her, it turns out that she looks just like Lucy. They both agree to go undercover as a couple for the rest of the operation. Before going undercover, they work out a backstory, and after they have those details worked out, Tim nervously brings up that they’ll probably have to engage in PDA to sell that they’re a couple.

After some awkward back and forth, he kisses Lucy, but it’s a soft peck that frustrates her. She pulls him into a deep kiss that’s on the verge of going further than a pretend work kiss, but Tamara walks in and interrupts it. Tim leaves after that and is seen frozen outside, trying to process what just happened.

“He’s big, gruff, a whole lot of bark, but, underneath all of it, he’s a sweetheart.”

– Lucy about Tim (and Kojo)

Other Moments in Season Four

ABC/Raymond Liu

After Jackson’s death at the start of season 4, Tim insists that she comes and stays with him. While there, he comforts her, and they have a bit of a moment that seems like it might go further, but nothing happens.

When Tim starts getting more responsibility at work, Grey suggests that he gets an aid to help him out. Lucy is upset that he doesn’t pick her at first, but he ends up caving. He tells her he didn’t choose her because he didn’t want to hold her back. Later in the season, Lucy gets upset that due to the arrangement, she isn’t getting any credit on the cases they work. He asks her to dance with him at Nyla’s wedding, and as the pair slow dance, he tells her that he’s going to put her as the lead officer on all of the cases that they work on.

Lastly, when Lucy pushes the idea that Tim and Ashley planning a destination vacation means that Ashley is expecting him to propose, he gets Ashley to agree to play along with a fake proposal to mess with Lucy. She seems upset by the proposal as she watches before Tim reveals that it was fake.

Going Undercover

Raymond Liu/ABC

Following the kiss at the end of season 4, Tim and Lucy actually go undercover at the start of season 5. They play up being a couple as they get ready to fly to Las Vegas with the criminals that they’re pretending to work with for the operation. While on the plane, they learn that Rosalind escaped from custody, and Tim worries about Lucy. They pretend to go to the bathroom to hook up so he can talk to her and check in on her. She insists that she’s okay to continue the operation and kisses him before they leave the bathroom to make it seem like they were actually hooking up.

While in their hotel room, Tim asks Lucy if playing a couple doesn’t feel like pretending for her, too. She says that it’s just the nature of being close that’s making him feel that way. After the operation is over, Tim walks Lucy to her apartment. As she’s about to go in, she points out that they’re technically still undercover because they haven’t been debriefed, and then she invites Tim in with her. He hesitates before going in. Before anything can happen, Lucy realizes her boyfriend is on the couch. She goes to talk to him and sees that his wrists are slit and he’s bleeding out.

It turns out that Rosalind went after him because Lucy didn’t go to her trial and testify about getting buried alive at Rosalind’s order. After Chris is home and okay, Lucy is approached about going to training for undercover work. She debates going, and Tim stops by and talks to her about it. The conversation drifts to their relationship, and Lucy brings up what they almost did after the operation, but Tim reminds her that they didn’t do anything, though. He goes back to pushing her to go to the training. Lucy takes it as him wanting to get rid of her and ends up going after he tells her that she needs to move on.

A Bad Back and A Break-Up

While on duty, Tim hurts his back and needs to get brought to the hospital. Lucy comes to check in while Ashley is at his bedside. They learn that the issue is when Tim got shot on Lucy’s first day, they couldn’t remove the bullet completely, and it’s migrated to a point where it’s hurting him, and they need to remove it.

Tim ends up getting into a fight with a suspect loose in the hospital when he’s supposed to be resting and hurts himself even further. They rush him to surgery, and he asks Grey to not tell Lucy about it. She finds out after her shift and rushes over to the hospital to check on him. Shortly before she got there, Ashley broke things off with Tim over anxiety about him in this line of work. Despite just working a long and stressful shift, Lucy sits by Tim’s bedside and talks to him.

“If we do this and it doesn’t work, i’ll have ruined the most important relationship in my life.”

– Lucy to Tim

Getting Together

When Chris brings up getting a house with Lucy, she isn’t excited at the idea. She tries to avoid it but can’t, and Tim asks her why she won’t just tell him that she doesn’t want to. Lucy’s response is she doesn’t get why she doesn’t want to. This continues throughout the shift, and at the end of the shift, Tim asks her why she’s sticking to this safe relationship if she doesn’t want it. She ends up telling him that a relationship between the two of them is too risky, and he suggests that it’s worth the risk. He proceeds to ask her out, and she agrees at first but asks him to ask her again later after she’s broken up with Chris.

In the following episode, Lucy stresses about how to break up with Chris. She finally caves and does it. Afterward, she goes back to the station and sees Tim. She tells him that she did it, and he asks her to go on a date with him. She says yes.

On Tuesday, January 3, we’ll see what’s next for Tim and Lucy! Until then, check out our other coverage of The Rookie.

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