Chenford’s first Valentine’s Day isn’t all sunshine and rainbows on The Rookie’s “Exposed,” and the fan-favorite couple is better for it. The procedural had set Lucy Chen and Tim Bradford up for an angsty turn even since Lucy brought together The Rookie’s ensemble to get Tim his Metro job. However, it is a bit surprising for the show to deliver angst and tension on Valentine’s Day. And instead of dragging out the disagreement for drama’s sake, The Rookie creates space for Lucy and Tim to handle their problem like a healthy couple.
Any TV couple should face obstacles to avoid boring narratives and strengthen their relationship. Those conflicts help a couple appear as authentic as possible. Consequently, Chenford isn’t the only couple that faces romantic hurdles in “Exposed.” The episode features every other pairing overcoming varying degrees of difficulty. Positioning Chenford alongside those established couples is a signal that The Rookie is committed to following Lucy and Tim’s fan-favorite relationship.
The Rookie Gifts Chenford the Good Kind of Angst
Tim Bradford shocked in front of his car in The Rookie
The Rookie has steadily leveled up Chenford during Season 5. “Exposed” throws them a curveball as soon as they wake up in the form of Noah Foster, whom Lucy had previously trained with. Noah and Lucy have a natural chemistry that could have easily caused Tim to become jealous, especially after the reveal of Lucy’s “Hot Pants” nickname. The Rookie skipped Nolan and Bailey’s love triangle and avoids another one with Chenford. Instead, Noah calls Tim “that Bradford” upon their introduction, signaling that even those at undercover school knew about Lucy’s feelings for Tim.
This relationship is solid, but with solid relationships come drama meant to shake and strengthen it. So angst arises when Tim discovers (off-camera) that Lucy was instrumental in securing his Metro role after he’d taken another job to resolve Chenford’s unequal power dynamic. That reveal creates tension for a handful of passive-aggressive interactions, but those ultimately lead to their swoon-worthy scene at the end of “Exposed.”
Chenford Ends The Rookie’s Valentine’s Day on a Mature Note
The Rookie suggested Chenford problems with the ambiguous ending of Season 5, Episode 13, “Daddy Cop.” That episode paved the way for the open and honest conversation at the end of “Exposed.” It’s exciting to know that Lucy is no longer just dreaming of her kiss with Tim, as she did in the Season 5 premiere; he’s sleeping in her bed. But relationships don’t require physical intimacy to be romantic, and seeing Lucy and Tim handle this disagreement like adults is incredibly romantic.
They talk it through and realize that what happened with Tim’s Metro job is for the best, even if it didn’t play out how either of them really imagined. They can then switch their gears to Tim’s Valentine’s Day gift for Lucy — a necklace he picked out. This present is another good omen for Chenford since Tim struggled so much to find a gift that didn’t interest him for Rachel’s birthday in Season 2, Episode 4, “Warriors and Guardians.”
While this Valentine’s Day doesn’t contain a big love confession or some other grand gesture, it sees Chenford fortify their relationship at what could have been a very vulnerable point. Since The Rookie is confident in a future for Chenford and Tamara, it’s impactful and relevant to see them overcome obstacles. The drama between Lucy and Tim during “Exposed” is constructive for Chenford’s longevity, so that’s a great gift for The Rookie to deliver to their many fans.