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The Rookie’s Tim Goes From Bad Boy to Bland Boy: Fans Say Bring Back the Bite

Tim Bradford (Eric Winter) on The Rookie is a strict, no-nonsense training officer who gives a hard time to rookies assigned to him. Well, one can say that back when Bradford first appeared in Season 1 he was not so much “strict, no-nonsense”, as “total asshole”. With passage of seasons, however, he received some significant character development for the better.

Certainly, Tim had reasons for being as severe and strict as he was at the beginning – after all, his wife became addicted to drugs, then got tangled with criminals and nearly killed, and finally they broke their relationship. All of that happened before and during events of the early episodes, and compounded the rest of emotional baggage, which Bradford carried all the way from his childhood. So no wonder that early on he was permanently in bad mood, stone-cold and harsh, before gradually recovering over the course of the series. The scriptwriters provided him with opportunities to change himself for the better.

He even explained at one point, that he was so hard on his first rookie, Lucy Chen (Melissa O’Neil), with whom he became romantically involved many episodes later, because he felt that given her background, harsh treatment and trials meant to test her commitment to her job, were the best way to make a good cop out of her. However, some fans argue that this change went too far, in a way. By now Tim arguably had lost all his bite, and you can hardly see anything of his old self in his present persona. Which also made him somewhat of a bland “good cop”, lacking a distinctive personality. But in any case, what’s done is done. The most which can be expected from Tim Bradford after his character development is accidental glimpses of his old harshness, when he’s dealing with the people beyond those he became close with. It is also probably was unrealistic to expect a character who is not a full-blown villain to be portrayed negatively for extended periods of time on a show like The Rookie.


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