Created by Alexi Hawley, ABC's procedural crime series The Rookie is in the midst of its fifth installment, and fans are at the edge of their seats as high-stakes drama ensues. The series sees divorced, middle-aged John Nolan (Nathan Fillion) enter the LAPD, navigating the high-pressure job with his fellow rookie police officers, most of whom are 20 years his junior.
Specifically, fans can't get enough of the relationship between will-they-won't-they colleagues Lucy Chen (Melissa O'Neil) and Tim Bradford (Eric Winter) — aka "Chenford." And while viewers have finally seen the Mid-Wilshire Division police officers admit their love for one another, their romance already begins to impact their work negatively.
In Season 5, Episode 12, titled "Death Notice," Lucy and Tim are assigned to patrol together in the midst of their budding romance. However, Tim makes a bad call in which he prioritizes his feelings for Lucy over the job.
With the potential for their love to impede on their work, could this call for Tim Bradford's departure and Eric Winters' exit from the show? Let's break it down.
Is Eric Winter leaving 'The Rookie'?
After an arduous will-they-won't-they arc between Tim and Lucy, the two officers finally start dating each other. While this has undoubtedly appeased many fans rooting for them, Lucy begins to have doubts over whether or not they can prevent their feelings from interfering with their work as police officers.
To that end, Lucy conducts a bit of an experiment with her superior officer, one that all but confirms her worst fears.
In Season 5, Episode 12, Lucy and Tim arrest a man who operates a store out of his vehicle without any licenses. As they release him, Lucy fakes mishandling evidence to see if Tim will report it as per his duties. He ultimately doesn't, proving to Lucy that they can't work together impartially. With both of them being presented with a transfer to another precinct at the end of the episode, both of them have the potential to leave the Mid-Wilshire Division.
Initially, Tim tries to work desk duty to remain at the Mid-Wilshire Division while being removed from Lucy's chain of command. However, the job fits him poorly, and he decides that he can't work under those conditions.
In the following episode, titled "Daddy Cop," Lucy already begins the transfer process to get Tim installed back on street duty in Metro, allowing him to work to his fullest without having to worry about impartiality.
As of now, Tim and Lucy are trying everything they can to make things work while still doing the jobs that they love.
To that end, Tim's departure from the show doesn't seem to be in the cards just yet. In tonight's episode, "Death Sentence," Tim starts his duties at Metro in the pair's latest attempt to continue their work while remaining together.
On that same note, there has been no official report to suggest that Eric Winters is leaving The Rookie any time soon.
Keep reading Distractify for the latest news on The Rookie and its stars.
New episodes air Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.