Chenford’s prank war which has been going on since Season 1 of Rookie and is called “The Reckoning,” is continued in the episode “The Reckoning.” This time, it has romantic undertones that show it’s not too late for Tim Bradford and Lucy Chen to build up their relationship slowly.
Like how they talked in “The Fugitive,” Lucy’s scavenger hunt gives Chenford and Lucy a great chance to think about the past and the future. There are references to jokes Tim and Lucy have played on each other in the past. This shows how well they know each other.
What starts out as a fun prank to make fun of Tim for how he treated Lucy when he was new turns into something much deeper: a person trying to help someone they care about because they can see they’re struggling. Of course, Lucy doesn’t find out that Tim is upset because Ashley dumped him until the end of “The Reckoning.”
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Chenford is interesting because even though that detail is important, knowing it wouldn’t have changed what Lucy did. She would have still tried to make Tim smile while she held his lost radio over his head. He does it all the time.
Chenford’s Prank War: What Happened?
To understand how big Lucy’s joke with Tim’s radio was, it’s important to look at the history and development of Chenford’s prank war throughout The Rookie. In Season 1, Episode 6, “The Hawke,” Lucy steals Tim’s money clip by using his lessons against him. In Season 3, Episode 9, “Amber,” Lucy plays a joke on Tim by making him think she likes him. She does this to prove she can do undercover work. Then, in Season 4, Episode 21, “Mother’s Day,” Tim plays a joke on Lucy by pretending to ask Ashley to marry him.
In “The Reckoning,” Lucy takes a picture of Tim with his old radio. This is a nod to “Caught Stealing,” Season 1, Episode 13, in which Tim took a picture of Lucy after she fell asleep during her first-midnight shift. The Season 5 episode isn’t even the first time Chenford pulls a prank involving a radio, that happened in the Season 2 premiere, “Impact.” When he tells Lucy to use her “cop eyes” to find an explosive device in that episode, Tim teaches her a lesson about how radio frequencies can set off a bomb.
Me during this #Chenford moment Thank you for watching #TheRookie Winter Finale! pic.twitter.com/CtGfMZdMui
— The Rookie (@therookie) December 5, 2022
When she finds it and uses her radio near it, a cloud of powder blows up in her face. Lucy tells Tim that she will never forget what he taught her, and in “Amber,” when she gives Tim a gift at the end of her training, it explodes in a way that is very similar to what Tim did to teach her.
The way that gift was given means that, like Tim’s lesson for Lucy, Tim will never forget the time he spent training her. In “The Reckoning,” there are other parts of that scene that come up.
The Romantic Meanings of Lucy’s Radio Prank
Lucy sends Tim on a treasure hunt to find his lost radio, which is both funny and romantic in and of itself. In Season 1, Episode 7, “The Ride Along,” Lucy jumps at the chance to catch Tim making a mistake because he still picks on her for being late. It becomes romantic because Lucy takes Tim to all of his favorite places, which she already knows.
OMG I’M GONNA COLLAPSE #CHENFORD #TheRookie pic.twitter.com/hpD6gLYakE
— m (@CauseRSisEpic) December 5, 2022
Aaron Thorsen even tells Tim, “Whoever’s doing this knows you really well.” Tim knows right away that Lucy is behind the scheme. Tim says he knows Lucy “too well” in Season 2, Episode 11, “Day of Death,” but no one else can say the same thing about him.
At the end of “The Reckoning,” Lucy admits that she wanted to torture Tim a little bit, but that she mostly used his radio to take his mind off of whatever was bothering him. It’s how Lucy gives Tim back his radio that reminds “Amber” of what happened. The two people hold on to that radio a little too long, kind of like how long they shook hands in the parking garage.
Don’t mind me I’m just gonna be living in these two ICONIC scenes for the ENTIRE winter break ❤️ #Chenford #TheRookie pic.twitter.com/uewTJLBzq2
— Chris ✨️ Fan Account (@Multifand0mbabe) December 5, 2022
But things have changed between Lucy and Tim. There’s a lot left unsaid about how they feel — which translates so well in the pregnant pause and physical space between them after Tim admits to appreciating Lucy’s “radio gag” as a distraction from his break-up.
Blocking is used as a tool in The Rookie when Lucy’s boyfriend, Chris Sanford, breaks the silence and fills the space. Even with his addition to the scene, The Rookie shows how Tim and Lucy feel about each other by having them do a classic thing when they miss each other: they look back.
They don’t catch each other’s glances because that would advance this plot a little faster than The Rookie likely intends, but the action itself is meaningful. It’s another step in the right direction for Lucy Chen and Tim Bradford’s relationship, and it all began with a joke.
The Rookie airs on ABC on Sundays at 10 p.m. and is available on Hulu… Follow us only on Lee Daily for more content like this.