The Rookie Season 6 Episode 6 Review: Secrets and Lies


Chenford fans, how are you all doing?

If The Rookie Season 6 Episode 6 wasn’t anything else, it was utterly brutal for those viewers who love the fan-favorite ‘ship as we watched a multi-season-long slow-burn relationship that appeared rock solid get pulled from beneath our feet in the blink of an eye.

The hour also presented us with another notorious Rookie villain who may unsurprisingly pop up again and have Bailey and Nolan reach an underwhelming decision about parenthood.

We also saw that rookies Celina and Thorsen still have much to learn.

On the topic of Celina, will we ever delve deeper into an actual storyline that addresses the series of errors she makes and the consequences of her actions hitting her full force?

It’s hard to know if Celina’s more recent and ongoing pattern of fumbling something up reflects her and something deeper that we’ve yet to explore or speaks to John Nolan and how poor he may be as a training officer.

Either way, it feels as if we’re long overdue for the series to address what’s happening there, as it has to be leading somewhere, right?

While it didn’t seem reasonable to somehow mix inmates in some work program with the unhoused — hell, it was a clusterf*ck of problems waiting to happen — an inmate taking off and the discovery of a missing/dead woman’s backpack takes the cake.

The incident split into two different case-oriented subplots that were perfectly fine for what they provided to the hour.

On the one hand, unraveling the family drama that transpired, prompting Theresa to throw away her shot at getting out to go after the people responsible for the affair and betrayal, was mildly intriguing.

It turned out her mother was the one she should’ve been worried about, and she was the one who was sleeping with Theresa’s boyfriend.

It was totally savage and led to an intense domestic situation that had Theresa swinging a bat and ready to go to war over this betrayal.

It was something ripped from Jerry Springer, but it was entertaining as far as cases go.

Meanwhile, Thorsen shows how easily it is for him to allow his experiences to influence how he approaches the job when he quickly assumes that law enforcement and maybe the DA railroaded Corrina’s boyfriend, causing him to confess to a murder he didn’t commit.

Thorsen was so out of line during his approach. He didn’t consider how maintaining a rapport with the future DA is instrumental in properly completing their jobs. He’s not capable of playing the politics angle well.

But at least in Harper’s capable hands, she could check him for his behavior while allowing him to work alongside her to find the real killer.

Harper going undercover as some damsel who didn’t know how to shoot to get the suspect’s gun and confirm that it was the one used to kill Corrina was a great scene.

And then I blinked, and the case was wrapped up.

But then, that was the general issue with so much of this installment. While it was entertaining and great in many ways, the pacing issues were taxing and glaring.

It’s so evident that we’re feeling the repercussions of this shortened season, and the series hasn’t worked out how to produce certain storylines properly to accommodate a truncated season.

For example, the Bailey Nune and Nolan thing was a storyline that didn’t need to be shoehorned into this particular installment. They could have held it off as a B-list storyline for another episode.

It was also grating, as it often is when a couple on television who were initially childless suddenly rehash the kid’s conversation like this.

Nolan’s son is old enough to have his own mortgage, and Nolan could very well be a grandfather any day. And that’s fine. The series has loved to play around with the fact that he’s “old” since the series’ exception.

Angela: I’m in.
Tim: You sure?
Angela: I got your back, boo.

Hell, isn’t the entire initial premise of the series about that?

In no way did anyone envision Nolan wanting to have more children at this stage in his life. He’s happily an officer now, figuring out his standing and future in a field where he already got a late start.

Bailey had never indicated before that she wanted to be a mother. It was a conversation they may have had before, where they would’ve been on the same page.

Bailey suddenly getting “baby fever” with her middle-aged new husband out of the blue is such an underwhelming arc to explore. It’s so tired and unnecessary.

Related: The Rookie Review: The Vow

There are so few happily child-free couples on television that they don’t introduce this “what if” storyline of whether or not they should pursue parenthood.

It felt like Bailan was beyond that, which was rather refreshing, and now we’re back to this and Bailey being obnoxious when she was starting to be bearable.

The bit of her waiting for him to wake up so she could loudly announce that she wanted a baby was annoying, and so was her diving into baby books and other things when they hadn’t even had a proper conversation.

And her suddenly pressuring him on something that we all thought they had discussed and resolved well before they got married was agitating.

It felt like there was only supposed to be one correct answer, that Nolan came around to give into Bailey and her desire even though it was the complete opposite of what they had decided eons ago.

It’s generally offputting, and the hour concludes with them going off to do some baby-making. Nolan states that it would be cruel to deprive Bailey of an experience that he loved himself nearly three decades ago.

Whether or not Bailey and Nolan actually go through with the process of having a baby remains to be seen, but this arc was disappointing all around.

Of course, some are bound to feel the same about Chenford breaking up.

Lucy: Stop trying to protect me, Tim!
Tim: I can’t. I won’t.
Lucy: You read Lopez in!
Tim: It’s different!
Lucy: How?
Tim: She has less to lose than you! Please, just steer clear of this for me, okay?
Lucy: I can’t. I won’t. You clearly need help, and I’m done playing the good girlfriend. You don’t have to tell me everything, but you will let me in.

This storyline is such a tough one because the performances were so well done, as was some of the dialogue related to all of this.

The storyline itself of Tim Bradford having this reckoning is meaty. It has so much potential to be something great, a fascinating character study, and an opportunity for real evolution for this character.

The issue is that, because of a truncated season, they dropped this storyline on us out of the blue and then wrapped up the crux of it just as quickly.

When you compare it to how they played the Rosalind arc or the build-up for Angela and La Fiera, it took us on this journey because it was a multi-episode arc that we got to see play out right before our eyes.

Related: The Rookie: Broadcast TV Needs More Complex Villains Like Elijah Stone

Elijah’s situation with Wesley and Angela was much the same.

All of these arcs have the time and space to build — the tension slowly etches up, making the climax riveting and, at the very least, well-earned.

But so much of this Ray and Tim situation feels like we got an info dump before we were thrust into action, and there was no satisfying build-up to get the tension going and make viewers as invested in everything as we should’ve been.

Greer came out of nowhere and was gone just as quickly. They alluded to Tim’s Army days, but we were kept in the dark, and so much surrounding it felt half-baked.

Tim: Lucy, I’ve been lying to myself for a long time. That’s clear to me now, and I can’t just go back to way things were, not right now. Maybe never.
Lucy: Wait, are you breaking up with me?
Tim: I’m sorry.
Lucy: You know, you don’t get to do that. You don’t get to lie to me and then use that as an excuse to leave me. That’s not okay. What you’re doing is not okay.
Tim: I know. You, you are an incredible person. No, you’re incredible. You deserve so much better.
Lucy: Oh my God.
Tim: That’s why I’m walking away.
Lucy: Don’t do this; why are you doing this? Why are you doing this?
Tim: I’m sorry.

It isn’t that the storyline itself isn’t good, nor that it’s not exciting to get something for Bradford on a personal front that can crack him open in new ways.

The issue is that it’s all so rushed, with little room to breathe and for us to sit in any of it long enough for it to feel worthwhile or give us a chance to feel genuinely invested in the arc and its potential outcome.

Most of this arc has been told to us rather than shown, and it feels like we’ve missed crucial parts along the way. We’re getting an expedited storyline that should’ve taken up at least six or seven installments in a regular season.

It makes you wonder if this huge Tim Bradford arc should’ve taken place next season instead of this one.

Somewhere in all of this, we learn that Greer was gone, and Tim spent days using his personal time to tail Ray and attempt to catch him in some nefarious activity as a gunner with the Venezuelans.

A kidnapping was thrown into the mix, which led to the big arrest that Tim could get Ray on rather than the vow to kill him.

But even though it was rushed along so quickly, all we got was a badass glimpse of Angela and Lucy coming out of crates and Ray giving one of his villain soliloquies, laying down his threat before we abruptly cut to Tim under investigation.

Even Tim under scrutiny was blink-and-you-miss before Commander West told him he was cleared, and Ray, I guess, was just facing his time for what they booked him on.

All of that happened so fast that it was frustrating.

Instead, they focused on the emotional toll and fallout from all this.

At Lucy’s prompting, Angela managed to track Tim down and impeded his stakeout, riding shotgun with him after an adorable heart-to-heart.

Angela and Tim’s friendship is easily one of the best and most underrated of the series, and it was genuinely a delight to see them sharing the screen again and going on this adventure together.

Tim: What are you doing?
Angela: Being a friend. What are you doing? Talk.
Tim: I can’t. For your own good.
Angela: Are you engaged in a criminal act?
Tim: Not at the moment.
Angela: Then tell me.
Tim: Angela… if this goes sideways and you’re anywhere near it, you could be fired.
Angela: If Lucy gets fired, it’s a problem. If I get fired, I start living off my husband’s trust fund and call it wine o’clock, so spill.

It was a perfect reminder that no matter what happens, they ALWAYS have each other’s backs.

Angela would not let Tim go off on his own to do goodness knows what, and she didn’t bat an eye at risking her career and life potentially to help him take down Ray however possible.

She had so many great moments and lines, whether it was stealing his drink and food when she hopped in the truck or her joke about how she’ll simply live off of her wealthy husband’s trust fund if she got fired, Angela was the best, and Alyssa Diaz slayed her one-liners and zingers.

And as much as Tim wanted to deny it, she was right about being his best friend.

She jumped into the fray well before they had their sitdown, where he got to explain what happened overseas in some clunky exposition that highlighted the issue of the series telling rather than showing.

We finally got the context as to why Tim would be in trouble if the truth got out.

But the crux of the emotional fallout in all of this was the Chenford angle, and Lucy was fed up, understandably so.

Nothing ever good comes from a loved one omitting and lying to someone to “protect them,” because as was the case of Ray literally showing up at Lucy’s apartment and being menacing around her and Tamara, no is safe if they’re not prepared.

I put my career above my oath, and two soldiers, two decent men, didn’t come home that night. And I’m going to have to live with that for the rest of my life.


Knowing about something is better so you can adequately defend yourself. Lucy wasn’t safe, and Tim left her in the dark.

Yes, his thought process made sense to him, but it doesn’t mean it was right.

For Lucy, it was supremely frustrating that Tim confided in Angela Lopez before he did her, especially when she sought Angela out for advice regarding Tim’s secrecy.

Tim’s level of omission was frustrating. It’s one thing for him not to want to tell her all the dirty details about what was happening. But he didn’t tell her anything and then went days without speaking to her or adequately communicating.

There’s no situation where Lucy could be okay with that, and she deserved some open line of communication even if Tim didn’t feel he could tell her the whole truth.

Tim made a much bigger mess of things than there needed to be with this stubborn refusal to have basic communication that could put Lucy at ease.

It felt like he was sabotaging their relationship from the moment he got that phone call.

Tim is such an independent person. He’s the Captain America of the series as well — someone who genuinely tries to do it all by himself and holds himself to a high standard and then doesn’t feel worthy when he falls short of the pedestal he puts himself on.

Eric Winter does some great work during this installment. The fight with Lucy was challenging to watch, and the conflict on his face as he tried to convince her that he was protecting her was great.

The stony expression as he flat out lied during the inquiry and how guilt-ridden he looked at the end when he was not only processing that he lied to men he admired but that it could still cost him his metro position was some great stuff.

But it’s that breakup scene that was the clencher. He looked so tormented as he broke things off with Lucy and expressed that he didn’t think he could ever return to how things were before.

And as much as you want to reach through the screen and shake him, given everything that transpired, one can understand his thought process.

Angela: I’m your BFF, I know you.
Tim: I’m a grown man. I don’t have a BFF.
Angela: Technically you can only have one BFF.

What happened in Iraq is one of the most traumatizing things he experienced, particularly nearly dying and witnessing his friends get blown to bits in front of him.

But it’s also one of the most regrettable things that he’s done. He’s carried the guilt of feeling responsible for Henderson and Coyle’s deaths. He thinks his selfishness and concerns about his career drove his actions regarding Ray.

From how he told the story, it sounds more like his loyalty and sense of honor prompted him to want to do things on his terms, bringing Ray in as best as he could on his terms out of some sense of respect for what they had as comrades.

He had no idea it would backfire so horribly. Tim doesn’t realize that some of his best traits dictated how he handled the situation because he couldn’t see past the guilt.

Even the lying he did regarding Ray’s death was for noble reasons, as he wanted to ensure that Ray’s family got his benefits.

It was wrong, yes, ethically, for sure, but morally sound, whether he’s ready to acknowledge that.

But because they were among his worst decisions, and he felt as if he was not at his best when he made those choices, the fact that years later, he still ended up lying to save his job and Lucy and Angela make him feel as if he’s no better than who he was back then.

And it’s hard for him to reconcile with that, prompting him to reevaluate who he is as a man. Considering all that, it’s no wonder he doesn’t feel as if he’s worthy of Lucy right now.

The only phone call I’m going to make is for an ambulance to wheel you out of here unless you get out. Right now.


The breakup feels inevitable in that context, so as brutal and frustrating as it may be, it’s understandable for the nature of their story.

Tim is not in a good place right now, and after what Ray unearthed from his past, the repercussions of it on his career now, and how all of this sent Tim reeling and enacting self-flagellation, it’s probably advisable that he take some space from Lucy so he can focus on himself.

It’s a fascinating turning point for the character, or at least it could be if the storyline is handled well and delicately, and we get to see the fruits of his labor as he puts in the work to come to grips with who he is and accepts that.

There’s no doubt that when he’s in a better place, all roads will lead back to Lucy, and when that inevitably happens, they’ll be better and stronger for it.

Related: The Good Doctor Review: Did Asher Get the Right Sendoff?

It doesn’t make it any less brutal that they’ve ripped this pairing apart the way they did, but here we are.

On Lucy’s end of things, you can understand where she’s also coming from. Tim has done nothing but lie to her for days, and then he used all of that to push her away and end things.

It’s no wonder she’s infuriated by all of that. The thing they consistently had going for them from their time spent together as partners well before they were a couple was their ability to communicate.

And suddenly and abruptly, that was gone, and we were left with this. But now Tim gets to dictate that they weren’t communicating and decide they can no longer be together.

He thinks his reasoning is selfless, while Lucy likely feels selfish.

It means they don’t get to work through things together and confront whatever issues Tim faces as a team, which is how she likes to approach life.

It’s not them united against a problem; it’s Tim alone.

To add insult to injury, Tamara is moving out and moving on, which may even trigger some abandonment issues for Lucy.

Related: Will Trent Review: We Are Family

She has some things she likely needs to unpack for herself as well, as she’s someone who seems like she’s not prepared to be alone.

She lost Jackson and found Tamara shortly after, and she got to direct all of her love and attention to this young woman. She moved into her home so Jackson’s absence didn’t haunt her.

And she was barely out of her relationship with Chris before she dove right into things with Tim.

Now, she’s facing Tamara leaving her, and Tim has just broken things off with her to work on himself because he doesn’t feel worthy of her.

But it’s funny how his not feeling worthy could extend to her feeling alone. She doesn’t have anyone to lean on.

What happens when your best friend, confidant, and biggest supporter is also the man you love who just dumped you?

Lucy has also had a tough go of it recently, as it’s feeling as if she’s constantly losing, whether it’s the detective exam, nearly her life, or Tim and Tamara.

Melissa O’Neil was magical throughout this hour. Her steely resolve with Ray was such a great scene, and the anger fueled her when she confronted Tim about it.

Her demand that he tell her what was happening was enough to give you chills. We’re so accustomed to seeing her so positive and even-tempered that the fiery, frustrated side of her was new territory.

She was messy, angry, and emotional in a very intriguing way, which makes me want to unpack even more about Lucy than we’ve seen thus far.

And that frustration translated well as she went from confusion to frustration to disbelief, anger, and heartbreak when Tim broke things off with her.

All those emotions were beautifully displayed across her face during that final scene with Tim.

O’Neil and Winter have such fantastic chemistry and clearly know how to play off one another so well that they could make something so irritating and painful as their breakup into something really beautiful that hurts so good.

Tim: Lucy, I’ve been lying to myself for a long time. That’s clear to me now, and I can’t just go back to way things were, not right now. Maybe never.
Lucy: Wait, are you breaking up with me?
Tim: I’m sorry.
Lucy: You know, you don’t get to do that. You don’t get to lie to me and then use that as an excuse to leave me. That’s not okay. What you’re doing is not okay.
Tim: I know. You, you are an incredible person. No, you’re incredible. You deserve so much better.
Lucy: Oh my God.
Tim: That’s why I’m walking away.
Lucy: Don’t do this; why are you doing this? Why are you doing this?
Tim: I’m sorry.

But alas, Chenford is kaput for now. But I’m okay with putting an asterisk in that. How about you?

Over to you, Rookie Fanatics. How did you feel about this episode? Are you upset about the Chenford breakup? Is this the last of Ray? Sound off below!

You can watch The Rookie on ABC and stream it the following day on Hulu!

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is an insomniac who spends late nights and early mornings binge-watching way too many shows and binge-drinking way too much tea. Her eclectic taste makes her an unpredictable viewer with an appreciation for complex characters, diverse representation, dynamic duos, compelling stories, and guilty pleasures. You’ll definitely find her obsessively live-tweeting, waxing poetic, and chatting up fellow Fanatics and readers. Follow her on X.

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