Eric Winter Discusses The Future of Tim and Lucy on ‘The Rookie’: Unveiling Current Struggles and Teasing What Lies Ahead

This week on “The Rookie,” Sergeant Tim Bradford, portrayed by Eric Winter, confronted the ghosts of his past as his tumultuous history with the elusive Ray Watkins, played by guest star David Dastmalchian, unraveled.

In a fortunate turn of events, Tim refrained from fulfilling an old military vow to eliminate Ray. Additionally, Ray’s attempt to sabotage Tim’s career by unveiling a deceitful after-action report filed by Tim and Mark Greer failed. Despite Ray’s truthful allegations, Tim’s fabricated narrative was accepted, discrediting Ray’s account as mere retaliation.

On a more personal note, Tim’s relationship with Lucy took a dramatic turn. Initially, he kept her in the dark about his predicaments, later resorting to falsehoods with his superiors. Following a reprimand from Sergeant Grey, Tim made the difficult decision to end things with Lucy outside the precinct, expressing doubt about returning to their former state of affairs. Lucy’s reaction swiftly shifted to incredulity, upset by Tim’s deceit and its use as justification for their separation.

TVLine had the opportunity to discuss this intricate plot with Eric Winter, delving into the significant upheavals in Tim’s life and how these events are set to profoundly affect the experienced officer’s perspective.

TVLINE | Take us inside Tim’s mindset as he’s pulling away from Lucy at the end there….
I think his mindset is he has spiraled. Tim has lost a bit of who he is. He’s sort of accepting but not fully accepting the repercussions of where his his past has landed him. And I think that in typical Tim fashion, he’s still trying to protect those around him, even from himself. So, Tim might think he’s doing good even though it’s very hurtful.

TVLINE | In the wake of these events, are we going to get a humbled Tim moving forward?
You’re going to get Tim that has been humbled, for sure. He still asserts himself when he needs to, and still steps up at the right moments, but he has been humbled both in his personal life and in the way he’s approaching things going forward.

TVLINE | He’ll be getting disciplined by Metro?
Yeah, it’s not going to be easy for him.

TVLINE | He’s not going to put on meter maid duty or anything, right? A step above?
[Laughs] Yes, a step above.

TVLINE | At the end of the day, whether it’s later this season or sometime next, what will it take for Tim to feel better about himself enough to reach back out to Lucy and revisit what they were and what they maybe could still be?
That’s a great question…. I think it’s going to take some time figuring out who he is. Accepting his failures. Therapy. It’s going to take Tim doing things that he has never been comfortable doing before in order to dig into his past and why he is the way he is. It’s very cliché, I know, but you really have to come to terms with who you are and love yourself before you can go out there and love somebody else and give them your very best.

TVLINE | How did you and Melissa prepare for that break-up scene, because it was so powerful.
Thank you. We have interesting ways of approaching stuff. Melissa likes to talk through things sometimes more than me. I like to sometimes find it in the moment, from my own perspective, and let a lot of emotions come up on the spot. When you’re doing TV, you don’t have a lot of time to totally play and explore; it’s got to be somewhat worked through with each other. I think we came to terms with what we both wanted to accomplish in that scene from our own characters’ perspectives, and then we sort of let it fly.

A lot of raw, raw emotion, raw stuff came out, that we didn’t even anticipate. That’s one of the things that’s great about Melissa and I working together — we trust each other as actors and allow ourselves to just sort of “go” in a scene, even with a little bit of prep. Bill Roe directed it and he always is so gracious with us, especially with that storyline. Everybody wanted to protect it.

TVLINE | That’s great, and I’m excited for you to shift into this next phase of Tim exploring who he is and who he was, and what he can turn himself into at some point down the road.
Absolutely. I’m hoping to get into a lot of that in Season 7 — assuming we get a Season 7! Nothing has been announced, but going into the next season I’m hoping to get into much of that, for Tim and for the Bradford fans that are out there.