ABC's The Rookie centers around John Nolan, a forty-year-old newbie-cop who moves to L.A. for a fresh start.
As interesting as Nolan's storyline can be, many fans of the series have found themselves drawn to a component of the show that came much more naturally than intended: the relationship between Lucy Chen and her training officer, Tim Bradford.
Viewers have found themselves split on just what "Tucy" or "Chenford's" relationship should ultimately be.
Should they keep the close friendship they've developed over their time training together? Or, when Tim is no longer Lucy's superior, should they become something more?
An overwhelming amount of fans are hoping for the latter.
Although the showrunner has warned that Tim and Lucy pursuing a romance would be a "huge line to cross," I believe not crossing the line would do more harm than good.
The reason for the show's hesitance to put the two together in the first place, is due to the failed romance between Lucy and Nolan on The Rookie Season 1.
The relationship, which didn't appeal to most viewers, came to an end rather abruptly. Lucy was warned that if she dated another cop she'd be "unfairly tagged" by her fellow officers, leading to Lucy and Nolan's breakup.
The keyword here is "unfairly."
Should Lucy Chen, a strong and kickass woman, not date someone she has genuine feelings for because some men in her department might not respect her for it?
Tim's ex-wife was a cop, but because of his gender, no one seemed to think less of him for it.
What kind of message is that sending? That women need to appease the bigots of the world in order to be successful?
While, of course, that's not what The Rookie is trying to say, it doesn't mean it hasn't accidentally implied it.
No one is saying that Tim and Lucy have to be together or the show is sending a bad message. If it doesn't come organically, then a Tucy romance shouldn't happen.
However, the reason why they're not together should have little to do with how the misogynists in the department feel, and everything to do with how Lucy feels.
This woman survived being drugged, beaten, and buried alive by a serial killer. She's been kidnapped twice. She put her job on the line to help Tim and Harper on The Rookie Season 2 Episode 14.
Is it really plausible that she wouldn't stand up to a bunch of sexists that are trying to tell her how to live her life? Sorry, but that's not the Lucy Chen we've come to know and love.
As she's proved over the past two seasons, Lucy cares about doing what's right, not what's easy.
Lucy needs to finish her training and establish her career before she and Tim could ever be anything more than friends. But the groundwork is there, and the important thing is that the chemistry is also there.
In an interview with TV Line, Showrunner Alexi Hawley admitted that there is a certain "intimacy" between them, and it's due to "the magic of chemistry that happens that you just can't know when writing a pilot."
But if you're lucky enough to have two characters that, against all odds, have an undeniable spark, why not take advantage of it?
Sometimes the best relationships find you when you're not looking.
Everyone loves a good "hate to love" romance, and Tim and Lucy didn't start off on the best foot.
While Tim is closed off and cold, Lucy is empathetic and warm. The "opposites attract" dynamic works and works well because they're both the same at their core.
They choose to put others above themselves, and while they don't always agree on the how, they agree on the why.
The relationship between the two is completely different from what the other rookies share with their training officers and people want to know why. What makes Tim and Lucy's connection so different from the others on the show?
More often than not, it's because there's something more than friendship trying to fight its way out.
Watching the relationship between these characters evolve has been one of the most rewarding aspects as a viewer. The bond between them wasn't forged easily, but that's what makes it so unbreakable.
Over the course of The Rookie Season 2, Tim and Lucy started to become each other's person. While they both have close friendships and significant others, whatever's happening between them seems to overpower everything else.
Take The Rookie Season 2 Episode 11, for example. Yes, the whole team was worried about Lucy. However, Tim was the one leading the charge. Tim's emotions were out of control, and there were a few instances where others seemed caught off guard by it.
It could be argued that Tim was so desperate to find Lucy because he felt responsible for her disappearance. But Tim acted overly suspicious of Caleb from the moment he realized Lucy was interested in him.
Is Tim that protective when it comes to all his rookies' potential love interests? Or is Lucy different?
That's a question that The Rookie should look into answering.
The tension is there, whether you like it or not. Some scenes are just so blatantly obvious that not going down a romantic road could be detrimental to the story.
Their lingering stares and newfound intimacy might not be enough to throw them into a full-fledged romance quite yet, but they do need to be addressed in the seasons to come.
When it comes down to it, Tim and Lucy have the most meaningful relationship on the series. Nolan is the protagonist who keeps us entertained, but Tim and Lucy have the viewers' hearts.
They may not be who the series is centered around, but they're the ones fans have found themselves emotionally invested in.
A lot of that credit goes to the brains behind the operation, but it also goes to the actors. Eric Winter and Melissa O'Neil deserve extreme praise for bringing these characters to life as well as they did.
At the end of the day, no matter which route the writers choose to take, we have faith that it'll be in the best interests of the story.
As long as The Rookie continues to emphasize the meaningfulness of Tim and Lucy's connection, they can't go wrong.
It's your turn, TV Fanatics!
What's your opinion on the Tucy/Chenford dynamic? Do you think they should pursue a romance down the line?
Hit the comments section down below and let us know your thoughts!
And don't forget that you can watch The Rookie online, right here at TV Fanatic.
Rachel Foertsch is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.