The Rookie “The List” Review: All About Chenford’s First Date

The Rookie “The List” Spoilers Ahead

Chenford date in The Rookie "The List"

The Rookie Season 5, Episode 10, “The List,” is in every way Lucy Chen and Tim Bradford’s episode. Yes, there are some incredibly memorable arcs for our other favorite duos (one well worth its separate scene breakdown), but since we’ve all waited with bated breath for the first date to end all first dates, excavating every infinitesimal detail is of utmost importance.

What we’ve seen for five years has been one of the most deliciously organic slow burns on network television—so much so that until Season 2, Episode 11, I wasn’t even entirely on board. It was especially hard to believe that there were feelings between the two, let alone have faith that the series would go through. And yet, after that moment when their on-field partnership was fortified through a form of trust that’s exceedingly hard to find, there was no going back for us. Chenford are it for each other—they’re each other’s person, forged with steel and fire and an ease that cannot be replicated with anyone else.

Chenford’s First Date

Chenford's first date in The Rookie "The List"

The best thing about Chenford’s first date is that they’re both nervous about it. Lucy and Tim aren’t alike—she’s fire and warmth; he’s melting ice. She’s sunshine, and he’s the grump with softer edges reserved only for her. That’s why the two of them mutually posing signs of nervousness are why they’re so perfect for each other because it’s a clear showcase of the detail that this is a big deal. This first date differs from every other one they’ve been on because this is the first time they’re taking a tremendous step with the person who’s their true equal in all the ways that matter.

This is the first date neither could mess up because their partnership is the most significant relationship in their lives, which Lucy even confirmed in Season 5, Episode 9, “Take Back.” As different as they are, they’re entirely on the same page regarding their relationship. They’re each other’s favorite company and hardest goodbye, and though the second hasn’t been spoken aloud yet, it’s what we’ve seen through each of their interactions since that vicious day Lucy was buried alive.

The mere thought of losing her was the worst agony Tim lived through, and every time she found herself concerned for him in any situation, it pained her to no end. For seasons, Melissa O’Neil and Eric Winter have been showing us how much the two care for each other, and during their first date, we watched those emotions come to light unmistakably in the most awkward, natural way because that’s exactly how it would be for people in their position. The undercover kiss might not have been real, but it was proof of the detail that they’re electric together—in the words of Miss Swift, “uh oh, I’m falling in love…”

Lucy Chen and Tim Bradford Chenford kiss in The Rookie 5x10

It’s why, in the heat of their awkwardness, Lucy standing her ground and vocalizing that he isn’t going to be seeing her naked just yet is so perfect because it further authenticates why all of this is so real. For Tim and with him, she wants to get everything right, and through their first real kiss, there’s a lingering tenderness that solidifies the utter contentment dancing alongside them. 

Despite the nerves and heightened emotions, the mitigation they feel together is still unlike anything else. And this time, there are no nerves, no hesitations or questioning. This is real—this is their time, and leaning forward to cement the weight of his joy is Tim’s most effortless choice in The Rookie’s “The List” because he doesn’t have to think about it anymore. It’s natural, it’s raw, it’s poignant, and it’s so achingly adorable it makes your heart squeeze a little. Or a whole lot. This kiss is the first of many lingering moments that’ll quietly fortify the depths of their adoration while continuing to illuminate why they’re so wholly fitted to be each other’s safe place.

Now streaming on Hulu: What are your thoughts on Chenford’s first date in The Rookie’s “The List?” Let us know in the comments below.


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