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The Bradford Cold Open That The Rookie Fans Can't Help But Love

One of the most intriguing and vital aspects of ABC's "The Rookie" is the training officers or TOs. They TOs shape and mold their rookies to become the best cops they can be. They find their strengths and weaknesses and help the new officers use them to their benefit. One of the more dynamic of the TOs is Officer Tim Bradford (Eric Winter).

Bradford is a tough and dedicated officer who serves as the TO for Officer Lucy Chen (Melissa O'Neil). When viewers first get to know Bradford, he is abrasive and harsh, a character very easy to dislike. However, as the series moves forward and audiences learn more about the officer, his depth makes him easily one of the most likable characters in the series. His father was an abusive man and alleged murderer, and his ex-wife is a former narcotics officer turned addict whom he continues to support despite his stern demeanor.

Even though Bradford is hard on Chen, he ultimately is precisely what the bright-eyed and sometimes naïve officer needs to become her best self. The two of them prove to be a great team, and you repeatedly find yourself rooting for Bradford. That is never more obvious than during an opening scene in an early season of "The Rookie."

Bradford is a cop's cop

Officer Tim Bradford is the quintessential cop. He is hard on crime and soft on no one, much the opposite of the show's main protagonist. His life seems to revolve around the job — even when he is off work. Nothing gets in the way of protecting the city, not even a football game. Or maybe, the job gets in the way of the football game? Either way, "The Rookie" Season 2, Episode 7, "Safety," gives us the best cold open in the series up to that point.

The episode opens with Bradford watching a Rams game when it's interrupted by a high-speed pursuit nearing his home. He walks outside, calls in overtime, gets in his truck, puts his seatbelt on, backs into the street, and blocks the pursuit. Bradford points his gun out the driver's side window and talks the criminal out of the vehicle. Once officers have the suspect, he casually pulls back into his driveway and goes back to his game. You can watch the fantastic scene on the ABC YouTube channel now. While some scenes of "The Rookie" can be a little hard to watch, the writers are very good at giving other scenes a little levity to break up the tension. 

Fans called this Bradford scene the best cold open of the show, and the scene further endeared the character to viewers. Reddit user u/daven1985 said, "I loved that scene. I remember thinking it was going to go bad like he pulls out and gets slammed into. But was just so awesome. At first I hated Bradford, but he has been shown as such a great character." While "The Rookie" is only loosely based on a true story, we hope this scene is one of the actual events.