‘The Rookie’: Eric Winter Says Tim Has to ‘Earn’ Lucy’s Trust Back, Plus His Fave Chenford Scenes (VIDEO)

Chenford fans, Eric Winter knows The Rookie Season 6 was a rough one for the couple.

Just after the midway mark of the season, in “Secrets and Lies,” Tim (Winter) broke up with Lucy (Melissa O’Neil) after his past coming back to haunt him led to him lying to her then feeling like he “betrayed everything I thought was right about myself,” as he put it. “You deserve so much better. That’s why I’m walking away,” he said.

“I always saw the breakup as a bit of a Ross and Rachel from Friends. It was like this couple that is at the moment of the best relationship ever and then things fall apart and they have to figure it out,” Winter tells TV Insider in the video above. “And I think that’s one of the beauties. I know fans went berserk and I totally get it. I saw it coming, but not to the level that it went.”

Tim and Lucy are still broken up at the end of Season 6, though they do share moments in the elevator in each of the last two episodes. Tim’s not necessarily hopeful about their future, but he hasn’t given up on them either.

“I think it’s very clear how much Tim appreciates Lucy and cares about Lucy. And I think in his mind—this is the way I see it—he’s working on himself, he’s in therapy,” says Winter. “He’s trying to get better and I think care about himself a lot more so that he can give more to that relationship. I don’t think in his mind it’s over. I don’t think in his mind it’s done. I think it’s just not now, not until I’m stable to give you the best version. I don’t know if he sees it as hope. I don’t know if he’s there, but I don’t think he sees it as it’s gone.”

And the star doesn’t think fans need to worry about new love interests. “I’d be surprised” if that happened, he admits. “I don’t think Tim is in a place where he’s going to run off into something right now that I could think of. And I think same with her. I think they’re both recovering from that whirlwind sort of romance and then going, holy crap, Tim lost himself and he needs to figure out who he is first before I think he can even think about dating anyone, let alone Lucy. But I think his mind is still Lucy at the forefront, for sure.”

Watch the full video interview above for more, including Winter’s favorite Chenford’s scenes from before and after they got together and what he’s hoping to explore with them in Season 7. Plus, read here for more from Winter about Tim’s journey in Season 6 and looking ahead.

The Rookie, Season 7, Midseason, ABC