Blue Bloods‘ latest episode very well could have fallen flat on its face, and landed in a whole lot of hot water for its subject matter. The case of the week centered around the deaths of three high school seniors following the consumption of a new brand of designer drug. While this, in and of itself, is a fairly common plot device among crime dramas, what took this one a little bit above and beyond was its direct ties to the Catholic Church. The students were seniors at a Catholic high school, and considering the recent criticism that has been rained down on the Church for various cover-ups and scandals, as Frank (Selleck) told the Archbishop during his plea to get the school’s headmaster to allow a search of the school’s lockers, it would only look bad if the Church was caught trying to sweep something else under the rug.
In the hands of another show, it could have become a relentless attack on the Church.
With Blue Bloods’ writers at the helm, it was an hour of pretty exceptional television, filled with action, drama, wonderful family scenes (as always), and just enough twists to keep things interesting. The final outcome of the case – the revelation of the murderer, and his or her reasons behind it – only became glaringly obvious in the moments immediately before the reveal, and that was actually really kind of exciting. The writers did a pretty superb job in casting suspicion on several different people, and supplying each and every suspect with a credible motive; the uncertainty surrounding the identity of the murderer was as engaging as anything else in the episode.
That is, except for each moment that Selleck’s Frank took center stage.
With each episode that passes, it’s hard to deny that while the rest of the headliners in the ensemble do receive pretty fair representation in each episode, and do remarkable work, Selleck is the one to watch. The most notable scene in this particular episode was his exchange with granddaughter Nicky (Sami Gayle) as they discussed Nicky’s feelings regarding her relationship with her mother Erin (Bridget Moynahan). The extension of that conversation to the end of the episode, when Nicky, Frank, and Henry (Len Cariou) surprised Erin with her favorite dinner was so unbelievably heartwarming that one could almost forget that this is a show primarily about the ins and outs of everyday work in law enforcement.
Minor frustrations did exist in the episode, however, although the emphasis is on ‘minor.’ The high schoolers were cliché in actions and behavior, and some segments of story directly involving them seemed to be disjointed and randomly re-included. At the end of the episode, everything came together, but in the moment of watching, there was something a little bit ‘off.’ Once again, there was next to no discussion of the Blue Templar storyline – although there was plenty of Danny acting in a most shady manner insofar as his pseudo-flirtatious banter with partner Jackie Curatola (Jennifer Esposito) – and while this is most likely a conscious choice by the writers to keep viewers on the edge of their seats, there’s also the possibility that less obsessive viewers than myself will just forget that the plotline ever existed, and will lose interest.
It is, however, nice to finally have another interesting female character in Curatola, who is intelligent, feisty, and far more fun to watch than either the (blessedly) missing Kelly Davidson (Andrea Roth) or Sydney Davenport (Dylan Moore), regardless of whether or not she may or may not be flirting with a married man. (Not that we get to see much of wife Linda
Once again, Blue Bloods turned out an acceptable hour of television, laced with all of the things that make a good show. With sweeps approaching ever more quickly, I’m looking for the ante to be upped in the next few weeks, and I have the good feeling that this show, and its ever-impressive cast, will deliver.