This week’s seventh Blue Bloods episode of Season 4, “Drawing Dead,” has some of the tastiest dialogue and superb scenes between familiar adversaries, and proves that being the best of police officers doesn’t necessarily preclude a man from making poor choices. No person is free of human frailty, not even the eldest Reagan, and heroes come in all forms.
When a wealthy, Wall Street sort of victim, Teddy, is found dead in a swanky hotel, Danny and Maria (Donnie Wahlberg and Marisa Ramirez) first look to backstabbing business dealings as the cause, while Jamie (Will Estes) and Eddie (Vanessa Ray) are called to a gang-rife street scene, where an officer must contend with a life altering decision made in a split second. In pursuit at the scene, Officer Montero (Elliott Villar) asks a young suspect, Marcus Green (JJ Wynder) to stop, when he sees what he feels certain is a gun as the youth turns and reaches. He fires, shooting the youth, and sparking near instantaneous riot in the streets. Jamie calls for the bus and swift officer backup to restore calm. Danny and Maria begin investigating a partner dispute at Teddy’s firm. His boss, Phillips (Matthew Humphreys) contends that the only dustup was over adding a new partner, but the detectives probe further. The neighborhood public outcry against police intrusion and lack of interest in the Clinton street residents is already raging, and Frank (Tom Selleck) and Mayor, Carter Poole (David Ramsey) meet to make strategies for restoring a sense of safety, but Carter makes it clear that the price Officer Montero make pay is murder. They determine to make a united front for the protection of all citizens, and a rightful outcome in the investigation.
Even looking straight into the eyes of potential prosecutor, Erin (Bridget Moynahan), Montero sticks to his story, despite no gun being found at the scene, and his record, including a community service award, lends credibility. Marcus Green has a history of weapons offenses. Reagan and Baez aren’t making much headway, until Danny goes to see a valued informant, Gary (Frank Whaley), former cop turned high-stakes bookie, who divulges that Teddy played himself into a “7-figure hole” with his gambling. Frank is none too happy that Carter publicly declares a “disturbing and established trend of police brutality” in the Clinton street neighborhood, but he keeps his mouth shut. When Danny tries to engage the big bucks poker host, Damiri (Haez Sleiman), he gets sassed, “a smart player knows when to walk away,” and perhaps regrets poking a little too far, as it comes to light that Grandpa Henry (Len Cariou) is one of the names in the infamous “black book.” Dinner becomes tense, as the younger Reagan’s debate the dilemma that a uniform doesn’t give permission to do wrong, while grandpa says he “doesn’t need a lecture,” and not to sit in judgment. Danny asks his dad if family always comes first, over police protocol, and Frank says “family first.” Erin has her own problem, coming to dad, confessing she’s “not sure I can get their on my own,” in proving the case for Montero. Frank goes on his own mission to the store of Marta, brilliantly portrayed by Aida Turturro. He validates her safety concerns, saying the lack of protection is “unacceptable,” before prompting her that if she picked up the gun, unintentionally trying to assist in the case, versus hiding the gun, obstructing the case for the officer, those would be very different matters. She offers up a wrapped up weapon. Danny implores Gary to get the black book from Damiri, and he promises to come through. This is another of the standout scenes in the episode, as the unspoken understanding of the thin line between being on the right side or the wrong in life is poignantly portrayed. Selleck and Ramsey share another fine scene, in which Carter Poole insists Frank stand up, sensing a change in respect since he has become wheelchair-bound. The Commissioner confirms completely that it is Poole who has the respect and authority of the people. When a call between Teddy and Phillips on the day of his death is uncovered, Baez and Reagan have enough to move in, but find Damiri dead, and Gary with the black book in his mouth, shrouded in a gun barrel, with his neck cut. Danny is devastated.
Pops confesses to Frank that he wanted in on just one big stakes game, with real players and real money, in his case, $15,000. That temptation led to his name being included in a group that could have permanently damaged the Reagan reputation. In the glow of that familiar late-night Blue Bloods lamp, Frank inquires about the outcome of that game. Henry will only say that The Police Aid Society got a very healthy donation that year. Cameras fade to black and credits roll.