Week to week, the Reagan clan on Blue Bloods provide a powerful demonstration of love and faith in action, and the sacrifices made to preserve both. In this week’s fifth episode of Season 4, pivotal situations play out that thrust members of the family into the center of crisis, with people on the edge with both forces. What will be their choices when there is no choice?
Erin (Bridget Moynahan) and daughter, Nicky (Sami Gayle) are going over rules for proper behavior with Grandpa while mom is away for a conference, with Nicky countering that she dreams of the day when she can stay alone in those times. Neither can shake the impression of a young girl (Makenna Barrett) and her supposed parent at another table, and they reminisce on the fleeting years of childhood. When the waitress finds that the child has written a plea of “Help me,” on a coloring page, Erin springs into protector and prosecutor modes, in search of the identity of the man with her. Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) arrives to the rescue, taking a while to decipher the forcible pull that suggests the relationship is not fatherly. Danny and Maria (Marisa Ramirez) trace the markings of the girls karate clothes to reveal the parents. The parents are petrified with the presence of police, and Danny and Maria arrange a meeting on non-conspicuous grounds to prompt them to push beyond their fear and cooperate.
Jamie (Will Estes) and partner, Eddie (Vanessa Ray) are providing some pretty routine on-site training at a jewelry store, disappointing a guard (Brian Patrick Faherty), who hoped to demonstrate his weapon prowess. Frank (Tom Selleck) is grappling with his own unsavory situation, learning that his police chaplain, Father Markham (Frank Wood), has racked up four instances of DUI violations in a month. Wood’s performance is just one of the memorable and compelling portrayals in this episode. Frank makes his own visit to the confessional, confronting Father’s problem head on, before realizing that a young officer’s death may be a direct tie to the chaplain’s issues, provoking a look back to the days of 9/11,when Father Markham opened his church has a sanctuary, and selflessly served every officer in whatever capacity he could, unlike issues today, that he describes as being solved with “a pill” and a diagnosis, rather than with divine support. Maria him and Danny discover that the clock is running for little Lottie’s safe return, as she was kidnapped two days earlier, with demands of returning Croatian prisoners as part of a trade-off. Jamie and Eddie are thrown completely off guard when a customer, Grady, (Daniel Eric Gold) comes completely unhinged when denied a refund for a custom engagement ring, returned by his spurning ex-fiancée. Gold’s is another captivating crafting of a character on the brink. Jamie utilizes his legal know-how to buy time and discover the root of the issues, which are only made more painful because of the planned trip to Africa for a water project, prompting the plea for the refund on the ring. After negotiating safe release of Eddie and the store employees, Jamie pulls his weapon and arrests Grady, but later goes to Erin to request leniency, however possible, for him, negating Grady’s contention that he “didn’t give a damn,” and in fact, showed peculiar compassion. Danny directs the responses when the call comes for the exchange of Lottie, and he and Maria devise a plan to have officers as the Croatian stand ins. The captor goes deep in his questions about Croatia, so Danny corners him in a takedown. Not much shooting is required, because a truck finishes the job when the perpetrator backs into the street.
The family discusses a fishing getaway, and even Danny opts to go, despite having “the attention span of a gnat” according to his dad. Erin tells Jamie that Grady has hung himself at Rikers, and his face reflects the shock. Sometimes, the best interventions cannot save. The dinner table discussion turns to matters of faith not being about scores or taking sides, but personal assurance, as in the dreams Danny explains he has in church. Garrett (Gregory Jbara) escorts Jamie on a special mission per “helping his dad” to “lift someone up.” He finds himself a bit lost in the presence of Father Markham, until the priest invites him for a cup of coffee, “really good” coffee, as the story resonates with familiar Blue Bloods themes of redemption, faith, and the power of genuine human connection.