As the all-time leader in Friday night viewers, Blue Bloods is a drama that definitely plays on emotion, both in family ties, and fending for justice. This week’s first episode for Season 4 dealt with a terrible loss and tough legal dilemmas, but justice still was served.
The story opens to Officer Jamie Reagan (Will Estes) receiving an unexpected introduction to his new partner, Eddie (Vanessa Ray), who not only lacks testosterone, but also the expected experience on the street that the youngest Reagan on the force is accustomed to expecting. Eddie is fresh from the police Academy, but she’s more than ready to roll, as she takes the wheel with a vengeance, as the two are called to cover a robbery and find a female officer down. In the dead of night, few witnesses are around, and even fewer willing to talk. Frank (Tom Selleck) receives word at the hospital that the officer, Collins, has died, and he is forced to deliver the terrible news that no family of a police officer wants to receive. He assertively tells his men, including his own sons, to “get this son of a bitch.” Detective Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg) and partner, Detective Maria Baez (Marisa Ramirez) discover the name of Angelo Reed (Malcolm Goodwin) being circulated widely, and start to close in on him, taking him down in the train station as he takes cover behind a young mom with a stroller. An elderly witness, Mrs. Caruso (Sylvia Cauders) is “pretty sure” Angelo is the right collar, but she is not cross examination worthy in the eyes of Chief Bureau prosecutor, Erin Reagan (Bridget Moynahan), especially because she only identifies Reed after Detective Reagan coaxes her through a process of elimination. Erin insists to her brother that this is a matter of real world justice, and not her won-loss record, but he bristles. Reed is released, a bitter pill for any Reagan to swallow, especially considering the fate of their elder brother, Joe. The chemistry between Wahlberg and Ramirez is authentic and rings true on-screen, and the addition of John Ventamiglia as Dino Arbogast, the Department Chief, adds a refreshing, somewhat contentious, dynamic for the Commissioner’s staff.
Reagan and Baez decide to seek out the phantom companion of Reed, Fabrizio, for a shakedown. They decide to have “discussion” with Fabrizio’s drug dealer, who directs them to some storage buildings, and the man they want to see, but their subject makes a very poor decision to reach for his gun at the worst possible time, and he is shot and killed before surrendering any information. When Reed rumbles about police misconduct surrounding death threats, the Commissioner orders a police car assigned to him for protection, manned by none other than his own son, Jamie, who grudgingly concedes, “do what you gotta do,” taking the post with his new partner. Erin is chastised even by her boss for going the wrong way in this case, regardless of the lack of evidence, feeling crushing pressure from all sides, to “fix this.” There is definitely chemistry between Jamie and Eddie, as they trade criminal philosophies while guarding their despised charge, even to go buy cigarettes. The sound of clanking dishes is deafening at the Reagan family dinner table, with none of the usual banter. The somber mood following the Collins funeral only feeds the family feud between police officer and prosecutor proper procedure. Even Pops (Len Cariou) and Danny’s wife, Linda (Amy Carlson) resort to taking sides. Having drinks with her dad, Erin seeks his wisdom. He simply asks, “Are you?” after describing how Danny is doing his best to offer justice to the fallen officer’s family. When Jamie and Eddie are confronted by Collins’ partner, ready to deliver justice his own way one night, Jamie insists they will have to “go through” him and Eddie to get to Angelo.
Danny and Erin each confront coming at each other over the case, and Erin devises a way of diverting Reed’s focus, offering him a lesser plea deal, without ever negating the truth of his written confession. While she and Danny pretend to argue over the “fake” flipping on Angelo, causing him to reject his “deal,” and opening the door to arrest him for first-degree murder, as Erin reminds him he will “die in prison.” Frank has an “off the books” meeting with his new Department Chief, warning him of the consequences of withholding information the next time an issue arises. Jamie offers a very meaningful smile to Eddie as she departs in her fast car, leading any Blue Bloods fan to feel there is more to come, than just patrol time for this pair! The family meets for a time of remembering, a toast to Officer Collins, the fallen, “and to Joe,” as is the scene goes to black before the credits of a very satisfying season opener.