The build up for this week’s Blue Bloods has been big for CBS. The network even pulled lead morning anchor, Norah O’Donnell, off her hard news detail for a stint in the evening drama. Even the Reagan family succumbs to stargazing when a leading man makes a “ride along” with Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) part of his research for a role. He discovers the reality of detective work, while Danny discovers his more personal secret. Frank decides to make direct supervision a priority, but comes to realize that some secrets have a sacred root.
Grand Central Station makes a great location for a film shoot, and that’s just where this story opens, as current leading man of the moment, Russell Burke (Marc Blucas) is researching for a role in police story by immersing himself in detective work as arrive, along with Detective Danny Reagan and his partner, Detective Baez (Marisa Ramirez). He can’t disguise his bravado talking on the morning show circuit, and he can’t seem to listen to Danny either, when he’s warned to stay in the car, and nearly gets popped by a neighborhood hood. The nabbed kid is way more pumped about his celebrity encounter than he is bothered by problems with a criminal record. The police station falls under the star craze, too, and the ladies of the Reagan family can’t help dropping in for a personal visit with the visitor. Only the drug dog seems to stay on duty, alerting when the smell of medical marijuana from the actor’s pocket alerts him. Danny gets so disgusted that he suggests perhaps some older men on the force would be better “in character” for the purpose of filmmaking. “I just grind,” he explains. Frank (Tom Selleck) is alarmed that a poll reveals the frontline officers don’t sense much connection or empathy from the supervisory level. In his usual late-night chats with Henry (Len Cariou), he asks what the remedy is. “You’re looking for love in the wrong places,” comes the reply, but Frank thinks a touch of hands-on intervention may do the trick, so he initiates some pop in training for his troops.
Jamie (Will Estes) and Eddie (Vanessa Ray) are plagued by calls from a seductive tenant about a flasher who happens to be “four down” and in a different building, in his own apartment. When Danny gets a call from Russell that he’s been stabbed, Detective Reagan ties the incident to cases of a tourist killing in the park, recruiting Russell to help identify the perpetrator. Frank drops in on Sgt. Renzulli (Nicholas Turturro) before he readies his late-night watch, and calls out a few on the force who don’t have proper equipment on hand for their work, such as flashlights left in the locker. He is more disturbed when he sees officers from another precinct seeming gossiping by the docks instead of being on post for their duty. He sees that memo books have been “scratched” by their man in charge, Lt. Eastman, who is rumored to be frequenting a nearby “cop bar” himself. Danny correlates the evidence between Berke’s assault and the victims in the park, revealing that Russell may be concealing his true sexual preference. Berke describes that everyone has three lifestyles, “public, private, and secret,” which Danny decries, but at least appreciates, in Berke’s situation. Danny protects Berke’s secret to his own supervisor, and removes a treasured but Hollywood-related inscription on a watch to confirm the perpetrator’s involvement– so much for precious trinkets. “Who died and left you Ellen DeGeneres,” quips the sergeant.
When Lt. Eastman (Tom Kemp) seems never to be available, Frank decides to pay a visit himself to the home. He discovers that Eastman’s wife is in her last days from Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS, and he is spending every last moment and every last cent to be at her side. Frank offers a thoughtful greeting at her bedside, and leaves with a new understanding of loyalty from the men who “stuck their neck out” for their boss. Russell Burke waits in the park, just as a call comes in that the alleged perpetrator has been caught. He tries to guide Danny to his location, but will not let the killer escape. Engaging in a real life knife fight, Berke takes down the criminal before Danny takes him in. Danny tells Berke to disappear before the swarm starts. “You are a real detective,” Burke assures him. The family dinner discussion, a Blue Bloods fixture, is swept up in the Hollywood touch of the week, too. As an aside, the complaining tenant and the flasher settle on a mediation over wine, much to the responding officers’ relief.
The final scene has the Commissioner dropping into that friendly cop bar, and buying a round for the officers, ready to shake his hand as a friend, while Bruce Springsteen sings “We take care of our own,” as all fades to black. Being the boss has to be a mix of the sensitive, and the stern, and respect must be earned.