Usually, it’s the cops in the Reagan family who are in the line of fire. They weren’t the only ones this time.
Prosecutor Erin (Bridget Moynahan) ended up imperiled in Friday’s (Oct. 11) CBS episode of “Blue Bloods.” Written by series co-executive producer Siobhan Byrne O’Connor, “To Protect and Serve” set the danger somewhere it wouldn’t be expected — a courtroom.
The hour began with Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) and Maria (Marisa Ramirez) investigating a broad-daylight murder, with the only witness the victim’s young son Michael (a very natural, wrenching performance by Jake Miller, playing off a commendably sensitive Wahlberg). Asked if he had relatives he could stay with, the boy said, “My mom. But I don’t want to go home just yet. I just want to stay with him [the slain father].”
Then it was off to court, where Erin ran into her fellow-lawyer ex Jack (Peter Hermann, the real-life husband of Mariska Hargitay) and wasn’t thrilled he’d gotten their daughter Nicky (Sami Gayle) concert tickets. Erin already had gotten her the tickets as “a surprise,” prompting her former spouse to ask testily for a list of “Things Jack Could Do Right.”
On foot patrol, Jamie (Will Estes) was teasing Eddie (Vanessa Ray) about her possible date when they saw a sudden collision with a moving van turn a mother and son’s car over on its side. Jamie smashed a window to get the terrified youngster out.
A lieutenant showed up and ordered Jamie to prepare the accident report, though the child wanted the comforting Jamie to go to the hospital with him. Jamie then got in the ambulance, with the commander warning him, “You leave here, you disobey a lawful order. I’ll have your shield.” And Jamie left anyway.
Danny and Maria used the murder victim’s son’s description to identify the suspect, Delgado (Armando Riesco) … who supposedly was still in prison for another homicide. But Maria said that according to records she was looking at, “He literally just disappeared from the system.”
After Frank’s (Tom Selleck) aides Garrett (Gregory Jbara) and Baker (Abigail Hawk) prepped him for a broadcast debate on civil liberties, he met with two Homeland Security agents (Kevin Kilner and Ron Canada) who had their own interest in Delgado. He was an informant for them on a terrorism-funding drug ring, and they wanted Frank to order Danny to “back off.”
Instead, Frank covertly gave Danny information on tracking Delgado, adding that Danny should come up with an alibi to “figure out how you found that out.”
Jamie was indeed brought up on charges of disobeying an order, and though police chief Dino (John Ventimiglia) offered to “make this go away,” Frank refused, wanting to appear by-the-book. At the same time, though, Frank showed he was in no hurry to help Homeland Security in protecting Delgado … as was Danny, who sought Erin’s assistance on the legal front.
Danny found his man by tailing one of the federal agents, who was none too happy to see Delgado being arrested. Following Erin’s advice, Danny informed the agent that the collar took place “in my jurisdiction. So you, my friend, can kiss my New York a**.”
Jamie’s suspension got big play in the city’s tabloids — his being the police commissioner’s son and all — but Frank also had to deal with the feds’ anger about their informant being taken into custody. Yet another twist lay in wait for the Reagans: Jack was appointed to represent the informant, which didn’t please Erin.
Danny still wanted to know why someone would want to kill the murdered man, and Michael revealed his slain dad was a dockworker who’d discovered cocaine inside a damaged container. Michael then looked at a police lineup, and he immediately pointed out Delgado as “the guy who shot my father.”
Jack tried to dismiss the integrity of the identification because of the witness’ age, then accused Erin of opposing him for more than professional reasons, given their recent argument over Nicky.
Jamie went to a bar and met Eddie, who’d had less of a second date than a request to meet her suitor for a late rendezvous at his place — an invitation she turned down. Jamie took the occasion to assure her he’d made it clear she had no role in his disobeying the lieutenant, and he explained that to him, the young accident victim’s view of cops was “more important than protocol.”
Then, Jamie added that “sometimes it helps” to have the last name Reagan as a New York cop, but “sometimes it puts a target on your back.” And Eddie was impressed that he wouldn’t seek his father’s help in getting him out of “trouble I got myself into.”
Danny visibly didn’t like being grilled by Jack on the witness stand, and the judge ultimately refused to dismiss Michael’s identification of Delgado — who then grabbed a security guard’s gun as he was being taken back into custody and yelled, “Don’t anybody move!”
Erin tried to calm him down — and got a bullet in the shoulder for her efforts, with Jack rushing to her aid.
Frank received word of the quickly intensifying situation while participating in the debate, then baffled Garrett — given Erin’s involvement — by insisting to go back to One Police Plaza instead of the courthouse. Upon arriving there, Frank learned the hostage-holding suspect would talk only to Danny.
Jack quietly promised he’d get the wounded Erin out of their courtroom prison, and she replied, “Don’t be heroic.” Delgado demanded $200,000 and a flight to the Dominican Republic, but Danny insisted via phone on one hostage being released first. Delgado countered that if his requests weren’t met quickly, he’d start killing the hostages, “starting with your sister.”
Through a pinhole camera snuck into the courtroom, police could monitor what was happening, so Frank could see that Erin was wounded. Danny called Delgado back to say the demands were being met, but his trying to get Erin freed went nowhere. “She’s the most valuable hostage I have,” he was told.
Danny insisted on speaking to Erin, who nervously said, “Tell Dad I’m OK.” Jack then offered himself as a replacement hostage, only to be pistol-whipped by Delgado, who ordered Erin outside with his weapon literally at her head.
The intended getaway car arrived with Danny behind the wheel, giving Erin a glimmer of hope. Showing himself to be unarmed, Danny asked Delgado again to release Erin, even getting on his knees to plead for her freedom. And still watching from a distance, Frank audibly asked, “Please don’t hurt my family.”
Danny made exactly the same request — just as he reached for a gun concealed in one of the car’s wheel wells and Erin dropped herself to the pavement. And down went Delgado from the gunshot fired by Danny, who raced over to Erin as Frank let out a heavy sigh of relief.
Not even an episode so tense could preclude the traditional “Blue Bloods” family-dinner scene. “We’ve got Erin dodging bullets and Jamie telling off his bosses,” patriarch Henry (Len Cariou) declared. “it’s been a banner week for the family business.”
It so happened Frank also had been a Reagan rebel, since he admitted he once “went two weeks without pay for telling the chief to stick it where the sun don’t shine.” Henry added he’d gotten “two days’ suspension for kicking a rapist in the nuts.” And not to be outdone, Danny said he’d earned a 20-day suspension “for calling out a corrupt judge in open court.”
Frank reflected, while looking straight at Jamie, “Sometimes, you have to follow your heart, even if you do break the rules.”
The extra meaning of “Please don’t hurt my family” also was revealed at the table: It was Reagan code for “Hit the ground,” Danny explained. Erin said Frank had invented it, but Frank noted it came from Henry. “We never actually had to use it,” Henry noted, and Frank expressed the hope the Reagans never would have to again.
Returning to her own home, Erin found Jack waiting with a bouquet of roses, wanting to ensure that she was OK. “There’s nothing I regret more than letting you go, and I have never told you that,” he said. She thanked him, telling him she was glad he’d been with her in their moment of crisis — and they kissed, though she asked, “What are we doing?” And he followed her inside.
Frank wanted to know if he and Jamie were “square” regarding the suspension, and Jamie confirmed they were, though he said he’d “do exactly the same thing” again. The still-suspended Jamie then invited his dad to go see “the new Tom Hanks movie” … perfect timing, considering Hanks’ “Captain Phillips” also opened Friday.
“I’d love to,” Frank replied with a smile, “but some of us have to go to work in the morning.”