What happens when a cop shoots to kill, snuffing out a young person's life?
That's a question that cop shows love to ask.
It's been addressed on Blue Bloods before, but Blue Bloods Season 9 Episode 15 still managed to provide a fresh, entertaining take on it.
It was far from Danny's first experience with having to fire his weapon, and it stood in marked contrast to Officer Green's desire to kill himself after an accidental shooting on Blue Bloods Season 9 Episode 14.
Danny had the maturity to understand that shooting suspects comes with the territory and that there was nothing he could say to ease the mother's pain -- or his own.
His struggle with guilt was even more fascinating because he knew the shooting was justified as well as he knew that he'd killed someone not much older than his son.
Baez: How are you holding up?
Danny: It's not my first shoot.
Baez: The kid was young, that's all.
Danny: He tried to stab me!
Baez: No one's saying it's not a clean shoot.
Danny: Then what are we talking about?
That was an unspoken subtext to all of this throughout the hour, and the only thing that disappointed me was that there were no Sean/Danny scenes to drive home the point.
Sean's been rebellious since Jack left home, and Danny's overreaction to Sean acting out because of fear that some other cop could shoot his kid dead, too, would have made this story even more powerful.
I also liked that the writers didn't dwell on the shooting for the entire hour.
After it happened, Danny had to go back to work and get on with the next case. Whatever investigation there was into an officer-involved shooting was resolved quickly off-screen to allow for this less common type of story.
Instead of worrying about his future with the department or public reaction to the shooting, Danny had to try to move on with his life despite his guilt and pain over what he had felt forced to do, and that made for more compelling drama!
Henry: Linda got you through all the other shootings. She could have got you through this one too.
Danny: Just wasn't in the cards.
I wasn't sure what to make out of Henry's advice.
Yes, if Linda were here, Danny would turn to her, but that's no reason to start dating again if he's not ready!
Besides, as Danny pointed out, Henry and Frank have both chosen to stay single since their wives' deaths. Why is what's good enough for them not good enough for Danny?
And he has his family to rally around him in times of need just as much as any other Reagan does, so he doesn't need to rush to find a new girlfriend just to avoid being alone in this world.
I'm not normally a Danny fan, especially in the interrogation room, but his ability to channel his pain to get Reginald's mother to confess had my eyes glued to the screen.
I'm a sucker for stories where people use their pain productively, and this was no exception.
Danny was able to make a connection with the woman and get her talking, and that was some awesome payoff for this entire episode, especially after Mrs. Williams felt a need to go to the precinct mainly to tell him again that what he did was unforgivable.
Frank's solution to his problem was nothing short of brilliant, too.
I'm glad he's less of a letter-of-the-law kind of guy than he used to be. In this case, it seemed ridiculous for Inspector Clifford to lose his job after 20 years of outstanding service because of a crime he was involved in when he was 15.
Yes, Clifford's crime was violent, and he covered it up when he applied to work for the NYPD. But he'd turned his life around and was doing a lot of good for others in the community, especially kids who were drifting towards the same sort of anti-social behavior he'd got into as a teenager.
We cops use a lot of lingo, like how we call our precincts houses. Precinct connotates a fortress, built to keep people out. House connotates that we keep people in. Bring enough people in and it becomes a home.Frank
The once a felon always a felon argument just didn't hold water when it came to Clifford, and the streets would be less safe without him on them.
But Frank allowing Clifford to sit behind his desk and attempt to grapple with the issue was a great idea because it allowed Clifford to see all the concerns Frank has to juggle.
That ensured that no matter what decision Frank made, Clifford would know it was fair and not object to it.
I was pleasantly surprised that Frank didn't agree with Clifford's self-assessment that he needed to get fired ASAP.
It was nice to see that human touch, and Clifford's tears at the second chance he'd gotten moved me to tears, too!
Eddie: We caught a turnstile jumper and we flipped her and she has something.
Jamie: That's interesting, isn't it?
Eddie: Can you stop?
Jamie: Weren't you the one who said that you were going to be twiddling your thumbs in that drum closet the whole time?
Eddie: Can you please listen?
Jamie: As soon as I'm done gloating.
Eddie's story was not as impressive.
The Reagans tend to believe in broken windows policing. I get it. But having two cops hiding only to catch people jumping the turnstiles seemed like a waste of taxpayer money.
The terminal was empty except for the one girl they caught. I don't know when that's ever happened in New York City, so I can only guess that everyone else heard the cops were staking out the 42nd Street entrance. But either way, this seemed silly.
Surely there was something better for Eddie and her partner to do besides waiting at a mostly empty terminal in case someone tried to sneak onto a subway without paying.
Besides, there are transit cops whose job is to watch the subways -- regular cops aren't needed.
And the way the cops came at the subway-hopping girl was overkill. They acted like they'd caught some bigtime criminal, not a girl who stole $2.75 from the Metropolitan Transit Authority.
I did like Eddie bonding with Anthony, though. He's practically family because of his working relationship with Erin, and these two rarely interact.
Plus Eddie's discomfort with his methods and refusal to entirely go along with them was entertaining.
If you put pineapple on pizza,, you're dead to me.Anthony
Anthony's advice to her at the end wasn't half bad either, though I'm surprised a cop as strong as Eddie didn't realize she was allowed to reject someone else's methods if they don't work for her.
What did you think, Blue Bloods fanatics?
Did you enjoy Danny's struggle with guilt?
What did you think of Frank's decision?
And do you think having Eddie watch for turnstile jumpers is an effective use of police resources?
Weigh in below, and don't forget you can always watch Blue Bloods online if you missed anything.
Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.