Frank Reagan's moral code is usually pretty simple.
Live with integrity and follow the law. If the law is wrong, change the law -- don't break it.
But on Blue Bloods Season 10 Episode 4, Frank toyed with making an exception for a friend who assisted in the death of his terminally ill wife.
In the end, Frank only delayed the court process to let an old man say goodbye to his late wife. He didn't ignore it.
But for a while, it seemed like he might not be 100% wedded to the concept of accepting the law as written no matter how cruel it seemed.
Frank: Wilson Ortega dedicated years of service as a Special Agent of the FBI. He deserves to come to my office at a time of his choosing.
Garett: So we're not going by the book?
Frank: We are. But it's a different book.
Frank was eager to find a loophole for his old friend from the second he heard there was a case against him. He defended him to his staff and insisted on inviting Ortega to come in for questioning when it was convenient.
It wasn't so much that Frank doubted what had happened but that he understood the circumstances. His speech to Jamie in the final seconds of the show was a beautiful demonstration of that.
Would Frank have done the same thing had his wife wanted to leave this world on her terms? I can't see it, but as he said, under the right circumstances anyone is capable of anything.
This was one time when it would have made sense for Erin to decline to prosecute a case. She said she wanted to make a difference, but sometimes making that difference requires doing nothing instead of filing charges.
And if she had, Frank might not have objected the way he usually does.
Now an elderly man who gave the best years of his life to police work is going to die with a class E felony on his record. Hopefully he'll at least get probation so he doesn't go to prison for alleviating his wife's suffering.
And all that's far less bad than murder or manslaughter!
Being a cop and a Catholic, we get a double whammy. We answer to two higher powers.Frank
Frank's conversation with Ortega was the best part of this storyline. Ortega clearly loved his wife and was heartbroken by the pain she was in at the end of her life, and Frank understood completely what had happened.
Not being Catholic, I didn't realize the significance of Frank's question about Ortega talking to the priest until Frank mentioned it to Jamie at the end of the hour. Nicely done, Blue Bloods!
Meanwhile, Danny and Baez's case could have just as easily taken place on Law & Order: SVU.
I picked up right away on Mark's claim that he didn't remember anything that happened at the bar. I thought the big twist was going to be that Natalie raped Mark and he'd hit her in self-defense.
Mrs. Foreman's involvement was a surprise,but it shouldn't have been.
Mark mentioned every chance he got that he was in the midst of a bitter divorce, and that was a major clue as to what was going on here.
He talked about his divorce so naturally and easily that it didn't seem like it had anything to do with the case. But of course, it had everything to do with the case.
The case was interesting, but Mike G. was more so.
He came back to work after having retired once already and apparently is using the job to escape stress associated with his son's serious illness.
I hope we'll get to see more of Mike! I want to know more about his son's illness and aout Mike's friendship with Danny!
Erin's story was the least interesting of the three.
For one thing, the main immigrant who spoke seemed like a stereotype of Chinese immigrants.
He spoke just enough broken English to say he wasn't talking to the cops, at which point Anthony decided to be the typical asshole cop and threaten to have the guy's Board of Health status downgraded.
It wasn't a surprise that the immigrants weren't particularly cooperative, considering that Anthony forced all of them to come to the police station when they didn't want to.
Erin: This is good, Anthony. This is a worthy fight.
Anthony: Yeah, well, no fight is worth it if you can't win it.
Anthony's second idea was much better. Working undercover made sense in a situation like this where witnesses were terrified to testify because of their immigration status.
Unlike most shows, Blue Bloods didn't make a big deal out of the store owners' immigration status. It simply mentioned that they were undocumented and showed them being afraid.
That was it.
This kind of subtlety is well appreciated, especially since there are a deluge of shows that take the immigration crisis head-on, so many that viewers can feel overwhelmed with the sheer number of stories about this issue.
Blue Bloods, however, didn't address whether the immigration situation was right or wrong. It just showed it being what it was and allowed viewers to make up their own minds.
Your turn, Blue Bloods fanatics!
Were you surprised that Frank considered bending the rules for his old friend?
Did you guess the twist in the rape storyline before it happened?
And was I the only one whose mind wandered during Erin's scenes?
Let us know in the comments below, and don't forget you can watch Blue Bloods online if you missed anything.
Blue Bloods continues to air on CBS on Fridays at 10 PM EST/PST.
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Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.