Nobody explores family dynamics better than Blue Bloods.
On Blue Bloods Season 11 Episode 5, Frank and Danny found themselves in the same position for different reasons.
Sean didn't want Danny in his business after becoming the target of anti-cop bullies, and Henry didn't respond any differently to Frank's questions about his finances. It was an interesting parallel that suggested that some things never change.
Sean's situation was one of the more interesting ones he's been in.
In the past couple of years, Sean's school stories have been limited to him cutting class and hanging out with girls Danny doesn't like.
It's been a while since he had any such story at all, and it was refreshing for it to be about something other than him getting in trouble.
Danny: Remember that teacher who had it in for Nicky a few years ago? The one that was a certified cop hater before being a cop hater became everyone's favorite pasttime? Don't say nothing to her. I'm gonna go suss her out.
Sean: No you're not.
Danny: You know I'm a pretty good investigator.
Sean: And this is my business. Butt out.
And this time, Sean wanted to handle his problem his way, which was hard for Danny to accept.
I'd have liked more of that conflict. Danny just withdrew, which didn't seem to fit his character too much.
He didn't as much as complain during Sunday dinner about Sean shutting him out!
It might have been better drama for Danny to suspect Sean's latest girlfriend while Sean was sure it was that teacher, especially since Danny's opinion would have been closer to the truth.
Speaking of which, having the teacher reverse her attitude toward cops after witnessing the summer protests was a gutsy move.
I expected Blue Bloods to be more conservative than most shows, including taking a dimmer view of the protests following George Floyd's murder.
It still took some guts to go there, though, especially since these protests were 93 percent peaceful, and we just saw a mob of white protesters overrun the Capitol with few consequences.
But while I might disagree with the teacher's point of view on this, it was done in a way I could respect. Viewers weren't being force-fed opinions but given different ones to consider.
Sean: Someone put ACAB on my locker. And you teach it.
Ms. Wilson: I used to teach it.
Sean: Excuse me?
Ms. Wilson: Over the summer when the protests began I thought, finally the revolution is here. But then they started looting, torching cars. Those weren't protesters. Those were rioters. And the police risked their lives to keep my block safe. I'm not saying they're all angels, mind you.
Sean: But they're not all devils either. Someone got my locker combination.
Ms. Wilson: Do any of your friends hang out at your locker?
Ms. Wilson: Sean, in case you haven't noticed the world's been turned upside down.
In some ways, the teacher was a competent educator.
She talked about her own experience, how her attitude was now somewhere in the middle between hating cops and admiring them and suggested that the chaos and anger in the world might have stirred up powerful emotions in his friends as well.
It turned out she was right, too. I'm not sure how I feel about that or about Sean's reaction to learning what his girlfriend did.
The girl seemed so into Sean that I didn't want to believe that she actively helped bully him. Regardless of anyone's political beliefs, that was a crappy thing to do.
And it wasn't clear if Sean was done with her or forgiving her afterward. His comment was ambiguous.
I think he should steer clear of her, at least for a little while. After all, she was willing to give those girls his locker combination just so that they would like her.
Meanwhile, Frank and Henry butted heads over an underwhelming secret.
Was I the only one who found it anticlimactic that in a blink-or-you'll-miss-it moment, Frank slipped the name of a permanently paralyzed suspect into the conversation, and Henry admitted he felt guilty about a shoot? Frank warned him not to let it get out that he was giving the family money?
All that build-up and tension for a non-issue that was solved in a 30-second conversation with 15 minutes to go in the hour? Really?
Of course, the secret wasn't the point. Henry's wanting to keep his own counsel and feeling grilled by Frank was.
Garrett: Henry has a beef with you, boss?
Frank: Good guess.
Abigail: Sorry to hear that.
Frank: Oh, he's not all right unless he has at least one beef a day.
But still, it seemed like Frank and Henry's relationship was in the worst danger it had ever been in, and then the conflict fizzled out.
At least Frank and Henry didn't fight endlessly like Danny and Baez's suspects.
Sometimes the case includes these quirky people and feels more like comic relief than anything else. This was one of those times.
Danny: Did you see any signs of depression?
Woman: I don't know. It was just a retail relationship.
That bank manager's convenient fallback on being "just a retailer" when asked anything personal about the victim cracked me up. It was too bad that she turned out to be the villain!
But the fighting between the brothers was decidedly not funny. I'm sure I'm not the only viewer who gets more than enough of dealing with real-life kids and doesn't need to hear adults acting so childish and petty.
Eddie and Witten's story went in an unexpected direction, but where was Jamie?
Usually, he'd be all over Eddie with advice and orders that she didn't want to follow. I missed him a lot!
The case was interesting in its own right, though.
I was glad Blue Bloods tackled the conspiracy theory nuts, demonstrating that even in 2021, it is possible to be a conservative in America without embracing QAnon and other wacky conspiracy theories.
The only quibble I had here was that the case was far too easily resolved. Witten and Eddie took Mr. Delusional to view his daughter's body, and he begged her corpse to wake up and come home. Fade to black.
I'd think someone that deep into denial would deny that was even his daughter and not someone who looked like her (or a crisis actor paid to play her dead form.)
If Blue Bloods hadn't gone this route, it would have been equally compelling for Witten to struggle throughout the hour with having shot a suspect dead. She seemed shaken and didn't want the attention she got for the shoot, but that got sidelined in favor of the conspiracy nut father insisting his daughter was still alive.
Your turn, Blue Bloods fanatics. Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know what you thought!
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Blue Bloods airs on CBS on Fridays at 10 PM EST/PST.