It's easy to forget that Blue Bloods isn't just a cop drama -- it's about politics.
It isn't quite like Madam Secretary, which was an overtly political show with a familial subplot. But it isn't just about cops solving crimes, either.
Blue Bloods Season 11 Episode 10 reminded us of that nicely when Frank had to engage in all sorts of political manipulations to try to get the governor to sign a police reform bill without upsetting his cops.
This kind of thing is exactly what makes politics such a dirty word.
I wish we lived in a world where the leader of the NYPD could come right out and say that he supports certain police reform measures, frame them in terms that make rank-and-file cops realize he's right, and be done with it.
But unfortunately, in today's super polarized world it doesn't work that way, and Frank wouldn't be able to do any good at all if the police union started pressing for his ouster based on a political disagreement.
So Frank did have to find another way to signal his support of the bill to the governor, and using Erin as an intermediary made the most sense.
I got all that, but I didn't quite understand what the governor gained by responding with a more extreme version of the bill that he knew Frank would never support.
The governor hates Frank and hates being painted as anti-cop because of his support for police reform, so if Frank is willing to support a reform initiative privately, why not take the win?
Governor: So what does he want me to do?
Erin: Ignore what comes out of 1PP about this bill.
Governor: That I'm a defund the police guy, another radical leftie that's part of the Blue Lives Don't Matter crowd?
I don't see what he accomplished by playing this game, other than making himself feel good about getting one over on those pesky Reagans.
That might have soothed his ego, but it did nothing for his constituents or his bigger interests.
Since Frank wasn't publically supporting the bill, the governor could have made a lot of noise about what a great idea it was and how out of touch police leadership is. THAT would have given him his vengeance on Frank AND advanced his own agenda.
Wouldn't that have been better than sending over the version of the bill that he did?
Of course, governors don't make legislation; they sign it. But still, this whole thing didn't make sense to me.
I did like Erin's response to the governor's nonsense.
Governor: I always look at a gift horse in the mouth, even check its teeth.
Erin: Ever come to regret that? When you lend a man a hammer, he remembers that. If you hit him over the head with it, he remembers that too.
Governor: Is this is about me passing you up for DA?
Erin: You're on a roll today, aren't you? My family has its flaws just like any family. Here's one of them: when we give our word, we keep it and we expect others to do the same.
She pointed out his lack of integrity and how it reflected on him, not on Frank. The governor's feelings are probably hurt even more now and he's surely looking for another promotion to pass Erin over for.
It's a good thing there are no defense attorneys in the family looking for a stay of execution for a client because he would probably refuse it just to spite the Reagans.
I hate that kind of petty politics, but there it is.
Frank's discussion with Erin about neither of them being a saint was a great payoff for this whole mess he'd put Erin in the middle of, though.
Frank: When did you figure out I didn't get where I was by being a saint?
Erin: Long before our lunch the other day.
Frank: And when did I learn you weren't a saint?
Erin: Probably when I was six.
I always love their father/daughter talks, and this was no exception.
And Reagans may always keep their word, but Frank quickly qualified that he wouldn't ask Erin again... unless he REALLY needed to. That wasn't much of a promise at all!
But let's talk about the other in-the-middle situation: Jamie and Dion
Dion was right to be upset with Jamie throughout most of the hour. Mentorship is supposed to be mentorship. It's supposed to be guiding the kid toward a better life than he would have had otherwise.
When I signed up for this program, I thought I was signing up for mentorship, not to be used as a rat.Dion
It's NOT supposed to be grilling him about what he knows about gang activities or using him as an informal snitch.
Jamie should know better than that. His personality is well-suited for being a real mentor to a kid in need, and it was a shame he had to ruin it with his incessant questioning of Dion.
I'd much rather have had a story about how Dion was trying to cut ties with the gang but was struggling because of his friends making fun of him hanging out with a cop, which is what it looked like we were getting during the first scene.
And did anyone else think this was going to end with Dion in a body bag?
The kid told Jamie a billion times that he didn't want to be a snitch, got beat up, and didn't want to turn against his brother.
Jamie pressed gang members for info about what they were doing to Dion -- while they were aware that he was the cop that had Dion's ear.
He came on strong with Dion about turning on Dante.
And Dante recognized Jamie and said Dion was "dead to him," which could easily have been gang speak for him ordering a hit.
It seemed like Jamie's investigation was going to lead to Dion's murder. I'm glad for Jamie and Dion's sakes that we didn't go there, but I'd have loved for Jamie to have to struggle with guilt over Dion's fate!
Meanwhile, there had to have been a better way to investigate the abuse going on in Yolanda's house than constantly showing up there.
Eddie's behavior bordered on harassment, and the way she pushed Yolanda's employer to admit she was being abused was annoying. That kind of pressure rarely results in anything other than the survivor shutting down altogether.
Where was that social worker who rode along on Blue Bloods Season 11 Episode 6? THIS would have been a good time to ask for her help.
Finally, I wish Danny's case had been a bit more interesting.
A murder of a female gamer involving misogyny and death threats could have been interesting, but it turned into a run-of-the-mill murder case.
The most compelling thing about this one was Sean showing up to help his dad out at the right moment.
Sean has already been accepted into college somewhere, but could he change his mind and go to the police academy instead?
Either way, I enjoyed him helping Danny out and would love more of that!
I didn't see the point to Meghan and Andrea looking alike -- and Danny and Baez had met Meghan at the outset, so why didn't they notice this?
Also, shouldn't Meghan also have been arrested for threatening Ralph with that knife? Danny said if she attacked him it would ruin her life, but nothing happened except she got a hug from him.
Your turn, Blue Bloods fanatics. Hit that big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know what you thought!
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Blue Bloods continues to air on CBS on Fridays at 10 PM EST/PST.