Frank Reagan argues with the mayor so much that Blue Bloods might as well be subtitled "Frank vs. the Mayor."
It doesn't matter who's sitting in Gracie Mansion; Frank will inevitably have a problem with him or her.
I love seeing Frank fight passionately for what he believes in, but his war with the mayor gets old after a while.
That's why Blue Bloods Season 8 Episode 3 was so refreshing. Even though Frank was having the same old problem, the Mayor didn't appear on screen at all, and the whole thing was tackled from another angle.
I really enjoyed Frank's interactions with Regina Thomas! Tom Selleck and Whoopi Goldberg bounced off each other naturally, and they both had a point of view that made sense even though they couldn't see eye-to-eye.
Frank: You remember civics class back in the day?
Frank: The three branches of government.
Frank: Okay. In this city, I'm judicial, you're legislative, she's executive.
Regina: Are you actually giving me a civics lesson right now?
Frank: Regina! We stood witness when she was sworn in! That means you and I agreed to uphold the duties of our offices under her administration. That's what I'm gonna do. I am going back to City Hall to see the Mayor to make one more push. It would be helpful if you came with me.
Regina: Why would I do that?
Frank: Because one day you may well be mayor, and you sure as hell gonna want people to respect your office.
Their disagreement brought up some interesting questions, too. Frank felt that doing an end run around the mayor's beliefs was wrong because they are supposed to uphold her administration, while Regina felt that there's no getting anywhere without playing slightly dirty.
I wasn't sure how I felt about Frank's point of view. I agreed with him that enabling Regina's own desire to become mayor was problematic. But I'm not sure I agree that it is their job to support the sitting mayor's decisions.
For Regina in particular, that didn't feel right. She is a legislator, so her job is to legislate – not only to propose legislation that supports the mayor's agenda. Isn't that part of checks and balances too?
Regina: Look, you always talk about enhanced police presence. I'm now calling that 'answered prayers'.
Frank: Since when?
Regina: Since I saw the light.
Frank: Light being?
Regina: Mayor Poole did his best to get along with you.
Frank: Not always.
Regina: Not always, but more than anyone thought he would.
Frank: I drove him into early retirement.
Regina: But you're the last man standing.
Frank: I'm not sure what that means, Regina.
Regina: It means, if you're me, lookin' at you, you're thinking to yourself, 'Ooof. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.'"
Frank: Don't kid a kidder.
Regina: Frank, the plan is a good one. I think it's good for the city.
Frank: In minority neighborhoods?
Regina: As long as we can frame it that the beat cop's gonna know your name and your kid's name...
Frank: That doesn't sell Mayor Dutton.
Regina: Well, when was the last time anybody stopped and frisked her?
Frank: Got it.
Regina: And I don't think we need her. She's got great connections on all the luxury floors where she lives, but if you want to get this past, you need to come down to the ground floor, where the City Council lives.
I also thought that Regina had a good point when she suggested that the mayor is out of touch with the issues poor communities, particularly communities of color, face and that someone like Regina who is a member of that community can better sell Frank's proposal and get support for it.
The acting mayor, she opposes the plan.Garrett
Garrett stated the obvious when he broke the news that Mayor Dutton was against Frank's idea.
I was so distracted with thoughts about how that's one of the basic premises of this show that I completely missed the reasons that the mayor opposed the community policing proposal (other than it being Frank's idea). I hope they were good ones.
In any case, it was refreshing to take the mayor out of the typical Frank/Mayor argument and let Frank duke it out with a different adversary. I thought that Frank vs. Regina was far more interesting than Round 1500 of Frank vs. the current mayor.
Judge: I'm going to skip the ending. I just ate breakfast.
Defense attorney I agree with you, Judge. Allowing the jury to see this tape would be grossly prejudicial.
Erin: I agree with the gross part. Maybe your client should stop torturing the competition.
Erin's case could have gone in so many different directions. Human trafficking stories can be interesting, compelling stories in their own right, and it seemed like we were going for some sort of story in which Erin is too passionate and too committed to the cause of ending trafficking to think clearly.
Then the judge was killed, and the story went in a completely different direction.
If I had read the episode blurb before watching, this probably wouldn't have been as much of a shock, but I make a point of not reading those so I can be surprised, and I was surprised that the story went in this direction.
Baez: Maybe he can help, Danny.
Danny: No, I've worked with him before. He's a pain in the ass.
Anthony: You're a pain in the ass too.
Danny being forced to work with Anthony was fun at first, but it dragged on a little too long before the two developed a grudging admiration for each other. Actually, I'm not sure when that happened. I guess it's when Anthony began pressing Joe Long to turn on his boss, but it wasn't made explicit.
Anyway, the most satisfying part of this particular case was the ending scene, when Danny locked up Joe Long after all for threatening his sister. I loved the way he informed this aspiring mob boss that family comes first. I'm sure he was speaking the guy's language.
Danny: Why'd you lie?
Joe: I forgot.
Danny: You forgot?
Joe: I went up to the roof for a few minutes to check on some wiring. It was an honest mistake.
Danny: An honest mistake? No. Forgetting your keys is an honest mistake. Homicide is not a mistake.
The investigation itself was not all that interesting.
As soon as Joe Wheeler was found to have been on the roof and claimed that he had acted alone, I knew there was more to the story. It was far too early and far too simple a solution to the mystery.
So I wasn't at all surprised when it turned out that Wheeler had been threatened by Chou's mob. I was curious as to how he got involved with them in the first place, but I guess that didn't matter – predictably, they threatened him and he did their dirty work.
Once this came to light, Danny did his usual toeing the line between the appropriate and inappropriate use of force with suspects and got the answers he needed.
I was surprised that that came too late to stop Chou from getting a mistrial, but since she is now going to be tried for murdering the judge who was originally presiding over her case, I guess that's a moot point.
Nicky: I'd do just about anything to end income inequality.
Frank: How fitting that you are now sitting on my left.
The family scene felt a little obligatory this week, which is sad because I always look forward to the family dinners.
Since there were only two storylines, there wasn't as much controversy around the table, and Nicky's comment seemed like it was thrown in randomly so that Frank could comment on the divergence in their politics.
The best thing about this scene was that Jamie made an appearance. Jamie is my favorite Reagan, so when he doesn't have a story at all I feel like something is missing.
The family dinner also gave Erin the opportunity to tell Danny about the threatening card she'd received (which she really should have known better than to keep to herself) so that he could catch up to the audience and figure out that Wheeler was not working alone.
As for Erin, the story about her getting threatened really went nowhere. Nothing happened as a result of either the threats or her keeping the threats to herself except for that she was removed from the case when Anthony told her boss about them.
I don't like gratuitous violence and wouldn't want to see Erin get seriously hurt, but I felt like more should have happened as a result of those threats than them merely existing.
What did you think? Was Danny's investigation interesting or predictable? Did you like the verbal sparring between Frank and Regina? Are you hungry for bacon bites after seeing Garrett and Sid have lunch?
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.