Blue Bloods Season 11 Episode 1 Review: Triumph Over Trauma

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Many police shows have tried to address the tension between Black citizens and cops after George Floyd's murder, but the one I was most looking forward to was Blue Bloods.

Blue Bloods tends to be more conservative than many other shows and offers the perspective of a lifelong cop and family man, so I was curious about how it would handle the issue.

Blue Bloods Season 11 Episode 1 jumped right in, letting Frank butt heads with Regina Thomas over the issue, and it did not disappoint.

Gone Missing/Tall - Blue Bloods Season 11 Episode 1

Some viewers may agree more with Regina's perspective than with Frank's, but either way, his larger point was the important one: no change could occur without both sides listening to each other.

Frank: The fact is that this city is dividing into two camps that are just shouting over each other.
Regina: You need to get your side to de-escalate.
Frank: I think that goes both ways.

Also, Regina's feeling that Frank wouldn't listen unless she screamed had an interesting parallel with the Black woman Eddie was trying to help, who kept accusing the cops of losing her father's body on purpose.

By juxtaposing these two very different stories about Black women dealing with the police, Blue Bloods quietly made an important point about the frustration many non-white people feel when dealing with racism day in and day out. 

If Frank was right that both sides are dealing with a communication failure, Regina was right that it starts with addressing that frustration.

A Missing Pair - Blue Bloods Season 11 Episode 1

How can there be any meaningful dialogue when one side feels that their grievances aren't taken seriously unless they get loud. Yet, they are then castigated for not being peaceful enough?

Eddie's partner's kind of reaction had to Anita was a prime example of the kind of problems Black citizens often have with police.

It wasn't the physical beatdown that someone claimed happened during Regina's talk show appearance, but it wasn't the right way to handle the situation and left Anita even more convinced that cops hated her because of who she was.

Witten's immediate response to Anita's anger was to order her to leave or be arrested and then attempt to arrest her when Anita continued to rant.

The situation was frustrating for everyone involved, but that was no way to de-escalate it!

A New Nephew - Blue Bloods Season 11 Episode 1

I'm not saying that Witten necessarily reacted that way because of Anita's skin color, but it was understandable that Anita believed that she did.

Witten treated her like a criminal because she got frustrated with not finding her father's body so that she could pay her last respects, and Anita already believed the cops lost the body on purpose and that her dad's life didn't matter to them.

Being treated harshly by a cop on top of the original problem helped nothing, and it took a lot of patience on Eddie's part before Anita believed that Eddie was on her side either.

Jamie: We're not social workers, Eddie.
Eddie: Well, sometimes, Jamie, it's the same thing.

It was a shame that Anita couldn't work with Regina, though. I think that talking about these kinds of incidents, which aren't so obviously racist as police beatings and the like but which affect Black people's lives, might have been a fruitful area to begin a dialogue with Frank.

A Shifting Political Climate - Blue Bloods Season 11 Episode 1

Anyway, I thought it was also interesting that both Anita and Erin mentioned that the last time they saw someone they loved, they argued with them.

That fits in nicely with both the theme of communication and with Blue Bloods' family orientation.

With a serial killer on the loose and Danny and Baez having almost died down in that basement, gratitude for family might be a recurring theme throughout Blue Bloods Season 11.

Speaking of which, it's exciting to have a continuing storyline like this. It's been a while since Blue Bloods had a multi-episode mystery, and I wonder if the search for the serial killer will last the entire season.

Of course, the main reason for Danny and Baez to get stuck in that basement was so that they could get closer.

Whoopi Goldberg Guest Stars - Blue Bloods Season 11 Episode 1

I'm used to this trope on Days of Our Lives, where characters who get locked together in storerooms or basements often end up having sex before they're rescued. Fortunately, THAT didn't happen, but a lot of intimate conversation did.

Baez's appearance at the Sunday family dinner and Danny's joke about Eddie and Jamie taking their partnership to the next level seemed like foreshadowing. 

I hope so, anyway! I prefer Danny with Baez to anyone (except for a magically resurrected Linda, of course.)

But while Baez accepted Danny's invitation, the newest member of the Reagan family did not.

Joe seemed jealous when Danny and Jamie hugged after the rescue and quickly escaped back to his unit. The Reagan family has welcomed him with open arms, yet he doesn't seem comfortable being with them.

Dealing With Police Brutality - Blue Bloods Season 11 Episode 1

Of course, some of that is because he didn't grow up with them and didn't know his dad, who is universally revered within the family. Hopefully, he'll warm up to the Reagans as the season progresses.

The family won't give up on him -- there would be no point in bringing him into the series if they would -- but hopefully, they don't scare him even further by being overly enthusiastic.

What did you think, Blue Bloods fanatics? Did the season 11 premiere and the way Frank handled the conflict with Regina meet your expectations?

Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know what you thought.

Want to see it again? Just watch Blue Bloods online right here on TV Fanatic.

Blue Bloods continues to air on CBS on Fridays at 10 PM EST/PST.

Triumph Over Trauma Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (26 Votes)

Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.

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Blue Bloods Season 11 Episode 1 Quotes

Baker: The mayor says he knows you're busy and don't need to go to his meeting tonight.
Frank: Won't need or shouldn't?
Baker: I don't know.
Frank: If you did know?
Baker: I get the sense the Mayor is keeping police business at arm's length.

Danny: Looks like Madeline put up one hell of a fight.
Baez: She was 25 years old. When I was her age I was living in Alphabet City with a guy named Dario.