Who can you trust?
That seemed to be the question at the core of all three storylines on Blue Bloods Season 11 Episode 7.
Frank insisted on giving the benefit of the doubt to an ex-cop his staff didn't think was on the up-and-up, Jamie thought the friend who gave him a lead was a kook, and Danny had to get a shooting victim's son to trust him while simultaneously trying to win over the detective working the case.
For the second time in a row, Danny didn't shoot at a suspect, but this time he had a reason that might sit better with viewers.
Danny: You okay, Scott?
Scott: My dad's gonna live, right?
Danny: The doctors working on him are top notch. Now, have you heard of any bad blood around here?
Scott: Why didn't you shoot at the guy who did it?
Danny: I was taking out the trash. I was in my pajamas. I didn't have my gun on me.
Rather than making a judgment call, he didn't have his gun handy when an unknown person suddenly pulled up and shot at his neighbor.
I loved this set-up.
Sometimes it's easy to forget that cops are human beings who have lives of their own and aren't on duty 24 hours a day, But as Danny's experience demonstrated, that's not realistic.
Cops have to do menial tasks like taking out the trash, and having one next door doesn't guarantee that he can protect you from all crime.
After the shooting, of course, Danny went right back into cop mode.
His butting heads with the detective assigned to the case was typical Danny.
But Scott's reactions were a more compelling angle to this case than yet another incident where Danny couldn't get along with someone and ignored his commanding officer's orders to get things done his way.
Scott was a hotheaded, impulsive kid... probably a lot like Danny once was.
He was so angry and adamant that no one was giving his father justice that he almost became a vigilante.
Danny: Joel Ross, you're under arrest.
Scott: Not til I get a piece of him. He shot my dad.
[Ferrell knocks Scott to the ground.[
Ferrell: He's under arrest. You want a piece of that too?
His insistence that Danny was "breaking his promise" by not finding the man who tried to kill Sal right away was not only irritating but also actively interfered with Danny's ability to solve the case.
He didn't like Danny questioning his father and said that Danny was treating his dad like a suspect. But how did he expect Danny to get to the bottom of this case?
And then the kid made a boneheaded move when Danny and Ferrell finally arrested the would-be killer. Attacking the suspect before his arrest was even complete was stupid and put everyone at risk.
Joel wasn't in cuffs yet. He could have escaped during the commotion, and since he was half-cuffed, he could have seriously hurt someone by swinging the cuff at their face.
I almost wished Ferrell had arrested Scott to teach him a lesson.
He also deserved to be questioned hard about what he was trying to cover up when he interfered with Danny's questions. Maybe that would have taught him his lesson.
Meanwhile, Jamie got the quirky case this time.
These lighter cases usually try to offset the more serious investigations, but they always end up being annoying.
I had to wonder if Allison was this irritating when she and Jamie went to high school together. I couldn't stand her for more than two seconds at a time, and I didn't know how Jamie put up with her at all.
She must have always been like that to some degree since the whole Reagan family seemed to chalk up her nonsense to her personality and not to the influence of podcasts.
But that begs the question of what Jamie ever saw in her. I know teenagers don't always make the best friendship decisions, but sheesh.
It was fun for Jamie to be the one working with Anthony, though.
It was a nice change from the sniping Anthony and Danny tend to do when they're required to work together, and they ended up putting in solid detective work to prove that their suspect wasn't disabled and WAS a murderer.
(Side note: running away was stupid. It did nothing but prove that his injuries were phony.)
And then there was Frank's story.
Many viewers criticized Frank's interference with a precinct captain's new job on Blue Bloods Season 11 Episode 6, and here he was again weighing an officer's fate.
In this case, though, Frank felt the man had been screwed over and wanted to give him a second chance despite his staff's reservations.
Frank: The harder it is to show respect, the harder you have to work at it.
Garrett: Just one word. In the eyes of the public, he's a racist cop.
Frank: That's about a dozen words, and it's all crap. That judge should be impeached.
Garrett: Doesn't matter. The public eye won't blink.
Fans who were worried that Blue Bloods was pulling back from its typical full-throated defense of cops should have been satisfied this time.
Rather than interfere with a cop's livelihood, Frank was determined to find a way to restore one's good name.
I loved his explanation to Garrett and Sid that deciding when to give the benefit of the doubt is the hardest part of his job.
Frank always tries to do what is right and clearly hates having to make decisions that can significantly impact officers' lives, especially when he feels those decisions were unfair in retrospect.
And this time, he turned out to be justified, though Mackenzie should have been more familiar with how undercover cases work than he turned out to be.
Like Frank, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he was just rusty after a year off the force.
Your turn, Blue Bloods fanatics.
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Blue Bloods airs on CBS on Fridays at 10 PM EST/PST.