The day begins for “Blue Bloods” with a contentious conversation about when hell will freeze over or when the Mayor will get “his head out of his ass,” as the Commissioner (Tom Selleck) is still steaming over not being officially asked to continue service in his position. This February 19 15th episode of Season 6, “Fresh Start” is about more than petty disagreements, or being at odds about programs to bring young felons to a better chance in society. It centers on the meaning of service, the courtesy of respect, the guilt that comes with any failed decision, and the fact that any family can find itself on the verge of disaster. Every day comes by grace.
Garrett Moore (Gregory Jbara), the DCPI, is in the position of manning the “speed bag” while his boss and Mayor, Carter Poole, so brilliantly embodied by David Ramsey, continue sparring over nitpicking matters more than their core political differences. Ultimately, he is told to “make it happen the way the boss wants it to,” not an easy directive. The scenes between Selleck and Ramsey make every second worth its weight in gold, because the presence conveyed through each one on-screen speaks more than any dialogue in the script, and they are always tantalizing for the viewers. Erin (Bridget Moynahan) is having a good time on a “date” when a call comes from Anthony (Steve Schirippa) that she has to come to a crime scene, where a police officer has been killed. Danny and Maria (Donnie Wahlberg and Marisa Ramirez) are directly assigned a case of a cop gone AWOL by Sgt. Gormley, and the story runs as deep as the depths in the bowels of the city where they have to search for him. Anthony must give Erin the daunting news that Adrian Cooke (Daniel J Watts), who she set free under the Mayor’s program to redeem felons, is the prime suspect in the shooting. “I caused this,” she muses with horror. When the news breaks the next morning, she and her daughter, Nicky (Sami Gayle), are so besieged by press that hands and feet are over, under, and around their car as they barely manage to leave their building.
Officer Nelson (Kyle Paul), who is the officer that Danny and Maria are in search of, has suffered many triggers to send him into dark places. His young son was lost to cancer, and when a visit is paid to his home address, Mrs. Nelson (Adriana Demeo) says that she and her husband have split, and he is not there. She refuses to divulge his address. Frank and the Mayor are at loggerheads about the Mayor’s concept of criminal rehabilitation, and Frank doesn’t budge, telling him “the team bus left without me” regarding that program. “You’re out of line,” retorts the Mayor, and Frank begins the list of programs that plague him and his officers. He walks out of the Mayor’s office, saying that he wants “a reason for the invitation” on his next visit. It doesn’t take much digging to reveal that Officer Nelson has a drug problem that has cost him career and nearly everything. Officer Gibson’s widow comes to see Erin, and in one of those scenes rarely put before a camera, she decks the Assistant District Attorney with her purse, leaving pain in every sense. Erin tells her dad that the burn of the pain is on the inside, and she also tells him that she would back the Mayor’s program, even if she had to do it again today. Frank is beside himself regarding her support of Fresh Start. Erin goes to see Adrian Cooke, reminding him that “as soon as the gun is pulled from the river, you’re going up the river,” no matter how he insists he’s not their man. Officer Abrams (Scott Aiello) is a question over past attempts to maneuver Officer Nelson into rehab. Danny and Maria decide they have to go to literally deeper measures to find him.
Knowing that hurts from her family’s struggles, Maria pleads with Danny to “show a little love,” over this tragedy of addiction. A scuba team recovers the gun in the shooting, and Cooke is not implicated after all. A further look at surveillance and Erin’s questioning leads Anthony to tie a carjacking to the killing, and sure enough, 30 minutes after Officer Gibson is shot, there is a carjacking in another precinct, with a suspect named Morrow, and he is the match. Erin feels some small sense of absolution. Garrett proposes to Frank that this would be the perfect time “to take a Mulligan” with the Mayor about staying in service, it doesn’t wash with the Commissioner. Searching in the city bowels for Nelson, Maria finds him, and pleads with her partner to drive him to rehab instead of to booking. This time, he takes her advice, and they celebrate with a fist bump.
When Frank and Mayor Poole come face-to-face again, the Commissioner insists that he doesn’t just want a job, but to be seen “for what I am,” and he continues with the story of the swimmer and the lifeguard stand, relating that the more the swimmer looked up, the further away the lifeguard stand was, until he realized that the lifeguard stand never moved. “You’re the lifeguard stand,” the Mayor concedes, offering the words, and extending to Frank the invitation to continue in service. Frank has pre-prepared his papers for the Mayor to sign, and dismisses the idea of any ceremony, citing how busy both their schedules are. Mrs. Gibson again comes to see Erin, this time, to apologize, saying that she feels “no security” and that, “I thought it would be better, justice and all that.” The two women embrace in another memorable moment from this “Blue Bloods” offering. Erin unexpectedly gets red roses, and a card with “I’m sorry” from the Mayor. The roses adorn the family dinner table, as the family toasts the Commissioner for another term. Erin prods her dad about when he saw the Mayor to provoke this gesture, finally realizing it was “before.” “You’re the worst,” she bursts out. “And you’re the best,” offers her father.
Tensions are sure to rise again next week, when Whoopi Goldberg guest stars.