It’s really been a values workout on “Blue Bloods” the last few weeks for Commissioner Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck). Last week, he went toe to toe with Mayor, Carter Poole, over the proper way to request that a Commissioner continue in office, and this week, for the February 26 16thepisode of Season 6, “Help Me Help You,” he’s at odds with a familiar adversary, now in a new position of power. Learning to “play nice” isn’t a lesson over and done with in kindergarten, and compromise comes more easily for some than it does for others. Erin (Bridget Moynahan) and Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) each have their own personal dilemmas weighing on their hearts, for very different reasons. Sometimes, life’s path best unfolds one right decision at a time.
The concept of “backing down” simply doesn’t exist when it comes to close-held principles for Frank Reagan, and particularly when that applies to protecting his city, and its people. Regina Thomas, a character that could not have been better crafted for guest star, Whoopi Goldberg, is a very well-known and vocal opponent of the department’s “Broken Windows” program, which makes a very intentional effort to focus into the lives of low income and/or minority neighborhoods, in an effort to enforce laws with minor crimes to prevent them from becoming major crimes by seasoned felons. From Thomas’ view, however, it seems more like intentional invasion and nitpicky prosecution, and she’s determined to decriminalize a bulk of those minor offenses. On Danny’s home front, Linda (Amy Carlson) asks him and Maria (Marisa Ramirez) to look out for coworker, Lori (Erin Cummings), whose ex-husband (Joseph Lyle Taylor), is behaving more and more like a menacing stalker. No one in police work is ever thrilled about walking into domestic disputes, but Danny agrees to try and help. Erin pays a loving visit of condolence to judge Wilson (Dakin Matthews), who “taught me how to be a prosecutor,” and whom she adores beyond words as a mentor. The judge has just lost his wife, and she feels for his sorrow, but in court, he has become exorbitantly strict and erratic with his sentences, such as giving the maximum sentence to a first-time offender because he didn’t keep his promise to his wife, so what does a promise to the judge mean? Frank and Regina Thomas have a meeting, for which Garrett (Gregory Jbara) makes it abundantly clear that he wants to attend, but is summarily dismissed. Frank fiercely defends his program as a matter of public safety, while Thomas maintains that it is just a legal way to invade lives. “I want to make the Council return to the people it represents, “ she insists. “The people I am supposed to protect,” Frank retorts.
Maria and Danny tried to reason with Ronnie D’ Angelo, and Danny cautions him to stop looking back, to think of what’s best for his son. Ronnie quotes Bible verses on the sanctity of marriage. Erin tries to reason, too, with Judge Wilson, but he says he has “no time, not anymore” for people with no regard for the law, or those who administer it. She knows he is acting from grief, but she is still bewildered. Ronnie makes a frightening scene near the school of their son. Danny tries to restrain and calm him, but when he lunges out-of-control again, Danny tells the patrolling officer to “lock him up for harassment.” Frank doesn’t hold back on his opinions in the press, so Speaker Thomas tries to move big to dismantle Broken Windows, going for votes on the Council. At the station, Danny urges Lori to talk to her husband, try to regain common ground over their son, before pressing charges. She agrees, and they sit at a table across from each other, appearing to be sane and civil, but it doesn’t last.
ADA Pinsky (Chris Perfetti) lets his boss, Erin, know that he was dressed down and called out in open court by Judge Wilson, just for stating the law. Erin tries again to reason with her respected mentor, this time plying him with his favorite spaghetti. She tells him and her own boss that she will be forced to file a formal complaint if the decisions are not rectified. Judge Wilson doesn’t budge, and her boss orders her not to file any complaint. Suddenly, a call comes in that the D’Angelo’s son, Matthew (Benjamin Snyder) is missing. Danny and Maria start a full on, frantic search, only to learn that the boy was with a classmate and his father. Danny goes back to his regrets about not wanting to but in on this case in the first place. Erin tells her boss (Dennis Egan) that her duty as an officer of the court, not simply a prosecutor, prevails on her in filing a complaint, and she cannot promise that she will not. Frank tells her, “when the time comes, you’ll know what to do” regarding the situation. Dissenting views cover the family dinner table over Regina Thomas. Not only is idealistic, youthful Nicky defending rights to differ with policy, but Linda is bold enough to say “I kinda like her,” referring to Thomas, even though she doesn’t agree with all her positions. The men in blue back their dad’s program. The next evening, Lori calls Linda, concerned about her new fiancé, Paul (Derek Roche) not showing up on the day they were to go ring shopping. Linda appeals to Danny again to check things out. Frank is even taking calls at home, so he knows that the vote in the Council will be close.
Moving beyond her fears of winning the battle, but losing the war, Erin files the complaint, and her boss is beside himself. Furious that she “went rogue,” he suspends her. Danny lectures Linda about living in fear since her assault, but she knows there’s more beneath the words. Cameras are flashing everywhere when the Commissioner is before the Council, and the Speaker. Once more, he defends that “selective enforcement of the law leads to selective obeying.” Thomas teases that the phrase is “very catchy.” The Commissioner insists that he wants to go for old-fashioned compromise, in itself, not an easy move for him. Danny goes to Ronnie’s workplace, and Ronnie runs, with Danny in pursuit. He hears moaning around the industrial drums, and finds Ronnie pointing a gun at Paul, bound and gagged. Appealing again through his son, Matthew, Danny pleads that Ronnie not take himself out of his son’s life by his poor choices. He drops the gun.
In their private “chambers,” Regina Thomas confides to Frank that she didn’t “have the numbers” to take apart Broken Windows, and she knew that he knew that, also. She tells him that she wants to talk about ways to make laws effective, not just vehicles of fear. “We can talk about that,” he responds. “I’m gonna come see you,” she insists, smiling with “to be continued.” Another “Blue Bloods” conflict resolved without bloodshed! Judge Wilson visits Erin this time, saying that she was right to file the complaint, and that he had called in on himself, and that her suspension would be ended. They share the evening “staying for spaghetti.” When Danny comes home, he apologizes to Linda, admitting that he was the one living in fear ever since being at her hospital bedside after her attack. “How do you stop it? He asks. She responds as so many police wives would, with “I’m just thankful for every time you walk through that door, and we have time together again.” The simple joys are the dearest blessings in life.
There will be some March interruptions of programming, due to basketball’s annual March madness, and that will make it easier to enjoy the six remaining episodes of the season.