January 15’s “Blue Bloods” story of the Reagan clan in “Cursed” (Season 6 Episode 12) takes a deeply personal turn, as matters of how to honor a distinguished patrol officer’s wish to honor her distinguished, and departed father, butt up against feelings of dishonoring the departed Reagan son. Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) feel the sting of being “played” by someone he believed, and Jamie’s (Will Estes) training officer is tested for his allegiance to a longtime friend, who has had more than a few scrapes with crime. As with other things in life, personal choices determine consequences, and for the Reagan’s, it all comes down to a vote.
The storyline of superb writing and eloquent humanity opens with Commissioner Reagan (Tom Selleck) recognizing officers on patrol, “who keep misdemeanor offenses from becoming felony offenses,” and work the front lines of the police force every day. One officer in particular is honored, Jill Carpenter, beautifully crafted in a perfectly understated portrayal by actress, America Olivo. After “one of the best” recognition ceremonies, patrol officer, Jamie, comes to his dad, forwarding Officer Carpenter’s request to honor her father, killed in the line of duty, by wearing his shield number, 46808, which by coincidence, happens to be the number of Frank’s son, Joe, killed many years before in the line of duty, for another department, of course. With emotions still raw, Frank needs reflection on the situation, and Jamie offers to “put her off” for a while, with a most sincere “thank you” from his father. Eddie (Vanessa Ray) and Jamie are on patrol, and are willing to do almost anything it takes to capture a perpetrator who has been slashing elderly residents of an apartment building in Parksdale. Just as their last comments are uttered, Jamie sees the perpetrator casually crossing the street, and both he and Eddie give hot pursuit. He is cuffed, still holding a crack pipe and a 3 inch knife. “There’s your money,” quips Jamie, thinking the case is closed.
Maria (Marisa Ramirez) and Danny catch the case of a gangster son, John Jr. (Tim Devlin), left shot dead in a car, with the driver, Russo, played by Michael Badalucco, famous for his role in ABC’s long-running, “The Practice,” bound in the trunk, tracing his “smell of pee.” They think they have the straight story from Russo, once he’s in dry pants, relating how a motorcycle rider cut him off, he heard John Jr. scream, end of story, but that’s far from true, despite his fears that “it’s only the beginning.” Sgt. Renzulli (Nicholas Turturro) seems resistant when Eddie and Jamie bring in their stabbing suspect, Derek Gibbs (Michael Maize), as if to call it a “bad collar.” Garrett (Gregory Jbara) reminds Frank that he is under I did Danny Dang “no obligation” to honor the request about the shield number, but the man responsible for every life on the force feels a responsibility as a father and a boss. His research into the number, along with his grief over the loss of his own son, makes him wonder if that number is “cursed.” Talking things over with Garrett and his pop, Henry (Len Cariou) only reveals that they have the same misgivings about the number that seems to lead to “no happy retirements,” but they are still moved to honor the relationship between father and daughter. When Jamie checks the cell, and finds Derek gone, he inquires at the desk, only to learn that Sgt. Renzulli had ordered his release on a desk ticket. Danny and Maria get word that payback has already begun between gangs, with a shootout at a Chinese restaurant, and mass killings already. Pop advises Frank not to reinstate the number, inadvertently reveals that he has done his own research into its history, from Frank’s “How do you know?” question. Father and son discuss whether Frank still carries a silver dollar that he carried when he first joined the beat, and of course, he does. “It didn’t have anything to do with keeping you safe,” says Henry. “But it did,” replies Frank. The blessing of sacred things is never rooted in reality, but in feeling.
Sal Vinchetti assures Danny and Maria that his family is far too busy taking care of John, Jr. and his family in this time to worry about revenge, as does Black Lotus gang boss, who relates that “times have changed,” and savage street methods are no longer employed. Eddie investigates that Sgt. Renzulli has let Gibbs get out before, twice, wondering aloud if they should go to IAB. “I know he’s not dirty,” Jamie insists to his partner. Danny goes to the Russo home, ready to take his former corroborator under arrest, but Russo insists “I’ll make it up to you.” “If you turn on me again” Danny reminds, “you’re gonna wish you’d died in that car.” Jamie tracks Sgt. Renzulli to Derek’s place, and finally gets the full story of his friendship with Derek, and why their bonds prompt him to help the friend who once wanted desperately to be an officer, too. When they break into the apartment, Derek is pointing right a gun right at Jamie, who orders him to put it down. Instead, Derek takes off out a window, saying he will bring back the guilty man. A man named LaCosta comes in, with footage that shows it was Russo who brought down John, Jr., and it’s all on camera. When Danny tries to call the Russo number, only a recording answers.
The Reagan family holds a vote around the table regarding reinstating the number for officer Carpenter, and it is unanimous. All were for Officer Carpenter. Maria and Danny tells Sal about is Ronnie Russo shooting John Jr. Danny goes to try and stake him out. Jamie and Sgt. Renzulli take to the beat again, going on patrol. Jamie sees the true perpetrator going into trash, and just as quickly. Derek goes after him. As quickly as Sgt. Renzulli and Jamie go in pursuit, they find Derek down and bleeding from a knife attack. Sgt. Renzulli pleads for his friend to pull through. The gun on the scene turns out it to be a toy gun. Baker (Abigail Hawk) playfully gives her boss instruction on using Twitter. Garrett brings word that Officer Carpenter has been shot in responding to a domestic dispute call. Danny fires at Russo. Sgt. Renzulli asks Eddie to stand in as the impartial side on the Gibbs case. Jamie exemplifies her gift for “keeping in line.”
Frank pays a visit to Jill Carpenter in the hospital, and tells her that he’s flying her family in to “get through traffic easier. Not as many red lights.” She eases his mind by telling him that she was still wearing her old shield. The new one wasn’t ready yet. He tells her that his family would be honored in honoring her father, and her work. She tells him that she would like to hear more about Joe, in hopes of honoring him, too. The Commissioner a chair up beside, and begins, “My son, Joe…” as “Blue Bloods” wraps another episode , confronting hard and heart issues, before ending credits roll.
Please note: Airing of “Blue Bloods” for this episode was delayed by local programming.