“Blue Bloods” draws its faithful audience every Friday uniquely because of the drama’s deft intertwining of life on the beat, timely issues, and keeping family values centered. It was probably difficult for anyone to divert attention from the devastating Paris attacks to watch any scripted TV on November 13, but this week’s eighth episode for Season 6, “Unsung Heroes” speaks eloquently in its own way of how many of these protectors around the globe take a stand against wrong every day, at risk of life, reputation, and all that is important. The headlines are rife with what’s wrong with police officers, yet when tragedy occurs, they are first in line to face forces of darkness.
During the daily powwow, Frank (Tom Selleck) stands firm about going to Columbia University to speak per granddaughter, Nicky’s request, and naturally, the barrage of warning comes in from Garrett (Gregory Jbara) and the entire upper contingent. They cautioned that in these times, he is entering the lions’ den of inevitable protest, and little, if any, of his message will be heard. He remembers seeing Nicky (Sami Gayle) “beaming” in the front row in the fourth grade, but a decade or so brings a big difference. Sami Gayle not only delivers a relevant, real, and reflective performance, but she continues growing into her own presence and style more and more. It’s hard to look away from those brown eyes in those big framed glasses! Jamie and Eddie (Will Estes and Vanessa Ray) are delightful as they debate the valor as a superhero between Spiderman, Superman, and of course, Supergirl, who trumps in the end! (Naturally, it doesn’t hurt that she has a brand-new super hit CBS show!) Jamie gets into near hand to hand combat with his superior officer, Sgt. Mulvey (AJ Buckley), over disputing an order to move into a home, despite it endangering everyone inside. “Put the gun down” becomes not so simple. Linda (Amy Carlson) is fighting for her inner peace, and a whole marriage, and continues to prompt Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) to attend therapy with her, but he dismisses the process, saying he knows everything about PTSD, even if there’s much going on here.
A harrowing report comes in that Danielle Levine (Taylor Rose), the first girl to speak out with Danny in the wake of the killing spree by Thomas Wilder (Louis Cancelmi), has been killed and her body left in Danny’s church, making his pain unbearable, to think that this horror happened in “my church.” Danielle’s body has Thomas Wilder’s DNA everywhere, indicating how hard she fought for life under horrendous assault. A superior shove between Jamie and Sgt. Mulvey gets serious, and Eddie tries to defuse the situation, and gets resistance of her own. Nicky comes to see her granddad, as he often does for important meetings, and she warns him that his speaking engagement may well become a trap. They go back and forth about the current racist rage, and how universities are no longer forums for free thought, but only for their own endorsement of “politically correct” thought, on one side or the other. Nicky credits her early learning in positive debate to being around the Reagan family dinner table, a “Blue Bloods” hallmark. Frank assures her that he’s used to “not fair.”
When Danny and Maria (Marisa Ramirez) keep getting no hits on Wilder, Danny decides to go hard on a “smaller scale,” digging at mom, Shelly Wilder, who is delectably portrayed in her lunacy by Candy Buckley. Eddie teases Jamie about becoming “Norma Rae.” Danny’s tactic gets results, as Shelly Wilder is shaking so uncontrollably, she can’t get drunk fast enough. Playing the angle of “help for my son” to full effect, he coerces the surrender of her phone, access to a boat, and her admission that her son always “liked to kill things.” Jamie tells his story to Sgt. Gormley, who ultimately weighs evidence to pull the Sgt.
In a further disturbing twist, Danny discovers that Wilder is using “Danny Reagan” as his name on his apartment lease, another jabbing taunt. Following a scary sweep of the place, a menacing call comes from Wilder, who throws in remarks about “your pretty wife,” striking even deeper terror in Danny. On the home front, Danny slowly starts to offer more in therapy, and see its healing impact. When Danny and Maria approach the Wilder boat at the dock, it explodes. Wilder is not gone, and he is far from being taken care of yet. Frank arrives to share thoughts at Columbia University, and hardly gets beyond his opening, under the roar of the shouting, intolerant voice en masse. He leaves, having more matters to attend to, but it would have been so rewarding if he had stayed, pulled off his coat, and waited the crowd out, until not one more voice could mutter. Considering the tragic news of the day in the real world, it certainly would have been a dramatic comfort. This was a day for heroes.