“Blue Bloods” steered clear of Halloween hoopla, and the drama’s October 30 sixth episode in Season 6, “Rush to Judgment,” is a near mirror -reflection of the headlines and news crawls across screens anywhere in the nation, exposing real-life horrors, crossing from both sides of the line. Regardless of personal politics, fans were treated to fine performances by Ato Essandoh, in his recurring role as Rev. Potter, and a story that spotlighted near the full cast over the few. Kudos to the writers for creating real dialogue that matters, so that actors can inject their own truths into the interpretation. Truth is elusive, despite the times of constant cell phone record. Even with cameras rolling, a single angle only catches so much of the truth.
Potter’s patrol is on the march again, decrying police brutality, and more and more of the citizenry want to join in the ranks, making Jamie and Eddie (Will Estes and Vanessa Ray) move to more heightened levels of dread while defending the public’s right, as emotions rise. While Jamie attempts to redirect a mother and her child back behind the barricades, a man barrels through on a bicycle, and the youngest officer Reagan’s response seems far too rigorous for the offense, unless you know what is not seen from a single lens, and even Eddie has no view. Frank (Tom Selleck) and his staff brace for trouble, but the Commissioner insists that due procedure take its course. Sister, Erin (Bridget Moynahan), is in court, quoting song lyrics as evidence in a murder case, insisting that they reveal knowledge about the homicide set to happen by the young artist, Chuck (Ari Stachel). It’s thin ice for her side, and there is so much that she doesn’t know. Frank endures his family name being compared as worse than mob crime families, Gambino, Bonanno, and Gotti, by a noted civil rights attorney for the cause, Gerry Guerrero, portrayed point-to-point perfection by Steven Bauer, and refuses to get riled up, reflecting how “they are just throwing crap against the wall to see what sticks.” The Commissioner inquires whether his staff would prefer a statement of “I hate my job.” Still, it doesn’t take long for things to get even more ugly.
Erin is blindsided by a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Murtaugh (Daniel Oreskes and Lois Robbins), very much Caucasian, and very much not from the hood that their son presents himself as being part and parcel. They are there to plead their son’s innocence, because he was in attendance at his sister’s birthday party, with them, the night of the offense. There is no photo evidence, because he insists that those photos be erased to prevent leaking, so that his record company can keep up his mystique as a street artist. They further relate how their son had insisted that he related to urban street life much more than his own middle-class upbringing from an early age, particularly the black culture. The new information leaves him, and his case, vulnerable. Jamie is miserable on modified assignment, never mind it being at the Rangers hockey home. He uncharacteristically complains to dad, who will have none of that. Danny and Maria catch a rape case, with none other than Guerrero as the offender, and a young law student, Diana Corning (Amanda Quaid) as the victim, who claims she only wanted to join the cause, not become “treated like a piece of meat” by the man so well known for upholding rights. Erin is not letting up, declaring that she wants to fight it out to see “who’s tough” when it comes to court. A search of Guerrero’s apartment reveals everything consistent with a “date rape,” including the “Rufi.” Jamie and Eddie have a conversation, and Eddie warns that she might not be able to defend her partner’s every action, because she did not have that vantage point. Potter is proclaiming in the streets that police are “scam artists who carry shields” and Guerrero is grandstanding about being set up by the police. Potter is demanding Reagan resignation, and a position on a police oversight board. Jamie’s hearing hardly hears his side, that of the camera showing one angle, and not the mother and child out of frame. A female investigator pushes that not even his partner defended him, bringing up an older case, in which he jumped to her defense rashly. She accuses him of having a sister advantage in legal matters, too. He departs, hurt and deflated. When he relates how he feels, Eddie is devastated, insisting that she never “dug up” dirt to prop the case, yet feeling so hurt that she tells him that perhaps he should “find a partner he can trust.” Suddenly, Diana Corning has left her apartment with no trace, leaving Danny and Maria to think that maybe Guerrero had a point about their consensual sex turning to a set up. Chuck has big problems in Rikers, but insists he is holding up “servicing everyone.” He declares that he is not going to turn on the man who “gave me a song, and I gave him my word.” He knows that “he’ll kill me if I give him up.” Jamie offers a sarcastic blessing at the dinner table, thanking God “for making us Reagan’s” before reverting to traditional prayer. When Danny and Maria corner Corning about her phony case, they remind her that she’s far from being in the clear, receiving only a snarky reply.
Frank meets with the Reverend, relating the evidence on Guerrero, and saying they are willing to craft a trade, to clear Jamie in exchange– and all Frank wants his access to witnesses “who will tell the truth” from all angles. Potter pushes back about the oversight position. Frank reminds him, “You used to want respect” but now, “you got what you want.”
When Chuck is on the stand, he is called out for his “family of origin” conflict, and begins to open up about his story, when Miller, the real shooter storms into the courtroom, continuing his protest, simply by means of his presence. Chuck is shaken to the core. They are able to get a recess for regrouping. The Guerrero case is over– without hard feelings. Jamie tells Eddie, “I’m keeping my partner.” Over dinner, Frank and Guerrero trade barbs, Frank telling the bombastic attorney that those involved in the leak “have been corrected.” Guerrero pokes back that Frank “would’ve made a good lawyer.” In front of their waiter, the pair order “crow and humble pie” for one another, before settling on the porterhouse to close this touchy “Blue Bloods” treatise on character, with the reminder that what one sees has little to do with truth.