As anyone who has ever suffered the loss of a dear one to vicious crime will attest, no measure of court-ordered sentence ever compensates for the haunting emptiness that is forever felt. Still, that flawed system, overseen by flawed human peers is the core safe and democratic society. In part two of “Blue Bloods” Season 5 finale on May 1, “The Art of War,” the Reagan clan is called to keep emotions in check as never before, especially when Danny’s wife, Linda (Amy Carlson) is critically wounded, all the while trying to save the life of a brave and crucial witness. Mario Hunt (“Method Man” Smith) seems untouchable, so what will cause him to slip up, and cause his underlings to squeal? Frank (Tom Selleck) stays true to his slain, dear friend’s virtues, and personally delivers the satisfying closure and climax for the cause of justice.
Poor, courageous Hector Florez (Felix Solis) is filled with more slugs than imaginable, as Linda crouches at the foot of his bed, dodging shots, but still in disbelief that “good kid turned thug” Curtis (Denzel Whitaker) is the one doing the firing. She joins the entire crash team in performing CPR, and administering all the life-saving efforts possible, but Mr. Florez has no hope, and the attending doctor discovers that Linda herself has been shot in the back. He calls the team to return immediately, and she is rushed into surgery. By this time, Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) is completely distraught because he gets no answer from his wife’s phone or the nurse’s station, and both he and Baez (Marisa Ramirez) know that that means bad news. He arrives just in time to see Linda being wheeled into surgery, and brotherly love from Jamie literally is the only force that can hold him back. Frank has a box of Deputy Kent’s personal belongings in his office, and Garrett (Gregory Jbara) stops in, bearing Italian dinners, and making a decided declaration that he will not be leaving until his boss does. He also offers condolences for the first time on a personal level for the loss. Just as they settle, Sgt. Gormley (Robert Clohessy) delivers the grim news that it is not only Mr. Florez who is lost, but Linda who has been shot. Linda comes through her surgery, but has to live with a shot lodged within her, because removal is far too risky. Family and love surround her, but she reminds everybody “this is still my floor, now get back to work,” and they fall in obediently.
Frank knows that Faith Turner (Quincy Tyler Berenstine) knows where her son is, and he consults with her very directly in the chapel. “The right thing is rarely easy,” he insists, demanding to know where Curtis is, and asserting that he has “no time or inclination” to pray in this situation. Danny sees through a disguise, finding Curtis on the street dressed as a woman. Danny’s hardest task in this moment is to find the composure to conduct questioning, holding the slug that came from his wife. Curtis continues to defend his criminal ways and his commanders in the gang. Danny reminds him that Erin is there “to keep me from snapping your neck.” When Curtis stays uncooperative, Danny tells him to keep his female dress, because he’s sure to be “somebody’s bitch” in prison. Erin (Bridget Moynahan) is a bit more perceptive, and asks Curtis if his mother has been threatened. The answer is obvious, and Hunt’s punishment for disclosure is doing without a tongue. Frank discusses with Danny how very literary Deputy Kent was, sneaking in his astute reading into everyday conversations. Sun Tzu”s treatise, The Art of War, was among his friend’s collection, and Frank put forth its premise that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. On a stakeout to smoke out a gang lord, Perez (Victor Salvado), Danny issues instruction to “move in” and take gang members for booking for breaking Park rules. Erin thinks this is a dreadful idea, and calls her father, saying, “we have a problem.” At the station, however, the old cop himself, Sgt. Gormley, sees exactly what Danny’s intent is, and calls them “good arrests.” No sooner had he spoken the words, then Perez appears, but “I don’t know anything” regarding Hunt is still the standard line. He does give the lead for Regina Tomlin, however, Hunt’s girlfriend, but Erin will not grant a warrant to go over to her place. Leave it to law student, Jamie, to offer the advice to “dirty up the phone,” and get Regina to say something that implicates her boyfriend. Perez plays phone tag, coaxing her to agree to a shipment of some drugs for a cut, and it all comes out when Mario calls.
Danny decides to head up to the rooftop at Hunt’s abode, and the to have it out, so to speak, especially since Mario misses a jump he intended to make, and his left hanging for his life, if not for Danny, who uses the moment to get all the confession that he needs. Erin offers that she is “impressed’ by all brother, Danny did, but that no judge will count that confession as admissible. In a sort of heart-to-heart about how the job is done, Frank tells Danny that Deputy Kent didn’t just deliver the package on his cases, he tied them up in “neat little bows.” “You need to learn to gift wrap,” he tells his detective son. Mrs. Turner, appearing beaten to a pulp, comes into the cell to visit her son, also looking like death warmed over. She pleads for his cooperation, and seeing her condition makes the difference. He puts his testimony on camera, fully detailing Hunt’s order. Even Erin is convinced, thinking that Danny agreed to letting her get a beating to gain those results, when it was really just a good makeup job.
Danny and Sgt. Thomas Kent come to see Frank, letting the Commissioner know face-to-face that they are “real proud” of how the case came out. Frank describes the guilt he feels in the present moment because Deputy Chief Kent stayed on his job, when he was about to “pull his pin,” because of his friendship and loyalty to Frank. Now, without hard feelings, the Kent son says that his dad would say “it’s not the years of your life, but the life in your years” that counts, quoting Lincoln. Frank makes it a very personal matter to deliver the news to Clinton Wallace (Kirk “Sticky Fingaz” Jones), in prison, that because Kent was officially a federal agent with the DEA, his death will be counted as that of a federal officer, carrying the death penalty. He will meet his fate in Terre Haute. Wallace protests much from his leg irons, but the moment leaves anyone viewing feeling undeniably emotionally satiated.
The family has a lovely dinner from the Palm sent to Danny and Linda at the hospital, and Linda offers the family prayer by phone, joining the “Blue Bloods” family as one to end this fifth season.