Blue Bloods Season 14 Episode 1 Review: Loyalty

Blue Bloods, Reviews, Television

It’s so good to have Blue Bloods back, even if only for a little while.

On Blue Bloods Season 14 Episode 1, Jamie spoke for all the fans when he said it was good to be home. The 14th season opener delivered everything I love about this show: family conflicts, tough calls on cases, and a healthy dash of humor.

Even Frank’s clash with Mayor Chase was entertaining, and I didn’t expect to like it!

That pinata of Frank cracked me up every time it made an appearance. I especially loved Frank’s deadpan comment that he was afraid to find out what was inside it.

The pinata added some comic relief to a serious issue: what should New York do about the influx of illegal immigrants, many bussed in from other states? As usual, Blue Bloods focused on how the issue affects police and made room for multiple points of view.

That’s one of the things I love best about Blue Bloods. I might not always agree with Frank politically, but that’s never the point of the story — and the writing generally allows him to have his point of view without demanding that viewers agree.

Everything’s political these days. Filling up your gas tank is a political statement to one side, windmills are one to the other.

Frank

It’s Frank’s point of view because that’s who he is, not because that’s what the writers want us to believe. He has his opinion, and Mayor Chase has his, and they both think they’re right.

The stories of Frank Reagan vs. the mayor get old, but this one managed to stay fresh by introducing something new: the discovery of common ground.

Usually, Frank and whichever mayor is in charge refuse to consider one another’s point of view. They generally see each other as adversaries rather than people who both want what’s best for New York City.

But this time, the two men forged an unlikely alliance despite opposing one another’s handling of the immigration issue. It doesn’t quite rise to the level of a friendship yet, but it’s close.

The Chase/Frank scenes drove home the point that this is the final season, especially their discussion about being tempted to quit.

Chase: Some days I feel like quitting. Ever feel like that?
Frank:Yeah.
Chase: So why don’t you?
Frank: Over time, this job has become my definition. So if I ever quit or you fired me, I don’t know who I’d be.

The writing is on the wall here. Chase suggested that Frank’s identity is not just his job but his role as a father and grandfather; the series will likely end with Frank deciding to retire.

If Blue Bloods hadn’t announced this was its final season, these conversations probably would have been written the same way. But knowing that the end is near made them that much more poignant.

Frank was in a tough spot with this one. His conversation with Badillo made it clear that Latino families weren’t any different than his own. Afterward, he didn’t want to do anything that suggested that he thought they were inferior.

But there was still a reality to be dealt with. New York can’t handle a mass influx of illegal immigrants, regardless of how anyone feels about them as people.

Still, Chase’s solution didn’t sound practical. Suspending the Right to Shelter Act seems like it will add to the issue, with homeless people and those with mental illnesses ending up on the street along with the influx of immigrants.

That seems like it’s asking for an uptick in violent crime, which Frank will be blamed for.

Danny also dealt with divided loyalties, but did anyone else find it strange that he kept insisting Darryl was a great guy?

Didn’t Darryl almost get a case tossed by planting fake evidence at the murder scene on Blue Bloods Season 6 Episode 10?

His fast-and-loose relationship with the truth before made it believable that he would make a false confession to protect his daughter. Still, it also contradicts Danny’s insistence that Darryl was one of the good ones.

Danny: He was protecting his daughter!
Erin: Then he should have gotten her a lawyer. We do not accept false confessions in this office. And you two are damn lucky that I don’t bring you up on charges for falsifying a report.

Erin was right that Darryl should have gotten his daughter a lawyer instead of playing games. This easily debunked confession only made it look like Nia had something to hide.

Meanwhile, Captain MacNichols was as obnoxious as ever.

Eddie: We let him go, what message does that send?
MacNichols: We’re not in the business of sending messages. That’s why God made parents.

I get that shoplifting is generally a petty crime and that many kids are saddled with a criminal record for life because they did something stupid.

But the answer to that problem isn’t to legalize shoplifting, especially since the issue didn’t seem to be that MacNichols didn’t want to arrest a kid as much as she didn’t want to waste time filling out paperwork for a case that would be dropped.

Arresting a boy who gloats about getting away with stealing isn’t “doing the parents’ job for them.”

Police shouldn’t be stepping in to parent children — the last thing anyone needs or wants is cops interfering with parental decisions or arresting parents for non-abusive behavior that they simply disagree with. But that’s not what was happening here.

MacNichols’ position didn’t make any sense. While there’s something to be said for broken windows policing being ineffective, ignoring a child breaking laws until they commit a violent crime doesn’t solve anything either.

And in this case, it didn’t seem like the mother was abdicating her responsibility — she didn’t know how to get through to her out-of-control kid and wanted him to spend a night in jail.

MacNichols often comes across as a tired TV trope about unreasonable bosses instead of a three-dimensional character, and this was one of those times.

The resolution of this problem was cute, but I felt like I missed something when MacNichols suddenly backed Eddie up. She went from wanting to punish Eddie for going around her to helping teach the kid a lesson.

Was that kid scared out of his bad behavior? He certainly seemed to be after Anthony’s claim to be a murderer who didn’t like him. But he may turn up again before Blue Bloods Season 14 ends.

Jamie’s undercover assignment was one of the grittiest cases he’s worked on. Maybe after Blue Bloods ends, he can join Law & Order: Organized Crime; this seemed like what Elliot Stabler is always doing!

Jamie’s doing great work pretending to be a sex trafficker while secretly trying to help the victims. But his boss’ warning seemed ominous.

Jamie’s Boss: You okay staying on the inside?
Jamie: Yes, sir.
Boss: Cause an assignment like this, it can get inside your head.
Jamie: I’m in this til we take him down.

How will this case affect him going forward? He tends to be the most sensitive of Frank’s kids, and he’s already had to think quickly to escape having to do heinous things.

What did you think, Blue Bloods fanatics?

Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know.

Blue Bloods airs on CBS on Fridays at 10/9c.

New episodes drop on Paramount Plus the day after they air.

Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on X.

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