Did Friday night’s new episode of “Blue Bloods” redefine the show? Hardly, but what we did see was a really strong episode of a show that when it fires on all cylinders, gives you compelling storytelling on all fronts.
This episode, entitled “Stomping Grounds,” may be the most complete of the season in terms of giving everyone something to do. For example, when Eddie is taking advantage of in a terrible way by a superior trying to promise her advancements within the force, Jamie eventually found out enough information to go to her defense and strongly suggest that the officer transfer away to Staten Island before this situation started to boil over for him. Could you argue that Jamie’s feelings for Eddie were a big part in his reaction? Certainly, and we’ve long been in the camp of people who want to see their relationship turn romantic. However, we also think that he did something because he’s a genuinely good person who knew that this would be the right thing to do.
Meanwhile, this position at Staten Island was open in the first place thanks to a just-retired officer, one who was transferred there in part by Frank over suspicions that he was making many racially-motivated moves. When he found himself accused of further (and terrible) actions, he became outspoken, angry, and even threatened. When we first saw previews for the episode, we blamed the police institution more for putting him in such a position of rage; the promo was a little misleading in that regard, since the blame really just starts and ends with the man himself. Frank is allowing him to get a fair trial, but not one that puts his officers at the NYPD in an awkward position.
Finally, let’s turn to Danny and Baez taking a journey into her past to finally arrest a man who forced her into a traumatic experience as a child, watching as he stomped on a friend’s head. It’s a gruesome thought, and the writers played it out well how they were eventually able to nail him for wrongful eviction. With him behind bars, some people previously afraid of coming clean will now be willing to do so.
As a whole, a very strong episode of the show. We had great performances across the board, and more than that great examples of the complexity that comes with being in the police. Grade: A-.
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