Should Blue Bloods season 7 give Donnie Wahlberg’s Danny major arc?

Blue Bloods season 7Earlier this year, the folks over at Criminal Minds did something that was rather unheard of for the CBS procedural at the time: They opted to construct a major plotline that put Matthew Gray Gubler’s Spencer Reid at the center of it. He is the key component in a story that is lasting for several weeks, and it is featuring him trying to find a way to survive in prison.

Is the show still containing those procedural elements? Absolutely, but they are trying something new in giving us a much more serialized presence. It dives into the psychology of the character, and helps to understand the sheer magnitude of what he is going through. One of the things that happens often with procedural shows is that you don’t see the physical or psychological impact of something that a given character is going through beyond just the first week or so. This allows for an opportunity to explore that, and it’s fascinating once you really think that you understand who a character is and that they’re about. It flips the script!

Now, let’s look over to another show in Blue Bloods that often follows a similar pattern with all of its characters. Every episode of the series, with a few exceptions here and there, have some investigations or some moral / ethical dilemmas that need to be explored by the characters on the show. We watch the team work to resolve them by the end of the hour; then, we move onto the next thing.

Can we give Donnie Wahlberg’s Danny Regan the Spencer Reid treatment over on Blue Bloods, and give him a serialized arc? It’s worth exploring, and for a number of different reasons.

1. It catches viewers off-guard – There’s something fun about diverting expectations seven seasons into the show’s run. You think that the ending of an episode signals the ending of a story, and this makes it clear that this isn’t necessarily the case. It gives viewers a further incentive to watch live, and to catch every episode.

2. Exciting material – Can you imagine Danny needing to go into deep cover in order to track and infiltrate a criminal organization for a few weeks? It would give Wahlberg some excellent material, since he’d basically have to play a very different version of his character. You could also see how being in this world and with these people could starting to mess with his head to a certain degree.

3. Long-term ramifications – Maybe something happens to Danny that makes him realize that he wants a different position within the police force; or, maybe he realizes that he wants to do more things undercover. There often aren’t many things that stick from one story to the next in a procedural format. With a longer story you can justify more long-term changes.

In the end, Blue Bloods is the sort of show that could benefit from a buzz-worthy story that would drive attention, ratings, and allow Donnie Wahlberg’s Danny to be at the center of his biggest case to date. If this works, maybe you craft a similar narrative for another character or two next season. We wouldn’t overdo these arcs with a show like Blue Bloods (we know that this is a procedural and you can’t change it completely), but every now and then, isn’t variety the spice of life?

Do you want to see a larger Danny story on Blue Bloods season 7? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

(Photo: CBS.)

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