On the surface, the CBS series does have the presentation of this idyllic family in between the dinner table, the relationships, and the love, there is a lot of tragedy there. Before the series even began Frank’s third-oldest child was killed, and at the time that was the most devastating event that the family had endured. Even though Frank’s wife Mary and mother Betty were both deceased, they had at least opportunities to live longer, fuller lives. The death of Joe was only recently matched by Danny losing his wife Linda at the start of season 8.
How can a show like Blue Bloods really honor someone like Joe at this point? It is an interesting thing to think about given that in terms of the timeline, this is not a series that does flashbacks. That’s one of the reasons why we never saw an Amy Carlson appearance after Linda’s death and a reason why there are some other characters we haven’t met. It doesn’t make sense to do a flashback now so many years after making this structural commitment, mostly because if you choose to do this, you’re opening Pandora’s Box for many other possible flashbacks in the future.
With this being said, there are other ways to incorporate Joe into the series. We’ve seen that previously with the story about the badge number, and we do also think it would be interesting if the writers chose to craft a story that brought back some of Joe’s old friends for a case that was close to their hearts and something that Joe also would’ve cared about. Or, maybe Joe was working on a case that nobody knew about that suddenly resurfaces. It’s a chance to revisit who Joe was as a cop even if we don’t get to see him. Some of his other family members could live through him.
Joe exists as a reminder of the dangers that come with being a police officer, but he was also a beloved member of the Reagan family. As some characters like Jamie start to move forward, it wouldn’t hurt to give the series an opportunity to look back.
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