Blue Bloods Review: Pilot
Blue Bloods isn’t your normal police procedural. It is a cop show and family drama that is driven by characters, not forensics. It’s also the perfect vehicle to bring Tom Selleck back into our living rooms every week.
The premiere opens with Selleck as NYC Police Commissioner Frank Reagan, presiding over the graduation ceremony of the newest NYPD recruits. The class includes his son Jamie Reagan played by Will Estes. A graduate of Harvard Law, the family thought Jamie was destined for a life without the blue uniform, but as his older brother Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) quips, now he’s “just like the rest of us Reagans, another boot in a suit.”
This is a cop family. Frank is following in his father's footsteps. Veteran actor Len Cariou is family patriarch Henry Reagan. Henry’s career on the force was marred by controversy. Whatever the issues were, they won’t seem to die just because he has retired.
Elder son Danny is a seasoned detective who is immediately thrown into the case of a missing girl. Having been pulled into a van on her way home from school, the girl has about 24 hours until she must have her insulin for her diabetes. I like how this investigation revolves as much around tracking down leads and interviewing witnesses as it does fibers and DNA.
Their best lead is a doll left at the scene that may have been used to lure the girl into the van. Danny finds out that it is a prototype and that only three people in the city have that doll. The first suspect is quickly ruled out. At the residence of the second suspect, the detectives walk into a home full of dolls. They’re thinking this has got to be their guy. Ironically the man is a reviewer for a doll magazine and he still has his prototype. Still, a single man with a home full of dolls is kind of creepy.
This leads them to their final suspect. His doll is missing. He says it must have fallen out of the back of his van. The same van he suspiciously just had repainted. The clock is ticking as the 24 hours is winding down. With their suspect denying everything and a little girl’s life hanging in the balance, Detective Reagan shoves the man’s head in the toilet, threatening to drown him if he doesn’t talk. It works. He gives up the storage locker where the girl is found, weak but alive. “We won one,” says Reagan’s partner.
Not so fast. Danny’s enhanced interrogation techniques put the case in danger and may allow the perpetrator to walk. This leads to a great debate over Sunday family dinner between Danny and sister Erin (played by Bridget Moynahan) who just happens to be an Assistant District Attorney. Where is the line between what the law allows and what leads to justice? They have opposing views and the whole family gets into the mix. Even angry, this group feels like family and I hope we can look forward to a lot more Sunday dinners with the Reagans.
When Danny turns to his father for advice, Frank reminds him that just because this guy doesn’t have a criminal record it doesn’t mean he’s never committed a crime. The further investigation gives them the evidence to prove that their suspect killed a girl in Florida, a death penalty state.
As this case is winding down, we see Jamie struggling with his first days on the job. On his way home, two detectives approach him and ask him to join a clandestine investigation into something called the Blue Templar. Oh, and did they mention that this very investigation may involve his grandfather and may have been what got Jamie’s older brother killed on the job.
So, Blue Bloods leaves us with a strong cop drama, an incredibly talented cast, and a possible mystery to solve. I’m definitely looking forward to more. How about you?
Blue Bloods: "Pilot"
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.