"The Life We Chose" highlighted the frightening reality of a cop's life, not just for the officer but for all of those that surround him or her.
The moment that truck pulled out in front Danny and Jackie I knew they were in trouble, or, more specifically, the undercover officers they were tasked with following were in trouble.
The in-car camera eventually showed the horrifying scene. It was a drug deal gone bad and when Detective Gates pleaded that he had three kids his killer just didn't' care.
With one detective shot and the other dead, Danny and Jackie struggled with guilt and doubt. If they had been able to maintain their tail could they have stopped this tragedy. That's a question that will probably plague them the rest of their lives.
But Detective Gates wasn't just any officer, he was Danny's friend, which made this even more personal. Danny on the edge was a scary thing.
When he interrogated the mother of one dealer you could hear the venom in his voice. I'm sure he wanted to hit her and I almost couldn't blame him. She really was a witch.
That said, when he showed her the pictures of her son, shot to death on the bathroom floor, he was borderline cruel. I understood the reasons why. She was the only link left to find Phantom. Still, when he tossed her the picture of her son's bloody corpse and told her to keep it, the look in his eyes was nothing but cold.
That Danny was going to shoot Phantom when he got him in that bedroom was never a question in my mind. He was just waiting for him to turn around so they were facing one another. Besides, Phantom would have killed him given the chance.
Gates' murder didn't simply affect his fellow police officers. Linda alternated between helping his wife pick out his casket, steeling herself to stand up as godmother for his child, and running to the precinct to bring Danny fresh clothes and food. She looked grief stricken and worn out, but I suppose marrying a cop is also the life she chose.
I was a bit surprised when Henry's first response to Nicky was that she shouldn't be thinking about her friend who lost her father, as though concentrating on their song was more important. But through his explanation I could see that his first impulse was to protect her from the harsh realities of their lives by trying to distract her. Nicky's not a child anymore and she's well aware of the life they lead.
Jamie was once again mostly absent except for family dinner. He's becoming a secondary character and although he's not my favorite, we should really see more of him sometime soon.
So Frank has lived through 271 in the line of duty officer fatalities since he became a cop. That's a lot of death, but as Garrett tried to point out, Frank shouldn't take that all on his own shoulders. Garret again was the voice of reason when Frank got too caught up in his own head. Every week I enjoy him that much more.
Frank's quote at the end summed up what it takes to live with the hazards of being a cop:
Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the judgement that something else is more important than fear. | permalink
Believing that there is something more important than fear is the life they chose. Thank goodness there are people out there that have. The rest of us are luckier and safer for their choice.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.