Blue Bloods' Frank Reagan: Grumpy Curmudgeon or Man of Principle?

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Frank Reagan rarely gets swayed by popular opinion.

He has a consistent set of principles that he operates from, and whether he's staring down his family, his advisors, or even the Mayor or Governor, Frank doesn't compromise them.

His integrity is refreshing, but on Blue Bloods Season 9, Frank has butted heads with people who disagree with him and come into more conflict than ever with his family thanks to Erin's new job and Jamie's new relationship. Has he crossed the line from operating with integrity to just being stubborn?

Frank Is Upset - Blue Bloods Season 9 Episode 8

Frank's stubbornness is most evident when he has to deal with his family. 

For example, on Blue Bloods Season 9 Episode 8, Frank took the DA office's new policy on marijuana offenders personally.  It didn't matter to him what Erin's reasons were for instituting the new policy or what political pressures she was dealing with, too.

He stuck to his belief that the law is the law and that marijuana offenders should be subject to harsh penalties until the law is changed, even confronting Erin at a televised press conference about it.

Related: Blue Bloods Season 9 Episode 8 Review: Stirring the Pot

Frank shouldn't have held back just because his daughter was on the opposite side, but it seemed like he was holding tight to his beliefs partially because Erin was the one suggesting the policy.

Behavior like that alienates almost everybody -- and not just family members who work hard on policies Frank disagrees with, either.

The DA's office crafted that policy for a number of reasons, everything from the fact that jails were getting overcrowded thanks to the incarceration of people who committed minor offenses to overwhelming public support for decriminalizing marijuana use.

To be clear: Frank wasn't obligated to agree with the DA office's new policy, regardless of who wrote it, but isn't the reasoning behind the it good information to use to evaluate whether the policy is good or bad or his department needs to change to accommodate it?

Erin Finds a Green Zone - Blue Bloods Season 9 Episode 8

To do otherwise is to risk becoming an out-of-touch leader who is fighting for policies that the city he serves has long outgrown! And it's this insistence that he is right no matter what that makes Frank look like a curmudgeon rather than a man of principle.

That is especially true considering that Frank can be more open-minded when he wants to be. 


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Look at his treatment of Officer Whitten on Blue Bloods Season 9 Episode 12!

In this case, Frank realized he'd been too hasty in firing this officer based on a too-rigid adherence to the rules and went to great lengths to convince her to give police work another try.

Part of integrity is admitting errors and learning from them, so in one sense it was no surprise at all that Frank was willing to make amends to Officer Whitten.

That shows that he doesn't need to memorize the rulebook to continue to act out of principle -- in fact, sometimes the most principled thing to do is to consider circumstances rather than just whether someone followed the rules to the letter.

Questioning a Chief - Blue Bloods Season 9 Episode 4

And Frank knows this implicitly, or at least he did once!

Over the years, he's dealt with a lot of people whose politics he found distasteful but whom he had to work with nevertheless to accomplish mutual goals.

He's often been able to speak the language of such people to get things accomplished.

Notably, on Blue Bloods Season 9 Episode 11, he approached Corey Vallejo with a combination of friendliness and firmness, making it clear that she would not get away with scapegoating his department while also seeking common ground with her.

Related: Madam Secretary Season 5 Episode 13 Review: Proxy War

Throughout Season 9 or perhaps a bit before, Frank's behavior has put the department at risk of having its reputation attacked unfairly.

For example, on Blue Bloods Season 9 Episode 9, he ordered a raid on an apartment complex where several residents had harassed some of Jamie's officers.

The raid yielded results, and Frank leaned on that fact to justify it despite acknowledging the residents' attitude played a role in his decision.

This type of behavior could easily backfire on the department, putting it at risk of bona fide complaints of abuse of power, harming its reputation, or even the receiving end of a lawsuit!

It's difficult for Frank to claim the department is being unfairly tarnished when under his leadership, it commits similar acts to the ones it's accused of, and it also undermines Jamie's authority when Frank swoops to the rescue by sending cops to raid the apartments of people who gave Jamie's officers a hard time.

These types of decisions -- especially when his advisors warn against making them -- are not examples of good leadership and make Frank look more like a relic from a previous era where such abuses of power were more accepted than the man of integrity he has been throughout the series.

Leaked Video - Blue Bloods

I turn it over to you, Blue Bloods fanatics!

Do you think Frank is overdoing his stubbornness and becoming less a principled leader and more a curmudgeon, or do you admire him for sticking to his principles no matter what the cost?

What do you hope to see Frank do as Blue Bloods Season 9 continues?

Weigh in below, and don't forget you can watch Blue Bloods online here on TV Fanatic if you missed anything!

Blue Bloods airs Fridays at 10 EST/9 CST on CBS.

Jack Ori is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Blue Bloods Quotes

Jamie: Our vows.
Eddie: Yeah, I don’t want them to just mean something on our wedding day. I want them to mean something today and tomorrow and every day after that.
Jamie: I will always have your back. If you fall behind I will wait up.
Eddie: I will earn your respect and pay you respect every day we have.
Jamie: I’ll be your scout, your night watchman, your cavalry.
Eddie: Your medic, your chaplain in our army of two.
Jamie: No retreat, no surrender. You can count on me.
Eddie: You can count on me.

Someone said, we are all just passing time and occupy our chair very briefly. The time we had with Linda was a gift. and we are all the better that she occupied her chair so well.

Frank