When Frank and Jamie butt heads, it's usually because they're too damn similar.
Blue Bloods Season 10 Episode 7 was no exception.
Jamie started on the same side as his father, but that was almost forgotten in their disagreement about how he handled a water-throwing citizen.
Frank and Jamie's conflict was one of those things where both points of view were valid.
That's good writing. In a case like this, it would be easy to slant the story to support one side or the other.
The writers, as they often do, went the more difficult route of presenting both points of view so that viewers can make up their own minds.
Anyone who throws water on police officers, who throw objects at police officers, who impede police officers while they are doing the job are breaking the law. Anyone caught doing this will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I want to be crystal clear about this. I will never ask my officers to tolerate abuse.Frank
Frank made a point of announcing at his press conference that anyone who threw water (or anything else) at the cops would get punished. But he didn't expect it to go down the way it did.
As soon as Jamie threw water on that guy, I knew it was going to come back to bite him -- just like Frank's words were.
Frank wasn't wrong that Jamie brought negative publicity to the department.
News sources reported on the cell phone video without as much as asking Jamie for a comment before running the story, and that video fit a narrative of a white cop humiliating a black citizen just because he can.
From the video, Jamie looked like an angry asshole who responded to a bad attitude by getting abusive.
It lacked context, and most likely people were sharing the story over social media as an example of the crap some citizens have to put up with from the cops.
Jamie probably was angrier than he admitted when he confronted the water-throwing guy. But at the same time, he was in a tough spot where he would have gotten criticized no matter what he did.
The guy was refusing to comply with getting arrested. Jamie's other options were to tackle him to the ground, tase him, or pull out his gun.
Pulling a gun would have resulted in tragedy or near-tragedy. Tasing or tackling the guy would have opened Jamie up to accusations of excessive force.
So his argument that throwing water was the best way to subdue the guy had merit, even if he might not have consciously been thinking that at the time he did it.
Frank was right that cops can't act like perps. "He did it first." isn't a good defense for anyone who is in a position of authority.
And Jamie throwing water on the guy probably didn't do much for relations between cops and citizens in that community.
Yet sometimes the only thing a bully understands is someone standing up to him, and that's exactly what Jamie did.
You assured the cops in our department you got our backs. Maybe you oughta show your son you got his too.Gormley
More important than who was right was what this might do to Frank and Jamie's relationship.
Frank's insistence on holding his kids to a higher standard is a double-edged sword that demonstrates integrity, but sometimes makes him come off as nothing but a grumpy curmudgeon.
He tends to be harder on Jamie than Danny, too. He's resigned himself to Danny's hotheaded ways, but expects more of Jamie.
From time to time that irks Jamie, and this was one of those times.
Without Eddie providing the voice of reason, Jamie might have let this rift continue to grow, which would have caused bigger problems down the line.
There wasn't much Jamko in this episode, but Eddie played the most important role because she got Jamie to see a different perspective.
Meanwhile, Danny's case led to some emotional moments between him and Henry.
The case itself was mildly interesting. Matt had to be the stupidest perp in the history of Blue Bloods.
But the real story here was Danny's desire to protect people like Henry, which led to Henry admitting his fear of developing dementia.
Henry: This is my greatest fear.
Danny: Getting mugged again?
Henry: No. A beating I can take. It's the things I can't fight back against that scare me. Like dementia.
Danny: You seem sharp as a tack to me.
Henry: Yeah, you are, til one day you aren't.
It was one of the most relatable Danny stories in recent history -- and I say that as someone who usually finds Danny the least interesting of all the cops.
Danny was right that senior citizens' needs aren't always taken seriously.
Erin was dragging her feet because she knew the case wasn't prosecutable, not because she didn't care about elderly people.
But Matt chose to pick on the elderly for a reason. He knew his targets were unlikely to fight back and unlikely to make good witnesses.
Of course, there are plenty of older people who are physically and mentally fit, but that's not who Matt was after.
I was surprised Danny and Maria didn't use an undercover to get Erin the proof she needed, though.
That would have been the easiest solution. Have Henry (or Danny with appropriate makeup) pretend to be an infirm old man who lives in one of these buildings and catch Matt redhanded.
Danny's outwitting a halfwit was amusing, and all, but a sting operation seemed like the logical solution here.
Everyone at Riker's says they're innocent. Everyone at Sing-Sing. Everyone at every jail everywhere says they're innocent.Anthony
As for Erin's case, her guilt over Darnell's false incarceration was the most interesting aspect.
Erin/Jack Sr has run its course, and I hope that hug at the end was just a friendly hug.
I'm not interested in yet another round of Erin trying to make it work with Jack while Anthony sulks.
But her apology to Darnell was heartfelt and authentic.
There is no way to make up for lost time after someone is jailed who shouldn't be, and the best Erin could do was try to make it right now.
Your turn, Blue Blood fanatics.
Were you team Jamie or team Frank on this one?
How stupid was Danny and Maria's perp?
And do you want another round of Erin/Jack?
Share your thoughts in the comments, and don't forget you can watch Blue Bloods online if you missed anything.
Blue Bloods airs on CBS on Fridays at 10 PM EST/PST.
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