Blue Bloods Season 11 Episode 3 Review: Atonement

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Being a Reagan can be stressful.

On Blue Bloods Season 10, Eddie felt the pressure after she married into the family, and on  Blue Bloods Season 11 Episode 3 it was Joe Hill's turn.

Joe's choice to keep his distance wasn't surprising, though it was disappointing.

The Brothers Clash/Tall - Blue Bloods Season 11 Episode 3

Finding out that you're a Reagan might seem like a dream come true. The Reagans are a close family that always has each other's backs and manages to find time to laugh at themselves and each other despite their high-stress jobs.

But as Joe said, when you're a cop, it's different.

It's hard enough being a cop these days. Being like, the Kennedys of cops doesn't make it any easier.


The other cops in his precinct treated him. Differently, some of them bullying him and acting like he betrayed them by turning out to be related to the commissioner.

And in Joe's case, the pressure was amplified by the fact that he'd recently gotten attention for his heroism in the line of duty. Other cops might have thought that there was favoritism involved and that he got the accolades because of his relationship to One Police Plaza.

His Own Man - Blue Bloods Season 11 Episode 3

Add Joe's quiet, unassuming personality to the mix, and it's understandable that he was overwhelmed and just wanted to hide.

It also must have felt like double pressure to be asked to Christmas dinner, where he would meet even more relatives he knew nothing about and who might be overeager for him to become a full-fledged member of their clan right away.

Christmas is a big deal to many families, and if you're not sure how you feel about a brand new family, you're not going to want to spend the holiday with them. It might have been better for Joe to get to know his cousins over social media or video chat before trying to bring him fully into the fold.

Also, every Reagan family dinner must feel like a reminder to him of how close the rest of the family is. Jamie, Danny, and Erin needle each other constantly, and Joe isn't part of their inside jokes and doesn't know their family history.

Hopefully, over time he'll become more comfortable and allow himself to get to know his new family, but for now, it makes total sense that he wanted to keep his distance.

Struggling to Step Back - Blue Bloods Season 11 Episode 3

Lately, Joe's dilemma seems to stand in contrast to Jamie and Danny's love-hate relationship with one another, and this story was no exception.

The brothers again teamed up to catch a killer, though this time Jamie didn't really want to do it.

They didn't really butt heads; it was more like Danny decided they were working the case together while Jamie feigned non-interest because he wanted to follow the rules.

I don't know what Jamie thought reporting himself to his CO was going to accomplish. It wasn't going to undo the mistake he made or make it easier to solve the Diaz murder. If anything, it made it harder because he couldn't officially investigate.

But thank goodness he came through in the end! 

Playing By The Rules - Blue Bloods Season 11 Episode 3

Nobody is as good at talking suicidal suspects off ledges as Jamie. He's my favorite of the Reagans because he is sensitive and empathetic and can use those traits to make authentic connections with people and talk them out of dangerous behavior.

I don't think Danny would have been nearly as successful at talking Andy down. He's too hotheaded and impatient.

G: I wasn't born yesterday, you know.
Danny: What do you mean?
G: I know you're still working the Diaz case. You've got 24 hours.

It was a nice surprise for Danny's commanding officer to be fully aware that the brothers were working the case behind his back and not really care all that much.

He probably took Danny off the case because the brass was breathing down his neck while knowing that the replacement detectives weren't going to be nearly as thorough or as good.

Gift Wrapped Evidence - Blue Bloods Season 11 Episode 3

But we didn't need him interfering just as they were about to catch the bad guy, so I was glad he agreed to look the other way.

As for the case itself, Liz Diaz's behavior didn't make much sense.

If Liz wanted Jamie to take her grandfather's attack seriously, why did she keep her video evidence to herself and tell him that God told her this was an attempted murder? No wonder Jamie thought she was some nut case not worth his time!

And why did she go to Danny afterward if she was so hellbent on protecting her boyfriend that she didn't want him to know anything that could lead to solving the murder?

She couldn't both protect the people she loved and ask for help solving the murder, and it made no sense whatsoever for her to go to the police if she didn't want them to find anything out.

Jack Comes Home - Blue Bloods Season 11 Episode 3

Meanwhile, Erin and Anthony's latest mob case was the most yawn-worthy aspect of the hour.

Mob boss investigations on Blue Bloods are the hardest for me to get into. They aren't compelling television. And this one was no exception.

I found myself not caring one bit which mobster was being a troublemaker or about Erin's quest to prove Haskett ordered a hit on D'Angelo.

It wasn't a bad story. It just felt like it had been done on Blue Bloods several times before, and I didn't have the patience for it.

Home for The Holidays - Blue Bloods Season 11 Episode 3

What about you, Blue Bloods fanatics?

What did you think about Joe's dilemma or about the cases of the hour?

Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know your thoughts!

Blue Bloods returns with all-new episodes on January 8, 2021, but in the meantime, you can watch Blue Bloods online right here on TV Fanatic!

Blue Blood airs on CBS on Fridays at 10 PM EST/PST.

Atonement Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (24 Votes)

Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on X.

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Blue Bloods Season 11 Episode 3 Quotes

How long have we been after this guy and all of a sudden the evidence shows up on our table, literally gift-wrapped?


Paula: I feel like this is my karma, that worrying about this so much made it come out like this.
Frank: I don't think the world works that way.