Henry's been a cop, as well as the family patriarch, for a long time.
But lately, he's been faltering. First, there was that business with the fire, and now on Blue Bloods Season 12 Episode 13, Henry convinced himself that his friend and mentee must have been murdered.
The idea that his younger friend could have died of natural causes hurt Henry too deeply and reminded him of his mortality. It's a good thing Jamie was there to pick up the pieces.
Blue Bloods could have taken this story in a stereotypical direction.
Henry had Jamie investigate Harold's death, so it would have been easy for the story to end with Jamie discovering Henry was right and Chris Kelly murdered Harold.
But that wouldn't have been nearly as compelling or emotional as what did happen.
Chris Kelly turned out to be the opposite of what Henry assumed he was, forcing the most senior Reagan to confront his feelings about Harold's death.
Of course, one of the many morals of this story was not to make assumptions -- something Erin needed to learn as well.
But the bigger story has to do with Henry's character arc. He's getting older, and Jamie is the grandson who frustrates the hell out of him even though Henry also depends on him.
Jamie: You calling this a murder based on nothing but your gut instinct?
Henry: I was a cop for 60 years. I think my gut instinct is pretty damn good.
In some ways, this situation was analogous to the house fire. Henry wanted Jamie to do him a favor, but it didn't work out exactly how he expected it would.
The final scene between Jamie and Henry was one of the most moving in the entire series.
Henry: It can't be. Harold didn't trip and fall. He had to have been murdered.
Henry: Because if he's gone, why am I still here?
Jamie: None of us knows when our number's up. Nobody knows that better than you. Sometimes it's just your time. And it's not fair.
Henry has long been the one who dispenses wisdom from his perch at the head of the table, but this time it was Jamie who encouraged his grandfather. Jamie was at his best: soft and compassionate and ultimately offering a toast to Henry's late friend.
Henry was asking the question many of us ask when someone dies suddenly: why them? How can God or the Universe or whoever take someone perfectly healthy but leave the mentally and physically unwell alone to live another day?
Henry didn't want to fathom a life without his friend, and the only way he could make sense out of any of it was to insist the guy was murdered and demand an investigation. And when Jamie proved the opposite was true, Henry fell apart.
It was a sad, beautiful scene that should net Len Cariou an Emmy nomination.
Across town, Erin's storyline was far less enticing.
She way overstepped her bounds, and I was glad Anthony put her in her place!
There was no good reason for Erin to investigate the woman Anthony was seeing. It was, as he said, none of her business, and I had to wonder what the real reason was for this unnecessary spying.
Erin said she just wanted to ensure that no one took advantage of Anthony again, but was that all there was to it? Or was Erin more jealous than she let on?
Erin's been gravitating back toward her ex-husband lately, but there's definite chemistry between her and Anthony, and they bicker like a stereotypical married couple.
So even though Erin claims that she has no such feelings for Anthony, maybe she's lying to herself. Perhaps she couldn't stand the idea of Anthony dating another woman, and that's why she followed him around.
Erin's dilemma with Anthony seemed to tie into her skepticism about the wine tasting club that Eddie and Jamie randomly joined. Eddie was right: Erin is too cynical, and that's part of what drove her to violate Anthony's boundaries in such a bizarre manner.
Finally, Frank worked with Danny for the second week in a row to secretly investigate someone.
In this case, it was a cop that turned out to be dirty. But is Frank starting to make a habit of working with Danny behind everyone else's back?
Frank's dilemma about what to do about O'Neill was the most compelling part of this story, but some things didn't add up.
I can buy that O'Neill was a dirty cop who wanted to play rival gangs against each other. But I'm still not clear why he flashed his badge in the first place.
He should have known that revealing his identity as a cop to a bunch of gang members would earn him a beating. Later, Frank found out that O'Neill had taken money from the gang but wanted out.
Okay, but what did that have to do with flashing his badge? It almost felt as if he wanted them to beat him up.
Equally strangely, did Danny plan for Bugs to get shot?
It didn't seem like it, but after the shooting, Danny told Bugs he "did good."
So Bugs might have gone rogue and got himself shot, but he was supposed to get the bad guys to reveal himself, and he did.
This story felt convoluted and confusing, making it less interesting. I'd have rather spent more time on Frank hashing out his dilemma with his team and less on Bugs and Marcus.
Eddie and her new partner had a fairly interesting case, but it was mostly standard police work despite the strange setting. But Eddie and her partner got along for once, and her case was far better than the unnecessary fighting she usually does with Jamie.
It's your turn, Blue Bloods fanatics. Hit that big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know what you think.
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Blue Bloods airs on CBS on Fridays at 10 PM EST/PST.