Blue Bloods kicked off Season 12 with drama for every member of the Reagan clan.
Frank faced a challenge to his job, but he wasn’t the only one feeling pressure and thinking perhaps it was time to move on from the world of law enforcement.
A deadly spree rises
Hate Is Hate opened with a pair of teenagers talking on a school bus driving into New York. A man upset over being cut off by a school bus opened fire, shooting them both. Meanwhile, Danny had to deal with a father who was upset his five-year-old son caught a stray bullet in a shooting. He picked a sock from the ground while Diaz found no one willing to talk.
Eddie and Witten answered the call of a man going nuts in a convenience store over the price of a pack of cigarettes. They arrested him with Eddie yelling at a man who then hit Witten, who drew a gun on him as Jamie raced up to try and cool things down. However, the store owners refused to press charges against the man, reasoning he’d be released soon anyway.
Erin talked to Crawford over the murder she’d witnessed when she was 13 years old, pressing they could finally find justice.
Frank was with the mother of one of the boys who’d been shot. He then attended a press conference where Mayor Chase offered a $15,000 reward. It became clear Chase was trying to push “this is still a safe city” with Frank openly blaming the illegal weapons on the street and “my hands are tied.”
In private, Frank and Chase had it out over the police budget being cut, which limited Frank’s resources while Chase was worried about scaring away tourists. Frank called out how “you were the guy I used to have to hold back,” while Chase claimed it was better the people felt safe than be safe.
Danny went to see Maggie (Callie Thorne) with the boy’s sock. They bantered as she rubbed the sock and told Danny that the father was the reason for the shooting.
The tension builds more
Called before Captain Espinoza, Witten and Eddie were stunned to learn Witten was being suspended with Internal Affairs investigating her for waving her gun in public. Jamie had a row with Espinoza over it, with the captain stating the video forced his hand.
Crawford told Erin and Anthony how she saw a woman named Sandra Harris shoot Reggie Lewis. She kept quiet as back then, “a black man killed in Harlem? Didn’t even make the papers.” She didn’t come forward as Lewis was tied into the gangs. She’s also not happy about Erin reopening the case.
Danny and Baez talked to Marcus Carter (Hasseim Muhammad), who claimed to have no gang ties but did have a run-in with a neighbor named Larry. The doctors had to break it to him that his son didn’t survive.
Eddie went to see Witten, who was indulging in self-pity with drinking and eating and even talking of how she wished she’d never become a cop in the first place. Things got tense when Witten played the “you’re a Reagan” card and Eddie fired back Frank was the one who got Witten back on the force. As soon as Eddie left, Witten burst out crying.
Baker, Moore, and Clohessy found Frank working late in his office, telling him that the bus shooter had been arrested. They also told him the mayor was holding a press conference on the arrest…without Frank invited.
The Reagans try to find closure
Erin met with Anthony to talk about Crawford thinking Erin was reopening the investigation as some political play. Anthony revealed that Harris had a daughter named Leticia…who just happened to have been Crawford’s best friend as kids.
Jamie brought video footage proving Witten did not use undue force. While accusing Jamie of using the family name, Espinoza assigned him to DWI training duty with rookies.
Danny and Baez talked to a bar owner who had a run-in with Carter, with Baez making some cracks on Maggie. They then got a call saying the gun used to kill the boy had been used in an earlier gang murder.
Erin and Anthony met Sandra Harris (Cheryl Freeman) with Leticia (Adeola Role) acting as her lawyer. They both claimed to have nothing to say but as soon as they left, Anthony took the glass Sandra used to check her fingerprints.
Maggie dropped by to see Danny and insisted her “gift” was true. She then pressed Danny on how long it had been since he was with a woman, just to enjoy her company and he couldn’t recall.
It was time for the Reagan family dinner to talk on “all crimes are hate crimes,” with Frank brushing off the mayor’s solo conference. Eddie brought up if any of them had ever thought of leaving the department and every one of the Reagans raised their hands.
Eddie brought up Witten’s feelings and the hate on cops. Danny’s sons asked, “how do you get people to stop hating?” Frank responded, “like this. We sit, we talk, we listen.” Danny, of course, had to throw in, “actually, you talk and we listen.”
The cases end but the hate continues
Erin and Anthony saw Crawford to state that they had evidence Sandra shot Lewis. Crawford explained she couldn’t see Leticia go to foster care with her mother in prison and that everyone knew Lewis abused Sandra. She stated she’d do it again but that she was okay with Erin arresting Sandra.
Danny and Baez saw Jason Chavez ( Silvestre Rasuk), a former gang-banger just out of jail who turned out to have been trying to kill Carter because Carter was with Chavez’s former girlfriend who had been pregnant when he went to jail. This meant in his attempt to shoot Carter, Chavez accidentally killed his own son.
Eddie made an impassioned defense of Witten to IAB. She talked to Jamie about her worries about Witten and “the bad outweighing the good.” Jamie cheered her up by bringing her to help the store owners rebuild and promised more local police presence.
Frank met with Chase, who refused to give Frank the resources (like hiring more cops) that he needed even as Chase promoted the police were doing great. He openly called it “your crime wave, Frank. It’s your department.”
“Well, at least you got that right,” Frank intoned before leaving the office. He then paid a short visit to one of the boys in the hospital.
Danny went to see Maggie to admit she was right in that it was the father involved, just the wrong one. He also realized Maggie was right in that Danny had buried himself in the job after Linda’s death, with Maggie pressing him to let out more steam, inviting Danny to a karaoke bar.
Sandra was arrested with Leticia rocked that Crawford was willing to testify about what she saw. Leticia promised to fight this as Erin apologized to Crawford for reopening this in the first place. To add to Erin’s woes, it turned out one of Lewis’ kids was a Congresswoman who would turn this into a huge media event.
The episode ended on a lighter note as Danny joined Maggie at the karaoke bar, and she talked him into singing a rendition of the Rolling Stones classic Start Me Up.
While the ending was light-hearted, the rest of the episode was a powerful one that will send Blue Bloods in a dramatic turn for Season 12.
Blue Bloods airs Fridays at 10/9c on CBS.