There’s no right time to be a cop.
Frank had to handle a politically-charged investigation into an officer-involved shooting that could drive a good cop off the force.
Meanwhile, Jamie tried to get a new cop to join his unit but realized he might have been looking at the wrong candidate.
Erin dealt with a seemingly open and shut case that may not have been so obvious after all. Unfortunately, this led to further conflict with Crawford.
Finally, Danny and Baez dealt with a spate of watch robberies with time against them.
This combined to make Life During Wartime a strong episode to show how dedicated to the job the Reagans are.
Time for a brazen robbery
Danny and Baez arrived at a crime scene to hear how Alan Josephson (Alan McCullough) had been robbed by two men who smashed up a cafe. He had a bad attitude toward the cops as he said the watch was a limited edition worth nearly a million dollars. He then threw in how he owned a gallery that the mayor’s wife loved to have solved fast.
Jamie met Fleming, who wanted him to fill a slot on the team left open by an officer being promoted. He warned Jamie, “Whoever you pick, you own them.”
Erin and Crawford talked about Andrew Green, who confessed to shooting a ten-year-old girl while fleeing a bank robbery. He had identified James Baxter as his accomplice, and Crawford wanted Erin to interview Baxter herself, with Erin surprised at being put on this.
Frank met Officer Robert Lester (Cameron Knight), who had been cleared of the shooting death of Louis Lamar two years months earlier. However, the mayor wanted the case reopened, which Frank couldn’t understand as there was no new evidence.
Lester claimed he had pulled over Lamar on suspicion of a robbery, and when he reached for his cell phone, Lester shot him. He still felt guilty over it but that he’d reacted the way any cop would have. After Lester left, Frank told Sid to keep an eye on him.
Erin met Baxter (Zach Wegner) in prison, who claimed to know nothing of the girl’s death and refused to accept a plea bargain.
Danny and Baez learned a crew was robbing rich people, but they were still stuck with this case thanks to Josephson’s connections. They bickered about someone spending that much on a watch, but Baez found out how valuable it was as they used an app to make it look like Danny was wearing it.
Jamie met Officers Mark Cooper (Nicholas Podany) and Zack Christodoulopoulos (Steven Maier), or Christo for short, commending them for stopping a carjacker. He then offered Cooper a shot at Intelligence, which he was happy for.
Erin and Anthony talked about the case, with Erin pointing out they had no solid evidence of a connection, even if Baxter was shown on video outside the bank. Anthony was convinced he was guilty, but Erin warned him not to go too far with this.
Danny and Baez headed to the hospital to talk to Leslie Prentiss (Jennifer Plotzke), who had been shot by the same men wanting her watch. The cops knew they had to find these guys before they killed someone.
Frank’s staff talked about the Lester case being a tragedy but not a crime. Moore pointed out that there was a minority victim and “A cop’s not black or brown or white, they’re just blue.”
Frank snapped to knock off the “bumper sticker” style talk and that after all the cops who left, he wasn’t going to kick a good one off the force. He bluntly said he wasn’t going to “Hound a person as long as you need to until you get the thing you want.”
Baker warned about this looking like protecting bad cops as Sid fired back that it could lead to more investigations and more walkouts. Poor Moore was in the position of putting this all into a press statement.
Jamie holds a tricky audition
Erin met Jeanine Daltrey (Claire Karpen), the mother of the murdered girl, who wanted justice. She mentioned she’d spoken to Anthony, who promised to put Baxter away.
That sent Erin storming into Anthony’s office about manipulating the woman to influence Erin’s judgment. She snapped she needed to base this on facts, not gut feelings, and warned Anthony never to do this again.
Jamie talked to Christo about Cooper, who praised his partner as a great cop who was ready to race into trouble. Jamie wondered about him handling things not always what they seemed, but Christo said Cooper could take it.
Rishi Patel (Rishan Dhamija) showed up at the precinct to reveal he was a victim of the thieves but was confused as the watch wasn’t expensive, just an old family heirloom passed down over generations.
Lester arrived at the home of Lamar’s parents to apologize in person, but they didn’t want it. Sid arrived as Mr. Lamar snapped, “Make sure he keeps his hands where you can see them.”
Jamie showed Cooper to an interrogation room with Brad Haller (Kris Kling), a man suspected of shaking his girlfriend’s baby. Cooper began pressing him as guilty, slapping the table and yelling as Haller broke down denying it. Cooper seemed taken aback as he left while Jamie watched in disappointment.
Danny was at a high-end jewel shop to talk to Teddy Marks (Rob McClure) about how every victim had purchased their watch at this shop. He “suggested” it could be an inside job. Marks gave away knowing about the Prentiss robbery, which wasn’t public yet to be arrested.
Cooper tried another tack, calmly talking of knowing how it was to be driven wild by a crying baby from his own family to sway Haller into confessing what he’d done.
Erin met Detective Maria Reynolds (Celeste Oliva) to talk on the case as she’d gotten the confession from Green. Reynolds brushed off getting a deal for Green just off the promise of some accomplice. She felt her job was done with the confession and the rest was up to Erin.
What kind of cop is right for the job?
Jamie arrived at the hospital, where Cooper was shaken as Christo had been shot during a robbery. Christo had wanted to wait for backup, but Cooper went in. When the suspect opened fire, Christo pushed Cooper down and was hit.
Cooper said his transit cop mother had told him, “A good cop doesn’t hesitate.” Jamie snapped that wasn’t always true as Cooper was filled with guilt.
Danny interrogated Marks, who admitted he had been pulled into a plan that any time he sold a wildly expensive watch, he’d give the information to someone. He thought there’d be no violence, he’d get the money and the clients would claim the insurance. Danny told him he had just one way out.
At the family dinner, the family got Sean to confess that he had to dress as Britney Spears for a Halloween party because he lost a bet. That led to the family teasing each other about some past Halloween costumes, including Frank as Teddy Roosevelt.
After dinner, Frank and Henry talked about Lester, with Henry pointing out that going to war with the mayor wasn’t a good idea. Jamie and Danny joined in to say that ignoring this was bad, but opening more cops to investigations would also be terrible.
“We’re never going to be perfect out there,” Danny pointed out as Frank related Lester had already put in his papers. Frank refused as a cop under investigation couldn’t quit and needed Lester at his side to fight this.
Danny and Baez showed up at a high-end gallery dressed in flashy clothes, Danny flaunting a watch. The two gunmen showed up to rob Danny only to be locked in and realized too late they fell into a trap as every “employee” was a cop. Danny mocked them on his watch being a fake.
Erin met Green in prison and it soon related that Baxter was innocent after all, and Green just told Reynolds what she wanted to hear. Anthony was hit by being so sure of an innocent man’s guilt.
Crawford shared that the mayor wasn’t happy about this case being dismissed. Erin realized Crawford set her up to be the one who got the blame for not closing a case against a man involved in a child’s death.
Crawford knew Erin was running against her as Erin vowed she’d never politicize the office like this. She’d hoped to “Leave the politics at the water’s edge,” but the battle lines were clearly drawn between them.
Jamie visited Christo in the hospital as he was recovering well and would get a medal for this. Jamie also knew it was Christo who gave Cooper the push in the interrogation and Christo was a much better fit for Intelligence. When Christo refused to do that to Cooper, Jamie replied it was Cooper’s idea and that Christo should accept it.
After teasing each other about their undercover outfits, Danny and Baez returned the watch to Patel, revealing that it was actually just as valuable as the others. He was surprised but felt he could never sell a family heirloom.
Lester came to Frank’s office as Frank was going to tell the press Lester was still cleared of the shooting but might be open to civil lawsuits later. Frank promised to stand with Lester “alongside the 35,000 cops who will stand by you come Hell or high water.”
Frank said that Lester could still resign if he wanted but hoped he’d stay on the force. Lester agreed to stay as they headed out together.
It was a tricky episode on duty and the truth but came together for another strong story.
Blue Bloods Season 13 airs Fridays at 10/9c on CBS.