Fans first meet Lena Janko, played by Christine Ebersole, in Blue Bloods Season 9, Episode 7, titled By Hook or by Crook. She is the mother of New York City police officer Edit “Eddie” Janko (Vanessa Ray) and the wife of Armin Janko (William Sadler) who is in jail.
We first meet Lena after Eddie reluctantly decides to introduce her fiance Jamie Reagan. We see Lena having dinner with Edit and Jamie (Will Estes).
Lena is blunt and insensitive. Her tactlessness is sometimes humorous, but more often she comes across as indelicate, as this excerpt from their dinner table conversation below shows:
Lena Janko : [to Jamie] Do you own a house?
Jamie Reagan: I have an apartment. Eddie likes being in the City.
Lena Janko : Eddie?
Eddie Janko : No one calls me “Edit,” Mom.
Lena Janko: I do. Your father does.
Eddie Janko: Well, I like “Eddie.”
Lena Janko : So you use a boy’s name and he uses a girl’s name.
Eddie Janko : Mom!
Lena Janko : [laughs] I’m just saying!
Jamie Reagan: It’s okay. My real name’s Jameson.
Lena Janko : Like the whiskey?
Jamie Reagan: Yeah, like the whiskey.
Lena Janko: It’s a good thing your parents didn’t like to drink Smirnoff!
Lena snarks about Edit’s nickname, saying it is boyish, while Jameson’s nickname Jamie is girlish. She also pokes fun at Jamie, wondering why he took the trouble to get a good education when all he wanted to be was a cop.
She seems more concerned about Jamie’s salary and his status as a police officer than any other positive qualities Jamie might have as her future son-in-law.
“You must see the humor in this, Edit,” Lena said to her daughter. “Your father’s in jail and you are marrying the police commissioner’s son. That’s going to make for some very interesting wedding conversation at the reception, don’t you think?”
Jamie, as fans know, was a straight-A student who studied at Harvard where he got a law degree. He later worked at a local law firm, but after Joe’ death, he decided to follow his heart. He gave up his promising law career and enrolled in the police academy. He easily graduated at the top of his class.
He was assigned to the 12th Precinct and in Season 4, episode 1, he meets his new partner, the rookie Edit Janko, who finished from police academy only a week before. Jamie was at first disappointed because he’d been looking forward to being paired with an experienced officer.
However, Jamie learns to pronounce his new partner’s name and after his initial hesitation, the two hit it off. They get engaged after being NYPD partners for some years. Jamie proposed to Eddie in the Season 8 finale.
Jamie is clearly challenged to adapt to the woman who would be his mother-in-law without being disrespectful.
He privately goes to confront Lena and tries to set her straight about his relationship with Eddie.
Lena eventually appears to accept him. She tells Eddie about Jamie’s visit and we learn that by confronting Lena, Jamie becomes the only one of Eddie’ suitors Lena was unable to scare off.
Blue Bloods airs on Fridays at 10/9c on CBS.