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Blue Bloods “Parenthood” 

Photo Credit: Craig Blankenhorn/CBS

My favorite episodes of Blue Bloods – or really any show – are when a moral or legal issue pits family members (or good friends) against each other. I like seeing people try to convince a doubter or nonbeliever to come over to their way of thinking because it’s like they’re trying to convince me too. In “Parenthood,” the first issue is whether or not to let three college students off the hook after they’re arrested at a protest. Frank argues his men were just doing their jobs after the protest stopped being peaceful. Erin aruges the students just made a youthful mistake and these felonies on their records could ruin the future job prospects of these good kids. The second issue is murkier and, like the first, concerns the letter of the law versus the spirit of it.

Photo Credit: Craig Blankenhorn/CBS

I loved that Nicky had to spend the day with her mom for a school report. Frank finds out Nicky had asked her father if she could spend time with him, but he blew her off – again. What Nicky doesn’t know is her father never wanted joint custody and no matter how much Nicky punishes her, Erin will never reveal that truth to her daughter. I think Nicky can be a brat sometimes (as can all teenagers), but I’m glad I understand what’s going on with her. She’s punishing the parent that’s around for the behavior of the other parent. I get that. I think we’ve all punished people who didn’t deserve it. I like the portrayal of this tricky mother/daughter relationship. I think it’s pretty realistic (at least I know I was really hard on my mom at that age). I’m glad Erin’s there for her and Frank’s there for both of them.

But what if instead of a lie of omission, you feel like you have to tell a boldfaced lie to protect your family? What’s what happens when a pair of thieves target illegal immigrants for robberies. They figure the thefts won’t be reported because the illegals have too much to lose. These thieves feel they’re owed something because the illegals are taking their jobs. Talk about a despicable crime. Well, all crime is despicable. But to target any group of people – here it’s illegals but there are people who only target the wealthy, or minorities, or the elderly – because they think they’re better (or because they think those groups are less worthy of respect) is pretty heinous. For me, this was an interesting case because it pitted Erin and Danny against each other. Erin has to do her job according to the letter or the law and so does Danny technically. But considering the circumstances of the case, Danny makes sure the Ortiz kid puts certain key phrases into his statement. Now, the kid said those words so I can’t be fault Danny for making sure they get into the statement. But I also can’t fault Erin for questioning Danny about whether or not he coached the kid. What’s even more interesting is that Danny learns Erin helped him get a lawyer. Erin claims she likes a good fight in court, but we all know the real reason she did it.

Photo Credit: Craig Blankenhorn/CBS

In the case of the college students, I like how that ended up being handled but I can’t say they did the right thing. I also can’t say they did the wrong thing. I like that Mayor Winston didn’t ask for special considerations for his daughter. I like that Erin felt the need to look beyond the letter of the law here and that it was another mother’s concern for her child that made her do it. And I like that Frank gave just a little on this issue. As he tells the mayor, he’s usually a “law and order” man and usually I’ll all for it. I actually love that Frank can be such a hardass and often takes the hard line. I think someone needs to do it and I think it just shows his strength of character that he usually won’t be swayed by anything, especially if it’s a cut-and-dried case. Frank has to make some really tough decisions and even if I don’t always agree, I really like that a man like Frank Reagan is the commissioner and the head of his family.

Blue Bloods airs Fridays at 10/9c on CBS.

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