Blue Bloods: Brighton Beach Memories

In Recaps on January 28, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Danny and Jackie strolled along the boardwalk in “Family Ties,” Wednesday night’s “Blue Bloods” episode. (Screen cap)

The sacrifices that parents make for their kids – and the burdens children bear – have been recurring themes on CBS’s Blue Bloods all season, and they were explored again in Family Ties, the installment that aired Wednesday.

The episode opened at a flashy nightclub in Brooklyn’s Russian-American enclave of Brighton Beach, where young Mischa and Sophia (Topher Mikels, Sofia Sokolov) were celebrating their engagement.

After Sophia gyrated her way onto the dance floor, Mischa headed to the basement with sexy Svetlana (Anna Ellinsfeld), who must have been his tailor, because as soon as they were alone, she unbuckled his belt and hit her knees.

I guess she needed to inspect his inseam?

Since this is Blue Bloods, at that moment, the basement door opened, a gun-wielding hand emerged and three bullets were fired into Mischa’s chest.

Svetlana fled screaming.

Flash to the home of New York City police detective Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg), where – for the second episode in a row – he was awakened by a middle-of-the-night phone call.

“Guy got killed at his own engagement party,” drowsy Danny explained to wife Linda.

Danny and partner Jackie Curatola (Jennifer Esposito) began investigating the murder of Mischa, who wasn’t just some “guy” – he was the son of Brighton Beach gangster Maximilian Grushenko.

Danny and Jackie summoned Mischa’s fiancée Sophia to the police station for questioning; she was accompanied by her glamorous mother Anna (Lola Glaudini), Jackie’s girlhood friend.

Jackie told Danny that she and Anna drifted apart when Anna turned 16 and became pregnant with Sophia (Sofia Sokolov); the girl’s father – one of Grushenko’s henchmen – is now imprisoned.

After Jackie and Anna did some catching up (Jackie: “You lost your accent.” Anna: “Poor little immigrant – that wasn’t for me.”), Danny did his bull-in-a-china-shop routine, implying that Sophia was a suspect in Mischa’s murder.

This didn’t sit well with Anna.

“You were always jealous of me, Jackie,” she hissed. “But to take it out on my daughter!”

Jackie wasn’t the only blue blood connected to this case: It turned out Danny’s father, police commissioner Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck), tangled with Grushenko, Mischa’s dad, when Frank was an up-and-comer in the Brooklyn south precinct.

Frank explained to loyal aide Baker (Abigail Hawk) that he busted Grushenko’s brigade, but the old man served just four years in prison for fraud.

After his release, Grushenko revived his gang – this time with son Mischa, who trafficked in counterfeit goods, bootleg cigarettes and exotic dancers.

Now that Mischa was dead, Frank was sure the father would want revenge.

“I don’t want bodies piling up in my city,” Frank told Baker.

In a nicely written and performed scene – easily this episode’s best – Frank, accompanied by his security detail, visited a beachfront restaurant to pay his condolences to Grushenko (Olek Krupa), who was surrounded by his bodygoons.

As the old adversaries chatted, Grushenko played with a pocketknife, which he said he gave to Mischa on his 18th birthday.

GRUSHENKO: I did not want it back so soon. I didn’t want it back ever. … Do you remember the last time we sat together?

FRANK: Very well.

GRUSHENKO: I did my time.

FRANK: You should still be there.

GRUSHENKO: You want to find Mischa’s killer, commissioner? I’m not stopping you.

FRANK: Bury your son, Maximilian. Take time to grieve. Let us speak for Mischa. You and your brigade – sit this one out.

Of course, Grushenko ignored Frank’s advice.

The bodies began piling up: The owner of the nightclub where Mischa died was found fatally stabbed while a prime suspect in the shooting – Sergei (Pawel Szajda), Sophia’s torch-carrying ex – was blown up in his van.

Luckily for Danny and Jackie, Sergei survived and was able to provide them – while under the gauze of heavy bandages – some crucial information: Svetlana – the now-missing woman who Mischa was with when he was killed – worked in Anna’s dress shop.

(Maybe Svetlana really is a tailor?!)

Danny and Jackie arrived at the shop and arrested Anna; she confessed, explaining that she didn’t want her daughter to follow in her footsteps and marry a mobster, so she paid Svetlana to lure Mischa into the nightclub’s basement.

Anna explained that Svetlana was expecting Anna to shoot an incriminating photo of Mischa but instead, Anna shot him with a gun.

Danny handcuffed Anna as Sophia sobbed and Jackie pointed out that both of the young woman’s parents would soon be imprisoned.

“There are different kinds of prison,” Anna replied. “I traded one for another so that my Sophia could be set free.”

Danny and Jackie also arrested Mischa’s friend Boris (Luke Robertson), who believed that Grushenko thought of him as a son – until Danny persuaded him otherwise.

Boris agreed to testify that Grushenko killed the nightclub owner, allowing Danny to arrest the old man as proud papa Frank watched.

Frank’s daughter, assistant prosecutor Erin Reagan-Boyle (Bridget Moynahan), had daddy issues of a different kind in this episode: Her boss Charles Rossellini (Bobby Cannavale) assigned her to a high-profile corruption case that was certain to embarrass his archrival and Frank’s boss, Mayor Russo.

Grandpa Henry Reagan (Len Cariou) believed Rossellini was using Erin, who confided her conflicting feelings in her father.

“As Rossellini’s star rises, the mayor’s falls and that could be bad for you,” she told him.

“Not your problem,” Frank replied.

Erin won her case and Rossellini demonstrated his gratitude by taking her out for cocktails and then kissing her – which she didn’t seem to mind at all.

Meanwhile, Frank’s youngest son – rookie cop Jamie (Will Estes), who’s been trying all season to figure out how his older brother Joe’s death is connected to the Blue Templar secret police society – learned that Joe’s ex-partner recently committed suicide.

When Jamie chatted with the woman a few episodes ago, she didn’t seem all that suicidal.

Did she really shoot herself?

Is the Templar responsible for her death, just as it might be behind for Joe’s?

Jamie didn’t get any answers this week; chances are he won’t know next week, either.

  1. […] written and performed scene was not unlike the moment in last month’s episode Family Ties, when Frank visited a grieving Russian gangster he had battled years […]

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