SUPPORTING GREAT TELEVISION

Blue Bloods: You Only Live Twice

In Recaps on February 5, 2011 at 9:00 am

Danny and Jackie (Donnie Wahlberg, Jennifer Esposito) in “Hall of Mirrors,” Wednesday night’s “Blue Bloods” episode. (Screen cap)

Viewers of Blue Bloods know that New York City police detective Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg) is a man who divides his life between two women: his wife Linda (Amy Carlson) and his partner Jackie Curatola (Jennifer Esposito).

The CBS drama doesn’t devote a lot of airtime to Danny’s marriage – a notable exception being the December episode in which he contemplated (but ultimately rejected) the advances of a sexy temptress – but each week, we get lots of scenes between Danny and Jackie.

Hall of Mirrors, the Blue Bloods installment that aired two nights ago, put their relationship front and center – in the process, giving viewers new insight into which of Danny’s women mean the most to him.

In the episode, Danny’s dad, police commissioner Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) recruited the star detective to investigate the attempted murder of Sammy Kahn (Sanjit De Silva), a Pakistani engineering student who was shot in Central Park while playing cricket with friends.

During a clandestine meeting in a tavern, Frank told Danny that Sammy was really one of two undercover cops who had infiltrated a terrorist cell that was planning a major strike within the next two days.

Frank wanted Danny to find out not only who shot Sammy, but why.

If Sammy was shot because his cover had been blown, then the second undercover officer’s life was endangered and Frank needed to pull him out of the cell immediately.

But if Sammy was shot for some other reason – an angry ex-lover, perhaps? – then the second officer could continue his work and help the department thwart the planned terrorist attack.

Danny readily accepted Frank’s assignment but balked when he heard the rub: Danny was forbidden to tell Jackie that Sammy was a cop; she must believe they were investigating a routine shooting in Central Park.

Of course, Jackie is a smart cookie, so as soon as she and Danny began working the case, she knew something was amiss.

Jackie’s suspicions were first aroused when Danny didn’t join her in griping about having to work on a Sunday.

Her skepticism deepened when she “discovered” Sammy might be a terrorist and suggested his shooter probably “did us a favor.”

“Maybe,” Danny responded. “For now, he’s just a kid who got shot.”

This remark sent Jackie into a state of disbelief: Was this the same Danny Reagan who once slugged someone who suggested New Yorkers need to “get over” 9/11?

Danny told Jackie how his service during the Iraq war (a plot point not mentioned much since Blue Bloods’ September debut) taught him that Americans and Muslims essentially have the same goals in life: “We want food on our tables, we want a roof over our heads and happy, healthy kids.”

This was a telling moment.

If keeping Jackie in the dark didn’t bother Danny, he could have pretended to have the same reaction to the discovery of Sammy’s terrorist “ties.”

Instead, Danny opened up to her about how his experiences in Iraq altered his worldview.

It was his way of saying: “I’m not telling you everything I know about this case and I hate deceiving you, so you’re not crazy to be suspicious.”

Contrast Danny’s anguish over being dishonest with Jackie with the relative ease in which he was tempted to stray in the December episode After Hours, as well as the dismissive way he treated Linda in this installment.

When Linda called Danny at the police station to find out if he would be spending his entire Sunday at work, he quickly grew exasperated.

“No, I’m not going to make it to church,” he barked into the phone. “I don’t know. If I can make it to dinner, I will, alright?”

It was another small but revealing moment, suggesting that if Danny doesn’t love Jackie more than his wife, he at least enjoys spending more time with her.

As Danny and Jackie’s investigation into Sammy’s shooting continued, his behavior grew more transparent; at one point, he even ordered her to leave the room while he interrogated a suspect.

Finally, she confronted her partner: “It seems like you’re chasing this case on your own and you’re giving me half the information. I mean, what is it? You don’t trust me? Or you don’t think I’m a good detective?”

Before Danny could give her a real answer, he was off chasing down the shooter’s accomplice, who proved key to helping the detectives crack the case.

With little more than a half hour before Frank had to decide whether to pull his second undercover officer out of the terrorist cell, Danny and Jackie arrested Sammy’s shooter: Raheem (Lohrasp Kansara), a friend who was jealous of Sammy’s relationship with the woman Raheem wanted to marry.

In other words: Sammy’s cover wasn’t blown so the department’s undercover investigation into the terrorist cell could continue.

“Nice work, detective,” Frank told Danny when he learned of the arrest. “I’ve got 36 minutes with nothing to do.”

Later, at a press conference, Frank announced the department had busted the terrorist cell and viewers finally learned the nature of the threat: the cell was planning to attack New York’s water supply.

Danny and Jackie were seen watching Frank’s announcement on television at a bar.

Jackie, having pieced everything together, made amends with Danny:

JACKIE: You know you can trust me, Danny, with anything.

DANNY: I already know that.

JACKIE: Do you?

DANNY: Yeah, because I think you’re a great detective.

Frank also visited Sammy in the hospital, where the undercover detective was recovering and eager to get back to work.

“The good news is your cover is still intact,” Frank said.

This scene left me wondering: Sammy is willing to return to his double life, but how much longer can Danny continue living his?

This episode, perhaps more so than any other this season, demonstrated how Danny’s top priority is his work, not his wife.

Will he and Jackie remain partners and friends?

Or does Blue Bloods have something else in store for them?

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  1. […] – whether it’s helping to exonerate his office cleaning lady’s wrongly arrested son or reading ancient Arabian poetry at the bedside of an ailing Pakistani American […]

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