May 30, 2024

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Blue Bloods Season 14 Episode 8 Review: Wicked Games



The Reagans are usually a tight-knit family, but their armor had some cracks.


Everyone was keeping secrets, and Frank learned that his high standards intimidated everyone he thought he was close with.


Blue Bloods Season 14 Episode 8 offered some compelling storylines, but Frank’s hurt feelings were the weakest.


Frank’s conflicts with the Dream Team usually involve substantial disagreements related to policy. Frank usually wants to follow his values, while Garrett worries about optics. Sid wants to stand up for whichever cop is on the hot seat, even if Frank thinks the cop is wrong.


Frank’s problem was personal this time despite his disguising it as a policy issue related to whether the office lets friends and relatives use their connection to their advantage.


Frank’s feelings were hurt that Abigail didn’t feel comfortable asking him about her husband’s potential new job or her marital problems.

Frank: Why didn’t Abigail tell me?
Garrett: Come on. This is Abigail’s marriage and you’re you.


Abigail usually sets Frank straight when he crosses the line from a man of principle to a grumpy curmudgeon, so it seems odd that she is so intimidated by him.


Sure, Brian’s job was a more personal issue to her than most of the conflicts in Frank’s office, but she seemed more inclined to stand up to Frank if she thought he was being unfair.


That’s precisely what she did when he called her on her behavior, so why not skip the theatrics and have that conversation from the start?


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Frank Got an Earful From Everybody


Frank didn’t debate the policy issue with his team because there was no policy issue. That was a front for trying to understand why Abigail wouldn’t come to him in the first place.


It had to be upsetting for Frank, who probably thinks of himself as an approachable, fair boss, to learn that everyone saw him as intimidating and too set in his ways to offer Abigail any compassion about her marital situation.


Erin’s comments were the most interesting. Not only did she offer insight into what it was like to grow up with Frank Reagan as a father, but she also suggested that Frank’s integrity and refusal to compromise his values made him an intimidating figure.


That’s sad. The world needs more people like Frank who are willing to stand up for what they believe in. If people are intimidated, it’s because they’ve bought into the idea that doing what you think is right is too scary and polarizing and that you must give up your values to get along in the world.


That’s on them, not on Frank. But Abigail seems pretty strong herself.


Sometimes, she’s only there to be a receptionist, but more often than not, she confronts Frank when she thinks he’s being too rigid.


She acts according to her values plenty of times, even risking Frank’s anger, so there’s no reason for her to be too intimidated to ask him what he thinks of Brian’s proposed transfer.


I wasn’t clear as to what Abigail’s marital difficulties had to do with anything. Did she think getting Brian a better assignment would help fix things?


Abigail not telling Frank that she and Brian were separated seemed like a different issue from whether she felt comfortable asking Frank to help Brian get a job.


We don’t know whether this was a split for the sake of drama or if there was a serious reason, but if things had deteriorated to the point that Brian had been living elsewhere for a month, Abigail calling in a favor with Frank wasn’t likely to solve anything.


Abigail is one of my favorite minor characters so it’s always great to have more of her, but the dots were not connecting for me during this story.


I also wasn’t a fan of her suggesting that Frank only became commissioner because Henry had been since there was a corrupt guy in between, and Frank fell into the job.


Jamie and Anthony Went Against the Mob


It’s always gleefully ironic when Anthony works mob cases since Steve Schrripia was on The Sopranos first. This was particularly fun because he and Jamie were going behind Erin’s back to work on this case.


Anthony often ends up working with Danny when he doesn’t want to, and the two revert to middle school behavior, calling each other names and engaging in teasing that borders on mutual bullying.


Anthony and Jamie’s partnership was much more enjoyable, even if Jamie blackmailed Anthony into working together.


Blue Bloods relies on non-trustworthy informants who get them into trouble so often that it’s become a tired TV trope, but the search for Billy was only the secondary aspect of this case.


The real story was the side conversations between Jamie and Anthony.


I loved Anthony pointing out that Erin wasn’t easy to talk to and Jamie admitting she was judgmental and bossy even when they were kids.


It was an interesting parallel to Frank’s story. I always thought Jamie was ideally suited to be the next commissioner because he and Frank are similar, but Erin seemed to have inherited the intimidating gene.


Danny vs. Sam Evans Offered Edge-of-Your-Seat Drama


Danny usually has the most significant storyline, and this was no exception. He took it upon himself to protect Baez from a creepy bad guy who had come after her once before—and this time, he let her kill the guy.


Sam Evans was the kind of psychopath who spoke softly and acted friendly, but every word was rife with double meaning. The guy killed his mother without a second thought and saw Danny as a challenge — and as someone else crucial to Baez he could use to get to her.


There was only one problem with this story (besides Danny not telling Baez what was happening right away!). According to Erin, Sam Evans was released two months ahead of schedule.


Two months. Not two years or twenty years. Danny and Baez would have had to deal with this a few months later, but Danny acted like this shortened sentence was a massive miscarriage of justice.


Danny and Baez Got Closer


This story was essentially a vehicle for Danny and Baez to get closer. Danny stayed in his car all night to protect Baez, and Baez got over being mad about it pretty quickly.


The whole scenario was reminiscent of Benson/Stabler on Law & Order; SVU during the early years, except Baez was far more receptive to Danny protecting her than Benson was when Stabler showed up at her house to check on her when she was being stalked.


Baez’s final comments were unmistakably flirty.


In the past, the actors involved have been adamant that they don’t want Baez and Danny to get romantic because there’d be no room for them to work together anymore.


With Blue Bloods’ cancelation, though, all bets are off. There isn’t any future for the writers or actors to worry about, so they can wrap things up by putting Baez and Danny together, and it looks like that’s where this is heading.


Eddie Tried to Do the Right Thing, But Can McNichols Be Any More Unlikable?


McNichols is always a low point on any given episode. She’s annoying, rides Eddie too hard, and often toes the line between being a tough boss and abusing her power.


This new story wasn’t any better. Whether McNichols knew that Stone was manipulating numbers for her benefit, the fact remains that she was dating a subordinate.


That was never going to end well, and perps were getting charged with lesser offenses than they deserved because McNichols’ boy toy wanted to help her look good.


Eddie probably was the wrong person to move forward with this. It wasn’t that long ago that she had rats planted in her locker because she investigated whether a victim’s claims that a cop assaulted her were true, and this situation was mostly none of her business.


Still, McNichols should have faced consequences for inappropriate behavior, and it was annoying that she didn’t.


Your turn, Blue Bloods fanatics.


Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and tell us what you think of this episode.


Blue Bloods airs on CBS on Fridays at 10/9c. New episodes drop on Paramount+ the day after they air.

Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on X.





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