Think every family in the Crime And Punishment genre is on the bad guys side? This family is different. The Reagan family is a cop family, not a robber family. A four-generational family with a retired Police Commissioner from Ye Goode Olde Days as the great-grandpa, current Police Commissioner Frank Reagan as The Patriarch, his sons who are all cops and his daughter who is a DA. And their children (two of which have declared they are seriously considering joining the NYPD). They live together, quarrel but stick by each other. Because the family that arrests together stays together.They have different personalities. Grandpa Henry is a hardbitten Da Chief from the old days. Frank is an incorruptible patriarch and responsible leader, who knows how to keep peace between his children and how to encourage them without giving undue favoritism. Danny is a ruthless but competent cop who always catches the bad guys. Erin is a stickler for points of law but she can also manipulate the law to advantage when seeking a conviction. And Jamie is an idealist who feels a call to serve and protect. They are all loyal to each other and they all serve the cause of keeping order in the city of New York.Not to be confused with the aristocracy, whose article is named Blue Blood.
This program provides examples of:
20% More Awesome: Rossellini promising Erin that he'll turn over a new leaf. "I'll change — fifty percent."
Actor Allusion: Frank's mention of being a Marine with service in Vietnam; during Magnum, P.I.'s run, Tom Selleck often wore a cap with the legend "VMO-2", which was a Marine Forward Air Control squadron out of Da Nang.
The Aggressive Drug Dealer: Noble Sanfino trying to push some new party drug on Jamie, only to OD himself. He gets revenge by giving his dealer a near-fatal dose of his own product.
Gates: I got two kids, man. Shooter: Too bad for 'em.
All Girls Want Bad Boys: Erin gets weak in the knees when she meets art aficionado "Frank Weller." And she gets even weaker when he turns out to be an art thief who is using a fake alias. Frank is less than thrilled, but Erin tells him to mind his business.
Averted with almost every other major female, however. Any woman drawn to Jamie (Sydney, Laura, Bianca) or Frank (Kelly, Melanie) is almost surely not looking for a bad boy, and although Danny might have shades of being a bad boy, Linda clearly appriciates his very real husband / parenting skills.
Amoral Attorney: DA Rossellini has his eyes on the Mayorship, and is happy to manipulate Erin in order to get it. And if the Mayor goes, Erin's father goes.
Ancestral Weapon: Frank's Fitz Special revolver, which was handed down from his Grandfather to Henry, and then to him. Danny also uses Henry's old not-quite-authorized / not-quite-legal slapper (essentially a small blackjack).
Arranged Marriage: Sammy Khan wasn't shot because of his anti-terror credentials, but because a traditionalist Muslim already had dibs on his wife.
Artistic License - Law: In the 10/12/2012 episode Old Wounds, Erin Reagan prosecutes a case where her ex-husband is the Defense Attorney, when in reality that would never happen, because such would be a conflict of interests.
Ask a Stupid Question...: In "Leap of Faith", Danny thinks some small-town detectives could have been more thorough with the investigation of the first late Mrs. Bines.
Danny: And where was Mister Bines during all this? Detective: Oh, right, I forgot to tell you. He was at the arsenic store.
Very much so. The best example of this is when Danny's wife is kidnapped by a drug lord: the family bands together and figures out where she is, allowing Danny and ESU to be Big Damn Heroes, and Erin finds the mole in the DA's office.
Lampshaded when Danny's son asks fearfully if a burglar could target them.
Grandpa Henry: Are you kiddin'? He'll get one look at this table and run the other way.
Big Brother Mentor: Ironically enough, not Danny, Jamie's actual brother; but Sergeant Renzulli, his training officer.
Big "NO!": Danny, when a fellow officer and family friend is shot. ("The Life We Chose")
Bittersweet Ending: Innocence. The wrong man was convicted of rape; while he's exonerated 18 years of his life are gone. Meanwhile the real rapist can't be prosecuted due to the 5-year statue of limitations, and has raped again... but this time, he's on Frank's radar.
I'll be watching you. And so will the thirty five thousand police officers in this city.
Blasting It Out Of Their Hands: Discussed and mocked after Jamie kills a man for the first time. A reporter at a press briefing asks Frank why Jamie shot to kill instead of trying to shoot the gun out of the man's hand. Frank just sort of gives him an exasperated look before explaining that Jamie followed department policy, which is to shoot until the threat is neutralized.
Bling of War : NYPD uniforms have a party salad of decorations on a plate that also includes their badge. In a small subversion, the most prominent decoration is a simple black bar, with the letters "WTC", awarded to 9/11 first responders.
Blunt Yes: A suburban detective, chafing at Danny's questions.
Dude, Where's My Respect?: When Jamie rescues a baby from a burning building, Renzulli is hailed as the hero to protect the undercover sting. Played with a little: Frank gives Jamie the medal he deserves privately later.
Fanservice with a Smile: In her teens, Erin worked as a roller-bunny at a cocktail bar (specifically Roxy's). Frank was apparently aware of it (his mustache twitches in amusement at the memory) but he let it slide.
If Frank can't shoot them himself or put other cops in a position to shoot them, he's perfectly willing to outwit the bad guys instead. He even ran The Plan on a foreign ambassador whose son was a rapist in "Privilege".
Both Danny and Erin have a little bit of this in them too.
He-Man Woman Hater: A smug rapist who got off scot-free, and isn't shy about voicing his gender political views. After a heated meeting with Erin, he intones, "She lies. They all lie."
Hello, Attorney!: Erin Reagan-Boyle. And Charles Rossellini, to be honest (Hey, it's Bobby Cannavale).
In "To Tell the Truth", Danny and Erin have difficulty convincing an eyewitness to testify against a gangster. To remedy this, the cops leak his location to the underworld, then wait for the gangsters to strike before swooping in to "rescue" him.
Jamie and his new partner, Sosa, stake out a park bench and wait for someone to take a bag of stolen goods ("Critical Condition"). Jamie squirms over what he views as "borderline entrapment."
In "Protest Too Much", a young couple rob a bank, accidentally shooting a man in the process. Detective Danny Reagan is on the case. First problem: He's a homicide detective, and this victim is alive. Second problem: As they point out, it's a federal crime to rob a bank, which includes any crimes during the course of that (even when the shooting was done by an off-duty NYPD cop's gun—he was at the bank and got disarmed by the bank robbers) meaning it should be an exclusive FBI investigation. The NYPD might not even be on the case at all, but then, of course, there would be no story.
Honey Trap: The victim in "Family Ties" was supposed to be photographed kissing a hired blonde. The mother of the bride decided to cut out the middleman and shoot him instead.
Informed Attribute: In "Black and White", Frank blackmails the Mayor, insults an activist preacher to his face, and leaks a taped confession to the press. At the end, Frank's lawyer praises him for his political savvy (!) and urges to run for Mayor.
Danny: Okay. Here's how my testimony's gonna go. The suspect grabbed a sword down the wall, I ordered him to drop the sword, he failed to comply, bladda bladda bladda, I feared for my life, so no had no choice but to fire my service weapon striking him several times in the chest and face."
Myth Arc : Jamie and The Blue Templars during season 1. Started out as the main thrust of the series but was quickly shoved to the back burner, appearing mainly in Book Ends in the episodes where it's mentioned at all. Season 2 shifts it to Jamie going undercover in the Sanfino crime syndicate.
Neocon Newscaster: The borderline white-supremacist radio host who tries to make a live broadcast from a New York theater.
Nepotism : Zig Zagged. The Reagan clan is encouraged by family tradition, and Frank tends to prefer using Danny and his current partner for major cases. However there is no string-pulling for them per se and they all become competent at their work.
New Meat: Jamie. He's slowly leveling his badass and becoming street smart under Renzulli's mentoring.
Henry certainly applies. When Frank was shot, the entire family was in the waiting room. After revealing that has a gun, Henry sits in front and the show proceeds to time skip a few hour. You don't think much of it, until you realize that Henry is the only one who's relatively alert. Meaning that he was guarding his family, as the only way to get to them was to go through him.
And then there was the time Henry pulled a gun on an EMT to save his son from meningitis.
It's also discussed earlier, as when Jamie is under an Internal Affairs investigation, Frank resists the temptation to tell IA to let him slide. Henry helps out by letting him know that the same thing happened to Frank when he was Commissioner, but he let IA go through because he knew Frank would be cleared. He was, and so was Jamie.
Passive Aggressive Kombat: Danny and Linda's marital strife spills over into a family dinner during grace. Danny compliments his wife's prayer, "especially that part about making good decisions."
Danny has a somewhat shocking tendency toward this and sometimes the audience can't tell how far he will go. Given that it's usually towards quite despicable criminals, it comes off as Pay Evil unto Evil.
In "Whistle Blower", an incriminating video of a cop assaulting an old man goes viral.
In "The Job", a suburbanite father is waging a one-man war against "halfway house dirtbags."
A pair of junkies holding up an immigrant family ("Parenthood"). "I know you people don't use banks. Where's the money, chica?"
Principles Zealot: Erin, the daughter is an assistant DA and always getting in arguments with the other members of the family about the tension between legal protection, and law enforcement efficiency. An old problem that will always remain and is well handled in the show.
Protect This House: A father shoots dead the burglar who attacked his family, which is good enough for Danny. Not so much for the law, however, because a) the suspect was shot outside of the home, and b) the shooter is an illegal immigrant.
Reed tries on Frank, holding Erin's hostage. Frank's response is to just shoot him.
A perp in Season 2 gets the drop on Jackie and tries to invoke this on Danny, who acts as if he's going to play this straight... and then Jackie slips out of the perp's grasp, grabs her gun back, and Danny's gun is back on target.
Put on a Bus: Mayor Poole does not appear in season 3, as his actor was a series regular on Arrow.
Reality Ensues: In the pilot, Danny beats the shit out of achild molester to find a kidnapped girl. The child molester slides because his lawyer successfully argues that his confession admitted under torture be thrown out, forcing Danny to find other evidence to put him away.
Inverted in "Parenthood," when the Mayor's daughter Ariel joins a protest and his caught up in the ensuring dragnet. Ariel doesn't demand special treatment, but her parents politely suggest, separately, that Frank had better let the matter drop.
Averted with Jamie, of course. With his family connections, he could have made Detective by now.
Played with when Jamie arrests the previous mayor's daughter for smoking pot. She tries to invoke this, but after a discussion with Erin her dad tells the judge:
"I would like to tell the court that my daughter is a wonderful young woman ... (beat) ... who needs to learn to respect the law."
The bad guys don't have a monopoly on this. In "Warriors" the State Department refuses to grant political asylum to a Turkish cellist in danger of being the victim of an honor killing if she returns home (for having dated an American during the tour). Frank talks a contact into getting the New York Philharmonic to hire her, and his opposite number at State, the episode's Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist, expedites a work visa.
Semper Fi: Henry, Frank and Danny are all Marine veterans who've seen combat (Korea, Vietnam and Iraq, respectively).
Shoot Him, He Has a Wallet!: Danny shoots a man who seems to be holding a gun. It turns out the guy was an off-duty police officer and was about to show them their badge. Danny is in serious trouble while Internal Affairs investigates whether it was an honest mistake or negligence.
Sickbed Slaying: Narrowly averted with a counter-terror agent who survived his shooting.
Slobs Versus Snobs: So far, there is recurring tension between the Reagans who 'did good' and their friends who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. In a toss-up, the underprivileged tend to side with criminals.
Faced with public outcry against a brutal dictator coming to New York for medical treatment, Frank has the police protect him before and during his surgery, then as soon as he's able to be moved he puts him on a plane back home, where a popular uprising has just deposed his government.
Faced with a white supremacist radio host making a live broadcast from a New York theater, Frank ensures the show can technically go on, but puts the man's police protection inside the theater and staffs it entirely with non-white officers led by a VERY large black sergeant.
When an off duty police officer, who has had a few drinks, stops a robbery at first he is an hero - then he is in trouble for pulling his gun after drinking. Frank is advised to stay out of it. Instead he calls a press conference and announces the man will be slightly punished, but he gets to keep his job. He also makes it clear he's punishing the officer only because the regulations require it and that he'd work the streets with him any day of the week.
Taking The Kids: Erin got Nikki after divorcing her husband, a defense attorney. To this day, Nikki is convinced on some deep level that defense lawyers are heroes and DAs are evil.
Tap on the Head: Oh, right — Danny doesn't appreciate people pointing guns at Jackie, either.
Perp: I give up. Danny: Too late. [punches his lights out]
That Was The Last Entry: While listening to Joe's old iPod, Jamie uncovers a recording of his late brother preparing to infiltrate the Blue Templar.
Therapy Is for the Weak: Frank sourly tells his shrink that Reagan men don't go for prescription drugs. Or shrinks, for that matter.
Toyota Tripwire: A perp decides to rabbit and escapes on a scooter. He nearly mows down Danny, but doesn't quite clear Jackie's front bumper. Ouch.
The War on Straw: The show does not take a romanticized view of the NYPD Commissioner's office. Frank has butted heads with protesters and union reps. Zig-Zagged in "Leap of Faith", which seems to portray the archdiocese as a standard Corrupt Church shielding a anarchist priest. Though Frank initially opposes his nomination for sainthood, after performing his own investigation, he decides things weren't so black and white in the Vietnam days. He even comes to the Priest's defense when the archbishops show signs of buyer's remorse.
Mentioned from time to time. Frank was a 9/11 first responder and saw the towers go down; he suffers from Survivors Guilt as a result. He also has a peeve about people exploiting the tragedy to further their careers. Danny was a Marine who fought in Fallujah.
In one early episode, the entire department goes on high alert for a bomb threat by homegrown Islamic terrorists.
In "Hall of Mirrors" an undercover cop who infiltrated a terrorist cell is shot in a drive-by.
In "Moonlighting", Frank broods over a quote from Donald Rumsfeld regarding the Iraq War ("the known unknowns").
You Are Not Alone: Frank reminds Danny of this at the end of "Silver Star", when Danny muses on how he could have ended up just like the victim, a homeless vet.
You Should Have Died Instead: The wife of a slain informant discovers that Erin was the one pulling his strings. "So because you suck at your job, I'm a widow and my kids don't have a father." Of course, this is rendered moot when it turns out the wife was cheating on her man with someone he was investigating, who was the actual killer, and that it was the wife who blew his cover, if unintentionally, not Erin.
Your Cheating Heart: In "Whistler Blower", Erin's informant is murdered while spying on a white-collar criminal — the same criminal who is sleeping with the informant's wife. So much for wearing a wire.
Mrs. Milo: [to Erin] I don't know what fancy place you come from, but from where I come from, there is nothing worse than a rat!