YMMV / Blue Bloods

  • Acceptable Targets: Reporters and people with left-winged political views (however mild) are not exactly given a fair or positive portrayal in this show.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Danny, being a major example of the Cowboy Cop trope, is subject to this a lot within the fandom. The show seems to encourage this, since some of the showrunners worked on The Sopranos, and probably wanted to include at least one morally grey character. Basically, opinion on Danny is divided between those who approve of his policing methods and those who find them excessive:
    • Those who agree with Danny feel that his willingness to break procedural rules is justified given what he goes up against, and at worst view his harsh actions against as merely an example of Pay Evil unto Evil. This is somewhat borne out by these kinds of offenses being committed against the worst people he's dealt with on the show, several of these were out of desperation, and that there are also many examples of him exercising restraint and doing things by the book even when dealing with some really nasty people.
    • Those who disagree with Danny's methods often view him as dangerous, reckless, and view him as having a disturbing disregard for New Yorkers' civil liberties, and many view him as being a Knight Templar who often comes unnervingly close to becoming as bad as the people he fights. One reviewer pointed out that when Danny decides that a suspect is guilty, he goes after them with reckless and extremely aggressive tactics... but what happens if he ever mistakenly becomes convinced that an innocent person is guilty? Not to mention the dubious legality of some of Danny's methods.
      • Given that Grandpa Henry virtually always (loudly and vigorously) agrees with Danny during debates at the dinner table, opinions on Grandpa Henry have lately also become divided along the exact same lines, with Danny's supporters admiring Henry's opinions, and Danny's detractors disagreeing with them. This is likely intentional, due to Henry being a police officer back when that sort of thing was more common.
    • Around season three or so (and even moreso by Season 5), the show appears to have become much more aware of the Unfortunate Implications caused by Danny's methods (and Henry's support of these methods), and there have now been several episodes where various characters call Danny out for his tactics, and where Danny and Henry (in separate episodes) wind up in hot water for their Cowboy Cop tendencies/views. Even Frank and other family characters have now given Danny and Henry a What the Hell, Hero? speech. Frank has also noted that the decline of methods used back in Henry's time is unquestionably a good thing, because back then officers could and did rough up people who turned out to be innocent, and that the public nowadays is more trusting and cooperative than it was in the past.
      • This is borne out in the season 4 episode "Secret Arrangements", where Danny is one of several cops being investigated by the D.A.'s office. Frank thinks that while Danny doesn't go over the line, he steps on the line, and that his son has always been quick-tempered, impulsive, takes his job personally. Sergeant Gormley tells Frank that Danny is incredibly aggravating and drives him nuts, "but if you've got any others like him at home, please send them my way." At the end of the episode Frank talks to Danny about the newest revisions to the NYPD's interrogation guidelines, detailing recent additions used by their best detectives, as well as methods that would no longer be used or tolerated. Danny snarks about which section he's likely to be in, and Frank responds that he's actually in both. In summary, Danny's an excellent cop and one of the NYPD's best detectives, but he needs to rein himself in.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: Thomas Wilder, Danny's Big Bad of Season 6, has murdered over 20 college-aged women and kidnapped Nickynote  is killed by Danny in the middle of an open field on their final showdown.
  • Awesome Music: "Theme from New York, New York" as performed by Frank Sinatra, plays during the Pilot, introducing the Reagan family as well as Jamie's graduation from the NYPD Academy and Frank's commencement speech.
  • Broken Base:
    • The show's rather flippant attitude towards civil rights is very divisive in the light of the troubling number of controversial deaths surrounding police and African-Americans. It doesn't help that the main civil rights spokesman on the show - Rev. Potter is corrupt and usually has to resort to cliche straw arguments fabricating confrontations in order to continue his war on the NYPD, or that the show seems to support real life controversial methods like "Stop and Frisk" (which In-Universe Frank only agreed to stop supporting after Jamie pointed out that many cops were using it as a crutch), or an having entire episode dealing with the "Blue Wall of Silence" while still having all In-Universe critics of the police be obnoxious straw men of whom Potter is the most recurring.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Richard Reed, from season 1's "Re-Do", a vicious Serial Killer and rapist of women, is a misogynistic sadist who thinks all women are his to use and abuse. He later has his conviction overturned because a lab tech screwed up the protocols. With help from his fan club, he terrorized his surviving victim into silence and decided to let one of his fanboys have her. Even his own kin are not safe as Richard beats his sister and ties her up for saying something she "shouldn't have." Later he slits a janitor's throat and attempts to perform his usual MO on Erin Reagan, the ADA who convicted him, before she is saved by Frank. Void of any redeeming qualities or mitigating factors, he stands as one of the very worst the Reagan family went against.
    • The Phantom, real name Donald Washington, from season 2's "The Life We Chose", is a cold-blooded crack dealer and murderer. In the beginning of the episode he ruthlessly shoots detective Cruz and kills Detective Gates, who pleads that he has three kids and to which the Phantom replies "Too bad for them". This shocks even his own cohort who was only planning on robbing them. The Phantom would later kill his cohort when he didn't need him anymore. He later goes after other members of Task Force Apache, the police sting that sold him out planning on killing all of them to keep his drug dealing business running smoothly. Greedy and wishing to make his vile business run smoothly, he cares for no one but himself and is an utter psychopath.
    • Uri Denko, from season 2's "Working Girls", is a ruthless Arms Dealer who Erin is prosecuting. A cold-blooded sadist who has no problem executing a man's wife in front of him in their living room over a business dispute. He would later threaten the man's children in a courtroom outburst to scare him into not testifying but still has him killed anyway after the threats scare him into running. He then puts out a hit on the surviving witness and hounds her mercilessly even going so far as going after her grandmother back in Russia as well. A sociopath of the highest order, he would step on anyone who gets in his way.
    • Santana, from season 3's final two episodes The Bitter End and This Way Out, is a vicious gang leader of the Los Lordes gang. He and his gang are responsible for turning the Bitterman projects into a hellhole and hounding the residents, making them scared for their lives to the point that one young mother commits suicide with her son to get away from him. After her death and Detective Danny Reagan's attempts to take them down, he declares war on the police department and arranges for ambushes, one of which kills Jamie's partner and friend Vinny. He later takes advantage of a mentally-impaired man by having him shoot Mayor Poole by having him think it would be a harmless prank. The shooting would leave Poole paralyzed and in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. After his girlfriend is arrested with his drugs, he panics and puts out a failed hit on her in prison. Santana shows that under his calm and collected demeanor is someone who cares only about himself and would step on anyone who gets in his way.
  • Creator's Pet: Frank. He's always right about everything, no matter what the circumstance and never seems particularly interested in listening to people who have differing opinions about more controversial police policy —- and the writers do everything in their power to make those people — i.e. Mayor Poole always in the wrong no matter what.
  • Critical Research Failure: At the beginning of "Hall of Mirrors", there is a cricket game being played in Central Park with remarkable accuracy, except that there aren't any wickets. It's funny as hell.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop:
    • Season 7 gives us the wicked notion along the lines of, don't be a hero, because some people are too cynical to appreciate it, and some people don't want to be helped, and will hate you for helping them when they didn't ask for it (when one should encounter selfish people who gripe, "You don't know what's best for me, but I do"), while the very definition of doing good is selfless acts of assisting others even when they don't ask for help. Nicky's attempts to help a rat of a woman who is under the thumb of an abusive husband along with her son. Sure, she wants to do the right thing, but this hag is completely ungrateful. Not only does this woman shit on Nicky at every turn, she screams hatred toward her after Nicky's actions inspire her son to stand up for himself and stab his abusive father, causing a police incident that will wrench their family apart and basically wants her to drop dead for doing what she did and had her in tears. Someone go find that witch and shove her broom up her ass!
    • The Season 7 finale, where Danny's actions usurp the chain of authority, mess with an FBI operation, and get his household burnt out. This one is as plain as day: sometimes, people get blinded with the idea of doing the most good possible and will not settle for anything less, even if it means others will suffer in the process of obtaining swifter justice, when doing just a little good would have sufficed and led to the greater good in the long run, without all the hassle of innocents getting hurt. Or, put more simply: impatience kills.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The very first line of "The Bitter End" is Jamie's partner Vinny announcing "This is it, Reagan! This is the end!" upon arriving at the Bitterman Housing Projects (nicknamed "The Bitter End" in-universe). Vinny means it as a pun on the projects' nickname...but the episode ends with his death at the hands of the local gang. Vinny himself notes the irony when this happens, and in his dying moments, he smiles and repeats to Jamie "I told you, Reagan...this is the end. It's the end, it's okay..." Definitely a Tear Jerker.
    • The Season 3 episode where Frank has to deal with a bigoted right-wing talk show host doing a show in the city. Mayor Poole and Rev. Potter want to cancel the show via Loophole Abuse, but Frank allows the show to happen ... making sure that the security detail is assembled of African-American and Latino officers just to piss the off. Beginning in 2016,more and more white supremacists feel emboldened to spread their hate — cultivating in a 2017 rally in Charlottesville, VA where one bigot ran his car into a crowd of peaceful activists protesting a white supremacy march.
    • One season 4 episode has the NYPD being subject to controversy after an officer is alleged to have shot an unarmed teenage boynote . It aired ten months before the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri under similar circumstances.
    • Another season 4 episode involves a death in police custody caused by an officer using an illegal chokehold; the DA refuses to press charges against the officer (though Frank fires him). This was about a year before Eric Garner died.
    • Every single Linda scene, given her fate.
  • Internet Backdraft: Linda being killed via Bus Crash between Seasons 7 and 8. Her death serves no purpose other than to give Danny angst, not to mention she was one of the most kind-hearted and level-headed characters on the show. The one saving grace about it is she died in a hospital helicopter accident instead of being killed by criminals looking to get back at Danny.
  • Like You Would Really Do It:
    • Frank is shot at the beginning of "Dedication" in a drive by. He lives.
    • Via creative editing and judicious use of a Stock Sound Effect, the trailers for the season 3 premiere made a valiant effort to convince us that the Criminal of the Week would blow up Danny and Jackie. He didn't.
    • The Season 8 trailers have the new Mayor firing Frank. It does happen, but it turns out since she's only the Acting Mayor she can't actually fire him so it's an empty threat.
  • Narm: Some of Reverend Potter's facial expressions during his more-heated tirades can look downright cartoony.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • The girl who kills herself and her baby to avoid a Fate Worse Than Death by the Big Bad gang in "The Bitter End." And yes, you even get to see the dead bodies afterward. (*Shudder.*)
  • Replacement Scrappy: The New Mayor in Season 8, who's just the latest in a long line of left-leaning city officials whose sole narrative purpose is to disagree with certain police policies and be proven wrong by Frank, and she's more abrasive than Mayor Poole was; she's just a another liberal strawman offering nothing new to the narrative.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
  • Strawman Has a Point: Reverend Potter is a dick who does take any opportunity to manufacture confrontations with the NYPD and Frank's family, but he's right on two counts: Danny is quick to resort to force and often goes too far (though somehow Potter has never caught him at a legitimate case of Police Brutality), and the existence of the Black Lives Matter movement in real life meant to demonstration the discrimination of police against non-whites.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Danny Reagan whenever he is framed for performing corrupt actions. While the audience is supposed to feel sympathy for him given he's a good cop being railroaded by someone else, it's hard given the fact that Danny has committed Dirty Cop actions (i.e., waterboarding, putting a gun to the back of an unarmed suspect, threatening to pull a suspect's medical tube, etc.), but has yet to face his comeuppance. His sympathy points are lost furthered given his statements on how people should be held accountable for their actions, but that doesn't apply to him.
    • Sarah Grant in "Bad Company." Giving her family's killer No Sympathy is quite understandable... initially. But bitterly and coldly continuing to do so even after knowing that he didn't intentionally do it (he was an untreated schizophrenic at the time) and is now lucid enough to try to be The Atoner, is another thing entirely. And the icing on the cake is when she ultimately tells him that the only true way to make up for it is to commit suicide (despite her knowing that he already attempted just that in the past). Needless to say, it's pretty hard to watch her look so happy and unfazed at her wedding afterward, without one feeling bitter after all of that.
    • Frank in the Season 8, premiere. An off-duty officer shot an unarmed suspect (though high on drugs and had a criminal record) for attempted shop-lifting; Frank and his circle (sans Garrett) consider it a justifiable shooting, the new Acting Mayor (formerly the Public Advocate) does not, and she tries to fire him over his rather blasé response to it — the victim was a criminal so she deserved to die in lieu of a being put on a trial; as acting mayor she does not have the authority to so, per the city charter.
  • The Woobie:
    • Officer Jamie Reagan — He has been put through a lot: His fiance left him, he was tricked into a Suicide by Cop, he watched his first partner Vinny bleed to death, and he has strong feelings for his second partner Eddie, but they are forced to pretend they don't have them otherwise they'll be assigned new partners. There's also the fact that many cops think he's an Entitled Bastard because his father is the PC, something that is not true, but because of the relation, he has yet to be promoted to detective (despite being qualified), and thus has taken a level in jerkass.
    • Detective Alex Fuentes from "Burning Bridges" — He is a good cop who was outed as a gay man after stopping an attack outside of gay bar. As a result his homophobic partner (who Fuenets has been friends with and has even been there when his partner went through marriage troubles) wants a new partner (which Gormley does). And while with Baez, Fuentes informs her that his own family has disowned him. Things gets better with his partner but still...
    • Ernie "Goodnight" Mason from "Not Fade Away" — Ernie has spent the last 12 years in for a crime he didn't commit. After being released, he learns his ex-wife is with the man who set him up. His son, who is in boxing, doesn't want anything to do with him. He is nearly shot, which convinces him to leave New York since he has no one left. And when he changes his mind to get the real killer, he is killed. The day after his son won his first match and when said son was looking like he wanted to spend more time with his father.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/BlueBloods