YMMV / Blue Bloods

  • 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 Jami'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.
    • It gets worse in Season Six, with an entire episode dedicated to defending the very controversial Broken Window policy (even Jaimie agrees with it) - and per usual the black councilwoman who complains about it (played by Whoopi Goldberg) is portrayed as unsympathetically as possible.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Dick Reed, the serial killer/rapist from season 1's "Re-Do". His MO was to break into a woman's residence, tie her up to her bed, then beat, rape, and torture her, before killing her by setting her bed on fire. He a thoroughly misogynistic Smug Snake who gets his conviction overturned because a lab tech screwed up the protocols. He scares his surviving victim into silence and lets one of his fanboys have her. He also beats his sister and ties her up for saying something she "shouldn't have." He shows zero remorse and no redeemable qualities and after slitting a janitor's throat, he finally attempts to perform his usual MO on Erin Reagan, the ADA who convicted him, before she is saved by Frank.
    • The Phantom, aka Donald Washington, from season 2's "The Life We Chose," is a cold-blooded crack dealer and murderer. He shoots detective Cruz and kills Detective Gates, who pleads that he has three kids, to which Phantom replies "Too bad for them". This shocks his cohort, who was only planning on robbing them. Phantom later kills his cohort, then goes after other members of Task Force Apache, the police sting that sold him out.
    • Yuri Denko, an arms dealer whom Erin prosecutes in season 2's "Working Girls," is 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 then threatens the man's children in a courtroom outburst to scare him into not testifying, then has him killed after the threats scare him into running. He puts out a hit on the surviving witness, hounding her mercilessly, and went after her grandma back in Russia, too (the FSB got there first and protected her).
  • 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: Danny's illegal actions that go beyond of criminals (i.e., threatening to shoot an unarmed and cuffed criminal) isn't seen as bad, given that Danny gets little comeuppance for his actions.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: Sarah Grant in "Bad Company". Giving her family's killer No Sympathy is one thing — even understandable — but continuing to give him none even after knowing that he both unintentionally did it (he was an untreated schizophrenic at the time) and is now lucid enough for a My God, What Have I Done? mindset is another thing entirely. But 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 hard to watch her look so happy and unfazed at her wedding afterward without one feeling bitter after all of that.
  • The Woobie: Jamie has been put through a lot: His fiance left him, he was tricked into a Suicide by Cop, he watched his partner Vinny bleed to death, and he has strong feelings for 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.

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