Excuse me while I wipe my eyes.
Blue Bloods Season 13 Episode 5 started as a typical story, but Frank’s ending speech got me.
I’m with Frank — the tradition of coming together for family meals with a side of tough conversations should never be lost. He had one of the most challenging weeks in his career, but his tribute to the Sunday dinner tradition almost made up for it.
While protesters have the right to assemble peacefully, it was ridiculous that they were allowed to do half of what they did to Henry.
Blocking someone’s path so they can’t get away, paying people off to spy on where that person is at all times, and screaming in their face is not a peaceful protest. I was as frustrated as Frank that these tactics were legal.
It seemed like there had to be some way for Frank to fight back. On the legal front, I didn’t understand why this type of targeted harassment qualified as a protest.
If nothing else, wasn’t following Henry’s every move so they could harass him whenever he left the house a violation of anti-stalking laws?
Frank: I want you to stop sending your mobs against my senior citizens.
Kelly: I didn’t send anyone anywhere. But the fact we are having this meeting is proof that my protest is effective.
Frank: No. It’s proof of how pissed off I am that your people are bullying my old man. Knock it off!
Frank was right that they were bullying Henry. If they wanted to protest against a current NYPD policy, what good did bothering him do them? Frank is the one in charge.
It’s one thing to picket One Police Plaza. It’s another to stand outside Henry’s home making a lot of noise and getting in his face every time he goes anywhere when he isn’t even the man they have a problem with.
It seemed to me they could have arrested the protesters on a number of grounds: stalking, harassment, or even disturbing the peace with the noise they were making in front of the house. But Garrett was concerned, and probably rightly so, with the optics of any action against the protesters.
Because Frank is the police commissioner, if he had the protesters arrested, it could look like he was using his power to throw people in jail who spoke against his policies. The PC has to take these kinds of political considerations into account when making decisions and ensure that the laws are enforced equally for everyone.
McNichols screamed at Eddie that she had to follow protocol and couldn’t do whatever she wanted, which should also apply to protesting civilians.
It doesn’t matter what the cause is and whether the protesters are right or wrong about the policy they’re protesting; bullying and intimidating people who have no power over the issue shouldn’t be allowed.
Garrett was upset with Frank’s solution to this problem, but it seemed a reasonable way to handle the situation. Kelly wasn’t going to back down and refused to understand why the protesters’ behavior was inappropriate; the only way for him to get it was for it to happen to him.
He didn’t like a bunch of counter-protesters yelling in his face while trying to eat lunch; once that happened, he finally got the message that this type of behavior was inappropriate.
People can’t hear you when they’re screaming at the top of their lungs.
Erin felt Frank should try diplomacy again, but he already had gone that route. Kelly made it clear he would keep protesting in this manner until he got his way.
On the other hand, Frank didn’t do much in the way of listening to Kelly’s concerns during the meeting.
Kelly asked him why he resurrected the “Broken Toys” unit, and Frank said it was needed, and that was that. He could have answered that question with a question of his own: what were Kelly’s specific concerns about the unit?
That might have led to a challenging but important dialogue. However, it’s understandable that Frank didn’t see the point in trying to talk to Kelly.
Kelly disliked the unit based on its unofficial name and police interactions he’d had as a child or while clerking for Sandra Day O’Connor — meaning his concerns were potentially extremely out of date. He also didn’t come to the meeting looking for a dialogue. he wanted Frank to agree to his demands.
Garrett: Maybe we should give in on this one.
Syd: And get rid of an effective policing tool for no reason? If you give Kelly what he wants, he’ll just be back next week with another demand.
Garrett: But disbanding this unit could take a lot of venom out of the protesters.
Frank: Appeasement is not an option. Not if you care about innocent people.
Garrett: When someone’s robbed on the street? Do we say fight them for the gun? No, we tell them to hand over their wallet. Maybe we should take our own advice.
Frank was right that appeasing Kelly wasn’t the way to go. While the protesters might have had a point, their tactics were appalling, and the last thing the police department should have done was send the message that intimidating people works.
Several other people also struggled with unfair situations while Frank was dealing with the protesters.
Baker rarely gets a big storyline, and this one was a follow-up to a previous one where she was assaulted on the street. She needs stories more often; there’s a lot more to her than her job announcing visitors to Frank’s office!
Baker had every right to be angry that Erin’s office was slapping her attacker on the wrist.
At first, Erin dealt with Baker as if she were an errant child; thank goodness she came around.
Baker showed her strength when the bad guy tried to toss the warrant. She stood up to him and got the search started. That must have felt good after the assault she suffered!
Eddie’s case was almost as frustrating as Frank’s story. If she hadn’t questioned Morgan, Detective Hannigan would still be chasing down a false lead while Jackie was held captive by a crazed stalker. She might even have died.
Yet Eddie was supposed to respect Hannigan’s authority and let him run his case his way. How infuriating!
While McNichols was her usual annoying self in front of Hannigan, she softened in private. I hope she and Eddie can be on the same side more often now. But how will they explain how they found the missing girl and her abductor when they were supposed to be following Hannigan’s lead?
What did you think of the cases, Frank’s attitude toward the protesters, and the Reagan family dinner? Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know!
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Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.