Tom Selleck is a formidable force for any other performer to match.
So is " Cheers" alum Bebe Neuwirth, and the two Emmy winners squared off in Friday's (Oct. 18) CBS "Blue Bloods" episode "The Truth About Lying," written by series co-executive producer Brian Burns (brother of actor-filmmaker Edward Burns).
Neuwirth played Kelly Peterson, an inspector general assigned to examine the NYPD and its policies, something Frank (Selleck) expectedly wasn't thrilled about -- though he was as cordial as possible to her face.
However, she quickly called him on his resentment of someone trying to "fix what isn't broke:" She told him, "I'm not good at small talk, either," and it was clear they'd be going toe-to-toe again as she left his office after their brief introduction.
Chasing a suspect through the streets, Eddie ( Vanessa Ray) barely missed being struck with him by a pipe -- but she eventually tackled and cuffed him, showing off her catch to partner Jamie ( Will Estes), who had been slowed by a collision with a bystander during the pursuit.
Another Reagan cop investigated a subway assault on a teenager, as Danny ( Donnie Wahlberg) watched surveillance video showing her attacker apparently push her into the path of an oncoming train. Though a transit officer claimed only to have seen the felon's back, he said he probably could make an identification, believing the man was a familiar and imposing presence known as "The Hulk" ( E.J. Carroll).
Maria ( Marisa Ramirez) tracked the suspect to a homeless shelter, where a supervisor refused to believe "The Hulk" -- whose actual name was Bernard -- was culpable of the subway crime. Another resident of the shelter quickly left, and Danny and Maria tailed her, thinking she might lead them to their man.
Eddie was proud to have made her first felony arrest, but "a concerned citizen" had sent video of the capture to the district attorney's office and accused Eddie of using excessive force. Moreover, the video raised concerns Eddie had perjured herself in recounting the details of the arrest, to the degree the D.A. wanted her shield ... and was planning to take the matter to Inspector General Peterson.
Eddie wanted to talk to Jamie about it, but he declined to listen, advising her to speak only to her lawyer -- and to "keep your head down and your mouth shut." She accused Jamie of bailing on her, but he was worried he'd also be scrutinized by Internal Affaiirs.
"No one's going to come after the commissioner's son," she replied, then quickly apologized. "I'm just confused and scared. and I don't know what to do."
Danny and Maria's tracking paid off as they located Bernard, who made a run that was foiled by Danny's use of a shopping cart. An interrogation revealed that Bernard didn't like the "Hulk" nickname -- and also that he claimed innocence in the death of the subway victim. Even when Danny showed him the incriminating surveillance video, Bernard maintained, "That's not what happened!"
Then it was evident where "Hulk" came from: Bernard flew into a rage and sent the table at which he sat into Danny, who fell back against the interrogation-room door and shattered the window as several other officers restrained Bernard.
Meeting Kelly for lunch, Frank was impressed when she knew the name of a character in "The Bridge on the River Kwai," which he'd watched the night before. He used the movie to make a point about his standing behind Eddie, especially when Kelly said that firing her would be "an opportunity" to affirm departmental ethics. '"The answer is 'no,'" Frank insisted ... yet both he and Kelly remained at their table to attempt "small talk."
Reviewing the subway tape again, Danny determined that instead of Bernard pushing the girl, it was the other way around -- she'd pushed off from him, thrusting herself into the train's path as Bernard tried to hold onto her. "Suicide?" Maria wondered. And looking through the girl's personal effects, Danny found a text on her cell phone that had the tone of a suicide note.
Questioning her family at their home, Danny learned from her mother ( Mariko Takai) that the girl was being cyberbullied, and Danhy was given her personal computer to examine. He and Maria surveyed a Web site that contained numerous slurs of the girl, and an IP address sent the cops to the originating location in Queens.
The wife and mother ( Marsha Dietlein) at the home was shocked by the search warrant she was presented, refusing to believe her daughter could be involved in cyberstalking -- until a mention of the apparent suicide. And the woman said of her daughter, "Stacey hasn't left her room since the school told us what happened to that poor girl."
Under Danny's questioning, an initially resistant Stacey ( Morgan Turner) finally caved and admitted of the victim, "We were in love. We'd been seeing each other for the past three months." And Stacey added that someone who had found out began a campaign of harassment. She didn't want to identify the person, but Maria found an e-mail indicating who it was: the suicide's brother David ( Ki Hong Lee).
When Danny went back to the family home to question him, David grabbed a knife. As Danny tried talking him down, David aimed the knife at himself, with Danny expressing his own knowledge of the pain of losing a sibling: "The one thing that hurts worse than the pain I feel is the pain I see in my father's eyes every single day. And the only thing that can make that pain go away is his other children."
But David said, "Tell my parents I love them." Danny rushed him before he could harm himself and got the knife away, leaving David face down on the floor, sobbing.
Eddie was the main subject at the Reagan family dinner, with much debate about lying and "taking liberties." Erin ( Bridget Moynahan) was shocked when the normally by-the-book Jamie agreed with others that things were "not always black-and-white." Even Frank admitted he had bent facts in testifying once: "As a cop and as a man, I sleep just fine on that score."
Later, Frank met Jamie in a park to hear his son's opinion on Eddie's situation. Jamie maintained, "I can't see her flat-out lying about something like this. I think she stuck to her story because she still believes it to be true." Frank determined, "It was a mistake of the mind, not of the heart."
Meeting with Kelly again, Frank told her he was ready to sign off on Eddie's firing ... but he added, "If you're going to pass that kind of judgment on someone, you'd damn sure better first walk a mile in that person's shoes." He wanted Kelly to take a practice drill, as if she were serving a warrant on someone without backup, the same way Eddie had arrested the suspect.
Within seconds of entering the dimly lit course, Kelly "shot" three suspects with a gun simulator ... but another person came out firing directly at her. "Three out of four ain't bad," Frank pronounced afterward.
Kelly enthusiastically called the exercise "an adrenalin rush," but when Frank asked her to recall certain details, she either couldn't or got them wrong. Telling her, "it's funny how your mind can play tricks on you when your life's on the line," he had made his point.
Danny took a day off to bring Linda ( Amy Carlson) and their sons ( Andrew and Tony Terraciano) to see the Statue of Liberty and visit the World War II Memorial. And reflecting on the case he'd just closed, Danny told his wife, "We're lucky, you know."
At a press conference, Frank and Kelly jointly declared Eddie would remain an NYPD officer, Kelly crediting her with "good judgment and responsible procedure." She also thanked Frank for "his cooperation. And his acumen." However, Frank publicly blamed himself for enabling insufficient training for situations such as Eddie's, adding that would change.Â
And he confirmed, in response to a reporter's question, that his view of an inspector general auditing the NYPD had changed. But, he specified, "Today. At this press conference. On this matter."
Photo/Video credit: CBS