Death was plentiful in the Reagans' cases on Friday's INov. 8) episode of CBS' "Blue Bloods," as signaled by the title of the story: "Drawing Dead," written by Ian Biederman, one of the show's executive producers.
Danny ( Donnie Wahlberg) and Maria ( Marisa Ramirez) looked into the murder of a "Wall Street guy" in Tribeca, with no struggle and no theft indicated. Subsequent interrogation revealed the victim had argued with his partners over wanting to bring in an art dealer, someone inexperienced in stockbroking.
Meanwhile, Jamie ( Will Estes) and Eddie ( Vanessa Ray) responded to a call of shots being fired, leading to a street pursuit of three suspects. As the cops captured two, Jamie heard another shot fired and ran to its location -- where he found Officer James Montero ( Elliot Villar) kneeling over a wounded teen, with an angry mob yelling accusations on the order of, 'That cop shot him in the back!"
Montero maintained the victim had a gun, but onlookers claimed differently, setting off unrest that was "escalating" per a TV report Frank ( Tom Selleck) watched at headquarters as he and his team debated how to handle the response to the news the teen had, in fact, died. One local shop owner ( Aida Turturro ,Â "The Sopranos") complained to a reporter that police treated everyone in that neighborhood like "a damn criminal."
"We've got a 14-year-old boy shot dead by one of our own," Frank noted to his staff. Â '"The reality is, public sentiment is going to dictate how some of this goes."
Meeting with Mayor Poole ( David Ramsey), Frank was accused of always defending his officers, no matter what the circumstances. His response: "If you're playing some race card here, save it." The mayor denied that, recalling his own recent shooting by a teenager and how he wished a cop had been able to prevent that ... Â "but wishing it won't make it so, no more than wishing the people's beef with your department's use of force is 100 percent unfounded."
Using a wheelchair as a result of his injury, the mayor wanted to hold a press conference on the police shooting, but Frank wanted to get the Internal Affairs report first. And the mayor promised that if Montero was found negligent, a murder charge would be pursued.
Paying a visit to the gallery of the art dealer, Teri Damiri ( Haaz Sleiman), Danny and Maria were told by him about secret deals conducted by the slain financier. A scan of the dead man's records revealed he had major gambling debts at some well-known casinos, making Danny suspect "this guy got himself whacked for not paying his markers."
Erin ( Bridget Moynahan) was consulted by Officer Montero and his lawyer, who were concerned the cop might be made a scapegoat by NYPD superiors to "keep the peace." They appealed to her to investigate the shooting, and Montero maintained the victim had a weapon. But when Erin asked him why the gun couldn't be found, he replied, "I don't know."
Her probe confirmed Montero was indeed "an exemplary officer," but she also found the deceased teen had a juvenile record. And while she agreed that didn''t necessarily mean the youth was carrying a gun when he was shot, "It does mean we have a lot more work to do."
With a clearly uncomfortable Frank -- who urged "restraint and calm" -- seated next to him at the press conference, Mayor Poole replied to a reporter's allegation of excessive force by citing it as "a disturbing trend" and "a grave concern." And a frowning Frank sat silently.
Danny consulted his own gambling expert, former narcotics cop Gary Heller ( Frank Whaley), who knew the dead stockbroker as a "player" who liked high-stakes poker. He also confirmed that Damiri set up such games, using "Russian muscle," and that the broker owed Damiri a great deal of money.
That was all the cops needed to bust in on Damiri's latest card game and arrest him. "You guys are making a big mistake," warned Damiri, as Danny steered him out of the room and to an interrogation at the precinct.
Damiri maintained the Russians he employed were security guards to make the card players feel safe. claiming poker was just a "fun" sideline since he made such a good living selling art. Â But he added that having a black book on many of the city's wheelers and dealers -- and their finances -- was his "insurance policy" that could cause the cops big trouble if they continued to investigate.
In came real-life attorney Bruce Cutler, playing himself, to get Damiri set free unless actual charges were being filed. And as he left, Damiri told a chagrined Danny, "Remember, a smart player knows when to walk away."
Danny wasn't done quizzing Heller, who labeled him "a recurring nightmare" upon seeing him again. Heller feared he'd be traced as an informant on Damiri, and he warned Danny that one of the names in the book "hits real close to home. Your home."
No surprise, the next stop for Danny was the Reagan homestead. He told Henry ( Len Cariou) about the case he was working ... and specified that Henry's name was one of those in Dimiri's book. "Please tell me that's a mistake," Danny said.
It wasn't: Henry explained he'd gotten tired of gambling with other cops and wanted "a bigger game." Danny warned what would happen if former police commissioner Henry's name got out for it, and Henry replied, "That's my problem." Danny cautioned it also would be Frank's problem, to which a suddenly steely Henry said, "I don't need a lecture from you."
The Reagan family dinner was expectedly more tense, not only because of that, but also because of a discussion of the Montero shooting incident. The younger Reagans were especially interested, leading Danny to declare, "Not even cops are above the law. Isn't that right, Grsmps?"
Henry said, "Yeah. Yeah, that's right," but he added, "If you live long enough, you're bound to make some mistakes. That's what's called being human. So, best not to sit in judgment."
Frank could tell something was up between his relatives, and later, his advice was sought by Danny in a roundabout way. Frank wanted to know exactly what the issue was. Danny declined to say, but in response to his cloaked question, Frank reaffirmed the belief that "family comes first."
And he wasn't done advising his children. Erin wasn't sure she could get the information she needed to clear Officer Montero on her own, so she asked Frank for his help. He provided it by going to the shooting site and talking with the shop owner who had been on TV.
She complained about the slow police response to a recent robbery at her store, and Frank promised to investigate. He then asked if she actually had seen the shooting, and she admitted she went outside after the bullet had been fired. "I've been a cop for a long time," Frank told her, "and when bullets start flying around, things get very confusing."
He suggested she might have picked up the teen's gun to forestall further violence ... but he added that doing so to incriminate an officer was "tampering with physical evidence and hindering prosecution. Both felonies." Pretending to be holding her sworn statement, which actually was a blank sheet of paper, he asked her if she had seen the teen's gun. And reluctantly, she reached behind the counter and pulled it out.
At an isolated rendezvous with Heller, Danny told him he was an accessory to Damiri's operation, but said he'd "put in a good word with the D.A.'s office, in exchange for you doing something for me." That "something" was for Heller to retrieve the black book, including Henry's name, that was Damiri's "insurance policy."
There was still more to the case, though. Maria learned the dead broker's closest business associate ( Matthew Humphrey) had talked with him at length in a call shortly before the murder. And the victim-to-be had said Damiri was threatening to collect what he waa owed "in blood."
Frank informed Mayor Poole he was "declining to indict my officer," and asked for support. The mayor thought the public wouldn't accept that, but Frank felt it would prevent "rioting in the streets" -- adding that it was the mayor's "duty to lead by example" and stand by the verdict that Montero had acted in self-defense. "Use it or lose it," Frank said of the respect and affection the mayor had from the city's people.
Mayor Poole finally agreed that he and Frank would hold a town hall meeting in the neighborhood where the shooting happened. And Frank told him, "Try not to smile when they boo when I'm introduced." "I will try," said the mayor.
Montero thanked Erin for taking "the time to find out what really happened." When she congratulated him on returning to full duty, he told her he was taking a leave of absence. "You did what you had to do," she reminded him. "Yeah," he said. "Now I have to find a way to live with it."
Going back to the gallery to arrest Damiri, Danny and Maria found him fatally shot in the head. That wasn't the only body: Heller also was there, with his throat cut and something stuffed in his mouth: the black book, with the pages torn out. Heller "was in the wrong place at the wrong time," Maria told the clearly guilt-wracked Danny.
At the Reagan house that night, Henry confessed his gambling to Frank. "I just wanted to know what it felt like to go up against real players for real money," Henry explained, adding that an expensive lesson had been learned ... by the other players. "Let's just say that the Widows' and Kids' Fund got a pretty healthy donation."
And Danny got a dose of religion in the hour's closing scene, tearfully entering his church for Confession as "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" played on the soundtrack.
Photo/Video credit: CBS