'Blue Bloods' Season 4, Episode 9: Maria runs into very personal 'Bad Blood'

ramirez-acevedo-blue-bloods.jpg
Thanksgiving is coming for the Reagan family, too -- but if their anticipation of the holiday wasn't tempered by crime concerns, it wouldn't be "Blue Bloods."

Maria ( Marisa Ramirez) had a particularly rough time with family matters in "Bad Blood," Friday's (Nov. 22) episode of the CBS police drama written by co-executive producer Daniel Truly and directed by Robert Harmon, who also has worked with series star Tom Selleck on all but one of the "Jesse Stone" TV movies.

A murder investigation began for Maria and Danny ( Donnie Wahlberg) outside a Spanish Harlem bar, but they soon went in to interrogate the very enthusiastic, soccer-watching patrons. They came up empty on suspects, until a security tape revealed someone Maria recognized (guest star Kirk Acevedo, "Oz") .

Danny and Maria went to find the man, nicknamed "Tic-Tac" -- and while chasing him, Maria made a side run at him, sending him through a store's glass door. Surprised by her aggressiveness, Danny was even more stunned when she revealed her connection to the possible perp: "He's my brother."

Later, Danny asked Maria, "You do realize I almost shot him, right?" She replied, "You would have done me a favor." After she explained how Tic-Tac's drug addiction ended their closeness, Danny suggested she should "sit this one out." She countered that she regarded her brother as less a relative and more a suspect.

Frank (Selleck) had to deal with the "Raymond thing," an alleged assault case involving a decorated officer who "just snapped" and attacked a boy, per Garrett ( Gregory Jbara). Frank insisted on the officer being "entitled to the same presumption of innocence afforded any other member of my department."

Raymond turned out to be a German Shepherd, and Frank went to talk with his handler, canine officer Donohue ( January Lavoy). She was angry about the lawsuit filed by the purported victim, and Frank undertook his own examination of Raymond by issuing commands, which the dog generally responded to. "He didn't do it," Frank determined. 

Henry ( Len Cariou) led a memorial toast to a just-deceased police comrade, then consoled the man's widow, Colleen (Broadway and game-show panel veteran Anita Gillette), who was his patrol partner long ago. However, the deceased man's children strongly suspected their mother had something to do with the death, prompting Henry's curiosity.

Daughter Meara ( Geraldine Hughes) later told Henry she'd seen her mother looking at her husband's life-insurance policy and researching euthanasia online. Colleen arrived home, and Henry deflected her questioning of why he was there ... but the look he gave Meara suggested his probe had only just begun.

He had sifted through Colleen's trash and found a shredded package label. As he and a peer used a computer program to reassemble it, Henry admitted he'd had more than a professional interest in Colleen when they were partners, leading to her being reassigned to the cop who would become her husband. Asd when the computer scan finished, it revealed Colleen had purchased a lethal drug.

Tic-Tac denied he was a killer, but Maria urged him to confess. He maintained he'd been clean for three months, saying, "People change" -- which Maria dismissed by saying, "Not you." When he explained he now worked for a tech company, she promptly accused him of hacking people's accounts for funds to buy more drugs.

Claiming he couldn't identify the person who actually stabbed the victim, Tic-Tac ultimately lashed out at Maria. As she started to fire back, Danny led her out of the interrogation room, saying she and her brother were "worse than my kids." Danny believed Tic-Tac's alibi, and Maria wasn't happy her brother was being let go.

Convinced the lawsuit against the dog was a "shakedown," Frank had to own up to not having been "able to cut it" as a K-9 officer himself, a factor in a burglar's shooting of the dog Frank had been teamed with. "Any settlement would include an order to put that dog down," he told Garrett of Raymond. "And that can't happen."

After Maria consoled the murder victim's father, Danny had a hunch the actual target was Tic-Tac. "Who would want to kill my brother?" Maria asked. "He's a nobody." Danny had determined Tic-Tac had ties to a drug dealer he formerly was a "mule" for, and the dealer could have gotten nervous about Tic-Tac knowing what he knew. And having a cop for a sister.

As the detectives went to talk to Tic-Tac, they found him apparently overdosed ... unleashing Maria's true feelings as she tearfully asked Danny, "Is he alive?" Danny told her, "Barely."

"I knew this was going to be too personal for you," he said to Maria at the hospital later. "And I'm not letting either one of us get killed because you're too close to this." She responded by pointing out how different his family and hers were, Tic-Tac's troubles having torn hers apart. "That's why you don't like Thanksgiving," Danny realized, as Maria explained her dealings with cops over her brother inspired her to become one.

Maria stayed with Tic-Tac as Danny pursued Benny Russo ( Scott Sowers), the drug dealer in question. Seeking Erin's ( Bridget Moynahan) help in getting a warrant against Russo, she said she couldn't do it without hard evidence. "I need to find a new sister," Danny said. "You need to find me," Erin corrected him, "when you have more."

A heart-to-heart chat between Maria and Tic-Tic in his hospital room was interrupted by Danny, who proposed using Tic-Tac as bait to catch Russo. Maria opposed the plan, but Tic-Tac was on the side of flushing out the dealer: "I want to help. It's the least I can do, right?"

Frank went to talk to the father ( Remy Auberjonois) behind the lawsuit, telling him he knew the man's m.o. of filing such suits and agreeing to settlements. "There were no witnesses," Frank maintained of the dog attack and added, "I've got a big megaphone, and I know how to use it. Know one thing: We will not settle."

Then, Frank asked the man if he really wanted to put his son on the witness stand to relay lies. "You're a real piece of work, Reagan," the father said, "Oh, call me by my first name," Frank told him. "Commissioner."

Henry confronted Colleen with the drug mailing label, and she maintained the purchase was a decision she and her husband "made together." She produced the drug bottle, which was unopened -- though Colleen admitted she "came so close."

"We still friends?" Henry then asked her. Colleen told him, "From the first day we met," and he invited her to dinner and a movie "when the time is right."

As Tic-Tac played lure for Russo, Maria and Danny observed from a distance. Russo approached and told Tic-Tac he just wanted to "know everything's good between me and you. No hard feelings, right?" Russo and an associate then grabbed Tic-Tac, threw him into a van and raced off.

Danny and Maria sped through the streets in pursuit, finding Tic-Tac just before his enemies could force him into a mechanical wood chopper. Maria grabbed Russo, put a gun to his head and said, "I'm the only one who gets to kill him." Danny talked her down, but Maria still delivered a solid punch to Russo before going to her brother and sharing an embrace with him.

Frank visited Officer Donohue again, this time to inform her the lawsuit against Raymond had been dropped. "And I want the two of you back on the job, forthwith."

As Henry got Thanksgiving dinner ready, Frank admitted he'd had a crush on Colleen when he was "11 or 12." Henry acknowledged, "Yes, she -- uh -- really had her admirers." The rest of the family filed into the dining room, and each took a turn saying what he or she was thankful for this year.

Frank went last and stated, "I'm thankful for four generations of this family at this table, safe and sound. And starving." He then said grace, and the Reagan holiday dinner commenced.
Photo/Video credit: CBS