‘Blue Bloods’ Last Midseason Finale TV Review: NYPD Family Drama Stays Steady With Some Cynicism, Church & ‘Trainspotting’

SPOILER ALERT: This story contains details of tonight’s Blue Bloods Season 14 midseason finale, which is the close of the first part of the NYPD family drama’s final season.

“Father, forgive me for I have sinned,” says New York Police commissioner Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) in church in tonight’s Blue Bloods last midseason finale as he tries to repair a rift with his actual father, the former NYPD commissioner Henry Reagan (Len Cariou).

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It ain’t the Sunday dinner that defines the well-watched CBS series, but it certainly was a moment of affirmation for perspicacious fans who may be speculating where their show is going to go in its final episodes after a long long run. Put another way, Blue Bloods may be ending later this year, but you’d never know it from the Season 14 midseason finale that aired tonight.

In that dependable workman manner that is the true charm of CBS’ NYPD family drama, no one died, no one returned from the dead, and no skeletons came out of the closet.

Even with all the behind the scenes drama with Selleck and other cast members trying unsuccessfully so far to convince the Paramount Global-owned network not to let the show end, the 285th episode of Blue Bloods was just another hour of solid storytelling from the Kevin Wade-run series.

Not a bad offering from a Big 4 broadcaster in 2024.

They may have had former Elementary regular Aidan Quinn guest starring this evening as gun wielding Det. Gus Vanderlip, a cop burnt out on a system that seems not protect the innocent, but Blue Bloods still stayed on track. That mix of moral compasses and the dirty business of walking the beat with the Reagan clan stayed as steady in the Wade penned “The Heart of a Saturday Night” as it has on many a Friday night since its September 2010 debut.

Though there was a moment when it looked like something serious might be up with 84-year old Cariou’s character with a succinct note telling 79-year old Selleck’s character a.k.a. his son he was “staying with friends/Don’t call me” it was all wrapped up by the dinner scene – as it should be.

In fact, truth be told, the biggest surprise of tonight’s steady The Heart of Saturday Night episode may have been the homage to Danny Boyle’s 1996 Trainspotting. One of the advantages that network shows still have is the reach and cash to snag a poignant tune for the soundtrack as Blue Bloods did tonight with the use of Iggy Pop’s iconic “Lust for Life” as Jamie and his bride Officer Eddie Janko-Reagan (Vanessa Ray) went undercover at a rehab facility on their 5th wedding anniversary.

Besides that, with its usual weaving of storylines for siblings Det. Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg) Assistant District Attorney Erin Reagan (Bridget Moynahan) and Sergeant Jamie Reagan (Will Estes), tonight’s midseason finale was perhaps a little more cynical that we’ve come to expect from Blue Bloods over the years.

Across the series last show until a run of a final eight episodes starting in October, there was the blind rage of Quinn’s old school cop that culminated in him roughing up public defenders and holding at gun point a judge over a freed rapist.  There was the blue wall that protects the less than stellar behavior of cops who go to the dark side and there were lazy and corrupt cops you use their badge for a good time. For a show that often sees nothing but the shine on the badge, tonight brought it closer to home with cops like Danny Reagan and the commissioner’s confidant Lieutenant Sid Gormley (Robert Clohessy) who turned a convenient blind eye to let an old pal skip the country and avoid the legal consequences of his own misconduct.

With 9/11 as the backdrop all these years after that terrible day in 2001, there was also a plot line of the bureaucratic wall that limits compensation to all the heroes who were both on the ground and in the background when New York was attacked. But, in a sense, that is exactly part of what grounds Blue Bloods – life is messy, there are good guys and bad guys, but even the former lose their way sometimes trying to do the right thing.

To that end, there was a lot less of the always on-point Moynahan’s ADA character than usual, but hey that’s why there’s eight more episodes of the show to go. Maybe Erin Reagan won’t be the Manhattan D.A., but maybe, just maybe she could be the next NYPD Commissioner before Blue Bloods is over and done.

Trivia fact: A guest on tonight’s Blue Bloods, Aidan Quinn played NYPD Captain Tommy Gregson on the 2012 to 2019 run of Elementary. Along with Lucy Liu, the star of the modern day Sherlock Holmes drama was Jonny Lee Miller. The English actor rose to fame for his portrayal of the Sean Connery quoting Sick Boy in Trainspotting almost 30 years ago. Bit of a full circle there or just an amusing Easter Egg.

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