On Blue Bloods, the Reagan family is called to continually confront issues between the letter of the law and the situations that no law can explain. This week’s 17th episode of Season 4, “Knockout Game,” contends with understandable reactions to violence that can never be understood, and temporary lapses in judgment that happen to everyone, even assistant district attorneys!
A couple is considering baby names on a late-night walk, when a band of blitzing youth knock the wife, (Rose Hemingway) unconscious, leaving the husband (Josh Segarra) as bewildered as he is enraged. Simultaneously, Frank (Tom Selleck), Garrett (Gregory Jbara) and the commissioner’s team are viewing footage of “the knockout game” going on all over the city. It seems to be a period of hate crime heaven, as the only common denominator is black against white, and Frank is determined not to allow news outlets to give anymore misguided “fame” to the evil players, and he directs the department to start with a community action response. At the hospital, Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) questions the husband, Mike, about details, but he is in a state of too much distress to recall much. News comes that his wife, Stephanie, is responding, and will recover, but their baby son is lost, leaving the hopeful father crumbling in grief. After a neighborhood canvass, Danny and Maria (Marisa Ramirez) still have only an empty folder on the case, so Danny decides to go to an old informant friend, Third Person Thorpe (Sharrieff Pugh), to stir up some details. Erin (Bridget Moynahan) has to push back her whole day’s schedule after an unscheduled night of passion with her ex, Jack Boyle (Peter Hermann). After a sexy shower, they seem to be hotter and heavier than they ever were as man and wife!
When Thorpe is not to willing to give up information, Maria puts his girlfriend (Karina Ortiz) in handcuffs, and threatens drug charges, to provoke a change of heart. Thorpe explains that Willie Hayward (Julito McCullum) is the “game leader” for the neighborhood. Frank is agitated that Garrett leaves a folder on his desk for the promotion of Timothy Doherty (John Behlmann) to Intelligence. Doherty’s father and Pop, Henry, were longtime friends. Frank doesn’t want any nepotism or family-friendly issues clouding department practices. Bringing the issue up with Henry (Len Cariou) only gets him hot, prompting the reaction that the good whiskey left to him by Doherty’s dad would only prompt “a choke on your righteousness” for Frank.
The grieving dad wants pain for those costing a very dear pregnancy, and Danny understands. Detective Reagan takes Willie on a “trunk trip” for a long ride, to see if he will take his “games” more seriously. Garrett accuses Frank of trying to play the “be all and know all” sage of the department, as if he were Moses, and “came down from the mountain with your own tablets” regarding the Doherty promotion. When Danny questions Mike further at his house, trying to paint over a nursery, Stephanie remembers hearing the name “Moses” the night she was attacked. Danny immediately remembers the man he has arrested on drug charges before, but by the time Danny puts the ties together, Moses is found shot in an ally. Danny recognizes shoe prints of the same orange paint he that he saw when Mike was repainting. No one is the neighborhood is upset, calling Moses’ loss “a public service.” Frank decides to meet with Officer Doherty himself, and finds a kindred spirit. Doherty has dreams, but doesn’t want any promotion based on “a hook,” completely similar to Frank’s feelings about becoming Commissioner because of his father’s status. He wants to climb on his “own steam.”
Jack delivers daisies to Erin on the job, and she says no to telling Nicky about their “situation,” but yes to thinking about it. Danny tells Mike he saw his boot prints on the scene of Moses’ death in the alley, and that he’d better “lose them,” because next time, he might be there, asking where Mike was the night of the death. Family dinner becomes very contentious, with Pop decrying, “You know best, Francis” even over passing potatoes! Danny describes the case of a “friend” dealing with a man who did something very wrong, but very understandable. Frank says that when an officer becomes more judge than cop, he needs to find another profession. Other members of the family defend that interpretation has to be left to the legal system. Danny knocks on Mike’s door again, this time to arrest him. Mike describes how he “only wanted to look him in the eye,” referring to the attacker, and that both men struggled for the gun, and it went off. On a side note, the fact that the date of the statement mentioned was April, this episode must have been pushed forward! Erin tells Danny that details “add up,” and that hopefully, the family can move on when it grows before the grand jury. Erin says a last goodbye to Jack, at least in the romantic sense, saying that he wants the “fun,” but not responsibility of dealing with their daughter, being married, and being a real life couple, when he balks at “moving in this weekend.”
Mike and Stephanie get welcome reprieve from the grand jury. Frank informs Garrett that he has given Officer Doherty his promotion, and Garrett tells Frank that at least two news publications have agreed to fall in line with not glamorizing the violent gangs. Both men savor some sense of victory-a semisweet Blue Bloods ending. Sweeter news came this week that the drama has been renewed for a fifth season.