Leave it to the last few Blue Bloods episodes to always be the most satisfying, and that’s certainly true of “Secret Arrangements” (Season 4, Episode 19). These series writers and show runners have been there since the beginning, and they know what keeps fans coming back. Besides fulfilling what many loyal viewers have been expecting for one of the Reagan crime-fighters, this episode is expertly cast, and the tensions compelling, making it one fans want to keep queued up in the DVR to see again!
Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) and Maria (Marisa Ramirez) are called to a scene where a professor is found fatally shot in his car. Meanwhile, Jamie (Will Estes) and Eddie (Vanessa Ray) come to a girl on the street (Jennifer Cody) doing nothing but screaming “Mike,” all the while only partially clothed, and utterly uncooperative, so much so that she bites Jamie beyond doggie style! Erin (Bridget Moynahan) gives her dad (Tom Selleck) the heads up that the DA is investigating detectives with very high success rates, equating doing too good a job to doing something wrong. Danny finds himself on the lookout list again. Frank decides to have a discrete look at his son’s files. Danny and Maria go to break the news to the professor’s wife, Mrs. Daniels, perfectly portrayed by Janet Zarish, who defends her husband to the Nth degree, disputing that anyone would have anything but praise for her loving husband and perfect father. As they are about to wrap it up, a university colleague, Seymour Kerwin (Gregg Edelman) happens to drop-in, comforting Mrs. Daniels and backing up her defense. Danny knows there’s more to this case, declaring to Maria “everyone’s entitled to a private life, but a secret life, you’re on your own.” Frank and Garrett talk about Danny’s record, and Frank defends that his son “steps on the line” known for his temper, but does not cross it. He also agrees that Danny is “a great cop” with absolutely no argument. Garrett suggests to Frank that he meet with his son. Thanks to a savvy computer geek, Danny and Maria uncover a secret “scholarship” known as the Winifred O’Dare Scholarship, which essentially is an escort service in which older University elders have worthwhile encounters with young female students in exchange for their education, comfortable housing, and treats thrown in. Not surprisingly, both Professor Daniels and Kerwin’s names are on the client list. Maggie Parker (Emma Galvin) is soon designated as Prof. Daniels favorite girl. On a tip to visit the Unlucky Penny coffee shop, Danny and Maria find the scholarship boss, Jeremiah Kade (Michael Braun) doing business from his phone and the sofa. He protests that what he does is completely voluntary and charitable and 501-3(C) kosher, but Maria promises a tax inquiry!
During a Chinese food lunch, Frank requests from Sgt. Gormley (Robert Clohessy) that his son’s cases be brought to him, quietly. The Sgt. agrees. Jamie and Eddie run into Jamie’s old college friend, Spencer Croft (Robbie Sublett), visiting town, and he takes more than a shine to Eddie. Eddie is interested in the prospect when Jamie sleepily reveals the next day that Spencer “asked for your digits.” She agrees to a double date, pairing Jamie with a friend. Questioning Maggie Parker, the “scholar” becomes most defensive, insisting that Prof. Daniels brought her sushi as she was studying, it was an early night, and she has no idea how it turned to murder. She shows off the love poetry that the professor wrote for her, but pleading that her parents can never know her secret life. Maria gets a lead that an ex-boyfriend, Milo (Jay DeVore) didn’t take too well to Daniels. An informant comes to Danny out of consideration, describing a visit in Rikers from “guys with badges” who wanted to know if Danny had any issues with roughing him up during questioning. The Sgt. admits that Danny is messy on paperwork, his forms are “a salad,” but that he gets the job done no matter what. Danny goes to see Frank, sure that the only one with “juice” to peel through all the years of paperwork is dad. Frank denies that attack, but will not defend himself, knowing the smear of a compromised investigation. Frank asks Danny if he really thinks his own father would single him out. When Danny can’t answer, Frank, beside himself, comments “how sad for you. Come back when you’re ready to have a conversation for real.” Danny still feels betrayed that his dad couldn’t give him a warning, and family dinner is the most stressful in Reagan history, Danny declining Pop’s request to say Grace, and then grudgingly speaking the fastest prayer ever, leaning into Linda (Amy Carlson) saying, “just get through the meal.” When a call comes on the case, it’s never mind sacred dinners. Frank says, “let him go. He’s not here anyway.”
Maria and Danny track down Milo in a bar, in a drunken stupor, happy but hapless over the murder. On their date, Spencer broaches the clearly amorous connection between Jamie and his partner, offering that the evidence is undeniable. The walk home for Eddie finds she and Jamie singing “Crystal Ball,” debating lyrics, but with no indecision about several kisses. Some research of love poems shared by Maggie shows that Prof. Daniels recycled the same poems from the days of courting his wife, subway tokens being a tip off. The next morning, Eddie and Jamie try to laugh off the moments under the moonlight. Jamie declares it’s all “out of our system,” and “we’ll laugh about this for a long time.” Eddie has a tinge of sadness in her eyes, but walks away. An apartment superintendent reveals a secret entrance with an alarm that can be disengaged, furthering their case. Danny takes the re-gifted poetry to Mrs. Daniels, putting her through the pain of hearing it read to get to the truth. She breaks down, saying she “could never let that happen,” to allow a young, meaningless escort possess her poetry. Erin invites her dad over for cocktails. He brings pizza, but things get tense when Danny is another invited guest. The only choice of refreshment is “Scotch and Scotch,” in the daughter’s efforts to make forgiveness flow. Frank presents a new addendum he’s written on investigative proper procedure, describing how it highlights proper and improper methods. When Danny smugly comments that he knows what section he comes in, Frank assures, “you’re actually in both sections.” Some old family movies appear on the TV screen, and Erin sits between two Reagan’s she loves. Soon, they’re talking mom and memories, and everyone has the feeling that the Reagan’s will find a way to be all right by the next Blue Bloods Friday. There’s a reason this series has become appointment TV.