Blue Bloods never steers clear of the hard questions, which is one of many reasons the drama keeps its top spot among all dramas on TV. Getting at the truth is hard in a family, and even harder in a fraternity known as the NYPD. What happens when a man is a superior officer, but a not so-superior husband, who has secrets? How does someone help a friend who wants to keep all his pain and problems in secret?
Nicky (Sami Gayle) hopes to have an ice cream date with grandpa (Tom Selleck), just to discuss some typical high school woes, but when Garrett (Gregory Jbara) and Dino (John Ventimiglia) walk-in with news of an officer shot, the date gets shot. The entire Reagan clan is kept on edge when it comes to light that the victim is from Danny’s precinct, but thankfully, wife, Linda (Amy Carlson) gets word from Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) that he is safe, and spreads the word through Jamie (Will Estes) to the rest of the family tree. While that news is a relief, Frank learns that Steve Tomlin didn’t make it through surgery, and he consoles the grief-stricken wife, Lorraine (Haviland Morris), just arrived at the hospital. “Catch whoever murdered my husband,” is her only need expressed, and Frank assures they will, the best detective Sgt. Gormley (Robert Clohessy) has is on the case, and that happens to be Danny Reagan. Tomlin was gunned down while undercover by a drug boss, Castillo, and Danny and Maria (Marisa Ramirez) don’t waste second getting to the place where the drugs are cut in an effort to cut Castillo, eye for an eye style. They take everybody in, but no one is talking. When Erin (Bridget Moynahan) is leaving court, she is accosted by someone she thinks is just a homeless stranger, but recognizes as Tyler Jefferies (Gabriel Rush) from Nicky’s class. Before she can question further, he runs away, denying the name. Danny assures his Sgt. and his skepticism that “any hollerin’ won’t be me” coming from the interrogation rooms. Castillo’s underlings are notorious for trouble, and for never giving in. Erin tells Nicky that she’s seen Tyler in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. Nicky is determined to help, with or without her mom’s approval.
By every account, Tomlin is praised for his performance and professionalism on the force, but suspicion arises when his locker is found totally cleaned and stripped, when Danny knows just the day before that it was full of pictures and other property. Someone was covering for Tomlin, but why? No one in the Castillo ring is even lawyering-up, but some steamy text messages from one of the men taken in turn out to be sent to Castillo’s sister, Vivian (Judy Marte), a.k.a. Dolores, giving Danny and Maria perfect leverage. The Sgt. goes ballistic searching for who is covering for Tomlin, and demanding return of the locker contents within 24 hours. Nicky asks Jamie to look for Tyler without waiting for her mother’s approval or investigation. He and Eddie do track Tyler down, but he doesn’t want help, letting it be known with a big whack to Eddie! Maria and Danny convince Ticky (Adrian M. Matillo), Vivian’s lover, that they are his only projection from Castillo, so he gives up the goods. Realizing that any cover-up goes straight up the chain of command, Frank wants to get at the truth. While talking to Ticky, Danny notices a sort of smirk on the face of an Officer Becker (Kevin Kane) who gets called in before the Commissioner, and confesses to clearing the locker out of deference for Tomlin and saving his life on a bank heist years earlier, but insists he’s not the mole. He tells his boss that Tomlin is “clean as a whistle,” but has a secret, a second family.
Jamie tells Nicky that they found Tyler digging through trash, but couldn’t nail him, when mom interrupts, catching Nicky in her deception for good cause, still very displeased. No one has any appetite at dinner, and Frank sends Danny’s sons to the kitchen to finish their meals. Talk turns to how to handle the situation of Tomlin’s funeral, and sorting through his personal effects between two families– his wife and grown daughters in college, and a girlfriend with an infant daughter. Frank defends that both women deserve respect, and that all the children are Tomlin’s, and need provision. Danny defends Pop at this point, saying “There’s a line, and men know where it’s drawn.” Eddie convinces Jamie to go out looking for Tyler again, and this time, they chase him down. He’s not distributing drugs, instead, he’s distributing his drug addict mother’s photo, trying to find her. Tomlin’s girlfriend , Marianna (Andrea Ramos), is devastated to learn that he was married. Danny tells her that she and the baby will be provided for, since Tomlin filled out deferred compensation paperwork. Garrett thinks the department is better off because the paperwork was filled out, but never filed, meaning that everything looks legitimate, and goes to the wife. Frank can’t rest with this outcome. While visiting Lorraine Tomlin, she tells him she knew about his affair, and that she had even called the girlfriend, and didn’t want an honorable department recognition at his funeral, saying “skip it.” What she truly wanted could never be granted– a faithful, honest husband. Nicky greets Tyler with a hug at the station, and he tells her the whole truth. Erin arrives with news that his mother has OD’ed, but is alive and in the hospital. They go to see her.
Over their usual late-night nightcap, Frank implores Henry to help him find a way to provide for Tomlin’s girlfriend and baby. Danny comes in, now more aware and understanding of both sides, saying he was on the side of his dad. Henry agrees to arrange a “back pocket baby fund” among his friends, in the spirit of taking care of the families of the fallen in blue. Danny also reveals that Mrs. Tomlin only thought she was calling the girlfriend in her anger. Instead, she was calling one of Castillo’s agents. She was the one who blew her husband’s cover. Saying “I can’t lie to that woman again,” the Commissioner pays a call to Mrs. Tomlin again, with the intent of telling the truth, but sensing her load of grief and crushing betrayal, he instead persuades her to allow police presence and proper honor at her husband’s service. Then, in Blue Bloods tradition, the drama dedicated to those in blue fades to black.