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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Blue Bloods takes on "The Blue Templar"

Blue Bloods: The First Season     CBS's Blue Bloods ends its first season with "The Blue Templar." Jamie (Will Estes), who has secretly invesitgated the police organization that killed his brother, hands the ball off to brother Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) at the end of the penultimate episode. In "The Blue Templar," Danny lets in father Frank (Tom Selleck), Grandpa (Len Cariou), and sister assistant district attorny Erin (Bridget Moynahan). Frank takes charge from the dining room table, keeping most of the cops in the dark, and leaving only Jamie, who brought things this far, out of the loop. Danny and his partner, Jackie (Jennifer Esposito) make quick work of the Templar, tracking them down, and allowing Frank to bust the entire gang by the end of the episode. In the meantime, Jamie saves a girl from being kidnapped and falls for her.

     This feels like a total cop out, excuse the pun. While CBS has complained Blue Bloods is too procedural, its actually far from it. It feels like the network told the show to get the Templar out of the mix, so they waited until the season finale, and then solved the whole mess quickly, with no hiccups. It does not make sense at all that the Templar, who are well organized, and have been carrying on illicit activities for years, would go down so quickly, even if Danny and Jackie are top notch detectives. This is an example of CBS making a big mistake by taking a series with a hint of promise, and setting it up to be nothing more than another boring police procedural in season two. And season two looks very likely, though is not officially confirmed.

     Worse than the take down is that Jamie is removed from the situation quickly and without complaint. Jamie is a good boy, who knows when to listen to his father. But he's also a man, and he's been looking into the Templar for months. Not very much, which is a large part of the problem of the arc, but he has. In "The Blue Templar," Jamie willingly walks away from the investigation, and is content with being called in as part of the take down. The excuse is that Jamie is being watched, and that makes logical sense. But in how many shows do the criminal investigating heroes back off just because it makes sense? They don't. They stick around and save the day. Removing Jamie from the plot removed all interest from the character, which wasn't a lot to begin with.

     Erin barely gets anything to do in this episode, either. Frank tells her to get warrants. She worries that there is very little evidence and she will not succeed. And then... nothing. It must be assumed she got the warrants, but she is never seen fighting for them, convincing a judge she her family has enough evidence to keep pursuing the investigation. Even though Erin is pessimistic about getting a judge to grant permissions, Danny and Frank act as though they've already been given the go ahead, and do whatever they want. Not strong story telling.

     What Blue Bloods has began as was a smart, family drama that would view the police procedure from a variety of perspectives (detective, rookie, commissioner, assistant district attorney, retired), and throw in some longer arcs, like that of the Blue Templer, to keep things interesting. What Blue Bloods is becoming is Danny and Jackie solve a police case every week. Sometimes Frank gets to play a little politicis, which he hates doing, and Jamie looks into a few more common things. But mostly Danny and Jackie saving the day. This is not a show that is needed.

     CBS will likely bring Blue Bloods back in the fall for a second season.

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