CBS premiered season 8 of their popular police drama Blue Bloods Friday, September 29, with a rollercoaster of surprises and emotions. But it was their defense of police officers, as well as God and family that pulled on the heartstrings the most.
In the opening of “Cutting Losses,” we learn that an off-duty police officer, Kevin Olivet, shot and killed an unarmed shoplifter who attempted to assault him and who had a long history of crimes including assault, four counts of robbery, possession with intent to sell and aggravated harassment. Meanwhile, Officer Olivet has an unblemished record and has never discharged his firearm in the four years he has been in service.
There’s a new, acting mayor in charge, Margaret Dutton (Lorraine Bracco) and she rushes to judgment against the police officer, interrupting Police Commissioner Frank Reagan’s (Tom Selleck) public press conference about the incident, in which he balances both the need for an investigation of the incident as well as the need to refrain from slandering a good officer’s reputation before all the facts are known.
Dutton appears to further incite the press and the public’s ire against the officer with her words, however, and it has an overwhelmingly negative affect on Officer Olivet and his family:
Garrett: Commissioner. Officer Olivet is here to see you.
Frank: You knew about this? Let's have him.
Frank: Welcome to the 14th floor.
Frank: It looks like it's a slow day in the office. The gang's all here. So why don't we move to the couch? Please.
Kevin: Well, I'd hoped to be coming here for a different reason.
Frank: I think I've got some idea what you're going through, and I'm sorry.
Kevin: I saw the press conference. Thank you for trying.
Garrett: This particular commissioner sees that as part of his job.
Kevin: To alienate the new mayor?
Gormley: To stand up for his officers.
Baker: To be the voice of its men and women.
Gormley: Listen, how you holding up?
Kevin: Considering the papers are saying that I killed a defenseless woman, that I'm a murderer?
Frank: Well, you'd do well not to pay any attention to the press.
Kevin: Tell that to my five-year-old.
Frank: When there's a police shooting, the first 24 hours are always a free-for-all.
Gormley: But it's the PC's job to be a real champion for the guys in blue.
Baker: Without that, there'd be a lot more cops dropping out of the department.
Kevin: I'm walking the beat with a target on my back.
Frank: The truth is gonna come out.
Garrett: The press can be brutal, for sure, but that's what we're here for.
Gormley: To make sure you get your say.
Baker: To know that you've got someone at the top watching your back.
Kevin: I'm resigning.
Frank: Don't pull your pin. Clear your name.
Kevin: And, please, there's nothing that you're gonna say that's going to change my mind.
As it turns out, the investigation cleared Olivet, showing that the “victim” was high on amphetamines and cocaine during the incident, but unfortunately, the truth “came after the media had beat (Olivet) up pretty good,” as Frank put it, and Olivet had thus already resigned.
Mayor Dutton then calls Frank into her office to apologize to him, at which time Frank delivers an amazing speech in defense of police officers everywhere:
Secretary: Afternoon, Commissioner. The mayor said you can go right in.
Margaret: Commissioner Reagan, thank you for coming.
Frank: "Frank" will do fine.
Margaret: Close the door, have a seat. I read the autopsy report. She was clearly under the influence.
Frank: To put it mildly.
Margaret: Well, how would you put it?
Frank: Officer Olivet was trying to reason with someone who had snorted enough jet fuel to win the ninth race at Belmont.
Margaret: I'm not going to pressure the DA's office to pursue any criminal charges against Officer Olivet.
Frank: There's something you should know about police officers.
Margaret: Oh, I think I know...
Frank: Hold on.
Frank: They know what people are capable of in ways that most, thankfully, do not. They have seen firsthand the cigarette burns on an infant's back or the black eyes and the sideways jaw on an 80-year-old rape victim. And they assume the worst. And they take that on so that good people can go about their lives and think generously about their fellow man. They provide that luxury.
Margaret: You say that as if it's a fact.
Frank: It is to me. And a hard-earned one. And whoever is in my office, he or she, if they're any good, is gonna feel the same way.
Margaret: My job is to advocate for the people. And if that calls for an investigation into your department or any of your officers, it's not personal. It's going to happen.
Frank: Because of your rush to judgment, this city has lost a good police officer as surely and as finally as if he were killed in the line of duty.
Sadly, this defense is sorely needed at a time when police officers are being targeted and killed, and controversial NFL player Colin Kaepernick’s foundation was just found to have donated $25,000 to a group honoring a cop killer.
It seems all too often that much of the public rushes to judgment in cases of police officers using lethal defense, rather than waiting for a full investigation and all the facts to come out. Innocent until proven guilty doesn’t appear to apply to police officers anymore, unfortunately. At least not when an officer is white and the victim is black. No one seems to blink an eye over the fact that more whites are killed each year by police officers than blacks.
It’s refreshing to see Blue Bloods give officers the honor and recognition they deserve for the sacrifices they make for our safety and well-being in this anti-police climate.
As an aside, viewers were shocked to find in this episode that well-loved character Linda (Amy Carlson) had been killed off and was already gone before season 8 even started. Another reason I love Blue Bloods is because they honor God and family. This episode was no different, as Linda’s widower Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) is shown trying to cope with the loss of his wife, and his family pulls together a surprise for him and his sons, ending in prayer and trust in God that was beautiful to watch:
Danny: Hey. Hey. What's going on?
Sean: Wait till you see the game room.
Danny: The what?
Jack: It's not a game room, it's a man cave.
Danny: What is this?
Jamie: This is your new home.
Jack: Only a five-minute walk from school. We rented it for you.
Erin: With an option to buy if you decide you like living here.
Sean: There's even a real backyard.
Henry: Come on, let's eat. I'm starving.
Nicky: We'll give you the full tour after.
Frank: Danny. Everything you need's right here. Why are y'all looking at me? I don't know what to say. Okay. I did read an obit a while back. When you reach a certain age, you do that sort of thing. And someone said, "We are all just passing time. And occupy our chair very briefly." The time we had with Linda was a gift. And we are all the better that she occupied her chair... so well.
Henry: Some say we have more than our share of loss. But I see God's light in this family every day. And though I may not understand it, I trust in His plan for us all.
Frank: When Mary died... when I lost my wife... I was a mess. And it was my kids... Joe, Erin, Jamie, and Danny, who... even though they had lost their mom... always made sure, each in their own way, to be there for me. I'm not sure what a shrink would say about that. But it was appreciated. Boys, I'd like you to say grace.
Danny: Actually, um, I'd like to say it. Bless us, oh, Lord. These Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
All: Amen. Amen.