Season 13 of “Blue Bloods” wrapped up with a sense of warmth and reunification that stands as a testament to the drama’s key values. In the finale, Jackie Curatola (Jennifer Esposito) returns to the fold to help her old partner Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg) and his current partner Maria Baez (Marisa Ramirez) track down a possible copycat serial killer.
The murderer is basing their crimes off of the actions of Dr. Leonard Walker (Mather Zickel), a serial killer Baez and Reagan tracked down during Episode 13 of this season, “Past History.” Jackie’s now the chief of police, and the threesome tangle as they dedicate themselves to getting the job done. Career troubles are also plaguing the rest of the Reagans. Eddie Janko (Vanessa Ray) and Jamie Reagan (Will Estes) find themselves investigating a perp who has a connection to Erin Reagan (Bridget Moynahan), and Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) tangles with Mayor Chase (Dylan Walsh) and Archbishop Kearns (Stacy Keach) over a new edict regarding the city’s houseless population.
With Season 13 officially in the bag, fans of the show can look forward to Season 14 – because after some contract negotiation difficulties which resulted in the cast taking a 25% pay cut, it’s definitely happening, though many fans think it will be the show’s swan song. Here are seven things the show should do during its possibly final slate of episodes to keep fans happy … or at least send them home satisfied.
#1: Pull the pin on Danny & Baez already!
Okay, we’re rounding the bend on the 14th season of “Blue Bloods” and at this point it ought to be obvious — this show ought to bite the bullet and get Danny Reagan and Maria Baez together already. Fans have long held court on whether or not getting these two getting romantic would ruin the show or make it better, but at this point, producers are kidding themselves if they don’t think the audience is interested in seeing Danny be happy, following his years of misery after being widowed when Linda (Amy Carlson) died. At this point it would be better to see him with a woman who actually likes him, instead of watching him flounder his way through a series of unfulfilling dates.
Now, on the other side, it’s not that Baez isn’t interesting as a single mother — she is! — but it’s that a romance wouldn’t hurt her story arc, as well as proving that she can be a mom, a cop, and a fun person all at the same time. This is definitely a show that’s good at balancing sad things with happy ones, and a relationship between these two friends could only add a little more joy to a sometimes bleak setting. Besides that? If the show does call it quits with Season 14, there’s no worry about a definitive conclusion to the “will they, won’t they?” dynamic spoiling things, so there’s no better time to finally seal the deal.
#2: Please actually put Eddie and Jamie together in the same Blue Bloods scenes
Fans have been complaining for months that spouses Eddie Janko and Jamie Reagan have seen little screen time together over the past few season. Season 13 has ameliorated that a little, finally pairing them beside one another for a case in “Forgive our Trespasses.” But it’s the first time in a long time they’ve spent the day together. Jamie spent a lot of Season 13 tangled up in a conflict with his brother, Danny, while Eddie continues to work the beat. There have been brief narrative hints that the show might give the twosome a child to deal with, but little of their onscreen time revolves around their personal drama. Often, the only time they’re simultaneously in front of the camera is during those ubiquitous Reagan family dinner scenes.
Season 14 should definitely reverse this trend and have them spend more time off the beat together. A romantic date now and again, a couple of scenes set in their apartment; all of these things would help out, and the show has been so busy keeping them in the field they’re neglecting the couple’s love story. It’s not even necessary that the twosome have a baby. Frankly, though, even putting aside showrunner Kevin Wade’s expressed concern that it would chain Eddie to a desk for six months of story, a new little one might take things in a fresh direction.
#3: Nicky needs to come back to Blue Bloods more often
“Forgive our Trespasses” marks the first time fans have seen Nicky Boyle-Regan in nearly two seasons, with her last appearance being in Season 11’s “Atonement.” With the character finally back on the show’s canvas, possibilities seem to be wide open. While this appears to just be a one-off return at a family dinner scene, producers have explained that they wanted to bring her back earlier. It’s possible that her presence at the table might become more of a regular thing in Season 14. And that really ought to come to pass.
Nicky is a vital part of the show’s fourth generation of characters, someone who acts as a gateway between her parent’s lives and Danny’s younger children. She doesn’t necessarily need to be in every episode, but it would be nice to see her a few times instead of just once. Of course, Sami Gayle has been busy with other projects — including attending college and playing a wicked stepsister in the Broadway production of “Bad Cinderella” — but with the musical closing on June 4, it’s quite likely Gale will be free by the time the WGA Strike concludes. In short, it would be really nice to see her pop up more often if she has any time to spare for the drama.
#4: A Regan grandkid taking an interest in something that’s not a legal career, please
Speaking of that fourth generation of Reagans, it would be lovely to see someone’s kids — anyone’s kids — rebel. And by that, we mean that somebody needs to get into an industry that has nothing to do with being a politician or a police officer. A Reagan working in construction? Great. Or as a fireman, or even a workaday job in the service industry? Any of these options would add something fresh to the show’s plots and add greater depth to the show’s storytelling.
The show has strongly hinted at this before, having Jack Reagan (Tony Terraciano) contemplate a career path and realize he only wanted to join the Marines because Danny had served. He and his younger brother, Sean (Andrew Terraciano) — who mentions he wants to be a fireman in one episode — are just starting to deal with college, which leaves room for them to pick a new direction. Now is an ideal time for the show to pursue this narrative path.
It’s not as if one of these characters developing a profession outside of the usual cop-politician circuit would take away from the central message of “Blue Bloods.” Arguably, adding a new profession into the mix could even help feed stories into the main body of the show. Who says someone can’t find a body in a dumpster or a wheelbarrow of cement one day? You get the idea.
#5: A big umbrella case that involves the whole Blue Bloods family would be great
How about a season-long umbrella story that unites all of the Reagans in taking down a single criminal? Especially if Season 14 does end up being the last, it would make for a perfect conclusion. It’s been a while since they’ve gotten to do this. More often than not, each member of the family is cordoned off and doing their own thing in a different part of New York versus teaming up together.
Eddie is often on her own. You have Baez and Danny working cases elsewhere. Erin is often prosecuting a case or running through a political minefield. Frank handles city hall red tape while trying to cope with political minefields. Sometimes these individual branches connect, and oftentimes, each Reagan approaches their family dinner table with a problem they can’t solve on their own. Why not try to give us a story that requires every inch of the family to put something in their collective pot of skills and cook up a solution to a huge problem? A hostage crisis, a dangerous situation, something that’s completely out of left field — it would be nice to see them team up to tackle something amazing together.
#6: Tell us more about Blue Blood’s supporting characters
“Blue Bloods” is a drama that can get a little Reagan-centric. With that in mind, why not dedicate Season 14 to some unsung supporting regulars in the “Blue Bloods” world? What do we honestly know about Abigail Baker (Abigail Hawk), who has been a constant presence in Frank’s life? Not much, even though she’s anchored a few episodes herself. Who is she, really, outside of work? What do she and her family get up to when she’s not in Frank’s office trying to make everything right for him?
These are questions that ought not be unexplored, and 14 seasons in we definitely ought to know more about what’s going on in her day-to-day existence. We know a little bit more about Garrett Moore (Gregory Jbara) and Sid Gormley (Robert Clohessy), but at this point not enough. All of them deserve a little more attention as “Blue Bloods” moves into Season 14.
#7: And above all, the Reagan family’s close connection should continue to be the focus
One of the biggest things that really makes “Blue Bloods” stick out from its TV peers is the show’s focus on family. That should absolutely be kept paramount as the series moves toward its conclusion. Arguments and fights, like the one between Danny and Jamie, are perfectly natural and necessary. But all that Season 14 really needs to do to succeed in the eyes of viewers, above all else, is keep the family’s closeness paramount.
Flinching away from this would spell doom. But frankly, given how great “Blue Bloods” has been about this throughout its run, there’s probably no reason to worry. After all, what would this drama be like without its family dinners? Who would these characters be if they weren’t looking out for one another? The most important thing about “Blue Bloods” is that it always remains aware that its family is the most important, central facet of its storytelling. As long as it keeps its grip on that, its audience will keep coming back for more, no matter what Season 14 dishes up.