[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the Blue Bloods Season 12 finale “Silver Linings.”]
While Blue Bloods may not be the kind of show that ends a season with a big cliffhanger, it still delivers a strong finale, with Season 12’s in particular exactly what you expect when you tune in to CBS on a Friday night.
In “Silver Linings,” Erin (Bridget Moynahan) is the one in the middle when Frank (Tom Selleck) calls out her boss, Crawford (Rosyln Ruff), for being against incarceration for those she considers non-violent offenders in a press conference. While he doesn’t name Erin — though a reporter brings up his daughter working as the bureau chief under Crawford — Frank does think that ADAs, elected officials, and civilians need to speak out.
Meanwhile, Danny (Donnie Walhberg) and Baez’s (Marisa Ramirez) murder investigation and Jamie (Will Estes) and Joe Hill’s (Will Hochman) search for a trafficked girl end up leading to the same vehicle, and the four team up. It takes a surprising, personal turn for one of them. Plus, Anthony (Steven Schirripa) scores the coveted, very rare non-Reagan invite to the family dinner table.
Read on to find out how the season ends.
Mothers & Daughters
Elena Marquez (Annelise Cepero), pregnant, leaves witness protection to check on her mom, only to hear someone breaking in. She calls Danny, but by the time he gets there, all he can do is witness the house exploding when she opens the door. She dies, but the doctors are able to save her baby. It can’t be a coincidence that Arturo Munoz recently made bail, and security footage outside Elena’s house shows two people wearing ski masks, getting into a car reported as stolen … by Munoz.
Meanwhile, Jamie and his nephew, Joe, team up for a raid that should be straightforward, only for it to lead to a mother, Margo (Greta Quispe), trying to find her 14-year-old daughter, Soli (Kyndra Sanchez), who was trafficked as they were crossing the border. On what was to be Jamie’s day off, he and Joe track down the coyote, Carlos (Julio Cesar Ruiz), who took Soli. While doing so, Joe wonders if it’s true that his father would’ve insisted they get married if his mom told him she was pregnant. Without a doubt, Jamie confirms of his late brother. And he can’t help but wonder if Joe Reagan might have handled himself differently on the job if he knew he had a son. But they’ll never know if he might still be alive.
It’s as Jamie and Joe are following Carlos, about to pull him over for driving a stolen car, that Danny and Baez show up, after the same vehicle for their investigation. They take Carlos into custody and find a dead teen (not Soli) in the trunk. It turns out he was just cleaning up after Munoz, and they agree to try to get him a deal if he tells them where Soli is. She’ll be sorting drugs after a shipment, he ‘fesses up. But when they arrive at the warehouse, Soli is the only one to step outside — wearing a bomb!
With the bomb squad too far away and the clock ticking down, Danny puts himself in charge of defusing it and tries to send at least Baez and Joe back. “You got two Reagans here, talk us through it,” Danny tells Detective Giorgio (Tony Crane). “You’ve got three Reagans,” Joe corrects him. He’s not going anywhere. Danny’s successful, and Jamie’s the one to bring the safe Soli to reunite with her mother.
Then, Danny heads to the hospital to check on Elena’s baby, and Baez is already there, holding her. Munoz is facing federal charges and will never get out of prison again, he tells her. He also confirms that he called for a “medic” instead of an ambulance after the explosion because it reminded him of Private Patricia Murphy, whom he lost in a similar way. No one from Elena’s family has come forward to adopt her baby, Danny notes, but he did hear that one of the heroic detectives who caught her mom’s killer did. “She’s very lucky because you’re going to make one hell of a mom,” he says. Baez couldn’t stop thinking about her after seeing her, she confirms.
Getting on the Same Page
Eddie (Vanessa Ray) and Badillo (Ian Quinlan) first encounter Newiler (David Kallaway) when he’s holding up a storeowner at knifepoint. They arrest him, but since he didn’t physically attack anyone, the knife’s being left out of the complaint and he’s not even going to be charged with resisting arrest. Eddie’s frustrated, while Badillo shrugs it off … until he must shoot Newiler during their second encounter with him when he stabs a woman. (Both will be fine.) Then Badillo admits Eddie was right.
Caught in the Middle
Erin confronts her father about calling out her boss, but Frank argues that he’s not the one who’s put her in the middle. He does think it’s time for her to call out Crawford herself if she disagrees with her policies. He thinks he’d be able to listen if one of his inner circle did that and was right to do so, so why not see if the DA can?
Once again the topic of Erin becoming DA comes up, and while Frank may insist that he would never want one of his kids to make an important decision based on what he thinks — he’s told Jamie the same thing — she points out it’s hard to ignore his opinion. Frank thinks she’s afraid of winning and all that goes with it. In fact, when he and Crawford meet, Frank even suggests why he wouldn’t want his daughter to have his job: He’s battled with all the DAs he’s worked with.
Erin’s left frustrated by the entire situation and vents to Anthony, who notes that she may complain about her father being too involved in her life and caring too much, but his left when he was a kid. He and his mother rarely had a “family dinner.”
Then, Crawford speaks to the press and calls out Frank for being a “broken windows” guy. “The Reagan name is synonymous with law enforcement, but maybe we need to take a hard look at alternatives to that old order,” she says. Henry (Len Cariou) stops by to insert himself into his son’s work life without being invited after talking with Erin. As Henry recalls, he didn’t say anything about Frank taking over when he stepped back and the commissioner’s job was a possibility for his son.
Erin tries to explain to Crawford that who her father is has no effect on her job or what she thinks of her boss’ mandates, but the DA doesn’t seem to buy it. She then tries to explain her situation to her father. As Erin reminds him, she’s the only person at family dinner except for Danny’s son Sean (Andrew Terraciano) who isn’t a cop, and every week, she listens to everyone unload on the DA’s office. But while his department is far from perfect, she doesn’t say so in public, out of respect for him. Frank agrees to give her a heads-up if he’s going to call out her boss in the future.
Then, Erin shares that the reason she’s not running for DA isn’t because she’s afraid of winning. “It’s because I’m afraid of losing,” she says. “And that’s your fault. For raising me with three brothers.”
Another Special Reagan Family Dinner
Then, at the final family dinner of Season 12, with Anthony and Joe in attendance, Erin reveals she’s throwing her hat in the ring for DA. Why did she decide to run? “I guess I realized that one of the reasons I wasn’t running was I may be afraid of losing. But I think that if I have your love and support, I’ll be unbeatable,” she explains. “Spoken like a true Reagan,” Danny says.
Blue Bloods, Season 13, Fall 2022, CBS