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'Blue Bloods' recap: Father does not know best

Season 4 | Episode 20 | “Custody Battle” | Aired Apr 25, 2014

In the last episode of Blue Bloods, Danny Reagan and his father, Frank, nearly came to blows over an investigation into Danny’s harsh interrogation methods. Tonight’s new episode of the Tom Selleck drama focused on harsh police tactics as well, but Danny was featured far less than usual in this Erin-centric episode.

New York City police officer Randy Cutter (Charlie Semine) is the one under the microscope here. After he and his partner, Officer Kara Walsh (Tonya Glanz), arrest an abrasive father named Christopher Collins (Brent Werzner), Collins dies mysteriously in the police station bathroom. Collins had a criminal record, but questions about his sudden death quickly arise, leading to Erin being asked to investigate the case for the Manhattan District Attorney.

Frank is unhappy with his daughter’s assignment, noting the conflict it will inevitably create in the Reagan household. The Reagan family is packed with former police officers, and at the family’s weekly dinner, they are immediately put on the defensive in the case. To the family, Erin’s willingness to seek prosecution against Cutter (who may have violated police protocol) looks like an attack on the entire police department. Frank, usually the wise father figure on the show, shows his flawed side here as he brutally questions Erin’s motives for taking the case. (It’s a bit ironic for him to be so patronizing here considering that in the last episode, he was the one who was publicly lauding the values of public service over familial connections in his argument with Danny.)

Christopher, it’s discovered, was also a flawed father. His violence against the police partially arose from the anger he felt after learning that his ex-girlfriend was moving his daughter hundreds of miles away. Sure, he should’ve been arrested and he shouldn’t have lost control, but as Erin continually notes, he shouldn’t have died for these mistakes. “Officer Cutter went too far and he needs to pay for it,” she states after the investigation begins and she meets Christopher’s young child, who will never be able to see her father again.

Blue Bloods: s4, ep 20 - Eddie, Frank (CBS)In the third paternal storyline of this episode, Officer Edit Jenko — Jamie’s partner — faces a decision about visiting her father in prison. Edit, unlike Frank’s children or Christopher’s child, has seen the worst in her father and knows that he is a bad man. She wants nothing to do with him. Jamie tries to convince her that she should still visit her dad, but like Danny’s former partner, Jackie Curatola (Jennifer Esposito), Eddie has a hard time taking advice from a member of the “perfect” Reagan family. Edit eventually concedes and walks into the prison to visit her flawed father.

As the episode shows, though, all fathers are flawed in their own unique and distinct ways. As it ends, Frank realizes his own mistake and apologizes to his daughter. Cutter used excessive force (as his partner concedes, and which Cutter had a pattern of doing), and Collins should not have been killed. Even though the grand jury (whose findings are revealed right before the show’s conclusion) seemingly vindicate the aggressive officer, Frank will have nothing to do with him. He fires Cutter on the spot.

As a typical father, Frank Reagan has made many mistakes, but as a good father, he’s willing to own up to them and do the right thing — even when it means going against an officer in his own department.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Was Frank being hypocritical by criticizing his daughter for keeping her role in the investigation secret until the press got involved? Are you disappointed that Cutter won’t be facing criminal charges? Sound off in the comments below.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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