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'Blue Bloods' recap: The two lives of a murdered detective

Season 4 | Episode 21 | “Above and Beyond” | Aired May 2, 2014

“Above and Beyond” is the name of the game and the episode title for the penultimate episode of season 4 of Blue Bloods. Early on, an undercover detective named Steve Tomlin is murdered on the job. A well-regarded officer, Steve had gone above and beyond in the line of duty, but at home, he faltered — leaving the main characters to pick up the pieces.

Steve was leading a double life: Outside of the office, he had a wife and two college-age children on Staten Island, and a girlfriend and a newborn baby in New Jersey. His mistress wasn’t aware of her boyfriend’s other family, but Steve’s wife recently realized his adultery, leading her to randomly call one of the suspicious numbers on Steve’s phone days before his death.

Tomlin’s double life is only discovered after the officers clearing out his locker realize it’s already empty. Another officer covered up his friend’s tracks to keep everyone from finding out that Steve wasn’t as noble as his reputation suggested.

As usual, the adult Reagan siblings each seek to go above and beyond in their positions. Danny, tasked with bringing Steve’s killer to justice, spends the hour looking for the gangster behind it all. Meanwhile, in a secondary storyline, his sister Erin and his brother Jamie spend their time trying to locate Tyler (Gabriel Rush), a former classmate of Erin’s daughter, Nicky. Nicky recently realized that Tyler, who had claimed that he was moving out of town, was instead living on the New York streets in a tough neighborhood known as Hell’s Kitchen.

Like other members of the Reagan crew, Nicky sought to go above and beyond in rescuing Tyler from the drug-fueled life he was rumored to be living. After pushing her mother to search for her missing friend, Nicky lies to Jamie to get him to cover the streets of Hell’s Kitchen with his partner, Eddie. In the end, Jamie and his female partner (who believes that they deserve capes for their lifesaving work ) locate Tyler, and Erin finds out that Tyler’s mother — who, it turns out, is the real drug user in the family — is recovering from her addiction in a nearby hospital.

Of course, Police Commissioner Frank and his father, Henry, are asked to go above and beyond in their dealings as well. Frank — a true family man — discovers that Steve did not hand in his revised financial paperwork, meaning that Steve’s mistress and baby could be left with none of the officer’s financial benefits. Instead of accepting that situation (as his public relations adviser suggests), the commissioner looks to take care of the fallen officer’s second family. He, with Danny alongside, goes to Henry asking for the financial support of a police organization that Henry works on. Steve might have made mistakes in his personal life, but Frank and Henry ultimately opt to protect both his families and all of his children.

In the episode’s first scene, Nicky enjoys an ice cream treat with her grandfather, Frank. When she becomes distracted by her phone buzzing, Frank asks her to “choose” between a conversation with him or spending time messaging with her friends. In this episode, many of the characters are asked to choose as well. They could make the easier, by-the-books choices, or they could go above and beyond, embracing the tougher choices and the consequences of those decisions. Some of those choices are tougher to make than others (like Frank’s choice not to tell Steve’s wife that her phone call to his supposed mistress ultimately led to Steve’s death), but the Reagans, as usual, are willing to do what they believe is right, no matter what.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Was Frank right to hide the truth from Steve’s wife? Do you think the mistress should have figured out that her partner was married? 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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