On Blue Bloods, a Bullet Hits Too Close to Home - Plus, the CBS Drama's Special 9/11 Moment

Tonight on Blue Bloods (CBS, 10/9c), Danny, Linda and the kids are out for a drive when their car hits a pedestrian. But the Reagan clan suffers a blow itself when the incident results in gunfire, with one bullet landing just inches from their sons. Has Linda just about had enough of being a policeman’s wife? Amy Carlson shared with TVLine a look at the emotionally tense episode, as well as weighed in on what it means for Blue Bloods be the first TV show allowed to film at the 9/11 Memorial in New York City.

TVLINE | I’ve seen this week’s episode and it’s quite good. Can you tee it up for us?
[Linda, Danny and their kids] are driving home from [Frank’s] house, having a good time, when we hit a guy who runs into the street. Danny gets out and, when he’s administering care to the guy, some other guy shows up with a gun. In that split second, Danny makes the choice to ID himself as a police officer. Danny fires at the assailant and hits him, but not before the assailant gets off a round into our family car — right between the children.

TVLINE | How do Danny and Linda’s reactions to the incident differ?
Well, Danny, he’s a cop and in his mind he has no choice [but to engage the gunman]. That’s who he is — it’d be like asking fish not to swim — and there’s no way he’s not go to try to get the guy with the gun. But Linda’s reaction is, “You’re protecting your family and in that moment you chose the dangerous option. You could have done anything else but get right into a gunfight with us right behind you.”

TVLINE As a mother of two yourself, what was it like working through this material?
It brought up a lot of issues. I had a lot to work with because as a mother I was like, “This is crazy, why doesn’t he just he let him run around the corner? Why does he have to be a big hero?” And I think of that actress who got shot and killed a couple years ago [Nicole duFresne], and how everyone was saying that those moments are about power, so let the guy with the gun run away and don’t make a fuss. My character has no real cop instincts; she just has mother lion instincts. So she’s like, “Why did you have to make that choice?”

TVLINE | But Linda knew Danny was going to become a cop when she met him, right?
Yes. He didn’t have a lot of options, though. He’s Danny, he’s the perfect cop! And I think Donnie Wahlberg is born to play this role. He’s got so much life and spark, and that’s just what the character needs. Danny couldn’t have done much else.

TVLINE Have you researched or otherwise gleaned how the wives of real-life cops juggle the day-in, day-out anxiety with letting their husband be who he is?
I have, I have — I’ve spent a lot of time with first responders and their spouses, because I’ve played different first responders [on shows such as Third Watch], and there’s this steely grit that they have. It’s almost like a protective vest that they wear themselves. They know that in any moment there’s a lot of fear involved. A lot of fear, and a lot of prayer.

TVLINE | For this episode, as part of Frank’s storyline, Blue Bloods became the first TV series allowed to film at the new 9/11 Memorial in New York City. What do you think that says about your show?
I was playing a firefighter on Third Watch during 9/11, and to now be part of a show that is showing the memorial to America is an amazing thing. It’s a very powerful, reverent moment to be a part of. I couldn’t be prouder. People who can’t travel here will get to see it, and that’s fantastic. It’s an opportunity people shouldn’t miss.

TVLINE And on a larger scale, why do you think Blue Bloods does so well? It’s is consistently the most-watched program on Friday night.
Because we’re making really good television! Its compelling, solid, inteersting, nuanced television, and it’s an incredible cast led by Tom Selleck, who really puts his stamp on the show. He demands quality, and the class Tom Selleck and [executing producer] Leonard Goldberg permeates the show.