Blue Bloods Season 12 Episode 20 Review: Silver Linings

Big changes are afoot for the Reagans.

Blue Bloods Season 12 Episode 20 left us with a lot to look forward to when the series returns for a thirteenth season.

Erin threw her hat in the ring (again), while Baez made a big, life-changing decision after again wondering if she was making a difference as a cop.

I had a feeling Baez was going to adopt that baby from the moment it was introduced.

She was upset about the mother’s death and felt like she wasn’t making any difference as a cop.

Baez: You ever feel like everything we do doesn’t make a difference?… We arrest Munoz and he’s out on bail and we arrest him again and he kills someone, and what difference does it make?
Danny: I always think about how much worse it would be if we weren’t here.

Danny thought the baby was lucky to be alive, but it had no parents, and Danny encouraged Baez to make the world safer for the little girl.

Sure enough, she’s taking that baby home with her. It’s not the Jamie/Eddie baby a lot of fans were hoping for, but it’s still exciting.

A Witness is Murdered - Blue Bloods Season 12 Episode 20

It also brings up a ton of questions. First and foremost, will Baez stay on the force now that she has a child to take care of?

She doesn’t seem like the stay-at-home type, but she never thought she wanted kids either. And she’s been progressively more unhappy at work throughout this season.

All the violence and negativity have been getting to her for a while. She has been feeling more and more like police work doesn’t make a difference and that perps get out of jail quickly and are free to wreak more havoc while all the cops can do is put them away for a couple of hours.

Under the circumstances, I wouldn’t be surprised if she took extended maternity leave, though the idea saddens me. She has such great partner chemistry with Danny, and it sometimes crosses the line into something more.

Joe Is Back - Blue Bloods Season 12 Episode 20

But a miserable Baez is no fun at all, and she may worry that she could get hurt or killed and not make it home to her baby. 

Danny’s comment that he was always there if she needed anything sounded like the sort of thing you say when you don’t expect to see someone regularly anymore, too.

Will he be breaking in a new partner come fall? Only time will tell, but it certainly sounded like it.

Meanwhile, Erin decided to put her hat in the ring after all. Yay?

A Special Guest - Blue Bloods Season 12 Episode 20

This would be more exciting if she hadn’t already decided to run once and then undecided because she was afraid she’d be seen as riding Frank’s coattails.

Crawford’s position is untenable, at least as written so far. The idea of not prosecuting non-violent offenders sounds fine on paper. Still, if knife-waving robbers are considered non-violent because they only threatened violence, the policy has gone too far.

I wish Blue Bloods would offer a more nuanced look at criminal justice reform laws, one where there was a middle position between Frank’s and Crawford’s. Every time the issue comes up, it’s always that the new policies are completely ridiculous, ill-informed, and contribute to rising crime rates.

Blue Bloods has a more conservative outlook than many crime dramas, so it’s understandable that the series is anti-reform. Still, these types of policies are also not what most people who support reform are hoping for. A more nuanced conversation would allow viewers to understand both sides of the issue.

Working With Joe - Blue Bloods Season 12 Episode 20

On the other hand, Blue Bloods’ job is to entertain more than it is to inform, and it’s true to Frank’s character not to be for these ridiculous types of reform.

Crawford’s commitment to not prosecuting non-violent offenders would have been admirable if her definition of non-violent had any basis in reality.

No justification makes any sense for a perp who threatened both civilians and cops with a knife to be considered “non-violent.” Non-violent offenders are people who got caught with a dime bag of illegal drugs, underage drinkers, shoplifters who are unarmed, and the like.

Thanks to Crawford’s nonsensical approach, Eddie’s partner shot a repeat offender, and that offender stabbed a woman this time. NOW can he be classified as a violent offender? Sheesh.

Stuck In The Middle - Blue Bloods Season 12 Episode 20

I wasn’t a huge fan of Erin’s response. She didn’t like that Frank publicly called out the DA’s office, and it wasn’t the first time. Whenever she and Frank don’t see eye-to-eye on the DA office’s policies, Erin gets upset that Frank called her office out.

She makes a big deal about how she doesn’t want to be treated as the Commissioner’s daughter, but her protest always strikes me as wanting Frank to treat her office with kid gloves because his daughter works there.

She can’t have it both ways like that.

Crawford seemed to think she was running against Frank for her position. Her press conference in response to his sounded like an attack ad urging people not to vote for him… when he wasn’t even running.

Calling Out the DA's Office - Blue Bloods Season 12 Episode 20

Now that Erin’s hat is in the ring, it’s about to get ugly. Crawford will try to paint Erin as Frank’s proxy and suggest that if you don’t want the Commissioner running the DA’s office, you’d better vote for her over Erin.

Elsewhere, Joe is becoming part of the family now.

Joe: Can I ask you a question? My mom says she didn’t tell my dad she was pregnant because he would have insisted on marrying her if he knew. Is that true?
Jamie: Yeah, it is.
Joe: I wish I could have known him. I wonder sometimes if it would have been different if I had.
Jamie: Sometimes I wonder if he would have done things different if he knew he had a son.
Joe: You mean would he be more careful if he had a kid?
Jamie: Yeah. And maybe he would still be alive. Guess we’ll never know.

He and Jamie had a heart-to-heart about Joe Senior, he came willingly to Sunday dinner, and Danny told him to shut up.

Danny was treating him as a full Reagan during that argument. Joe should be proud that he got under his skin.

A Problematic New Rule - Blue Bloods Season 12 Episode 20

Joe’s pre-stakeout conversation with Jamie was compelling, too. The brothers talked about Joe Senior and his absence for the first time. More of this, please.

What we didn’t need, though, was Jamie and Danny getting all territorial over Sanchez. Let the FBI or the CIA be the stereotypical obnoxious cops who insist the case is theirs now. There was no need for Danny to do it.

Your turn, Blue Bloods fanatics. Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button, and let’s discuss how you feel about the season finale. If you missed it, you can watch Blue Bloods online and then come back to leave your comment.

Blue Bloods airs on CBS on Fridays at 10 PM EST / PST. It will return for Season 13 during the autumn of 2022.

Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.

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