Blue Bloods opens the second episode of Season 3, “Domestic Disturbance,” in very familiar territory for police dramas, as a young woman, Angela, is attempting to explain away injuries that everyone knows came from an assault rather than any fall over a step. As Detective Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg) and partner, Jackie Curatola (Jennifer Esposito) question a lurking former boyfriend, he further fans the flame of probable abuse, and sends Jackie flaring with his details of Angela’s temper and claim that “some girls ask for it,” but he quickly is cleared, and the trail of a limo leads to one Councilman Tony Mancini, a decorated former cop who happens to be swinging votes for the Commissioner to fund a program near and dear to Frank Reagan’s heart.
Further investigation, including evidence seen by Danny’s wife, Linda (Amy Carlson), and a too glowing gush from the Councilman’s commanding officer from his department days, continues to convince the investigating partners that a cover-up is fully in process, but they have no evidence without a victim willing to press charges and little hard proof. They push Mancini, but he insists that the girl he’s been with “a couple of months” dismissively, has a history of bad habits of her own, and of course, he chose to flee the scene rather than be the headline feature in the morning news. Delving much more deeply into the personal side of the Reagan family, a touching exchange occurs between Assistant District Attorney, Erin, and Linda over matters of being working moms, and Erin admits her return to work was a provocation to the end of her marriage. Danny struggles with the transition to assuming more of the domestic side of life, such as shopping and destroying the Reagan family dinner by using “cheese in a can” over Gruyere, and feeling defeated as she works to help the family make ends meet.
The action culminates with the shooting of the Councilman by Angela, she claims in self defense, he claims by default, but still seems willing to let her go down. Frank ponders the situation, and tells his son to “trust your gut.” He questions his old friend, and his former commander, having a frank talk while feeding pigeons, confirming that more than Mancini’s job will be in question if the truth comes out fully. During their hospital room confrontation, Mancini makes the worst blunder, threatening to have program funding pulled if old buddy Frank Reagan keeps pushing for him to come forward, no matter if it means 16 years in prison for Angela for attempted murder. Frank closes the conversation reminding him that the medals he himself placed on the Councilman’s chest were supposed to mean something more than decoration. The announcement soon comes across the airwaves of the admission that admonishes Angela.
Characters that the audience cares about are what make Blue Bloods so unique, much like NYPD Blue, and in the closing scene, Danny reassures Linda over a glass of wine, and pledge of pipe and slippers if she requires, that he is proud of her, and stands willing to remain by her side, no matter this period of tough transition. Their fidelity intact, Danny graciously tells his sister babysitting services won’t be needed for the foreseeable future. The Reagans are indeed only a TV family, but these characters remain committed to staying real far more than the ones on Modern Family or Suburbia.