Blue Bloods Season 13 Episode 17 Review: Smoke and Mirrors


When it comes to Crawford, no good deed of Erin’s will ever go unpunished.

On Blue Bloods Season 13 Episode 17, Erin tried to find out who was spreading rumors about Crawford, only for her boss to snap at her to stop minding her business. And when Erin completed a case file early as part of a peace offering, Crawford didn’t like that either.

Erin may not like attack ads or the mudslinging in today’s political campaigns, but if anyone deserves it, it’s Crawford. Whether or not her husband is having an affair has no bearing on whether she deserves to be the Manhattan DA, but her attitude toward Erin makes me root for Erin to crush her in the polls.

In one sense, Crawford’s irritation was understandable. Erin didn’t need to know how true the rumors were to plug any leaks.

If Anthony had confined his investigation to finding out who was speaking to the press about Crawford’s business, that might have come across better. It also would have been more relevant and not made Crawford think Erin was trying to dig up dirt to torpedo Crawford’s campaign.

Still, Crawford lost the sympathy I had for her after the press conference when she started berating Erin. It was over the top and unprofessional, and she had no business telling Erin how Erin would react to rumors about her and Jack.

Crawford handled that nosy reporter far better than she did Erin! At the press conference, she stayed calm and stood up to the reporter’s nonsense without resorting to personal insults, for the most part.

That last comment about how the reporter ought to find another job will probably become a sound byte played out of context to make Crawford look like a bully who doesn’t believe in freedom of the press. I’d rather Erin try to defend her against that kind of attack than this nonsense.

What do Crawford’s marital problems have to do with her fitness for the DA position? Would these reporters ask male candidates such inane questions?

The campaign storyline has been handled strangely from the beginning. I wasn’t sure Erin was still running; other than when she hired an image consultant, she barely mentioned her campaign.

If Anthony hadn’t tried to tell Erin that personal attacks against Crawford were good news for Erin’s campaign, I’d have assumed she dropped out and was helping Crawford win.

Erin’s sense of integrity was laudable. But Crawford was right about one thing: Erin should have asked her how to help instead of poking around her business.

However, the way Crawford handled it wasn’t great either. Crawford always ascribes the worst motives to Erin, and every time Erin tries to help her, something like this happens.

At least Erin and Crawford bonded somewhat at the end of the hour, but I was over Crawford by then. The moment that stuck out most in my mind was her comment that she didn’t need that file til next week when Erin brought her completed paperwork.

As far as Crawford is concerned, Erin can’t do anything right. Even if she does work ahead of time, it’s not good enough.

Is this a backhanded way of getting viewers to root for Erin to win the election? The sooner we eliminate Crawford and her negative attitude, the better.

Frank’s dilemma was far more compelling, though Frank’s responses shouldn’t have surprised anyone.

Everyone who works with Frank knows he prides himself on his integrity and follows the rules to the letter — even when people he cares about are in trouble.

Garrett shouldn’t have been surprised that Frank was unwilling to bend the rules to help Baker after the way Frnak responded to Garrett’s ordeal on Blue Bloods Season 8 Episode 4.

Garrett: When you say do nothing, you don’t really mean do nothing, do you?
Frank: I don’t know how many ways I can say it.
Garrett: Really? So you’re really not going to do anything to help her?

On that occasion, Garrett felt Frank was too cavalier after Garret became the victim of a “swatting” prank and was attacked in his own home by SWAT team members. Then, as now, Frank put more stock in the rules than in showing support for his friend and colleague.

The only surprise was that Frank doesn’t already follow Danny’s advice to forget what anyone else thought of his decisions. Frank is constantly butting heads with the mayor and the Dream Team because he puts his values ahead of their beliefs.

Frank was right — the Commissioner’s Office couldn’t appear to be influencing investigations against one of their own. That type of behavior erodes public trust in the police and could potentially get Frank into serious trouble.

Nevertheless, I’m glad Frank bent the rules and got Luca to drop the charges. I’m not sure why Luca had a sudden attack of conscience, but it seemed like Frank made him think there might have been security footage floating around that would disprove his claim that Baker started it.

A guy like Luca probably resented being knocked out by a woman, though the story didn’t dive too deeply into his motives. He might have made up the story to get revenge on Abigail for humiliating him.

Meanwhile, Badillo and Eddie handled their stalking case perfectly. Well, except for that I think Badillo planted his mother in the lobby to get Eddie thinking about his great instincts.

They were right that they couldn’t do anything after the initial complaint. The guy wasn’t even in the coffee shop anymore, and there was no proof he was stalking his victim.

Even after catching him in the act the first time, it was hard to know who was telling the truth.

The cops didn’t completely discount the victim’s story while investigating, but they didn’t automatically believe everything she said. That’s the fairest way to handle these allegations- take them seriously unless they’re proven false, but don’t jump to conclusions.

Finally, Jame and Danny teamed up to try to help Bugs, with tragic results.

Bugs has always been a fun character. He’s a quirky confidential informant who isn’t any too bright and always messes up Danny’s case when Danny uses him.

This time, Bugs had a far more dramatic storyline. His characteristic lack of ability to keep his mouth shut had fatal consequences for his brother, and then Bugs lost his temper because of it.

Understandably, he felt Danny betrayed him and Marcus. Danny could have left the bigger investigation alone, but he didn’t, and Marcus died as a result.

That was heartbreaking for Bugs, but I was glad it wasn’t the end of his relationship with Danny. It’s always a good time when Danny’s forced to work with Bugs.

What did you think, Blue Bloods fanatics? Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know! And don’t forget you can watch Blue Bloods online whenever you’d like.

Blue Bloods airs on CBS on Fridays at 10 PM EST / PST. The next new episode airs on April 21, 2023.

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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