Blue Bloods Season 12 Episode 8 Review: Reality Check

by 24USATVDec. 4, 2021, 8:40 a.m. 21
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Will she or won't she?

That seems to be the dominant theme of Erin's potential DA run storyline. As Danny suggested, she is stressed out from changing her mind every other week about this.

And on Blue Bloods Season 12 Episode 8, Erin's latest flirtation with politics triggered a midlife crisis when a law school acquaintance suggested she wasn't likable enough to run for office.

Lisa was both right and wrong about Erin's lack of socialization being a factor in her campaign success.

In the modern age, whether you're a business person or a politician, personal branding is vital to success. But you don't have to be an extrovert who is always surrounded by people. Introversion and dedication to your job can also be part of your brand.

Lisa missed that, insisting that Erin had to be someone she wasn't and that Erin's discomfort with all her personal questions proved she wasn't ready to run.

Instead, Lisa should have focused on helping Erin spin her work-focused persona positively to win votes. After all, she's running for DA in a city with rising crime rates. Surely her dedication to her job would impress people if presented correctly.

I also think whether Erin was "likable" enough to run was a BS question.

This comes up a lot when women run for office. Pundits argue about how likable the woman is. Female politicians often fail when they try too hard to be relatable or fear showing their true personalities because people might judge them.

For the most part, male politicians aren't judged the same way, although a lack of interest in small talk or socializing for the sake of socializing seems to be a turnoff for pundits.

Either way, politics shouldn't be reserved only for gregarious, extroverted people. If people want to know the real Erin Reagan before voting for her, they can learn that she's an introvert who works hard during the week and spends time recharging alone or with family on the weekend.

Instead of agreeing with Lisa that she isn't DA material if she can't be more personal, Erin should have talked with Frank about her dilemma.

Frank's position isn't an elected one, but it is a political one nonetheless, and he's survived countless battles with clueless mayors who could fire him at any time.

And Frank is as successful as he is partially because he couldn't care less about optics. He does what he thinks is right, other people's opinions be damned, and Erin could use a little of his confidence and willingness to sacrifice approval ratings for integrity.

Look at how Frank handled his dilemma during the hour, for example. Garrett told him repeatedly that he'd gain nothing by interacting with Quinn instead of ignoring Quinn's using Frank's words to promote his group.

Frank didn't worry about whether people would like him better if he followed Garrett's advice. His reputation and integrity meant too much to him, and he wasn't about to let anyone put words in his mouth, consequences be damned.

Lisa might have argued that Frank could get away with that because he's not an elected official, but again, the mayor could have fired him if he didn't like the optics of Frank's showdown with Quinn.

And if she thinks that Frank can get away with it and Erin can't because of the way people perceive women vs. men, then maybe Erin needs to run on challenging that status quo instead of trying to conform to it.

Being something she isn't just to win votes is a losing strategy, so what does she have to lose by standing up for who she really is instead?

Elsewhere, Danny and Anthony's partnership didn't amount to much of anything. They didn't trade barbs the way they usually do and mainly were focused on dealing with Joey.

The story felt like it started in the middle. Then it took a detour so that Anthony could be angry at Joey over whatever happened after their grandmother died, but that didn't last more than one scene before Joey got himself into trouble, and Anthony and Danny had to rescue him.

All in all, this story was underwhelming, which was a shame. The premise had a ton of potential, between Danny and Anthony having to put aside their differences and Joey being untrustworthy.

There were no twists and nothing particularly notable that happened here besides Anthony almost throttling Joey over Joey stealing from their late grandmother.

Finally, we got some more insight into Eddie's annoying partner, not that it helped make him more sympathetic.

The guy is an asshole because his previous partner was killed in front of him, so he doesn't want to get attached. Okay, but he still has to do his job in ways that aren't going to get the partners he doesn't want around killed too.

Eddie was right to be angry at the way Barillo handled the robbery situation. He went in without backup, fired a warning shot, and could easily have caused a gunfight when one could have been avoided.

I don't know how he subdued all three perps by himself, but he was lucky that this had a happy ending.

Half of Barillo's problem seemed to be Eddie's relationship with Jamie, so I don't quite buy the PTSD from a previous partner's death angle here, either.

He's complained about Eddie being a Reagan before and dared her to report him to her husband. That's an issue that needs to be nipped in the bud, too.

I don't blame Jamie for wanting the partners to work it out. He's supposed to be a sergeant, not a kindergarten teacher. But Barillo is a problem for a lot of reasons, and just telling Eddie to get along with him wasn't going to solve anything.

Nor do I think this conflict is over just because Eddie confronted Barillo about what she knows about his past. They might have relative peace for now, but he's going to do something else that causes trouble eventually.

What did you think? Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know.

Missed the episode? No problem. Just watch Blue Bloods online right here on TV Fanatic. Don't forget to come back and comment afterward!

Blue Bloods airs on CBS on Fridays at 10 PM EST/PST.

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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