Waylon Gates seemed awfully quiet.
Usually, Gates’ ideas about cowboy justice make him larger than life and hard for Danny to keep under control during a mission.
But on Blue Bloods Season 13 Episode 15, we got a quieter, more reflective side of the Texas ranger as he and Danny transported Rodriguez to New York for his arraignment.
Gates usually pops up when he has a significant case requiring Danny’s help. However, I wasn’t sure why Danny needed to be part of this transportation mission.
It allowed Jamie to balk at not being allowed on a similarly dangerous mission, but otherwise, it seemed random.
Did Gates request Danny? Or did Danny get wind of it and decide to be part of it because the cartel killed Linda, and he wanted revenge?
Danny isn’t a federal agent, so transporting prisoners across state lines seemed beyond the scope of his regular duties. It was also odd that he could take time off from ensuring Rodriguez made it safely to his arraignment to join Sunday dinner.
Danny: These Westerns made me want to be a cowboy when I was a kid.
Gates: What happened?
Danny: I grew up in Brooklyn. I was scared of horses.
Gates: People are scarier than horses any day.
There wasn’t a lot of action in this story. It mainly was Danny and Gates bonding over Westerns, with the cartel desperately trying to free Rodriguez occasionally interrupting.
The fight scenes were dark, and it was hard to tell what was happening. I didn’t understand what happened when Danny pulled the car over and informed Rodriguez that he knew the cartel was following them.
Did they lose the cartel? And did they switch Rodriguez into another car? It seemed like it, but I wasn’t entirely sure.
The shootout was similarly confusing. Was someone trying to kill Rodriguez or help him escape?
These scenes were supposed to underscore this mission’s danger, yet they somehow didn’t feel high-stakes enough. Danny quickly lost the cartel, and the shootout resulted in nothing other than having to move Rodriguez to a different safe house.
Even the discovery that one of Gates’ men was a mole didn’t raise the stakes the way it should have. Danny and Gates discovered who it was, planted false info, and learned the double agent had been killed. Then the issue evaporated.
The most exciting part of this story involved the cartel threatening Danny’s family, though that wasn’t as clear or scary as it could have been.
I wasn’t sure what we were looking at when Danny got those photos until he told Frank that he wanted Nicky and Jack brought back to New York for their protection.
That would have been a great excuse to bring these characters back temporarily! But the threat was resolved fifteen minutes later so that probably won’t happen.
Danny’s solution was better than Gates, who was ready to commit murder to protect Danny’s family. This isn’t Yellowstone; that kind of vigilante justice wasn’t going to fly,
It solidified Gates and Danny’s friendship, though. Danny has been annoyed by Gates, but Gates made it clear how loyal he is to Danny.
Sadly, the Gates storyline was the weakest part of this episode. Maybe it’s because Gates’ stories are usually more comical, but this road trip and this quiet version of Gates weren’t doing anything for me.
Eddie and Erin both had compelling cases involving quests for justice that felt more like tilting at windmills.
Eddie wanted to get answers for a grieving mother, only to come up against detectives who said they had too many homicides to worry about who killed a drug dealer.
It’s too bad East New York isn’t set in the same universe as Blue Bloods. Regina wouldn’t have accepted those detectives’ attitudes any more than Eddie did; they would have made a fun team.
Instead, Eddie partnered with Cora Felton to find out the truth. Surprisingly, the two didn’t discuss their history at all.
Felton accused Eddie of outing her as pregnant in the past, yet the two acted as if nothing had ever happened between them.
Once Felton was on board with this case, the two quickly found leads the original detectives hadn’t bothered to unearth, proving that the original investigators hadn’t done their best work no matter what they said.
The twist that Tristan was a gang member who killed Jamal to stop him from leaving the gang didn’t make a lot of sense, though. Tristan ran a business that gave ex-cons a second chance and seemed genuinely upset that Jamal had turned to crime and gang activity.
That was all an act, and Tristan was laundering money the whole time. That’s hard to swallow!
Erin’s case also involved someone who thought he was above the law. Scott Taylor kept hiding behind his status as a basketball star, and his agent/lawyer was complicit in covering up the rapes.
Erin threatened to send Shayla to jail for perjury before finding out that Lisa had told her she’d lose her career if she fingered Scott. Why didn’t Erin charge Lisa with tampering with a witness, then?
You did great. I can just see the headlines now. ‘Erin Reagan and her handsome sidekick save the day.’
Finding out about the other rapes and throwing the book at Scott was more satisfying, but it seemed like she had a case against Lisa even without that.
Finally, Frank denied Jamie’s request to work undercover, irking his youngest son.
Frank undoubtedly was thinking about Joe when he decided to give the case to Vice, no matter how vehemently he denied wanting to protect Jamie because he was his son.
Does the Commissioner usually have to approve undercover assignments? If Jamie’s team always has to get Frank’s signature on its missions, that slows its work considerably.
In any case, Jamie took it personally,
Frank denied it had anything to do with their relationship, and then Frank changed his mind without any explanation.
This story had potential, but it was missing a few beats. Usually, Frank butts heads with his Dream Team or gets advice from Henry before changing his mind about a policy.
I’d have loved for him to admit that Joe’s death was on his mind and influencing his decisions. That would have been so emotional!
What did you think, Blue Bloods fanatics? Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know.
The series is taking a hiatus for March Madness, but you can watch Blue Bloods online while waiting for it to return.
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.