Blue Bloods Season 14 Episode 6 Review: Shadowland

TV Fanatic

A middle schooler had Erin questioning everything, but was Erin right to feel guilty?

Blue Bloods Season 14 Episode 6 focused on the difference between the letter of the law and its intended spirit, with Frank and Erin facing potential miscarriages of justice.

Meanwhile, Danny and Baez solved one of their most tragic cases with the help of a face from Baez's past—and there was no real conflict between the cops.

When Frank and Erin's cases intersect, it's usually because they're butting heads. The DA office sometimes adopts policies that conflict with what Frank is trying to do for the cops, and neither father nor daughter will give an inch.

Erin: Roast has been delivered.
Frank: A grateful family thanks you and a stubborn father apologizes to you.

Both were as intractable this time as ever, but it was a completely different situation. Frank was trying to do the kind of favor he rarely, if ever, does, and Erin was lashing out at him because she felt horrible about this other case.

Erin Was Dealing With a Hurt Thirteen-Year-Old​

Erin's issue was more complicated than a middle schooler could appreciate. There were many nuances in Eli's case: He'd been sentenced before significant criminal justice reforms, had seen a more conservative judge, and was jailed for reasons that were not completely in Erin's control.

Erin might be one of TV's most brilliant legal minds, but she wasn't prepared to deal with a young person who wasn't developmentally ready for these explanations and was angry over the trauma of losing the brother who took care of her.

Akeelah saw Erin as a "stuffy white person" who wanted to play Mr. Drummond to an orphaned Black child rather than take responsibility for ruining Akeelah's life. She was too hurt and angry for Erin to be able to explain anything to her, yet Erin couldn't seem to stop trying.

Ultimately, Erin was able to get Eli's sentence reversed, and that solved the problem -- ironically, by the end of the hour, despite her opening statement to the kids that real-life legal issues don't get resolved that quickly.

Of course, it took much longer than that in the story -- Blue Bloods happens to be an hour-long show.

Before getting there, Erin spent countless hours staring at Eli's file, lashed out at Frank, and later got some fatherly advice from him.

He was right that as the boss, she is responsible for what the people working under her do, and she couldn't pass his issue off as "things slip through the cracks" no matter how frustrated she was with herself or the unfairness of Akeelah's situation.

The deal Erin's office made with Eli was a fair outcome. If he had been sentenced now rather than whenever his arrest happened, he would have gotten a lesser sentence, and Akeelah would have suffered more than he did from his arrest.

Erin took the child's words too much to heart, but that's what Erin Reagan always does regarding people caught up in unfair legal situations.

Besides, this story was worth it simply because she admitted she could be self-righteous- something I've felt for years, making her my least favorite Reagan.

Frank Doesn't Usually Do These Kinds of Favors​

The favor Garrett dumped in Frank's lap seemed out of character for Frank to deal with.

At first glance, it didn't seem he could do anything about this woman's situation. If police protocol is to hold onto evidence, even if it means inconveniencing the victim of a crime, Frank wasn't likely to bend the rules.

Frank: I'm sorry for what you're going through.
Geri: All due respect, I can't cash a sorry. I need answers. I need my car.

In this case, the woman needed her car to earn a living as a delivery driver. She was desperate for someone to fix the situation, but that didn't mean Frank could do anything for her, no matter how bad he felt about it or how much Garrett wanted him to display empathy.

I'm unsure why Garrett thought Frank's image as a grumpy curmudgeon needed rehabilitation. Frank is so popular that five different mayors have never dared fire him even though he never supports their initiatives, so he must be doing something right already.

Frank also strongly implied that Garrett liked this woman, which confused me because I thought Garrett was happily married, though I suppose Frank could have meant it in a platonic sense.

This was one of Frank's least interesting conflicts with the Dream Team, but it tied nicely into the theme of justice and the letter of the law being two separate things.

Ultimately, Frank found a loophole, which allowed him to confront Erin and later find out why she was so upset, making this story worth it even though it was a little strange.

Baez and Danny's Tragic Case​

Baez and Danny's case was advertised as a murder involving voodoo, which could have gone in a weird direction. Thankfully, Blue Bloods instead treated a foreign culture with respect, including Dominican beliefs about voodoo.

When discussing Blue Bloods Season 14 Episode 6 spoilers, I predicted that the case would be something like this, where voodoo was involved in a murder in a non-supernatural way. However, I didn't expect it to involve a father accidentally killing his autistic daughter.

It always makes me uncomfortable when autistic children become victims of violent crime on TV. It seems like there are only two categories of autistic people on most television shows: super-talented ones like Shaun on The Good Doctor or severely impaired ones who get killed.

I'm not a fan of the idea that nonverbal autistic children are nothing but burdens and crime victims, but Blue Bloods told an interesting and tragic story despite that poor message.

It seemed like Ava was the victim of her parents' inability to ask for help more than anything else. The entire family was under too much stress, with Christina unable to find a sitter so she could go to the laundromat for five minutes.

Many of Christina's neighbors had a negative attitude toward Ava, and Ava's death occurred because her father was trying to cure her via exorcism.

Christina's decision to put Ava in a school for special needs children was a step in the right direction. Early intervention can sometimes help autistic children gain communication and social skills.

Tragically, Christina will never learn what Ava's potential was and whether the special school could have helped her because her husband took matters into his own hands in a way that resulted in Ava's death.

Surprisingly, things were calm between the cops even though Baez worked with her former partner on this case. I'm glad everyone kept it professional, but I was expecting more of a reaction from Danny to Wes than we got, not counting Danny being surprised to admit he enjoyed working with Wes.

Eddie's Case Wasn't Exactly What It Seemed​

Eddie's case yielded the surprising result that the admissions counselor wasn't biased against Black people -- she hated cops.

This is the kind of outcome that anti-cop people consider "copaganda," or propaganda meant to make people like cops. But I liked that it subverted expectations and addressed an issue people don't generally think about.

Yes, people choose to become police officers, but that doesn't mean that they deserve all the hatred that comes their way. I wasn't sure that discriminating against cop parents was illegal, but I guess it is since the cops took legal action at the end.

The institution probably thought they were doing the right thing because they weren't biased against people based on their skin color. Still, they were denying children an education at their school because of their parents' jobs.

That was a silly policy, regardless of whether it was legal. What good did it do the school or its students to exclude those whose parents are police officers?

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

Blue Bloods airs on CBS on Fridays at 10/9c. New episodes drop on Paramount+ the day after they air.

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