TV: BLUE BLOODS, S07E14: “In & Out”

3eaacfef192d4700_bbpromo#1 TV show, Friday, 2/3/17

10.13 million viewers

What it is: A procedural drama about a family of cops in the NYPD, led by Tom Selleck as Commissioner Frank Reagan. In this episode, Frank has to negotiate with an incarcerated archnemesis (played by Method Man!) in order to end an outbreak of gang violence, while Danny and Baez check on a suspected murderer with a seemingly airtight alibi and Jamie and Eddie try to figure out who’s making fake calls over their police radios.

I’ll always be happy to see that a project has some Wu-Tang Clan involvement, in this case Clifford “Method Man” Smith in what seems to be a minor but recurring role as a gangster who got locked up for killing one of Frank’s colleagues. I probably would’ve been easier on Apprentice in Death if J.D. Robb had written in some sort of Ghostface cameo.

Anyway, Blue Bloods continues to be the good cop to Chicago P.D.‘s bad cop, depicting its police as scrupulously ethical while Chicago revels in brutality. (In this episode, one of Frank’s subordinates says something about gang members killing each other doing the community a service, and Frank angrily tells him to stop with the “bar talk.”) And while that depiction of police work is an admirable ideal to aspire to, I’m more and more concerned about how far it may be from reality.

That’s partly because of a recent Intercept report about white supremacist campaigns to infiltrate law enforcement, and because police by and large seem to be Trump supporters. I don’t know how reliable or representative this POLICE magazine poll showing 84% Trump support among its readership is, but I do know that the Fraternal Order of Police endorsed Trump after having declined to back anyone in the 2012 presidential race. That’s right: America’s biggest police union was more comfortable with Trump than they were with either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney.

And I know that most people reading this blog probably don’t need to be convinced that Trump is bad, but it is worth reflecting every once in a while on just how bad he is. Go back and listen to him talk about how “In the good old days… they used to treat [protesters] very, very rough,” or how he wants the U.S. to engage in torture “much worse” than waterboarding. Trump has positions that I might find misguided or unfair (or, shit, that I might agree with), but stuff like this is flat-out evil. There’s no other way to describe a powerful person who publicly revels in fantasies of brutalizing dissenters and torturing prisoners.

I’ve never been an anti-cop guy. I think they’ve got an incredibly hard job and one that’s necessary in a functioning civilization. But I know that’s an easy position for a white guy to have, and to see the people vested with our governmental monopoly on violence supporting someone like this… I don’t know. Doesn’t seem like something Frank Reagan would do. For God’s sake, even Danny Reagan’s not so sure about the guy. Look out for the cops, everybody.

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