Things aren’t always what they seem.
Frank often reminds cops of that, but it was never more evident than in the conflict over Witten’s decision to file an IA report.
Blue Bloods Season 13 Episode 14 began with a confrontation between two white cops and a Black kid that looked like racial profiling. Still, it turned out to be something else altogether — and that wasn’t the only thing that wasn’t exactly what it appeared to be.
The situation Witten witnessed illustrated how complicated these scenarios can be.
The altercation went the way it did for various reasons: Malik’s autism, his fear of the cops, and their belief that they were subduing a dangerous and violent suspect. While race might have been a factor in the way things went down, it wasn’t clear whether it was or what the deciding factor was.
Frank believed the cops made the best decision given the high pressure of this situation, while Witten felt her client was being mistreated. Regardless of who was correct, underlying issues needed to be addressed.
Malik’s autism was a factor, but there was no way the cops could know that. When Witten arrived, she tried to tell them, but by then, adrenaline was pumping hard, and both Malik and the cops were ready to fight.
This isn’t the first time this type of issue has come up. Both on Blue Bloods and in real life, cops are not always equipped to deal with people with autism or other mental health issues, sometimes leading to preventable tragedies.
However, Stevens didn’t do himself any favors with how he approached the issue after Witten’s complaint.
Calling Witten a bitch and a traitor didn’t help his case. There was a way to approach it with Eddie if she was supposed to represent him, and that wasn’t it!
Stevens’ attitude made it appear that he was an asshole who enjoyed using his power to bully others. No wonder Eddie thought he was the one who trashed her locker.
It was weird how quickly he made up with her and Jamie after everyone learned his ex trashed the locker to impress him. Maybe that’s part of the same cop culture that breeds hatred of whistleblowers, but it didn’t feel genuine.
The investigation into Stevens and his partner’s behavior was all off-screen. We don’t know what came of it or who was right about how it went down.
That was beside the point: Frank had his perspective, and Witten had hers.
Social workers are taught to view situations from multiple angles and try to reduce the impact of inequity on people. That’s why Witten saw Malik as a victim of ableism and racism and justified his behavior in the store.
Her perspective wasn’t entirely fair. While Malik’s sensory deficits made him hate holding things, he still has to live by society’s rules — he can’t put merchandise in his pockets he hasn’t paid for.
As his social worker, Witten should be helping to find another solution. At the very least, explaining this to store owners beforehand might prevent these unfortunate incidents.
The police weren’t entirely correct, either.
They saw Malik was agitated when they entered the store and did nothing to de-escalate the situation. Malik punched one of them, but they contributed to that by ignoring his emotional state as they made the arrest.
Security Guard: Relax, kid.
Malik: It’s not kid, it’s Malik, and I didn’t shoplift.
The idea that reporting inappropriate police behavior is akin to treason also needs to go. While nobody should be tattling just for the hell of it, good cops should be eager to help root out bad apples.
Cops who abuse their power make it harder for all police officers to do their jobs. That should be more important than being loyal to anyone who wears the uniform.
Danny and Baez’s case also provided an example of things not being how they appeared at first glance.
Trina didn’t help anything with all the lies she told, but she wasn’t a killer trying to obstruct an investigation; she was a scared kid who a bad guy had forced to commit crimes.
I’m kind of glad I crashed into you two. If I’d gone back, Jaden would have killed me too.
Baez has often displayed a soft spot for troubled kids. I was surprised she saw Trina as an older version of her baby; I assumed Trina reminded her of Javier in some way.
Danny’s suspicious attitude may have been justified, but it wasn’t helping anything. From the beginning, he and Trina got locked into this vicious cycle where his suspicion of her caused her to tell obvious lies, which made Danny even more suspicious.
Erin’s new campaign manager was someone Anthony arrested years ago. What were the chances of that happening in a city as large as New York?
Erin was right that Bobbi and Anthony both needed to be honest with her from now on. I knew someone would eventually suggest Anthony was a liability — it’s his karma for insisting Erin cut ties with Jack — but I didn’t think that would be the reason.
Will Erin ever announce? She’s setting up her campaign but is reluctant to leave her day job. That’s not a great sign; it seems likely that she’ll decide at the last minute she doesn’t like politics any more than Anthony does.
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.
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.