Tom Selleck Discusses Blue Bloods' Most Emotional Episode Yet: Tom talks Frank, motivation, and what to expect for the epic season finale
When an actor becomes as invested in a show’s storyline as his character is, you know you’ve got something truly special. For Tom Selleck, this week’s Blue Bloods episode, titled “Bad Company,” was more than just another installment of the popular series — it was a powerful story that affected him on a personal level.
In “Bad Company,” Selleck’s character Frank Reagan is reunited with Sarah, a woman he helped at the start of his career, who has a surprising request. Frank, she says, is like her “surrogate father,” and she would love nothing more than for him to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day. Overwhelmed, Frank of course says yes, but he suspects something else is going on with Sarah.
When she pulls out a letter from her family’s murderer asking her to meet in person, Frank has to exercise the self-control needed to separate his personal life from his professional one.
Meanwhile, Eddie is sent on her first mission as an undercover investigator in Serbia, where she must help expose a human trafficking ring.
In a press conference held Wednesday morning, both Selleck and Blue Bloods’ Executive Producer Kevin Wade discussed the dramatic episode.
On the “Bad Company” storyline
After five years on the show, Selleck demonstrates that he has a great understanding of Frank. However, he also acknowledges that Frank is an ever-evolving character who will continue to grow as the show progresses. “Bad Company,” Wade and Selleck agree, is an opportunity for the audience to see Frank grapple with his personal convictions and his professional demeanor in a way that’s rarely been portrayed in the past.
“Well for me, I think it goes into — cops, there’s always cases that haunt them,” Selleck said. “This is a case he [Frank] couldn’t protect the mother, father, and five-year-old son from being killed, but he could save Sarah.”
Since Frank is emotionally invested in Sarah’s wellbeing, he has a hard time agreeing to accompany her to confront her family’s killer. Eventually, Frank comes around and does whatever he can to support the woman he can’t help but want to protect.
“It was the whole idea that, look, Frank says it’s the most disturbing crime scene he’s ever witnessed, but he can do something about her,” Selleck said. He later added: “It was just very moving to me.”
Selleck said that while this episode depicts some heavy drama, the point isn’t to just shock people but rather challenge the characters.
“The issue is never more important than the characters,” Selleck said. “It’s how those particular issues affect those characters.”
When asked if having a daughter of his own made the scene more difficult for him, Selleck responded: “It makes it more poignant for me, and it makes it easier for me to play.”
The emotion was clearly evident on set, and Wade said he’d never seen such a powerfully acted scene that drove everyone to “drop to dead silence.” He credits this to the fact “that all the characters fully committed,” making their passion felt throughout the entire studio.
On the human trafficking storyline
Eddie (Vanessa Ray) finally gets to show her coworkers how fearless and committed she is by undergoing an undercover investigation. After a number of girls are kidnapped by people pretending to run youth hostels, Eddie must find these heartless criminals to prevent future attacks on innocent women.
Both Selleck and Wade reflected on Eddie’s involvement in this week’s episode, noting that it was both intense and sadly a real issue.
“It’s prevalent,” Selleck said. “It’s more prevalent than people realize, and it’s kind of stunning and shocking. It’s an important story.”
On Frank’s love life
Selleck and Wade offered a nice chuckle after they were asked about Frank’s love life. Frank, they agreed, is too invested in his career to fully commit himself to another person, which is a layer that made this week’s episode so intriguing. While Frank feels the need to separate himself from deep, personal relationships, he was willing to make sacrifices to help Sarah.
“He’s sort of destined to be alone,” Wade said. “His work sort of gets in the way of him being able to have a personal life.”
While Frank may have commitment issues, Selleck made sure to express his gratitude for the rest of the cast, saying he views them as family who have taught him “the value of commitment.”
“We have a cast who commits to their characters and the way their characters fit into the story,” Selleck said. He added that despite the many dark storylines, the cast is able to maintain “a reasonably happy set.”
What to expect for the remainder of the season
Selleck and Wade promise to deliver high-stakes drama for the upcoming two-part season finale that “involves all the Reagan’s when someone in the department is assassinated.” In order to track down the dangerous gang, the characters will have to balance personal emotions with police work, which may prove to be more difficult than any of them could imagine.
Wade perfectly summed up our excitement for the upcoming episodes when he said: “To be entertained and moved is always the reaction I look for from Friday night at 10 on CBS.”
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