10 Saddest Blue Bloods Episodes That Broke Fans’ Hearts, Ranked
Blue Bloods is full of emotional episodes that had fans in tears.
Blue Bloods is known for intense storylines that coincide with heartwarming family moments. The formulas Blue Bloods has created have made it one of CBS’s most successful police procedurals. As part of the intense storylines, Blue Bloods has episodes that break fans’ hearts.
Fans have to watch the Reagan family go through losing the love of their lives, colleagues being killed in the line of duty, and the hardships surrounding everyday people, no matter their careers. Blue Bloods focuses on family; fans feel connected to the characters and feel as if they are going through the same feelings of loss as those on screen.
9. “With Friends Like These” (S6, E4)
“With Friends Like These” highlighted the division between firefighters and police officers, but the saddest element of the episode came from Jamie and Eddie. When responding to a person in distress, Eddie and Jamie find a woman who left her home and is struggling with her mental health.
The episode gave an honest look into people’s lives who can not get the help they need to care for themselves. “With Friends Like These” also discussed how being a caregiver can be overwhelming. Taking something from the real world and adding it to the episodes of Blue Bloods made the show feel more real to viewers.
8. “Little Fish” (S1, E11)
Police procedurals are known for being dark, and Blue Bloods is no different. The first season showcased how guilt plays into the role of being in the version of the NYPD the show created. In “Little Fish,” Danny and Frank face similar feelings of helplessness when they can’t help victims they had been connected to previously.
When remains are discovered at a construction site, Frank is plagued with the feeling of failure as the remains belong to a kidnapped child from a cold case Frank worked on early in his career. Danny tries to help a sex worker that helped him in a case before, but she is killed before he can find her. The heavy episode shows the more vulnerable sides of the Reagans that the show hadn’t explored in the first season yet.
7. “The Greater Good” (S7, E1)
“The Greater Good” set the tone for season 7 as many episodes were heavy in tone and left fans reaching for tissues. Frank Reagan faced a moral and ethical dilemma that touched on his grief from losing his son Joe, who died in the line of duty. When a mother begs Frank not to let her son graduate from the NYPD Police Academy so he won’t be put in danger, Frank understands her pain.
But he also understands the son’s desire to follow in his father’s footsteps, who died on the job. Seeing the usually stony Frank has to grapple with a problem he has faced personally was difficult for fans to watch. They also were touched by the mother’s love but upset that she would harm her son’s career.
6. “Love Lost” (S7, E19)
“Love Lost” is another episode of Blue Bloods that brings a real-life issue into the show and makes fans change their perspective. Danny has to investigate a case that involves a woman who was suffocated by her husband. By the end of the investigation, it is revealed that the woman wanted to die and tried to have medically assisted suicide to end her pain from cancer.
However, complications with the medications cause her not to die, so her husband ends her life. Viewers see the sorrow in the husband as he deals with the grief of losing his wife and being the person who ended her life, which is heart-wrenching. “Love Lost” presents many moral and ethical dilemmas but plays to the human emotions in every viewer.
5. “Unfinished Business” (S4, E13)
“Unfinished Business” weaved the storyline of problematic police and their practices into Blue Bloods for the season. With Frank reopening a case that was closed, he may allow a convicted serial killer to be released. But the most moving part of the episode came from the case Danny was working on.
As a veteran, Danny was significantly impacted by the suicide of a fellow veteran, but also as a father, as the veteran he was trying to help had a son. As with many of the emotional cases on the show, this one developed Danny’s character as a father and explained a good deal of his past.
4. “Pain Killers” (S8, E9)
“Pain Killers” capitalized on the emotional start to season 8 of Blue Bloods, with Detective Baez narrowly surviving an accidental drug overdose. The episode expanded on the grief that Danny was feeling from losing Linda in the helicopter accident, so losing his best friend and partner would break him.
Seeing Danny cry next to Baez’s bed and begging her to survive was a heartbreaking moment as it showed how close they had gotten as partners. With Danny going through so much in one season, it was hard for viewers to see him experience the potential loss of another person he loved.
3. “Partners” (S5, E1)
Police procedurals often use the cliché of involving family members in the main characters’ cases, where they become a victim or an informant. Season 5 of Blue Bloods did this but made the episode emotional. Javier is introduced in an earlier episode as Detective Maria Baez’s protective older brother.
After being down on his luck and getting sober, Maria’s brother works as an informant. When the brother and sister reconnect, Javier is killed by taking a bullet intended for Maria. Baez was guilty as she felt she could’ve done more for Javier in the past but wouldn’t get the chance after he died. This was one of the few times fans saw Baez affected by loss and not one of the Reagans.
2. “The Blue Templar” (S1, E22)
Most police procedurals include a case that started off the show and is solved in a later episode. This was the case with “The Blue Templar,” as the episode gave fans more information about Joe Reagan’s death and gave closure to the rest of the Reagans.
Joe’s death was the primary catalyst of the show, so seeing the people that murdered him be brought to justice was emotional for fans, as they saw the Reagans finally feel they let Joe’s memory rest in peace. Much of the episode has a bitter-sweet feeling as they are happy to have caught the people responsible for Joe’s death but are sad he wasn’t there to see the case he was working on come to a close.
1.”The Thin Blue Line” (S7, E22)
“The Thin Blue Line” started one of the most devastating storylines in Blue Bloods. This episode is the first meeting of Danny and a dangerous drug cartel that puts a hit on him and his family. As the finale of season 7, it seems that another Reagan may be killed due to their involvement with law enforcement. While this does happen, it wasn’t who fans expected, which provided the ultimate shock factor. Linda died in a helicopter crash between “The Thin Blue Line” and season 8’s premiere.
Fans were shocked because the death was unexpected, and they never saw the crash happen. Later in season 9, it is revealed that the cartel was after Danny tampered with the helicopter and caused the crash. This made episode 22 of season 7 much more emotional in retrospect, as Danny blamed himself for the crash, knowing that his wife would still be alive if he hadn’t been on the case.