Blue Bloods

In Which Blue Bloods Episode Does Linda

Linda Reagan was a series regular on Blue Bloods and the wife of Danny Regan until she was killed off after Season 7. But did Linda need to die?

Linda Reagan was a beloved character on CBS’s police procedural Blue Bloods for seven seasons before abruptly being killed off. Linda was the wife of lead character and detective Danny Reagan, and the mother of his sons Sean and Jack. Linda served as Danny’s moral compass, often giving him emotional support and helping him navigate the difficulties of his job.

Linda’s death came about because the actress who played her, Amy Carlson, chose to not renew her contract after Season 7. Because Amy Carlson wanted to leave the show, Linda was never going to remain a main character. However, the manner in which Blue Bloods killed her off upset many fans and was disrespectful to the character. Many viewers feel that there was a better way to write Linda’s death, or better yet, not kill her off at all.

What Happened to Linda on Blue Bloods?

Linda Reagan’s death was revealed in Blue Bloods’ Season 8, Episode 1, “Cutting Losses.” Her death was only revealed, as it did not happen on-screen. In between seasons, Linda died in a helicopter crash while on duty as an ER nurse. “Cutting Losses” took place several months after the helicopter crash, so while Danny was still grieving, he was further out from the immediate aftermath. Danny believed her death was his fault and was planning on retiring from the police force because of the guilt.

A case involving Danny’s sister and her ex-husband drew Danny back into police work. After Danny’s sister told him that he still needed to be a detective, he ended up staying at the NYPD. While Danny eventually learned how to deal with Linda’s death in a healthy manner, he has carried her memory with him all the way through Season 13. However, if Linda hadn’t been killed off, Danny never would have had to carry this burden at all.


Blue Bloods Didn’t Need Linda To Die

Whenever fans have been with a character for as long as seven seasons, there is usually an emotional attachment. Therefore, Linda’s death happening off-screen was a dubious decision as it did not allow fans to get the chance to say goodbye to a beloved character. Furthermore, the reveal of her death taking place several months after the fact meant that the audience missed out on the drama that would have directly followed her death. As heartbreaking as it would have been to see Danny and the rest of the Reagan family react to Linda’s death, it would have made for much better storytelling.

Blue Bloods also could have written off Linda Reagan in such a way that she did not need to die. Amy Carlson stated that she was willing to return for guest appearances, so if Linda had not died she could return occasionally like Jesse Spencer has done with Chicago Fire since leaving. Viewers love getting to see previously departed characters, such as when Jackie Curatola came back for the Season 13 finale. While Blue Bloods would have had to come up with a good reason for why Linda couldn’t be as present in the story, anything would have been better than how Linda’s story ended.

At the end of the day, Linda Reagan was a lovable character who offered a lot to the show during the time she was on it. For the fans who were upset by the way she was killed off, the negative reaction was a testament to the love that Linda inspired. Regardless, she deserved a better ending than the one she was given.


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