Anybody who watches CBS cop drama Blue Bloods knows that, despite their squabbles and dramas, the Reagan family is as tight-knit as they come, and it’s not just about the regular dinners they enjoy together. Throughout the run of the show, one thing has always been clear: Anybody who crosses one Reagan crosses them all. That goes double for the romantic partners, past and present, of any member of the New York City clan.
Few characters have felt the full force of the Reagan’s ire like Erin Reagan’s (Bridget Moynahan) ex-husband, Jack Boyle (Peter Hermann). Reactions to mentions of Jack’s name range from uncomfortable silence to outright anger, which might feel in line with the family’s general modus operandi. Devoted fans of the series, however, have noticed that not everything viewers were told about Jack over the years quite lines up. When comparing his reputation with his actions, fans have found some inconsistencies with his character that have them frustrated with the way he’s handled on the show.
How Jack Boyle is perceived by the Reagan family on Blue Bloods
Even before Jack Boyle made an in-the-flesh appearance on Blue Bloods, the Reagan family already had a long history of trash-talking him. Way back in the show’s first season, during the episode “Privilege,” somebody makes a reference to Morgan Hall, where Erin and Jack were married. In response, Erin says, “Whatever you do, stay away from Morgan Hall.” She followed up by calling her former wedding venue bad luck.
In the season 2 episode, “Parenthood,” a heated discussion around the Reagan family dinner table ends with Erin and Jack’s daughter, Nicky (Sami Gayle), saying to her mother about defense attorneys, “You hate them because my father is one.” The remark is followed by a stunned silence from the rest of the family, who is clearly uncomfortable at even the mention of Erin’s ex-husband.
When Jack does finally appear in the flesh in the season 3 episode “Old Wounds,” the reception he gets from the entire family is frosty, to put it mildly. Erin’s brother, Danny (Donny Wahlberg), and sister-in-law, Linda (Amy Carlson), refuse to get up to greet him. Her grandfather, Henry (Len Cariou), even refuses to shake his hand. All of these slights left viewers with the impression that whatever Jack had done to Erin in the lead up to their divorce must have been pretty terrible.
As Jack character began to appear more and more throughout the course of the show, however, fans of Blue Bloods began to get frustrated with exactly how he was portrayed.
The Jack Boyle inconsistencies that irk Blue Bloods fans
After being introduced in the third season, Jack has made a handful of appearances throughout Blue Bloods’ 10 season run. The longer his character has been around on the show, the more confusion he’s caused devoted fans. From his occasional decorum slip-ups and villainization by the Reagan family to his devotion to his daughter and romantic rekindling with Erin, fans aren’t sure whether they’re supposed to love or loathe the show’s most notorious ex-husband.
There are even several Reddit threads devoted specifically to calling out his character’s inconsistencies. In one, titled “What’s the deal with Jack Boyle? Easily the most confusing character on the show,” Reddit user Hkr0067 sums up their confusion with the character, saying, “One minute he’s a deadbeat dad, the other he’s a saint. One minute he wants to date Erin, the other he brings his current girlfriend to seek her services … only to brag all about Erin to the woman.”
In another, user Gordon-Sumner expressed their frustration with the confusing nature of Erin and Jack’s relationship: “The writing for these [two] and their history is terrible in this show. I have said before they need to incorporate more of his character in the show.”
In both threads, many other users agreed that they wanted to see more of Jack on the show to help establish his character better. Actor Peter Hermann’s career outside of Blue Bloods, however, has made that difficult.
Where else you’ve seen Peter Hermann
One of the likeliest reasons that fans don’t see as much of Jack as they’d like is that Peter Hermann has a full schedule co-starring on TV Land comedy Younger. As Empirical Press CEO Charles Brooks, Hermann has been a lead on the show since the first season, and has appeared in over 60 episodes, which would make it difficult to take on a more intensive filming schedule for Blue Bloods.
Younger isn’t the only show on which Hermann has been spending time. Since 2002, the actor has been making regular appearances on Law & Order: SVU as defense attorney Trevor Langan. It was on the set of the crime procedural that he met his real-life wife, Mariska Hargitay, to whom he’s been married since 2004.
So, while Blue Bloods fans might want more from the enigmatic Jack Boyle, for the time being, they will have to be content with sharing Hermann with his other TV commitments. Considering the character has appeared on Blue Bloods as recently as 2020, however, it is likely that we’ll continue to see him throughout the run of the show.