When Blue Bloods wrapped its 7th season in May, Linda and Danny Reagan had suffered a house fire at the hands of a drug lord. The fear and panic on Danny's face resonated with the fans as he searched for his family. When he found both Linda and his sons, his relief was palpable, and Season 7 ended with that portion of the Reagan family fully intact, and fans breathed a sigh of relief. That dissipated all too quickly during the Season 8 premiere for the series dropped a bombshell that broke fans' hearts and left them wondering what had just happened.
For years, Danny and Linda Reagan had been a solid unit, navigating the difficulties of his job as a New York City Detective and her constant fear for his life. She was his stalwart, always there no matter what came their way. All of that changed Friday night when piece-by-piece the episode revealed that Linda Reagan had been killed in a helicopter crash. And not one fan had known Amy Carlson, the actress who portrayed Linda Reagan, had decided to leave the series until she shared a post with her Instagram followers.
In the poignant note, Carlson expressed her gratitude to her fans for supporting her and her character for seven years, but she didn't share a reason for the departure. Deadline reported that Carlson had fulfilled her seven year contract and decided it was time to move on. But that didn't sit too well with fans who were upset at the abruptness of Linda's death.
Usually, when a character exits a series by dying, fans are given an opportunity to say goodbye, a chance to grieve the loss. Blue Bloods decided to choose a different path and start Season 8 with Linda's death having happened off-screen. Danny was already in grief counseling, and the family were starting to put the pieces of their lives back together. But fans felt sucker-punched and confused as evidenced by the outcry on Twitter.
Though it's certainly within Carlson's right to move on, an onscreen death would have allowed fans closure. Perhaps a one episode return couldn't be negotiated, and most likely, that's information that won't be revealed unless Carlson or producers decide to talk about it.
Blue Bloods will forge ahead without Danny Reagan's wife, but it won't be the same. Though her role was limited on the series, Carlson played an integral part, and her character's death has left a big hole at the Reagan family Sunday dinner table.