It's not often that a good deed will put you in jeopardy, but that's exactly the situation Jamie finds himself in on Blue Bloods.
On Friday's episode, the youngest crime-fighting Reagan (Will Estes), who's been working undercover all season as Jimmy Reardon tailing the Sanfino mob family, saves a baby from a burning building. His heroics immediately set off a media frenzy, which threaten his undercover identity should his name and photo be released.
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"I don't think Jamie was thinking that far ahead in that moment of how it could affect his cover," Estes tells TVGuide.com. "He ended up in a situation where he made a split-second decision and he ran in and got the baby out. I think he felt like he was doing his job and doing what anyone in that situation with the ability to do would do. But then it becomes abundantly clear that this is gonna be a huge complication. He can't have his face all over the news and papers and TV while undercover."
The solution to the department's headache? Jamie's dad and police commissioner Frank (Tom Selleck) realizes that he could pin the rescue on Sgt. Renzulli (Nick Turturro) because Jamie had handed the baby to him before stepping out of the blazing building. That will satiate the public's appetite and protect Jamie — though denying him much-deserved recognition for the biggest save of his nascent career.
"I honestly don't think he misses the attention," Estes says. "Yeah, he deserves it, but most people who work in that capacity are sort of embarrassed to get that kind of attention. It's nice to get the accolades, but I think he just feels like he was doing his job. ... I think what he's most concerned with is that he caused a mess for his dad. It's a recurring theme that his children, being police officers and a district attorney, get scrutinized for anything they do because they're the police commissioner's kids. I think Jamie feels bad about continuing to cause that problem for his dad, but I don't think he has any regrets about that moment. He did save a baby's life. I'm sure he feels great about that. I just don't think he wants the medal for it."
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Similarly, Renzulli doesn't want to take credit for Jamie's actions, but agrees to the cover-up. "It sounds like a great thing, but for a proud police officer, it's actually a difficult thing to do — to take credit for something that's not due," Estes says. "You want credit where it's due. You may not get that, but you don't want it where it's not due."
But having Renzulli play the hero means he must be clued in to Jamie's undercover work. The news doesn't exactly sit well with him, as he feels — being Jamie's partner and training officer — he should've been told.
"Something like undercover work, you can't go around talking about it!" Estes says. "It's the wrong thing to do. Also, you don't tell people because it protects them. But the nice thing is ... I asked one of our advisors [if Renzulli's reaction] is realistic and he said yeah. When you're partnered with someone, you grow close and trust each other. He said it's natural for you to be angry about getting left out, but at the same time, the undercover person can't tell anybody. It's a cool validation to have as an actor that going into a scene, it makes sense to someone who's been on the job."
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So now that Jamie has side-stepped that cover-blowing landmine, will he be able to finish his assignment once and for all? As of last month, Jimmy Reardon was "retired" after narrowly escaping danger at the hands of the Sanfinos when he got "arrested" for the death of mobster Johnny Tesla (Tom Lipinski).
"It comes back around and Jimmy Reardon isn't totally out of the woods," Estes says. "There are people he's worked with that pop again. Jimmy disappeared and people wanna know where he went. He's not retired. When the mob's looking for you, you're definitely not retired!"
Blue Bloods airs Fridays at 10/9c on CBS.