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The Real Reason Linda Reagan [Amy Carlson] Left "Blue Bloods" After 7 Seasons [by Walter Carey]

Ed. note: One of our most popular posts was written for the BAP blog by Walter Carey on October 13, 2017 preceded by this note: <<  Walter Carey writes: "David Huntley, my source for this story, is the pseudonym of an executive at CBS who asked that he or she not be named.  -- WC." For an update ("Did She Jump or Was She Pushed?) click here. And here for the latest on Erin's love life  >>>

Amy CarlsonFor seven seasons, Linda Reagan as portrayed by the actress Amy Carlson was a stalwart figure in the hit series Blue Bloods. She plays the wife of hot-headed Danny Reagan, mother to their two boys, daughter in law of police commish Frank Reagan, sister in-law of Erin, brother-in-law of Jamie, aunt of the Columbia undergrad who used to go to Catholic school, granddaughter-in-law of grandpa, and a normal human being, who works as a nurse, lives in Staten Island, demands to be respected by her husband, and concludes phone conversations with him with this exchange:

"Love you."
"Love you more."
"Love you most."

Several theories have been making the rounds regarding Linda's sudden departure from the program. In episode one of season eight it is explained that she died in a helicopter crash transporting a patient. To those who believe that this is what happened to Amy Carlson, my source is happy to report that she is very much alive. There is also no truth to the rumor that she got sick -- "totally" -- with husband Danny always going off the rails and blowing his stack. That was actually something that endeared him to her, Linda admitted tearfully after one of their quarrels., according to Megin Draper, a close friend. 

It was really very simple, the actress confided, nursing a glass of Jameson's on the rocks as she negotiated her farewell package. It was "time to move on."

The network executive who bears a resemblance to Ned Beatty gave her a skeptical look.

Tom Selleck"It really is time to move on," repeated the Knox College alumna, who graduated cum laude, made her TV debut as Josie Watts on Another World in 1993, and currently resides in Chinatown with her kids and her partner. But she winked and touched her nose like Robert de Niro in Good Fellas so her interlocutor knew there had to be more to it. The pro bono work she has done on Frenchkiss Records has never interfered with her work on Blue Bloods, and while her significant other plays bass guitar for the Seth Meyers show on another network, that has never raised any red flags let alone hackles in legal.

"Does the real reason have to do with Frank Reagan's political ambitions?" she was asked. "Warmer," she said. "But if you print it, Danny will kill you." Therefore my source has adopted a pseudonym and will employ the subjunctive to describe what the smart money is saying, which is this:

Frank Reagan, as played by Tom Selleck, has the distinction of wearing nearly the same tie on every episode of Blue Bloods. Each is a rep (or regimental) tie featuring a red field with diagonal stripes usually containing white, blue, or a combination of the two. I happen to own two such ties myself, purchased at Brooks Brothers, and from a study commissioned by the triumvirate of Rogers Peet, Hart Schaffner and Carlo Marx it has been ascertained that for a municipal leader, this is the tie of choice, inspiring trust and confidence in the populace.

The consistent use of ties of this order has long led Reaganites to suspect that Frank has political ambitions. The speculation, fueled by dissatisfaction with the de Blasio regime in New York coupled with the gag-me-with-a-spoon shenanigans in DC, has resulted in a "draft Frank" movement. Linda Reagan is said to have taken a position on the net-yet-official campaign. One of her pet ideas: a series of TV commercials featuring endorsements of Reagan by various Franks -- such as Frank Sinatra, Frank O'Hara, Frank Hogan, Frank Costello, Frankie Machine, Frank Malzone, Fenway Franks. Frank Bullitt in his 1968 Ford Mustang 390 GT 2+2 Fastback, Francis Ford Coppola, Pope Francis, St. Francis of Assisi, Benjamin Franklin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Francine York, and Connie Francis. 

But this is all speculation, and the rocky relationship between the police chief and the mayor is nothing new. Still, the fact that Frank Reagan polls higher than the mayor in all five boroughs, with an almost unheard of 90% favorable rating in Staten Island, may affect Frank's decision, and if Linda Reagan has anything to say about it, it's a go. -- WC

from the archive; first posted October 13, 2017

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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

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