Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg) may put his life in danger every day as a member of the NYPD, but it was his wife, Linda (Amy Carlson), who d1ed in the hit CBS drama “Blue Bloods.” When viewers discovered she d1ed off-screen in a helicopter crash in the Season 8 premiere episode, it shook the Reagan family to their core. Everyone is shaken, but Danny and their sons are particularly affected as they learn to pick up the pieces and move on.
However, the writers of “Blue Bloods” did not intend to k1ll Linda in this manner. Carlson didn’t renew her contract in the middle of Seasons 7 and 8, leaving the writers with few options for what to do with Linda. Fans were taken aback by the Season 8 premiere because, in the Season 7 finale, a drug cartel sets fire to Danny and Linda’s home, which would’ve been a perfect opportunity to k1ll off the character if they knew that’s what they wanted.
“Blue Bloods” showrunner Kevin Wade told Entertainment Weekly that they were short on options due to the timing of everything: “We were catching up after the fact, after the actress decided not to return to the show.” The way we handled her departure was an offer from a very limited set of options. We then had 22 episodes to deal with the impact of that character’s d3ath on the lives of her surviving husband and children, which I like to think we did somewhat successfully and respectfully.” Carlson disagreed with the writers’ assessment that they had shown Linda respect.
Amy Carlson would not have murd3red Linda in the manner that they did on Blue Bloods.
Linda was a regular on “Blue Bloods” for many years. As a result, many fans identified with her, especially because she was on the outskirts of what the Reagans were doing, offering an everyman’s perspective on their daily problems. It should come as no surprise that viewers were naturally upset that Linda was k1lled off so abruptly, and even Amy Carlson wasn’t happy with what happened. “I feel bad that she d1es the way she d1es,” she told Deadline. I was surprised because I had no idea they would do that. That is not something I would have done.”
Perhaps as a result, Carlson stated that she would be open to returning to the show in some capacity, possibly as a flashback. Finally, she wants fans to be able to say goodbye to a character they clearly grew to love: “I think it’s been difficult on the fans. I never wanted it to end that way, so I’m sorry for the fans, because everyone wants closure, and I hear it a lot from them.” Despite this, Linda has yet to return to “Blue Bloods” in any capacity.
The writers of the show made the most of being stuck between a rock and a hard place. Kevin Wade, showrunner, discussed how Linda’s d3ath inspired them to pursue a new family member, finally bringing Jamie (Will Estes) and Eddie (Vanessa Ray) together. He told Entertainment Weekly, “If that was the first scene of the season, dealing with that stuff [about Linda], then maybe the last scene could make an addition to the family.” The couple gets engaged in the Season 8 finale, which leads to the best family dinner scene of the season. It was the best-case scenario for a difficult situation to navigate.
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