‘Blue Bloods’ Fans Are Still Devastated About Linda Reagan

by Craig Garrett

The cast of the long-running drama Blue Bloods has remained amazingly consistent, but one character exit still haunts fans. The CBS procedural drama follows various members of the Reagan family, most of whom are involved in law enforcement. At the center of the show is Tom Selleck. He has portrayed family patriarch and police commissioner Frank Reagan for the entire run. The show also follows the lives of his children, who have careers that orbit each other. There’s NYPD detective Danny (Donnie Wahlberg), assistant district attorney Erin (Bridget Moynahan), and NYPD sergeant Jamie (Will Estes). Viewers have found comfort in the family dinner scenes featured in every episode. Fans get a glimpse of the relationship of the family members as they discuss issues.

The beloved show will start its 13th season this fall. It’s tough to make it that far into a drama without cast members leaving. Frank, Danny, Erin, and Jamie are the reliable core cast of the show with Frank’s father Henry Reagan (Len Cariou) appearing frequently. Despite this continuity, one major character and Reagan family member did leave Blue Bloods.

For seven seasons, Amy Carlson portrayed Linda Reagan. Detective Danny Reagan’s wife and the mother of their two children, she was a nurse at St. Victor’s Hospital. The character survived a gunshot incident in Season 5. However, she perished in a medivac helicopter accident off-screen between Seasons 7 and 8. Her death had story ramifications for Blue Bloods. Her widower, Danny, contemplated leaving the force after her passing.

The offscreen death left Blue Bloods fans without closure

Linda’s off-screen death was unexpected. It left fans of the show hurt because she didn’t receive a proper goodbye. On a Blue Bloods subreddit, viewers mourned Linda. Fans seem to miss having a civilian outside of police-related matters at the table during family discussions. “I miss having a noncop opinion on things [at] the table,” one user wrote. Still, others simply disliked that Linda was written out off-screen. “She wasn’t exactly my favorite character,” one Reddit user wrote. “but I hate how her character was killed off-screen.”

After her Season 7 contract expired, actress Amy Carlson departed the series. She spoke with Deadline in 2017 about how grateful she was for all of the fan support for her character’s death. “I can’t even tell you how many messages a day I get about her and the character,” she said. “[Blue Bloods fans are] so sweet, they all wish me well in my future projects.” Carlson’s latest project was the 2021 horror film, Know Fear.

Carlson seemed to echo Reddit users feeling about Linda Reagan’s role in Blue Bloods. “I always felt like she was sort of the everyman, every person around the table,” the actor said. She also seemed to agree that killing her character between seasons was a bad idea. “I feel badly that she dies the way she dies,” Carlson said.