Therapy Not Good Enough for (Commissioner) Reagan
Tom Selleck’s favorite episode of Blue Bloods so far is “The Job” (Season 2, Episode 12). Among the various story lines (each main character always has one) is Commissioner Frank Reagan’s hesitant and relatively weak-hearted attempt at therapy. He slips out of the office, avoids his detail and makes a secret visit to the therapist. He doesn’t want to be recognized. In fact, on the elevator, he tries to assure a young woman that she doesn’t recognize him.
Frank: Oh, I think it stinks.
Therapist: Being a public figure? I would think you're used to being recognized.
Frank: I don't think I'll ever get used to it. Or accept it.
Therapist: You've been a cop all your life?
Frank: Cops aren't public figures.
Therapist: They're public servants.
Frank: And I'm not a cop anymore. I'm a civilian employee. When I became police commissioner, I had to resign from the NYPD.
Therapist: How do you feel about not being a cop?
Frank: I miss it.
Therapist: That's a lot to handle in five years.
You lost your wife, you lost being a cop, to become commissioner, then you lost your son.
Frank: This isn't about that.
Therapist: If you say so.
Frank: That's not why I'm here.
Therapist: Why are you here?
Frank: You tell me.
Therapist: Sorry, doesn't work that way.
Therapist: You under a lot of stress lately?
What I meant, as I think you well know, was: are you dealing with more stress than usual?
Frank: Well, let's see. We have a rapist targeting teenage school girls, unexplained rapid rise in subway crime, and another threat level increase out of D.C. No, no more stress than usual.
Therapist: Have you tried any sleep medication?
Frank: We don't do that.
Therapist: Who doesn't do what?
Frank: Reagans don't take drugs.
Therapist: Oh. Is there anything else Reagans don't do?
Therapist: Frank, you are an intelligent man, and I have no doubts you are capable of successfully deflecting any of my questions for as long as you wish, but in 20 minutes, your hour will be up, as I suspect you will be tonight.
Therapist: Where were you on 9/11?
Frank: Here in the city. Where were you when the first tower came down?
Therapist: I was sitting in this chair. Everybody remembers where they were at that exact moment. Where were you, Frank?
Frank: I was in the North Tower. [awkward pause] This isn't gonna work.
In season 11, Commissioner Reagan orders his close advisor, Lieutenant Gormley to get emotional counseling. It certainly seems hypocritical. Therapy is good enough for his officers, but it’s not good enough for the Commissioner. The Reagans are too good for therapy, too good for any medications.
Therapy only works for people who are willing to let it. My first time with therapy was unsuccessful, because I wasn’t ready for it. I was open to it the second time. It has helped. It would help the Commissioner. And it would help a lot of people to know that an inspiring figure like Commissioner Reagan endorsed therapy. For himself, not just others.