Detective Maria Baez (Marisa Ramirez) makes her first appearance in the CBS cop drama “Blue Bloods” in Season 3, Episode 17, “Protest Too Much.” Since then, Baez has served as Detective Danny Reagan’s (Donnie Wahlberg) partner (and calming voice) for nearly 200 episodes. While her main objective throughout the series is to keep Danny calm and his hot temper at bay, making sure he follows the rules, she never leaves him hanging if he fails to do so. The detective always has his back, whether she agrees with him or not. She is the quintessential NYPD partner.
After the unexpected departure of Detective Jackie Curatola (Jennifer Esposito) after more than 40 episodes, Season 3 sees a revolving door of partners for Danny before landing on Danny and Baez as the new duo. Fans responded well to the chemistry between them and the writers elected to keep Baez on, a decision that has lasted for nearly a decade. She is one of the most beloved characters on the show without the last name of Reagan.
Like any series, some episodes of “Blue Bloods” focus on side characters, giving them more layers and endearing them to fans so that they don’t feel like stand-ins when the main characters are off doing their thing. Baez has been front and center a few times, but there is one Baez-centric episode that is clearly the best.
Baez gets closure on her past in Season 6
Since she is Detective Danny Reagan’s partner, Detective Maria Baez is involved, either directly or indirectly, with almost every major storyline in “Blue Bloods.” But the episode “Stomping Ground” (Season 6, Episode 13) is one of the more Baez-focused of the series.
The episode sees the Danny/Baez team work a crime scene where they canvass the neighborhoods looking for witnesses. While in a diner to inquire if anyone saw what happened, Baez notices a person sitting by the window and abruptly leaves the diner. When Reagan catches up to her, he asks her what’s going on, and she tells him the man was a drug trafficker from her neighborhood named Octavio Nunez (Ski Carr). She watched him stomp her neighbor to death when she was 10 years old. Baez and Danny eventually find a reason to arrest him, and Baez is able to look him in the eye and tell him she saw what he did.
This is the best episode for Baez because it gives viewers a chance to see the dynamic between the rest of her family (mother and sister) and how it changed after Javier (Kirk Acevedo), Baez’s brother, died. Since he died protecting her, Baez’s sister blames the detective for his death. The episode also gives audiences a chance to glimpse Baez’s past and her reasons for becoming a cop. She was a powerless 10-year-old when Nunez committed the murder. Could that incident have set her on her path to helping keep others from feeling the same way? In any case, putting Nunez away gives Baez closure on a tough bit of childhood trauma. Since writers don’t get a lot of opportunities to showcase her history, this was a welcome chance for us to learn more about the tough detective.