Few characters endure more scrutiny, particularly from the Reagan clan, than Erin’s (Bridget Moynahan) ex-husband, Jack Boyle (Peter Hermann). Despite only appearing in 12 episodes of the CBS series, Jack is a constant point of contention for the family, as well as fans of the show.
“It’s not just that he hasn’t been there for Nicki her entire life,” Redditor u/Powerful_Factor1887 writes. “Erin has been raising Nicki by herself. When Linda went back to work and she asked Erin if Jack minded she told her that he grew more independent and was practically out the door. What normal family wouldn’t hold a grudge.” It might seem like he abandoned her when he should have supported her most.
While his strange behavior and his cantankerous relationship with his former in-laws may vex fans of the show, it’s his character’s desire to be a better man that ultimately wins television viewers over in the end — leaving Reddit replete with “Blue Bloods” fans who are a little fed up with the treatment of Jack that doesn’t seem to acknowledge his redeeming qualities.
Jack’s history with Erin is complicated
Jack’s Jekyll-and-Hyde conduct obviously creates confusion for fans, but it’s his seemingly on-again, off-again relationship with his daughter and ex-wife throughout the series that may be the biggest reason for the division within the fandom. When viewers are introduced to Jack Boyle in the Season 3 episode of “Blue Bloods” entitled “Old Wounds,” they can plainly see that the family hates him and wants nothing to do with him. A lot of the hurt felt by the Reagans revolves around Jack’s absence in his daughter’s life, and it creates a lot of animosity on both sides — a natural reason Jack’s behavior seems so cold and unlikeable around Erin and the others. What else is he supposed to do?
Some fans insist that the family’s reaction is understandable, though still unfair. “Its very realistic tho because some families never seem to let something like that go, even though the situation happened years before,” u/chaztastic1 argues. “Like, they’ve been divorced how long now and every Jack conversation ends with some holier than thou Reagan s***ing on him about something insignificant.”
Despite the volatile relationship presented even in Jack’s earliest episodes, actress Bridget Moynahan could still see the writing on the wall — and contrary to what you might guess of her character’s feelings, the actress appears to side with the Jack Boyle fans. “I think Erin met Mr. Right,” Moynahan acknowledged in an interview with TV Insider. “He was Jack Boyle … her ex-husband. It just wasn’t the right timing.”
Fans have thoughts on Jack’s rocky relationship with the Reagans
Was Jack Mr. Right? The Reagan family certainly didn’t think so: One commenter sarcastically reminded us that “Jack had the audacity to call out Erin on her bulls*** elitist attitude” and that’s one unjust reason he’s so hated. But another Redditor thought this was exactly what made the two such a good fit: “He’s the only one who can deal with her,” they observe, because he had the guts to tell her “that her expectations and standards were unobtainable and ridiculous.”
At the end of the day, fans’ frustration over the treatment of Jack seems justified by the character’s attempts to devote himself to his daughter and the fact that he also seems intent on genuinely rekindling the old flame with his ex-wife. Just think of the secret getaway the two share in Pennsylvania, which is revealed during the dinner scene in the Season 11 episode “Happy Endings.”
Fans should be fed up with the Reagans’ treatment of Jack because he puts forth the effort to be a better man not only with his daughter and ex, but as “Happy Endings” shows, by kindly and humbly trying to win the good graces of the entire Reagan family. Jack even says grace as Erin and her father Frank (Tom Selleck) exchange a warm-hearted smile. His actions here clearly show a man who wants to do the right thing … And imagine the strength it takes to sit down to dinner with the pompous Reagans.