CBS released photos for the first Blue Bloods episode of 2021 on Friday, hours before the last episode of 2020 debuted. The pictures confirmed that another guest star is joining the Blue Bloods universe, Ali Stroker. The actress is best known for winning a Tony Award for her performance in the 2019 revival of Oklahoma!. Stroker, 33, made history by becoming the first actress to use a wheelchair for mobility on the Broadway stage.
Stroker will star in "Redemption," which airs on Friday, Jan. 8 at 10 p.m. ET. She plays Detective Allison Mulaney, who hopes to stay on active duty. Commissioner Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) will spend the episode considering her request and shares a scene with Allison in a police gym. This will be Stroker's latest appearance on television, following her role in the Lifetime movie Christmas Ever After. She also appeared in an episode of The CW's Charmed last year. In 2012, she was the runner-up on The Glee Project, earning her a role in a Glee episode in 2013.
Elsewhere in "Redemption," A.D.A. Erin Reagan (Bridget Moynahan) struggles with sentencing a man who was found guilty of vehicular homicide. Detectives Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg) and Maria Baez (Marisa Ramirez) chase a rapist who finds victims through a rideshare app. Jamie Reagan (Will Estes) and Eddie Janko (Vanessa Ray) help another officer who is shot on the job.
Blue Bloods often brings in guest stars throughout a season, and Season 11 has been no different. During the premiere, Whoopi Goldberg made her third appearance on the show as a city councilwoman who clashes with Frank over police policies. In a recent interview with PopCulture, Will Estes said there will definitely be more guest stars this season.
"We've had [an] incredible guest cast," Estes said. "And I'm usually as excited as everybody else to see them because I find out like when it airs or, or I see them... in you know passing in the night. But yeah... I think you can expect more [guest stars]." Estes also correctly pointed out that many of the guest stars only work with Tom Selleck, which is the case again with Stroker.
This week's episode of Blue Bloods, "Atonement," serves as an early mid-season finale. It deals with the fallout from the public revelation that Joe Hill (Will Hochman) is a member of the Reagan family. Danny and Jamie also clash while working together on a murder case. Erin is also suspicious after she receives evidence that could take down a long-time mafia leader while boosting a younger gangster.