'Blue Bloods' Star Returns for First Season 12 Appearance

Blue Bloods is finally returning to the story of Joe Hill in this week's episode, "Be Smart or Be Dead." Despite playing a major role in the Season 11 finale, Will Hochman's character has been missing from Season 12, but that will thankfully change. In the Nov. 12 episode, Joe seeks revenge, and his grandfather, Commissioner Frank Reagan, played by Tom Selleck, wants to stop him from making a decision he will regret.

The episode promises to highlight the somewhat tense relationship between brothers after Frank orders Jamie (Will Estes) to guard Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) when the police learn someone is trying to kill Danny. Meanwhile, Frank also tries to stop Joe from seeking revenge after he is attacked. Eddie (Vanessa Ray) also meets Rachel's (Lauren Patten) replacement, and the officer isn't exactly friendly. Erin's (Bridget Moynihan) story involves a defense attorney questioning Erin's moral character during a murder trial.

(Photo: CBS)

Eddie's new partner is Officer Luis Badillo, played by Ian Quinlan, whom Jamie recommended. Jamie quickly learns this was not the best idea. "He thought they would complement each other," Estes told TVInsider. "But they're like oil and water. Later, that will come to a head." Estes jokingly said there was a scene cut from the episode where he broke up a fight between the two and ad-libbed the line, "This tension better not be sexual!"

Hochman's Joe Hill was introduced during the Season 10 episode "Family Secrets," when the Reagans learned they had a relative they never knew about thanks to Danny's son Sean (Andrew Terraciano). He discovered through a DNA test that he had a cousin, Joe Hill, whose mother, Paula Hill (Bonnie Somerville) had an affair with Joe Reagan, Frank's son who died before the start of Blue Bloods. Although Joe grew up without knowing he was connected to the Reagans, he still became a successful detective. Once he learned that his grandfather was the commissioner, he struggled with the sudden burden of being a Reagan without being prepared.

In early episodes of Season 11, Joe decided to leave the NYPD because he needed time to consider his future. However, he suddenly resurfaced in the two-hour Season 11 finale. It turned out that weeks after he left the force, Joe asked Frank about ways he could still work in law enforcement. Joe agreed to work undercover with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to take down a group of gunrunners. Although this upset Erin, Danny, and Jamie, who didn't want to see Joe meet the same fate as their father, the Reagans eventually teamed up to help Joe out. Although Joe was shot in a dramatic gunfight, he survived and attended the family dinner before Season 11 ended. New Blue Bloods episodes air on CBS Fridays at 10 p.m. ET. Past episodes are available to stream on Paramount+.