'Blue Bloods': Country Music Legend Returns to Solve Extremely Personal Case With Danny

Blue Bloods started off the new year by bringing back a country music star to help out Det. Danny Reagan on a case in New York City. Almost a year after Lyle Lovett made his debut on the show as Texas Ranger Waylon Gates, he is back in the Big Apple when an illegal drug shipment makes its way to New York. However, as the episode unfolded, Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) learned there was much more to Gates' trip than expected.

At the start of Danny's story in "Old Friends," Danny complained to Det. Maria Baez (Marisa Ramirez) that federal authorities wanted to take over the investigation into a huge shipment of drugs coming into the city. They then bumped into Gates, who was promoted to Major and is handling the case for the feds since he is an expert in the cartel involved. Danny and Baez try to assure Gates that they could handle it, but Gates is sure this is a serious operation. Still, Gates wants Danny to join him on the investigation. (Baez then exit stage left, so she wasn't involved in the rest of the episode!)

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(Photo: John Paul Filo/CBS)

Gates and Danny's investigation took a disturbing turn when they found dead members of a gang that helped the cartel. The next day, Danny arrived at Gates' new favorite doughnut shop and was not happy. Danny discovered on his own that Gates' partner in Texas was found murdered with the same mark as the gang members. So the real reason Gates was up in New York was for revenge. Gates tried to deny this at first, but then Danny slid over a picture of Juan Carlos Lopez (Mayans M.C. star Joseph Raymond Lucero), a dangerous killer who works for the cartel and is now in New York City. Gates insisted he was there to stop the drug shipment, and Lopez just happened to be there. "Two birds, one shot," he told a disappointed Danny.

Back at the precinct, Gates admitted that he should have told Danny about Lopez. "I was taught never to shoot two targets at once," Danny said. "You split your focus." However, Danny had to admit he would seek revenge too if his partner was killed. "You're a good man Danny," Gates told him. "I expect that Sunday dinner helped make you one."

After a fun dinner where the Reagan family members talked about their first make-out sessions, Gates got a mysterious phone call. Whoever it was, they gave Gates a spot to meet at, and he went there. Lopez met him with a knife in hand. Thankfully, Danny showed up just in time to arrest Lopez. (Danny put a GPS tracker on Gates' truck to track him, which is... legal for a police officer?) After the cuffed Lopez, Gates almost cut him in retaliation for his partner, but Danny stopped Gates from making a mistake.

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Next, Danny and Gates interrogated Lopez. They demanded he tell them about the shipment or else they would force Lopez to use the Fentanyl-laced heroin. That doesn't sound quite legal, but Danny and Gates did get the information they wanted. Gates then told Lopez he would take Lopez back to the Lone Star State to handle him Texas-style. The information from Lopez was correct, so Danny and Gates seized the drugs during a raid at a preschool.

Elsewhere in "Old Friends," Jamie (Will Estes) faced pressure from Gormley (Robert Clohessy) when he wanted to name his former mentor, Sgt. Kevin Coolidge (James McCaffery) in a report about a gambling racket. Frank (Tom Selleck) had some trouble with Mayor Chase (Dylan Walsh) because he wanted to punish Officer Zeal (Josh Crotty) who punched Officer Salter (Jamal James) just because Salter agreed with cutting the police budget. Blue Bloods airs on CBS Fridays at 10 p.m. ET and is available to stream on Paramount+.