Season 8 of Blue Bloods is missing a familiar face, and we fans had to play catch-up to understand why! Midway through the Thursday, Sept. 28 season premiere, we learned that Linda Reagan (played by Amy Carlson), wife to lead character Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg), died in a helicopter crash months earlier.
That’s right — Linda’s death was never shown on the CBS procedural. We only found out about the ER nurse’s tragic fate through Danny’s therapy session with Dr. Dawson, as the latter tried to assuage Danny’s feelings of guilt.
“Linda’s death wasn’t your fault,” the therapist told Donnie's character. “She was doing her job. She died doing what she loved. She died in a helicopter crash, airlifting her patient.”
At Blue Bloods’ PaleyLive NY event in October, the cast confirmed actress Amy chose not to renew her contract. (Amy had been on the show since the series premiere and earned a series regular status in Season 2.) In a statement, the 49-year-old star waxed nostalgic about her experience.
“My heart is full of gratitude to each of you for your generous support of me and my character for the last seven years,” she said. “I loved playing Linda: wife to Danny, mother to Jack and Sean, nurse, and working mom. I’m proud of my contribution to building this series… Mostly, I am grateful to the fans who have supported me and the show.”
Meanwhile, Donnie has nothing but appreciation for his TV wife. “In my 35-year acting/singing career, I’ve worked with some great talents,” he tweeted on Sept. 29. “Amy Carlson and [my former Blue Bloods co-star] Jennifer Esposito are two of the greatest... I know many Blue Bloods fans will miss Linda Reagan. None more than me. Amy Carlson is a gift, a light, and a true friend on and off-screen.” Hey, they’ll always be family, right?