Season 8 of Blue Bloods got off to a tragic start back in October when Linda Reagan was nowhere to be seen, and fans quickly discovered that she was killed in between the Season 7 finale and the Season 8 premiere. Linda was written out of the series due to actress Amy Carlson's decision to leave Blue Bloods behind, but even she was taken aback at the way her departure was handled. Carlson has finally weighed in on Linda's death, saying this:
I feel badly that she dies the way she dies. I did not know they would do that, I was surprised. I wouldn't have done that. . . . I could've shown the death. I guess it would've been nice for the fans to see her demise, to be a participant in it, and that was my vote for the fans. I'm not sure how I would've chosen it but I just know that for the fans to have a way to grieve, to move through it, I think it would've been nice for them. That's just what I hear from them all the time, 'we really want you to come back', and I'm like, that's impossible. But they also say we wish we could've mourned the character.
The Season 8 premiere revealed that Linda had died in a helicopter crash over the hiatus following Season 7, leaving her husband and two sons behind to mourn. It came as a big surprise to fans, as there was no sign back at the end of Season 7 that Amy Carlson would be departing. Many shows give send-offs to characters who have been around for a long time, but Linda was simply killed over break and the news was broken in the premiere. Amy Carlson's comments indicate that she would have liked Linda to get an on-screen death to provide some closure for fans who have had a hard time coping with the character suddenly being gone without witnessing the tragedy unfolding.
Of course, Amy Carlson had decided to move on from Blue Bloods, so she wouldn't have been available to come back for an arc closing out Linda's story over a span of multiple episodes. That said, Carlson went on in her chat with Deadline to drop a somewhat surprising bombshell about whether or not she could have been brought back in early Season 8:
No, I was not invited, it didn't happen.
It seems that Blue Bloods never considered bringing Amy Carlson back for even one more episode to close out Linda's story. Carlson left because her contract had expired and she chose not to renew it, and Blue Bloods evidently didn't intend to bring her back for one last episode, at least in the beginning of Season 8. We shouldn't dismiss the possibility of her someday returning via flashback or dream sequence. Interestingly, Linda Carlson isn't the only actress whose character's death was recently written to have occurred over hiatus.
Members of the remaining cast of Blue Bloods have found what they believe to be a silver lining in the death of Linda. Bridget Moynahan has said that it "reignited some beautiful, creative juices," and Marisa Ramirez has opined that it should be interesting to see how Danny continues to react to his wife's death.
New episodes of Blue Bloods air on Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on CBS. If you're still in the market for other viewing options, be sure to take a look at our fall TV guide.