You have questions. I have some answers.
Q: Last spring, my husband and I watched what we thought was the season finale of "Blue Bloods." At the end of the episode, Danny's house caught fire, but his family was saved. When we watched the season premiere, Danny's wife was dead. We checked On Demand but there was no episode that we missed. What happened? Why was Linda killed off? Was there an episode not aired? Please end our confusion!
A: The eighth-season premiere of the CBS drama caught quite a few people (including readers of this column) by surprise because it included the unexpected death of Linda Reagan (played by Amy Carlson). In the episode, we learned that Linda had survived the fire but – between the seventh-season finale and the eighth-season premiere -- died in the crash of a medical helicopter as she was helping to transport a patient. In this age of rapid-fire spoilers, Carlson and the show kept this one very quiet.
The reason, according to Deadline.com, was that Carlson "had fulfilled her contract, which was up at the end of Season 7, and felt it was time to move on." The actress did not elaborate after Linda's death was revealed, instead saying on Twitter that she was grateful to the network, the show and her fans, and proud of her contribution to the program.
As for why Linda was killed off, I can't think of another way to have her leave the Reagan family; it's not like "Hawaii Five-0," which after the departure of cast members Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim simply explained that their characters had gone to other work. While there were sometimes difficulties in Linda's marriage to Danny (Donnie Wahlberg), their strong overall connection meant that a divorce would be out of character, especially in relation to their children. Her death, in contrast, adds a deeper, darker tone to Danny's life in the coming season.
Q: "Get Shorty" is the best series I've seen since "The Sopranos." Will it be back for a second year?
A: I wouldn't put this comedy-drama on the same level as "The Sopranos," but I have been enjoying the first season on Epix. And a second season – 10 episodes, like the first – has been ordered for telecast in 2018. According to TVLine.com, a top Epix executive said that the show "has been the perfect addition to our scripted original slate" and "our most successful original scripted series to date."
For those of you tuning in late, the series was inspired by the Elmore Leonard novel of the same name. A "Get Shorty" movie with John Travolta was a pleasure, but the TV series has different characters involved in a tale of criminals getting into the movie business.
Q: I've been wondering who the singer is that sings the "Happiness" song in the Ohio tourism ads. She sounds like a singer that appeared on Jay Leno's program. She sang "Baby, It's Cold Outside" with Lyle Lovett. I believe her first name was Cat. I would appreciate any help.
A: While the song mentions happiness, its name is "Lucky" and the singer is Kat (with a K) Edmonson, a jazz-and-pop artist who can get very stuck in your head. She has indeed performed with Lyle Lovett, not only in a 2010 installment of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" but on his "Release Me" album (where they also sang "Baby, It's Cold Outside") and the soundtrack to the movie "Angels Sing," where they did "Christmas Time Is Here." But there's more to her than Lovett and Christmas. By 2012, Popmatters.com reported, Edmonson had "performed with Willie Nelson, opened for Smokey Robinson, toured with Boz Scaggs and headlined at the Taichung Jazz Festival in Taiwan. You may also have seen Edmonson singing onscreen in Woody Allen's "Cafe Society."
MAILBAG UPDATE: I mentioned recently that "Major Crimes" will be back for a new season on Oct. 31. We now know that will be the last season for the drama, with a two-episode finale set for Jan. 16, 2018. Series creator James Duff said in a statement: "We will finish our long run on TNT with a finale worthy of our loyal viewers and their years of unstinting support."
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