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How “Blue Bloods ”says goodbye to Treat Williams

The actor behind Lenny Ross died in a motorcycle accident in 2023.

Treat Williams tragically died at age 71 after a motorcycle accident in June — and now, Blue Bloods is paying tribute to its late star.

Williams’ character Lenny Ross, the beloved best friend and former partner of New York City Police Commissioner Francis "Frank" Reagan (Tom Selleck), was last seen on the police procedural in a season 13 episode in which he revealed he’d been diagnosed with cancer. In Friday’s episode, Blue Bloods revealed that Lenny died from his illness.

The episode places Frank in a tough situation: Lenny’s daughter Tess (Simone Policano) is arrested after a bar fight, and the commissioner must weigh his friendship with her late father with upholding the law. Tess furiously asks him to let her out of jail. “I thought my dad was your best friend,” she says. “He was my best friend. And I’m gonna honor that by doing what’s best for his daughter,” he responds.

<p>CBS via Getty</p> Treat Williams on 'Blue Bloods'

CBS via Getty

Treat Williams on 'Blue Bloods'

Later, Frank justifies his tough-love approach to his associates. “Lenny was a great guy with a whole lot of flaws,” he explains. “And one of them was letting his daughter get away with whatever she wanted. So when he asked me to look out for her, he knew what he was signing up for. I think that’s why he asked me.”

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Frank then has a tense conversation with his own father, Henry (Len Cariou), who urges him to be more sensitive to Tess. “You’re not her father!” Henry says. “She just lost her father. A father she didn’t know existed until a few years ago. Can you imagine what that’s like — to have found something that you’ve been searching for your entire life and had it snatched away? Maybe it’s not just bail she was looking for.”

The commissioner proceeds to visit Tess at the bar where she works, and gives her information for a strong defense attorney. “Listen, I’m working on my eulogy. If there’s anything in particular you’d like me to say, just call it into Detective Baker,” he says. “So are they gonna shoot off guns or something?” Tess asks about her dad’s funeral. “No. No. But he will have an honor guard,” Frank confirms. “Bagpipes? He hated bagpipes,” she responds. “Yeah, but he loved the old dogs bursting into tears. That’s what bagpipes do,” Frank says. He then invites her to a family dinner and bids her farewell.

In the final scene of the episode, the Reagans gather for a family meal, and Frank pays tribute to his late friend. “There’s also someone who ate here with us over the years but who won’t be back,” he says. “Lenny Ross was my oldest friend, my closest confidant, my getaway driver. And I lost him this week. And it hurts like hell. But Lenny would hate it if we got all teary and quiet and sad, so Lenny: We’ll miss ya. And save me a seat at your table, and I’ll seeya on down the road.”

The episode concludes with a tribute graphic that says, “In memory of our great friend, Treat Williams 1951-2023” above a photo of Williams and Selleck.

Blue Bloods airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

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