Amy Carlson had fulfilled her contract at the end of Season 7, and she told Deadline she wasn't even invited to return for the Season 8 premiere to wrap up Linda's story. So that's why there was such an abrupt departure -- with Linda revealed to have died in a helicopter crash, with no death scene or final goodbye with the character.
Deadline had a Q&A with Carlson about her exit, and she revealed that she, too, was surprised by her character being killed off-screen.
Here's part of the conversation:
DEADLINE: Would you be open to go back for a flashback and give fans some closure, maybe show how your character perished?
CARLSON: Yeah, I think it's been hard on the fans. I never wanted it to end that way, so I feel sad for the fans because everyone wants closure, and I hear that a lot from the fans. So of course I'd be open to that. Sure.
DEADLINE: What did you think of the way Linda was written off?
CARLSON: 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.
DEADLINE: How would you have written Linda off?
CARLSON: 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.
It's a shame they couldn't bring her back for the Season 8 premiere -- especially if Carlson's issue wasn't that they killed her character off, it was the manner in which they killed her. It sounds like she was willing to give fans better closure.
Maybe there was a miscommunication or some rigidity in the contract negotiations behind-the-scenes. There's clearly no animosity between Carlson and costar Donnie Wahlberg, since she told Deadline, "What I miss most is working with Donnie, and Donnie has been a dream since I left." He's a good, supportive, now grieving hubby.
"Blue Bloods" Season 8 continues Fridays at 10 p.m. on CBS.
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