Why Jackie Left Blue Bloods In 2012 & What Her Return Means For Season 14


Blue Bloods season 14 may include the surprise return of Jackie Curatola (Jennifer Esposito) after her sudden exit from the show in 2012. Blue Bloods season 13 set up several engaging storylines and character returns throughout its 21 episodes, with one of the most notable including the reunion of Jackie Curatola and Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg). While Esposito’s original departure from the show was controversial, her return suggests that audiences may see more of her in Blue Bloods’ season 14 story.

The series follows the Reagans, a family who is deeply involved in the criminal justice system in New York, with patriarch Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) serving as the New York City police commissioner, Danny Reagan working as a detective, Jamie Reagan (Will Estes) serving as a beat cop, and Erin Reagan (Bridget Moynahan) working as an assistant district attorney. Jackie was Danny’s old partner and a series regular for seasons 1 and 2. In season 3, Jackie showed increasing signs of stress and potential burnout, until she decided to leave the department.

Jackie Was Written Off Blue Bloods Following Jennifer Esposito’s Celiac Disease Diagnosis
Jennifer Esposito Last Appeared In Season 3, Episode 7 “Nightmares”

While Jackie departed Blue Bloods due to stress, Jennifer Esposito left the show for medical reasons as well. Esposito was diagnosed with Celiac disease, an immune disorder that causes those with the illness to become very sick if they eat gluten, as it will damage their intestinal lining.

In a 2016 interview with Fox News, Esposito shared how her years of stomach issues and hospitalizations were finally explained in 2012 with her diagnosis, which resulted in her doctor recommending a reduced work schedule to accommodate her illness. However, CBS TV Studios allegedly could not adhere to this schedule, which Esposito said led to her collapsing on set twice. Following this incident on the set of Blue Bloods, Esposito said that the studio did not fully replace her, but instead put her on unpaid leave and blocked her from working for other networks.


Following a week of recovery time, Esposito claimed that the studio then treated her unfairly and did not take her illness seriously before she was written off the show. She alleged that the studio didn’t believe that she was sick, but was instead simply trying to get a pay raise.

This, though, is something that is not about me. This is about a disease that people don’t understand. What happened was ugliness. It makes me sick.

In response, CBS TV Studios said in a statement that because Esposito could not perform the demands of her role, Jackie would be on a leave of absence but would hopefully return in the future.

Will Jackie Be In Blue Bloods Season 14?
What Jennifer Esposito’s Season 13 Cameo Sets Up

After Jackie’s difficult departure from Blue Bloods in 2012, the character suddenly returned in season 13. The show revealed Jackie has become a police chief in Suffolk County, leading to her and Danny working together to try and catch Dr. Walker (Mather Zickel). Since Walker escapes in the season 13 finale, fans knew it was likely Jackie could return in episodes that follow up on this storyline, even though it’s less likely that she’ll return regularly.

Esposito is set to return in season 14, episode 2. “Dropping Bombs.” (via TV Line) Esposito’s Jackie will team up with Danny and his new partner to go after a serial killer. The episode is the only one Jennifer Esposito has been confirmed for in the final season of Blue Bloods so far.