What happened to Jackie on Blue Bloods?

Jennifer Esposito had been an original cast member on Blue Bloods as Detective Jackie Curatola. But why did she leave and where is she now?
2023 Hamptons International Film Festival
2023 Hamptons International Film Festival / Sonia Moskowitz/GettyImages

Blue Bloods fans may have forgotten Danny Reagan’s original partner, Jackie Curatola, who was in the show’s first three seasons. Just why did Jennifer Esposito leave the series, and what became of Jackie? 

When Blue Bloods began in 2010, Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg) was partnered with Jackie Curatola (Jennifer Esposito). A divorcee, Jackie was a tough cop who often put up with snide remarks about her beauty but had sharp instincts for the job. She and Danny got along great and bonded as partners.

However, in Season 3, Jackie was more absent, with hints that she was feeling burned out by the job. Midway through the season, she left after being shot in the line of duty, a sudden exit that didn’t match the character. The show continued with Maria Baez (Marisa Ramirez) becoming Danny’s new partner and with the show ever since. It’s been a great partnership, yet fans miss Jackie. 

Why did Jackie leave Blue Bloods?

The reasons for Esposito’s departure were quiet for a bit, with buzz on the old story of lack of pay. Esposito finally explained that she had been diagnosed with celiac disease, causing her some health issues. She had told the producers she would only be able to film on a limited schedule, but the producers insisted Jackie be full-time.

That led to Esposito collapsing on set due to exertion. After that, she decided to prioritize her health and left the show with the showrunners making it sound like she quit for other reasons, causing some tension. Esposito would go on to roles in Mistresses and NCIS, but fans held out hopes that somehow she could return to Blue Bloods. 

Thankfully, the Season 13 finale finally gave fans an update on Jackie’s status. When a serial killer was released, Danny checked in with Jackie, who was now the chief of police in a small coastal town in Suffolk County. Danny noted that Jackie seemed much happier out of the hustle and bustle of New York and settled into the job nicely. 

The pair worked together to catch the killer, with Jackie getting along well with both Danny and Baez. It was a great return for the character and Esposito so while it was sad Jackie had to leave like that, at least she seems to be in a better spot now and make fans happy with her return.

Blue Bloods seasons 1-13 streaming on Paramount+.

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