After wrapping up an eventful Season 11, Blue Bloods is already back with new episodes, premiering Season 12 on Oct. 1. The trailers for this new season have already promised viewers that the show's cast of characters will be dealing with a lot, but viewers are wondering if recently-added favorite Will Hochman, who played Joe Hill, will still be on the show this season. Here's what we know about his potential reappearance.
Who is Joe Hill? Will Hochman portrayed this recurring character.
Joe's character was a bit of a surprise addition to the show when he was introduced in the Season 10 finale (that wasn't really meant to be a season finale until COVID-19 shut production down).
The young officer found out through a DNA test that he's related to the Reagan family, since his father, Joe Reagan, fell victim to corrupt cops. His mother had tried to keep him away from the family law enforcement legacy, though Joe still decided to become a police officer.
This also means Joe is the grandson of Frank Reagan — though just because Joe's family is full of well-established police officers doesn't mean he slipped right into the family. Throughout Season 11, we watched him struggle with that identity, not fully accepting the Reagans as his own. But now that much of his original arc played out in Season 11, will we see him again in the new episodes?
Will Joe Hill return for Season 12 of 'Blue Bloods'?
Despite Joe's absence from the Season 12 teasers and trailers, fans of the show can still hold out hope that he'll make another appearance in the new season — though not as a series regular.
According to TV Insider, executive producer Kevin Wade said he and the crew hope they'll "be able to weave him in and out of stories,” though he made no guarantee Will would return, unfortunately.
“He obviously has a great chemistry and connection to our cast, and my anecdotal evidence is that the audience really liked what he brought to the show," Kevin continued. "He has a fresh relationship with the characters that they’ve been with for 11 years.”
What would Joe's storyline look like this season, though? That's where it gets a bit tricky. Much of Joe's character arc was focused around him not feeling ready to accept his place in the Reagan family — and that arc would likely continue.
“He recognizes it for what it is and for the value of it but also wants to be his own person, which seemed to me to be a very useful wrinkle to use however we’re going to grow this character and however often we get to do that,” Kevin said.
Since much of Joe's previous arc was focused on that storyline, it's unclear what direction exactly the writers would take his character now.
That being said, keep an eye out for Will's possible reappearance this season when Blue Bloods airs at 10 p.m. EST on CBS.