SPOILER ALERT: This story contains details about tonight’s Blue Bloods Season 9 premiere on CBS.

In a bloody season opener tonight bookended by murdered headless bodies, the return of Blue Bloods also cut deeper into what really happened in the abrupt death of Amy Carlson’s character last year.

“First your house burns up and then a chopper goes down — that’s some pretty bad mojo you carry around,” the Lou Diamond Phillips-portrayed ruthless Mexican mafia member Louis Delgado mocks Donnie Wahlberg’s Det. Danny Reagan. As the New Kids on the Block founding member’s character and fans of the very well-crafted and well-watched Tom Selleck-led NYPD family drama clearly could pick up, that was a revelation about Carlson’s Linda Reagan.

Much to the ire of many a Blue Bloods viewer, the spouse of Danny Reagan was killed off in a work-related helicopter crash between Season 7 and Season 8 of the Kevin Wade executive produced series.

Stitched up by Wahlberg’s Reagan as a snitch to his criminal colleagues, the butcher Delgado seemed to meet his old cutting end tonight – or at least Blue Bloods wants you to buy that distraction. Having fostered the storyline of Carlson’s Linda for all of last season and then dropping that bombshell tonight … well, put it this way, I’ve been a fan of Blue Bloods long enough to know the producers didn’t bring Longmire alum Phillips onboard as a savvy psycho to slice and dice him after one episode, if you know what I mean.

In a Siobhan Byrne-O’Conner-penned episode co-starring Bridget Moynahan Will Estes, Vanessa Ray, Sami Gayle, Len Carlou and Sopranos alum Steve Schirripa that picked up literally days after the engagement announcement that capped the Season 8 ender, tonight’s Blue Bloods packed in a lot of plot into one TV hour. There was Aasif Mandyi guest-starring as an ambitious prosecutor who promoted Moynahan’s Assistant D.A. Erin Reagan, while Estes and Ray navigated an arson case and their new official state of affairs as partners both professionally and personally. The latter situation leaving Selleck’s long-serving Police Commissioner Frank Reagan conflicted at the office and around the venerable family dinner table that defines Blue Bloods in so many ways.

This being network TV, at least a couple of those narratives found tidy resolution with Estes’ Jamie Reagan passing his sergeant’s exam with flying colors. That late plot point nicely removes the potential favoritism taint that could have stained his relationship with his father as well as fiancée and fellow police officer Edit “Eddie” Janko, who clearly is taking the Linda seat at the table, at least figuratively.

That sets the stage for a Season 9 full of seismic shifts in a show that prides itself in many ways in being steady as well as surprising.

However, in many ways, those stories were the backdrop to the hint that a cartel destroyed the eldest Reagan son’s home at the end of Season 7 and was responsible for the death of his wife and the mother of his two sons. With Wahlberg’s Danny not just any old hot-tempered cop who stumbled into the drug war but the spawn of the head of the NYPD, the stakes just got a lot higher if the Mexican mafia has targeted the Reagan family.

There was a lot of blowback from viewers when Blue Bloods’ eighth season started with no Carlson and almost aside that the ER nurse character that had been a part of the Robin Green- and Mitchell Burgess-created show since Season 1 suddenly was written off in a barely explained offscreen death. The lack of a proper Big 4 series sendoff amidst BTS drama as Carlson fulfilled her seven-year contract on the show left too much unexplained.

Not long afterward, a still-circumspect Carlson told Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva that she personally thought it “would’ve been nice for the fans to see her demise, to be a participant in it.”

Watching tonight’s “Playing With Fire” episode, it looks like there is going to be a lot more to see sooner rather than later, one way or another.

Or as Wahlberg’s Danny Reagan bluntly says near the end of the Blue Bloods Season 9 opener when the apparent headless body of Phillips’ Delgado is found: “If there is one thing I’ve learned in the last year, closure is overrated.”

Yep.