Shades of Blue picks up right where it left off last week: in Woz’s garage, where a terrified Harlee is inches from pulling a gun on her boss/literal partner-in-crime. After realizing Woz doesn’t consider her a potential rat, she’s more than willing to shift suspicion onto their list of suspects: the five other members of the squad. As Woz’s paranoid calculations wind down, his worldview, compounded by decades of police work, becomes clear. Every dirty thing he and his department has done has been justified, has been right — not because these illegal activities protect their city, but because each cover-up, bribe, and off-the-books payout protects or enriches his fellow detectives. Because they’re family, and family looks after its own. You can see why just the whiff of an informant is enough to make him totally lose it.
When Harlee questions his intel, Woz tells her he “has it on good authority” there’s a snitch in their department. Is the FBI compromised as well? Their frenzied strategizing is interrupted by Marcus Tufo (Hampton Fluker), one of the detectives whose loyalties they’ve just been debating. Tufo got a call from a liquor store owner who’s worried about a suspicious vehicle that keeps circling his store. Duty calls, and Woz’s hunches will have to wait.
As the cops drive up to the scene, the same suspicious car drives past again. This time, the driver does more than circle: He shoots out the building’s windows before speeding away. Woz is grazed — it’s only a flesh wound, but it’s enough to have him seeing red. He makes finding the shooter the team’s No. 1 priority. Harlee knows the distraction is only momentary, though, and she’s still spooked by Woz’s mistrust. She wants out of her informant duties, now, so she smashes her wire in the nearest diner bathroom.
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Apparently, that’s not how these things work, however. The FBI now owns Harlee, which Stahl makes very clear when he calls her at the station the next morning and demands a meeting. Meanwhile, New York’s new assistant district attorney, James Nava (Gino Anthony Pesi), makes his debut at the station to deliver some bad news: One of the city’s public defenders has just published a tell-all documenting his drug addiction, and now 92 of his guilty clients are filing motions for new trials. Woz oversaw four of the cases, but only one name strikes an alarm bell: Miguel Zepeda. Could there by chance have been some impropriety regarding his team’s investigation of that case? (Spoiler: Duh.)
While Harlee rushes off to meet with Stahl, Woz commits some more suspicious activity. From a locked safe (which also houses a gun and stacks of cash — all above board, I’m sure) he withdraws Zepeda’s file, including a DVD. On the disc is footage — not of his interview with the suspect but with the arresting officer: Harlee Santos, back when she was a beat cop 10 years ago. The plot thickens. On the video, Woz informs Harlee that Zepeda claims she framed him for murder.
NEXT: Harlee’s original sin