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Shades of Blue finale recap: One Last Lie

Harlee must make a terrible decision between saving herself, her crew, or her daughter

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Peter Kramer/NBC

Shades of Blue

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
Jennifer Lopez, Warren Kole, Dayo Okeniyi
Crime, Drama

As Shades of Blue’s first season finale begins, we find Harlee Santos showing off a whole new side of herself. There’s no plotting afoot and no deep moral quandaries being puzzled. Instead, we get our first glimpse at triumphant Harlee, counting her dough like a boss and explaining to Caddie how she’s going to use the stolen cash to buy immunity for her whole crew. Well, all except Wozniak. Someone needs to be thrown to the Feds to keep them happy, and she still needs her boss to find Linklater, who will hopefully work as their chum. Woz, unaware of this plan, walks despondently into a diner, where he stumbles upon Stahl, looking equally morose.

Harlee stashes a portion of the money in a bag, then goes to see her old flame Nava. She apologizes for accusing him of freeing Miguel to hurt her and burrows in for a hug. It’s clear she just wants a brief moment of normalcy with someone she loves before she proposes her new deal to the FBI and her world implodes.

On his way home from the diner, Woz calls Donnie, demanding answers — the lieutenant knows his boyfriend set him up. But Donnie has to cut their call short when he opens the door to find Loman waiting for him. Loman is just as surprised: He came to Wozniak’s house to talk to his boss, only to find Donnie there instead. Loman realizes the Internal Affairs agent is wearing gloves, and he quickly figures out what he’s stumbled upon: Donnie is robbing Woz (well, close enough, he’s actually looking for the stolen cash). Whatever he’s doing, it’s certainly not legal. Loman pulls his gun, but Donnie smooth talks him into coming inside for a little chat. Then, the agent distracts Loman long enough to pull a gun. They tussle, and Loman knocks it away, only for Donnie to pivot and grab a knife from the counter. Woz returns home to find Loman shaking on a stool in his kitchen, and a very dead Donnie lying on the floor.

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The next morning, Harlee wakes up in Nava’s bed and calls Woz’s wife, Linda, to check on Cristina at the hotel. (For a mother so concerned about keeping a dangerous man away from her daughter, Harlee could spend a little more time in Cristina’s general vicinity.) Surprise, surprise, Cristina’s gone. Fearing Zepeda’s gotten to her, Harlee rushes out of Nava’s apartment, the assistant DA trailing behind.

Loman and Woz also have business to take care of early that morning: They bring Donnie’s body (wrapped in a rug) to Raul Mendez’s funeral home to dispose of. Deciding to take care of this problem Woz’s way (destroy all evidence, falsify paperwork, claim you were never there) seems to be the tipping point for Loman’s moral compass. Loman is officially a morally compromised cop now (if he wasn’t already). Just like every other member of the 64th, Woz has manipulated his loyalty and turned him into a tool who will work toward his own ends. Just before pushing the body of his lover into the furnace, Woz growls out a fond farewell: “See you in hell.” The detective may just get there sooner than he thinks.

NEXT: These are my confessions