The season 2 finale of Shades of Blue, a two-hour event consisting of the episodes “Behind the Mask” and “Broken Dolls,” airs Sunday night. The packed two-parter will finally see Stahl’s (Warren Kole) obsessive pursuit of Harlee (Jennifer Lopez) come to a head as Wozniak (Ray Liotta) confronts the truth about his former protégée Julia Ayres (Anna Gunn).
“Harlee is going to have to make some bold choices and surprising moves — and some of them are going to pay off and some of them aren’t,” showrunner Jack Orman tells EW. Among those choices is how she’s going to move forward in her relationship with Nava, which “takes an unexpected turn,” Orman teases. “Harlee finally lets him into her world and who she really is and the choices she’s had to make, and he’s going to be put on the spot and have to decide whether to go along in her corrupt world or not.”
But Nava’s not the only man bringing drama to Harlee’s life. “Harlee’s going to have to take drastic steps to get out from underneath Stahl’s thumb,” Orman says. Meanwhile, “she and Wozniak are going to have to trust each other as they are battling internal affairs looking into the matter.”
That complicated dynamic between Harlee and Wozniak will, as always, be at the center of the episodes as both characters’ loyalty is put to the test. “We definitely have slowly repaired our relationship,” Liotta tells EW of the pair, “but we still have some major disagreements about how things are done, and especially about what I’m doing for Julia.”
On the eve of the mayoral election — which Julia is looking more and more likely to win — that disagreement will provide what Orman identifies as the emotional arc of the finale. “Wozniak is finally going to have to choose between Harlee and Ayres,” Orman says. “He’s going to have to decide whether he’s finally going to do what he was tasked to do at the beginning of the season — which is take down Julia.”
On the one hand, “I want to do everything I can to help [Julia] because of how much she means to me,” Liotta says of his character’s perspective going into the season’s last two hours. During the finale, however, “I start seeing that Julia isn’t who I thought she was.”
So where does that leave everyone? “By the end of the finale, the world will be turned upside-down,” Orman says, teasing a “substantial” cliffhanger. “There will be some shocking, surprising moments that push us into season 3, and we will have to be worried about both Harlee and Wozniak.”
“It gets very, very, very intense,” Liotta promises of the climactic finale. And season 3? “It’s starting out with a bang, I’ll tell you that.”
Shades of Blue’s two-hour finale airs Sunday, May 21, at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.