SHADES OF BLUE Review: “One Last Lie”

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Airtime: Thursdays at 10PM on NBC
Episode: Season 1, Episode 13 (S01E13)

TB-TV-Grade-C

Tweetable Takeaway: #ShadesOfBlue hangs its rookie season on a cliffhanger


“One Last Lie” feels much more like a mid season cliffhanger as completes its first season. This isn’t a fancy episode with action and twists, it opts for more of a slow simmer and leaves many questions unanswered. Lets talk about who got what they wanted here.

Santos and Cristina.

The premise of this first season was that FBI Agent, Stahl, leveraged a single mother NYPD officer’s freedom with her daughter, Harlee Santos, against making a case against her corrupt NYPD bass, Matt Wozniak. All twelve episodes weave in and out of this concept. At one point, Stahl wants more. He wants Woz’s whole team, a corrupt IA detective Donnie Pomp, a criminal mastermind Linklater (as in link season one and season two), and $12 million in stolen DEA money. At the end of the show, Woz gives him self up to Stahl with most of the stolen DEA money, but Donnie is dead and Linklater is a no show.

Woz’s team seems like they’re off the hook, it’s possible he made a deal with Stahl for their freedom. Stahl has a creepy obsession with Santos, but we don’t see how that plays out this season either. However, it does appear like her immunity agreement is useless, she didn’t do much of anything to help Stahl’s case.

SHADES OF BLUE -- "One Last Lie" Episode 113 -- Pictured: (l-r) Antonio Jaramillo as Miguel Zepeda, Jennifer Lopez as Det. Harlee Santos -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC)

— “One Last Lie” Episode 113 — Pictured: (l-r) Antonio Jaramillo as Miguel Zepeda, Jennifer Lopez as Det. Harlee Santos — (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC)

Harlee Santos is driven to protect her daughter Cristina. At first, this is from going to jail when Stahl originally picks her up. Later, the main threat to Cristina is her charismatic but estranged father, Miguel Zepeda. One of the most satisfying scenes of this episode is a showdown between Zepeda and Santos where she snaps his neck. The main threat is taken care of, but the original threat still exists. Santos could still go to jail for everything they had on her in the first episode.

Loman shows his shades.

Shades of Blue plays in the law enforcement sandbox and Detective Loman is the character that struggles most with the regular issue of being a good cop; protecting and serving the community, catching baddies, and honoring the shield. Loman has a good heart and both Woz and Santos do what they can to mentor him. The city needs guys like Loman. Stahl, on the other hand, throws his mentee, Agent Chen under the bus and moves to get her fired. They don’t show this play out, but it appears she’s going to take the fall for losing the hostage that Donnie killed.

SHADES OF BLUE -- "One Last Lie" Episode 113 -- Pictured: (l-r) Dayo Okeniyi as Michael Loman, Michael Esper as Donnie Pomp -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC)

— “One Last Lie” Episode 113 — Pictured: (l-r) Dayo Okeniyi as Michael Loman, Michael Esper as Donnie Pomp — (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC)

Loman comes through in a big way. He heads over to Woz’s house to settle some issues, possibly even arrest him, but he finds Donnie sneaking out. Donnie lies to Loman to get him to drop his guard, they fight over a weapon and Loman ends up killing him in self-defense. The Loman of episode one would have called the police right away, but the more seasoned Loman waits for Woz to return to discuss possibilities. They decided getting Rid of Donnie’s body is best. Woz and Loman take Donnie’s body Medez’s funeral parlor where they cremate him in the oven. I always expected Mendez to return and run his family business, but he never did. After that, Loman, Tufo, and Espada roll out to catch baddies as if nothing ever happened.

Season Two

Santos has to answer for killing Zepeda, to the police as well as her daughter. Creating a story for the cops will probably be easier than dealing with her teenager’s shifting loyalties. A big question is, whom exactly is the FBI going to arrest? They have Woz and most of the money. He’s willing to take one for the team, but what about the team? It would be pointless for the show to have them all locked up. The other big question mark is Linklater. An anonymous messenger hints Linklater isn’t who he says he is, so who and where is he? By the way, this feels like a huge cheat to me. I don’t feel like a finale is the best place to drop a twist like this. It feels more convenient than clever.

 TB-TV-Grade-C

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Eric lives in a world where the television is great, the smiles are warm, the pizza is hot, the puppies are playful, and the zombies are slow and meander while he reloads.
Twitter: @etom2012

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