SHADES OF BLUE REVIEW: “Undiscovered Country”

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Airtime: Thursdays at 10PM on NBC
Episode: Season 1, Episode 7 (S01E07)

TB-TV-Grade-C

Tweetable Takeaway: Saperstein fights his way back to life on #ShadesOfBlue


The nicest cop on dies in the worst way when the team sails into Undiscovered Country. Also, I’m no detective but I’m pretty sure Woz just gave FBI Agent Stahl the direct evidence that he took part in the murder. If this is so, they don’t need Santos to inform anymore which would change her role completely.

Shades of Blue - Season 1

Saperstein survives the fall but not suspicion.

I’m sure there is some sort of living metaphor played out after Saperstein hits the ground, Tufo works to keep him alive until the EMT arrive and they get him to the hospital in time to stabilize his condition. Now, more than ever, Woz needs him to die. If he wakes up and talks about Woz throwing him over the side, Woz’s team will turn him in.

At first, Tufo fights hard to keep Saperstein alive, then he tries just as hard to prove he was the FBI informant. He coaches Kovach’s girlfriend what to tell the detectives, he makes Sofia prove she is a prostitute and not an FBI agent, and he searches Saperstein’s room for evidence. He finds an immunity agreement contract planted by the FBI.

This tragic turn works in favor of the FBI investigation. Stahls’ supervisor, Gail Baker, agrees they should capitalize off Woz’s suspicion that Saperstein was their informant. Santos blames Stahl for getting Saperstein hurt. She tells Stahl the same lie Woz told her, about Saperstein’s struggle with Kovach. There is an undeniable link between the FBI’s shoddy handling and Saperstein’s condition. Sap is the most innocent guy on the show; anyone that hurts him is going to come off as a monster. Gail sends an FBI agent to guard Saperstein’s hospital room to help sell the suspicion.

The team falls apart as Saperstein clings to life. Woz sends the crew home so he can be alone with Saperstein. He talks with Saperstein’s mom and she tells him about the visit from Stahl and Chen. This episode, like many, relies on the many heavy emotional u-turns Woz makes dealing with his dilemma. Santos pleads with Woz to leave Sap alone. She gets him to he confess (in the hospital chapel) he threw Saperstein off the fourth floor. Woz claims he did it to protect the rest of the team. He eventually promises to leave Sap alone, “in the hands of God,” which in this case is Woz himself.

Shades of Blue - Season 1

Stahl looks at the second man who flew from the fourth floor.

Stahl wants to know why Kovach was important to Woz’s team. He does a little digging and connects Kovach to Zepeda and Santos. Stahl meets with Zepeda but he won’t confirm any relationship with Santos. Then, Stahl and Chen question Rita’s friend, who called 911 the night Zepeda was supposed to have killed her. She also recognized Kovach from a photo. This looks like another dirty log to throw on Woz’s bonfire. While he quickly found Rita’s friend and a copy of the 911 recording, which was never used at trial, he didn’t discover Zepeda’s link to Santos. Later, she updates Zepeda on finding Kovach and his death. Zepeda is furious, he feels like she abandoned him again. Santos says she’ll keep trying to find a way to get him out of prison early. Maybe Kovach had some other cellmates that heard him talking? We know she doesn’t care; her real concern was being complicit in the release of a murderer. It’s no longer an issue.

Gail barges in on Woz’s debriefing with his superiors. This whole scene is lies (Woz’s), stacked on lies (Gail’s). Now Saperstein really looks like their informant. Internal Affairs Donnie takes the bait and says they should move forward while the FBI recovers from the loss of their informant. This is exactly what they wanted.

Saperstein’s condition improves.

The swelling in Saperstein’s brain goes down, he could be conscious in a day or so. This doesn’t leave much time for the hands of Woz. Woz promises Tufo to always protect the team. He heads to his storage locker for some explosives. The same explosives Stahl has already seen. It’s hard to believe these were just left by FBI agents in mint condition, ready to be used. At any rate, Stahl can connect these to Woz.

Woz leaves a bag with the bomb by the nurse’s station. The head nurse spots it, panics, and the FBI agent guarding Saperstein’s room helps evacuate the hospital. Woz kills Saperstein during the commotion. Santos arrives a moment too late.

Moving forward, we have to see some drastic changes in Santos. At this point, she has to turn on Woz. This isn’t good cop work, this is eating his own and she knows it.

TB-TV-Grade-C

This was mainly a “C” by contrast. Last week was more shocking with the hostage situation and Saperstein getting pulled in by the FBI. “Undiscovered Country” felt more like a narrative bridge between two big plot points.

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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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