To paraphrase from Bad Boys II, in Shades of Blue: Fall of Man, “Sh*t just got real…” Woz, who decided last week that Sap was the rat, goes after his suspected mole to question him. Harlee calls Stahl to intercede, the FBI agent opts to arrest Saperstein to protect him from Wozniak.
Stahl: “Lieutenant Wozniak thinks you’re working with us. He was on his way to question you. And by question you, we mean shoot you in the head.”
This week it all breaks loose, Harlee goes to question the suspect for her ex’s murder, Frank Kovach, who slaps her with a pistol, Loman is identified as the shooter officially, Saperstein is arrested by the FBI and when he escapes custody has a federal warrant put out on him and Woz crosses the line and kills the murder suspect and tries to kill Sap.
On top of all the other excitement, Tess confronts her husband about the barmaid and Cristina learns about Miguel Zepeda as well as his domestic abuse of her mother.
Everything begins to spiral out of control when Harlee goes to question Kovach after speaking with Miguel in prison.
Her ex convinces her that the recently released convict murdered the teenage girl he was convicted of killing. Woz tells Santos to leave it alone since he and Harlee set Zepeda up for the fall to keep him away from her and Cristina.
Her boss also tells her that he is going to question Saperstein, whom he believes is the mole. Disturbingly, as Woz packs a bag before setting out to collect Stuart, he includes zip-ties…
Harlee bumps into Sap on her way out of the squad room and asks him to accompany her to Kovach’s house. As Santos goes to question Frank, Woz calls Sap and asks where he is. Getting the address, he tells the suspected mole to stay put.
After Santos gets struck across the temple with Kovach’s gun, an act that allows the ex-con to escape, she learns that Woz is on his way. Harlee calls Stahl to intervene.
Tess confronts Joe and he admits, eventually, the affair with the bartender. He explains that it was a “mid-life crisis” and the two reconcile. Back at the precinct, Loman discovers a row of bullets on his desk, thinking he is being “hazed” he speaks to Tufo and Espada about it.
The two detectives explain that the news has linked him to the drug dealer shooting and the bullets are a sign of solidarity from his colleagues at the precinct. The three learn of Kovach’s assault against Harlee and give her the file with the con’s ex-wife’s address and they go to question the man’s new girlfriend.
The FBI handler tries to call his bosses to get permission to step in to save Sap and cannot connect. Agent Chen urges him to act immediately.
“Easier to ask forgiveness. We’ll get him out the back.”
After telling Harlee to leave the location, Stahl and Chen then move in to arrest Sap on a number of charges just as Woz shows up, gun in hand to grab his mole. Stuart talks the two federal agents into stopping by his home so he can tell his mother about going to a safe house before testifying.
Espada and Loman talk to Tiffany and set things in motion to catch Frank. The con’s fiancee looks as charming as he is, and Espada gets told off by Loman for bending the rules. Woz catches up with Harlee at Kovach’s ex-wife’s address and as he is telling her off for getting involved they find the Frank’s ex tied up. The beaten and captive woman then explains that Kovach is kidnapping their son.
Loman tries to explain to the family before they learn from the newspapers but misses his chance. Tufo, Espada and Loman head to the school to stop Kovach and the escaping kidnapper hits Carlos with his truck as he is leaving with his son Brian.
At the Saperstein house, Stuart tells his mother that he has to go away while Harlee stops Cristina from visiting Miguel and tells the prison officer at visits that the girl is barred from visiting Zepeda.
Sap tells the two feds that his mother is having palpitations and uses this as a chance to escape. Tufo offers Kovach a chance to bring the boy back, with an offer of money and a car. Loman learns that the news of his shooting has already reached the family he befriended.
Stahl tells Chen to “light up” Saperstein with a federal warrant and Santos tells Cristina the truth about Zepeda. Tess talks to Sap and after he warns her not to use her personal phone, she learns about the federal warrant.
Kovach turns up at his fiancee’s site with his son Brian to make the trade. Tess tells Harlee about Sap and the two head out. Santos tries to keep Sap away from Woz by leaving a message on his phone as Wozniak arrives at the construction site to facilitate the trade.
Woz meets with Frank and the two make the trade, although Kovach reneges at the last minute and pulls a gun from his son’s backpack. He points the gun on Woz and Sap comes up from behind the man but puts his weapon down. Harlee and Tess arrive, siren blazing and Kovach gets distracted. Sap attacks the man and Brian escapes.
Sap head-butts the kidnapper while Woz watches without helping to subdue Kovach. After Saperstein overpowers the con, he attempts to explain to his boss what is happening.
Sap: “I had no choice, Woz.”
Woz: (rushing forward and pushing Sap over the rail) “Neither do I.”
Woz then pick’s up Sap’s gun and shoots Kovach in the head and the dead man topples over the same railing that Woz pushed Sap over. The man’s body lands next to Sap as Tufo rushes up and Harlee arrives on the floor where Woz is. Tufo yells out that Stuart Saperstein is still breathing.
Wozniak lies to Harlee and says that Sap shot Kovach and they both fell over the edge of the railing.
Previews of the next episode make things look even more out-of-control with more lies and more murder set to take place.
This episode of Shades of Blue was top notch. Everything rushed to a dramatic and tragic climax, that sets up the next episode brilliantly.
Kudos to the stunt coordinators of this installment for Saperstein’s fall off the building; truly a genuine heart-stopping moment that stole the show.
Jennifer Lopez is selling it as the plate spinning cop caught in the middle and Ray Liotta is killing it as the man desperately trying to keep control of his little band of crooked cops. Apart from the “rat” storyline, it will be interesting to see just how long Tess and her husband stay “made up.” Just as it remains to be seen how Loman will handle this latest setback.
Shades of Blue airs Thursdays on NBC. This procedural crime drama has gotten past its earlier issues of continuity and plausibility and is well worth a look.