Shades of Blue: Live Wire Act – Woz Out of the Closet (Review)

In Shades of Blue: Live Wire Act, Woz is out of the closet when Donny declares his love for the cop in front of Harlee’s wire.

Shades of Blue - Season 1

In Shades of Blue: Live Wire Act, Woz is out of the closet when Donny declares his love for the cop in front of Harlee’s wire.  The title of the episode could also have been “Hell Hath no Fury as an Agent Ignored.” A pissed-off Agent Chen (Annie Chang) goes behind Stahl’s back to release Miguel Zepeda from prison after he repeatedly ignores her request to followup on Santos’ ex. 

Not only does Harlee’s abusive ex get released but his charges are all exonerated. Zepeda (Antonio Jaramillo) is now a free man, not a parolee so he is free to do what he wants. Chen’s motivation appears to be a combination of Stahl (Warren Kole) ignoring her concerns about Woz framing the man for murder. It also seems that she distrusts the senior agents obvious attraction to Santos which does border on obsession. 

Before Zepeda is let loose to go after the object of his obsession, Harlee (Jennifer Lopez) Sap is buried and emotions run deep. Woz (Ray Liotta) is a wreck, guilt and grief clashing in his mind.  There is an announcement, similar to the one used in The Mysteries of Laura season finale. Although Detective Saperstein is not pronounced to be at the end of watch, but 10-7.

Sidenote: In police, and CB, parlance 10-7 means “out of service” however not all police departments are created equal in terms of “code 10” definitions and usage. In the NYPD 10-7 stands for “verify address/location.” In essence when control states that Saperstein is 10-7, the deceased cop is verifying an address or location and not out of service. Oops.

Despite more errors slipping past editors/writers,  than should be allowed, Shades of Blue: Live Wire Act continues  to create layers of depth to the plot line and  to  characters in the series. This week Tufo (Hampton Fluker) is allowed to show shades and nuances not seen before. 

Marcus, who sat across from Saperstein at the precinct, has been hit hard  not only by Sap’s death, but his colleague and friend’s apparent partnership with the FBI as informant.  The set up of Tufo’s hidden depth comes the day after Saperstein’s funeral. As Woz’s team stand watching Tufo tossing jelly beans into Sap’s coffee cup, the dead cop’s direct line rings.

Marcus and Harlee take the call and find a bloodied man with a gun, Isaiah, the one who called for Saperstein.  Tufo believes the man is a dealer and they later learn he helps those in the neighborhood who have no health insurance. Saperstein helped.

During the major storyline of Santos getting the goods on Woz and her boss getting in deeper with Donnie Pomp’s larger theft plans, Tufo learns about Saint Anthony and becomes the new Detective Saperstein to Isaiah.  The scene in the church with the Father is a tear jerker and Fluker knocks it out of the park.

Woz, and Harlee with her new “wire,” go to a “face-to-face” set up by Pomp (Michael Esper) that turns out to be the transfer of a kidnap victim. Wozniak is furious and he tells Santos to take the “package” to the marina while he storms off to see Donnie. 

Shades of Blue - Season 1

As the enraged cop arrives at the Internal Affairs meeting being chaired by Pomp, he grabs the other man and drags him into a storage room.  Donnie tells Woz that he can explain everything in ten minutes, “max.”

Later, Pomp approaches Woz in his office and Harlee is told to leave. Stahl tells her they need to hear what is being said, she goes back in and leaves her necklace cam in the rubbish bin.  Santos goes out with Stahl to hear Donnie and Woz talk and discovers the gay affair the two men have had for a year.

Woz has been turfed out of the closet and Harlee looks beyond upset. Not, presumably because Woz is at the very least bisexual but because she realizes how little she really knows him.

By the end of the episode Woz learns that the kidnapping incident was a  “test of faith” and Chen forces the hand of the prosecuting attorney in order to get the abusive Zepeda  out of prison . Stahl is closer than ever to gaining the personal trust of Harlee and in so doing has widened the rift between himself and Agent Chen (Annie Chang) and Chen has placed Santos and her daughter in harm’s way. 

Shades of Blue airs Thursdays on NBC. Tune in and be entertained by the subterfuge and try to ignore the random “boo-boos.”

Shades of Blue: Equal & Opposite – Woz, Sex and Huge Appetites (Review)

Shades of Blue: Equal & Opposite begins with the Woz’s crew participating in warrant day and one of the outstanding fugitives chased down has a car trunk full of heroin.

Shades of Blue - Season 1

Shades of Blue: Equal & Opposite begins with  Woz’s crew participating in warrant day and one of the outstanding fugitives chased down has a car trunk full of heroin. Before the end of the episode, sex becomes a factor for more than one character and Matt reveals to Raul Mendez that he has huge appetites and no hangups concerning his bisexuality.

At the end of the episode Woz is still looking for his rat, but Raul Mendez is sorted.  Matt uses the drug dealer’s homophobia against him removing any power that the funeral director felt he had over Woz.  Mendez is also removed from the city and placed in Philly by the new dealer in the neighborhood.

Tufo  spots a tail while waiting for his partner Saperstein; who is getting language lessons from a Brazilian hooker.  Donny Pomp has members of Internal Affairs watching Woz’s crew in an attempt to find the rat. Harlee informs Stahl who steps in and tells Pomp to back off.

Harlee keeps stringing Stahl along with partial information and complains to her handler’s boss about what she sees (rightly) as stalker type behavior.   In the meantime, Santos discovers her daughter’s secret boyfriend and loses the plot a little.  The detective also calls in a favor from her old trainer, Caddie who she springs from jail a week early.

Shades of Blue - Season 1
Harlee aggressively questions the “boyfriend.”

The former cop/trainer sets up surveillance at Stahl’s place before shooting up again and Harlee just misses learning just how inappropriate her handler’s interest is in her.

Woz, on top of his issues with Raul pushing boundaries,  catches Trish in bed with Espada.  Matt is understandably upset, but at least he realizes that this is why Nazario has been acting “sketchy” and not because she is the rat.  Woz tells Trish that:

“Men are dogs.”

After his little talk to Nazario, he tells her to stop the affair with her partner. Harlee gives her daughter a chance to come clean about the boyfriend and Cristina opts to continue the lie.  Trish and Espada talk after Woz caught them together and she tells her partner that Woz was right, men are dogs.

Santos believes that Stahl has placed a bug in her house and after checking does not find any evidence to support her suspicions.  She misses the FBI agent telling a $500 an hour escort that he will be calling her “Harlee,” during their “date.”

This episode opens things up with many of the characters. Ray Liotta as Woz reveals layers and his   crooked bisexual cop shows that he is not afraid to use sex to destroy the opposition. When Raul Mendez attempts to use Matt’s sexual preferences against him, Woz turns the tables and destroys the drug dealer.

Jennifer Lopez, as Harlee Santos, continues to work through that “glamour” issue and Warren Kole is spot on as the stalker-y douche who really does have an  inappropriate interest in his mole.

Shades of Blue - Season 1
Warren Kole as FBI Agent Stahl…

Shades of Blue has gotten darker with the reveal that Stahl rehearses in front of a mirror before his hooker arrives in order to sound “natural” and Woz has his drug dealer forcibly”sodomized” by his replacement (and video-taped)  as punishment for his homophobic attack on the crooked cop.

This series has tightened up a good deal since starting and while Lopez may still be too gorgeous to convince visually as a cop, she plays her part with a truth that takes away from the glamour factor. The question of just how much the crew instigate for the “greater good” is too far outside the law.

Mad props to the other crew members of Woz’s little gang. Drea de Matteo, as Trish, has managed to bring her character back from the edge of “crazy” that threatened to destroy the woman desperate to save her marriage and Hampton Fluker is spot on as Marcus Tofu, the jokey cop who never knows when to leave it alone. 

Shades of Blue steps into dark sexual territory in this episode. Stahl is seen preparing to feed his appetite (for Harlee via proxy). Woz is seen to be a voracious bisexual and apparently Cristina is active with the secret boyfriend.  Sex is also used as a weapon against Raul.

This drama airs Thursdays on NBC. Tune in and see where this series heads next and just how dark things will turn.