Shades of Blue Review: “Good Cop, Bad Cop”

Shades of Blue

Shades of Blue, now in the back half of its freshman run, has had some pretty crazy ups and downs. When good, the show can be really, REALLY good. There are some strong messages in the material that are important in today’s world that this show’s great cast is able to elevate. Sometimes, the show can get bogged down in the drama of it all and get off track (usually with disastrous results). “Good Cop, Bad Cop” leaned more toward the former, mostly doing a really great job exploring the gray areas involved with police corruption.

This week on Shades of Blue: Wozniak proves the lengths he would (and does) go to protect his crew. As a result, Harlee becomes disillusioned in her loyalty to him. Harlee decides to help the FBI’s investigation. The crew retaliates against a couple of cops after they beat up Cristina’s boyfriend. Wozniak incorporates Loman into their “group activities”. The crew wrestles with their feelings about Saperstein’s death.

I was actually pretty impressed by this episode. In no way did I ever think I would stick with the show this long. But the first season, while mostly not wonderful, has been sprinkled with really good episodes like this to keep people interested. I was interested to see how Wozniak would behave and the overall landscape of the show would change, now that he believes he’s killed the mole. Color me impressed. Harlee was upset by the whole thing but Wozniak didn’t dwell and became a thousand times more interesting. Ray Liotta has been good the whole time, but he finally got some better material in this episode.

Having Wozniak and Loman partner together was smart, because it expressed two opposite ends of the spectrum of morality. Wozniak is jaded and corrupt, and Loman is new to this way of life. This was probably the best part of the episode for me. The exploration of moral gray areas is always a powerful statement for a show to make. By taking Wozniak and Loman, two opposites, and partnering them to work toward a common goal, “Good Cop, Bad Cop” becomes both a literal and ironic title. Whether you agree with the methods or not, their opposite beliefs still lead them to the same view of justice.

Jennifer Lopez is still operating at an extremely high level. She’s the clear best part of this show. But this episode involved her less and I’m not sure how I felt about it. She’s still the driving force of the show, but putting her on the back-burner and making her a plot mover rather than the focus did take away from the show. I don’t think this was her best episode, but it was definitely not her fault.

All in all, I was pretty impressed by this episode. It explored things a little more, and didn’t fall into that same dramatic slump it’s been in. It used its characters smartly, and the best part was that Jennifer Lopez didn’t have to be there to do all the heavy lifting and then some. Just as soon as I hate an episode, I find one that I like. Go figure.

What did you guys think? Did you enjoy the episode? Let us know in the comments!

Shades of Blue airs Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC



Wozniak and Loman team up on this week’s solid Shades of Blue

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