Shades of Blue Season 3 Episode 2 Review: The Hollow Crown

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Is Harlee losing her mind or is former Agent Stahl really out there stalking her?

Unfortunately, Shades of Blue Season 3 Episode 2 leaves us no closer to that answer. 

The thing I love about Harlee Santos is that even when she's desperate and feeling broken, she's still strong. 

But the FBI isn't seeing it that way. They think Stahl headed to Mexico, and although that makes sense, it would make things far too easy. 

Was that Stahl on the subway? I have no idea, but if it was then his mind games helped cost Nava his life.

Holding Nava - Shades of Blue Season 3 Episode 2

I don't doubt that Stahl will turn up once again and at the worst possible moment for Harlee. 

Nava's death definitely left Harlee broken. I was relieved when she didn't pull back the sheet in the morgue. She already has plenty of pictures in her mind of him bleeding out all over the asphalt, she doesn't need more images of him dead to haunt her. 

Nava's the only good, kind, decent man Harlee has loved in her entire life. Some might say this was karma for all of the wrongs Harlee has committed, but that's just cruel. 

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Harlee is fiercely trying to do the right thing, but the universe is making that a terribly difficult path. 

Even getting justice for Nava is almost impossible with Woz determined to protect her from herself and the Intelligence Unit. 

Wozniak: If she thinks there's a thread that leads to Intelligence she's going to go right after Ramsay.
Espada: She won't be going alone.
Wozniak: She can go with God's own thunder, it's not gonna matter.
Tufo: The Intelligence Unit is untouchable, I get it. Cloaked in blue, beyond the chain of command, but do we have to help them cover up a murder?
Wozniak: To keep Harlee safe, yes.

As much as the team has serious reservations about lying to Harlee, they're still willing to back Woz's play. It seems the crew is back together, even if Tess and Tufo are still in uniform. 

Protecting Harlee - Shades of Blue

But Wozniak's power to protect his team depends upon how much he is feared, and as Handle pointed out in this Shades of Blue quote, getting shot by a kid didn't do much to help his street cred.

Handle: If I had known this was going to get violent I would have brought my nine-year-old. That's you, right? The cop who was shot by a third grader? Word is, Quince is still out there laughing his ass off.
Wozniak: It's the last laugh that counts. You'll know it when you hear it.

Woz's response to his physical therapist caught me by surprise. With everything going on I'd almost forgotten that Wozniak is a closeted homosexual or perhaps bi-sexual depending upon how you look at things. 

It appears that Linda has either accepted that or pushed it down so far that she doesn't have to acknowledge it. Perhaps she knows she can't change Woz either at work or at home. 

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Woz doesn't only have to assert his power on the street but also with Ramsay if he wants to keep Harlee safe. Has he met his match here? Quite possibly. 

Ramsay: You want to know what I learned overseas? You make your own advantage. If I have food, I make sure everyone's starving. If I have the high ground, I wait, and if I have one bullet left and the enemy is closing in…
Wozniak: Then I control my fate.

Both men believe in the end justifying the means and both will do anything to achieve their desired end but Ramsay, being the head of the Intelligence Unit, has far more reach and resources than Wozniak. 

At least Wozniak appears to have more of a heart but it's unclear whether that will be a strength or a weakness in this fight. 

Kristina Learns About Nava - Shades of Blue Season 3 Episode 2

Speaking of fights, Kristina beat the crap out of the mean girl at school, and as much as it was the wrong thing to do, I can't say I blamed her. Maybe that malicious little brat will think twice before taunting someone again. 

Harlee is absolutely right, Kristina needs to be twice as smart and strong as the girls whose parents can afford to pay the exorbitant price tag of that fancy private school or she'll never get to the point where she can benefit from it. 

Harlee: You go to the best school in Brooklyn, do you know that? You could open any door but if you can't restrain yourself long enough to walk away from some entitled bitch then you throw that future away.
Kristina: How can you even think about my future after everything that's happened this morning?
Harlee: How can I think of anything else?

Harlee has worked so hard, sacrificed so much, and risked her own future to ensure Kristina's that it would be tragic to see the girl throw that all away now. 

Will Harlee be risking both her and Kristina's lives by going after Ramsay? Ramsay seems like a guy who thinks that a teenage girl's life could be acceptable collateral damage if it means keeping his operation safe. 

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And I'm not convinced that Cole can be trusted. He might be a good guy caught up in a bad situation he can't get out of, or he might be setting Harlee up to take a fall. 

Watching Harlee break down after finding the shipping container empty was heartbreaking, and the fact that it happened in front of Loman only speaks to her fragile emotional state. 

Harlee: I needed you today. Everything I know is broken. I'm broken and you made me think that I was crazy.
Wozniak: Yeah but at least you get to go home tonight.

Woz playing into Harlee's fears about her PTSD is harsh but in his mind, he's only doing it to protect her. But I don't think there is anything except a direct threat to Kristina that will stop Harlee from trying to find real justice for Nava's death. 

The question is, what does Harlee do next? If Woz refuses to help her, will she go to Internal Affairs or the FBI or will she team up with Cole and try to take Ramsay down herself? 

Harlee's Team - Shades of Blue Season 3 Episode 2

And will anyone on her team have her back if she does? 

Check back for my review of Shades of Blue Season 2 Episode 3, and until then you can watch Shades of Blue online here at TV Fanatic.

The Hollow Crown Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (9 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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Shades of Blue Season 3 Episode 2 Quotes

Wozniak: If she thinks there's a thread that leads to Intelligence she's going to go right after Ramsay.
Espada: She won't be going alone.
Wozniak: She can go with God's own thunder, it's not gonna matter.
Tufo: The Intelligence Unit is untouchable, I get it. Cloaked in blue, beyond the chain of command, but do we have to help them cover up a murder?
Wozniak: To keep Harlee safe, yes.

Wozniak: I'm going to handle this. Whatever it takes, I'm going to make this right.
Harlee: Nothing will ever make this right.