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Shades of Blue - Sweet Caroline - Review: Collateral Damage

"Some things are beyond repair."

Sweet Caroline

The episode begins with the team taking down a forgery mill. Harlee finds a girl, Debbie Ramirez, a college drop out making Photoshop work for the crew so she can take care of her baby girl, Harlee tells her to go back to school and to take advantage of this second chance, she warns her she'll be checking up on her, and I have the feeling we'll be seeing her soon.

Harlee: Your baby doesn't need the world, she needs a mother she can look up to.

Tufo and Espada want to take a cut of the money they found, but Harlee has just been reminded of who she wants to be and she tells them to go by the book. Which is good since Verco continues to sniff around and is surprised to see the team doing things right, I have to say I really like the rapport he has with the crew, it's a kind of playful aggression. Dov Davidoff is great here, he has this Italian mob thing going on that fits perfectly with the rest of the cast.

It turns out the money they just entered into evidence is the DEA money they stole for Donnie Pump. And this looks like a whole world of trouble for them, specially with Verco breathing down their necks. They figure out Caddie is the one spending the heist money. Cristina reaches out to Stahl about the text messages, ironically they are messages sent by Stahl himself, but he seems to be looking for a way to bond with her somehow. He gives her a drive with Miguel's photos and some kind of virus that lets him spy on her through her laptop, creepy ass dude. While he's watching, Cristina gets a visit from Caddie, he gives her an envelope from Harlee and tells her to give her mom the message that he's laying low, I wonder how Stahl is going to complicate things next.

The new case is a murder on the park, it turns out to be Caroline, Nava's ex fiance, and she was killed by the gun that was taken from Harlee's trunk, which is apparently why that sketchy guy was roaming around her car when she went to see Nava. This seems to be Bianchi's message, but to make sure she pays him a visit, one of his guys tries to manhandle her but it doesn't go very well for him. Harlee tells him Caroline had nothing to do with the issues between them but he says that she's just collateral damage, and warns her that there are still eight bullets left with her fingerprints on that weapon.

Woz wants to run with the truth for once but Harlee confesses she's dating Nava and that gives her motive, she says there's no way it will look good for her, so he proposes to get the team up to speed, but she says there's probably a leak since Verco found the freezer and that could be a big a problem. Looks like there's no coming back into the light any time soon for them.

Tess and Harlee are still not on great terms, and it doesn't help that Harlee is trying to derail her investigation constantly. Harlee finds out they're going to review the security footage from Nava's building, where Harlee will of course show up, so she stalls them. In that moment, Tufo shows up to deliver the bad news to Tess that the casings are missing. And I have to say I love the team's chemistry, I'd watch only them just solving cases as a normal procedural and be thrilled, so the fact that we get so much more from Shades of Blue is just a gift.

Tufo: Promise you won't kill the messenger?
Tess: No.
Tufo: Like a general assurance?...
Tess: At this rate I might kill you before you give me the message.

Verco, who's the only one to make fun of Donnie Pomp's name (someone had to), goes for a ride-along with Tess, and it turns out to be where Harlee was trying to steal the footage from Nava's building, she's almost caught, but Tess covers for her and Harlee is forced to tell her about Nava and the gun, though she says nothing about Bianchi. Later Harlee goes to visit Nava, which is stupid since she just had to go through hell not to appear on the tapes, and he tells her nothing good has ever come from the two of them and she needs to stay away. That's tough, but it already looked like they'd figured out their previous issues a little too quickly.

Loman is worried the lies will never stop with Donnie, and he notices a strange gun Woz was using at the shooting range to replace Harlee's, later he finds a picture of Woz and Donnie Pomp together, which surely means he'll find out some things he probably shouldn't know. Woz has a heart to heart with Caroline's body as he swaps Harlee's bullets for new ones and he promises that, when he finds the guy who did that to her, he won't make it official.

Linda goes back to the house to get some more stuff but she still seems set on leaving him, Matt's on edge, not knowing when he could get a visit from Bianchi's guys, so he receives her with a gun in his hand. This scene was pretty intense and is something I want to see more of, the whole Wozniak family dynamic is very interesting.

Linda: I was always good at that "no questions asked" part. Too good as it turns out so, should I ignore the gun in your hand?
Matt: I need to protect somebody.
Linda: You always do.
Matt: Yeah. Except, this time, I don't know if I should.

Later, Woz has Julia over at his house for some whiskey, apparently they keep each other quite up to date, since she knew about the whole Donnie thing, including their affair. He asks her to give him a war without collateral damage, as if such thing exists, he says he needs Harlee's weapon back. Julia says she'll try but she can't make any promises. And things get hotter from then on, I have to say I'm not really feeling chemistry between these two, but then again I never was 100% sold on Anna Gunn either.

What did you guys think of this episode? I'd love to read your thoughts.