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Shades of Blue - The Hollow Crown & That Way Madness Lies - Double Review: Tragedy

"Nothing will ever make this right."

The Hollow Crown

After crying over Nava's body Harlee is ready to wage war on Intelligence, but Woz doesn't think this is a fight he can win so he goes out of his way to make it look like it was just a resentful criminal Nava had put away, and when that fails he makes her think she's crazy, which was cheap even for him, but Harlee doesn't really buy it and I love it when she's a hardass.

One of the best scenes was Harlee telling Cristina what happened, J-Lo absolutely carried the scene but she was good enough for both of them. Later we learn Cristina can have it hard at school because of her mom but she does stand up for herself, and this gives Harlee the sense that she has to do something different with the relationship with her daughter, Cristina says she can always feel there's something beneath the surface Harlee isn't telling her so she decides to be more open even if she can't really tell her everything.

Harlee's suspicions are confirmed when Cole pays her a visit, he tells her it's all connected and that the man she shot was part of it all and not innocent, he seems to be in a situation very similar to Harlee's, stuck in the middle of something he can't wait to escape but doesn't really know how. This is made even clearer after Woz sells Harlee out complicating her investigation and getting Quince in return. Cole is the one who delivers Quince and kills him in front of her as per Ramsey's request. This scene was an intense one and it further solidifies the mirror reflection this season brings with the Intelligence unit.

"Doing the right thing is a luxury better left for other people."

There's a new Captain that's not really a big fan of Woz's so getting Tufo and Tess promoted gin might be harder than he thought, in the meantime, Tess is trying to make some extra cash by being Uber for criminals, which was obviously never a good idea, and when something goes awry Woz is there to help while getting the power back.

For that, he and Tess use Quince's body a la "Weekend at Bernie's" to shoot him again in front of the other gang and make sure they understand he's not someone they want to mess with, thus getting his standing back, or at least giving a first big step towards getting things back to "normal".

"It’s good to be back."

That Way Madness Lies

Now you have to believe Woz truly believes he's doing the right thing by doing the wrong things because he clearly feels guilty about what he's done and he continues to punish himself for them but he keeps pushing through and following his path unwaveringly. The self punishment though it's getting dangerous as he walks continuously in pain and it not willing to get surgery to get the bullet out even if this might leave him unable to walk, and he even gets the crap kicked out of him purposely by the end of the episode so his attitude is not really sustainable.

Nate got a call from Nava's supposed killer's father so he goes to Loman to see if there's something off about Nava's death and though he doesn't say anything he's not really convincing either, maybe I’m tripping but I felt like there was chemistry between them. I was glad to see Nate again but his new investigation could be very dangerous. Woz of course agrees and he sends the team to bully the guy's father into changing his story and I have to say this show of police intimidation hit me hard, I don't know if it's something they hadn't shown so much before, at least not with someone like this, a grieving father looking for justice for his son.

"I just bullied a grieving father Tess, I’m not proud of anything."

Loman seems to agree and though it doesn't excuse what he does it's nice to see at least someone has a moral compass somewhere in there. Though Intelligence seems to think differently because they try to poach him later, he refuses but for his trouble he only gets cornered by Woz who asks why his son thought he could talk to him about the case, Loman says he was truthful with him once before that he had reached a breaking point and needed to come clean.

"Not all of us can carry around this madness like you can, alright? Sometimes the truth just rolls out."
"Next time you feel like confessing, you find a priest."

Harlee and Cristina continue to dance around the same issues but they reach a breaking point when Cristina learns that Harlee was kidnapped and demands to know the whole truth. And like quoting A Few Good Men "You can't handle the truth!" Harlee asks her if she wants to know that Stahl was obsessed with her, that he kidnapped her and was going to rape her and that the only way she could escape was by slitting her own wrist, and of course, Cristina leaves in tears. This might have not been the right move but Cristina really needs to learn that her mother's life is not one to be shared with her teenage daughter.

Harlee continues to hallucinate Stahl and it's starting to get really worrisome, but then her double shows up saying she saw him too and stays with Harlee for a bit but it turns out she's a little bit obsessed with Harlee too now so she gets kicked out. Then she sees Stahl again and chases him down the street but at some point, she decides she won't chase his ghost anymore, even though it was clear it was really him this time.

As it happens, both these episodes are named after Shakespeare quotes, and I have to say I wish they would've followed that with the entire season, it really seems fitting. The Hollow Crown refers to a speech from Richard II that speaks of power and treason, perhaps a foreshadowing of things to come. As I said I don't see this season ending without tragedy and Shakespeare seems perfect to illustrate the fight between light and darkness.

"And nothing can we call our own but death."

While That Way Madness Lies is a quote from King Lear, trying to stay away from darkness. Something that could very well refer to Harlee but given the conversation Loman had with Woz it might just refer to everyone around Wozniak since only he can hold such darkness and keep moving forward.

"O, that way madness lies; let me shun that; No more of that."

What did you think of these episodes? How do you think this will end? Let me know in the comments.


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