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Shades of Blue - By Virtue Fall - Series Finale Review: Worthy

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"It’s not penance if it doesn’t cost you something"

The last hour of Shades of Blue ended in perfect line with what this season has brought: some amazing performances (Ray Liotta and J Lo killed it like never before), funny one-liners, and some ridiculous and rushed writing. This was not the episode I was waiting for, the miracle ending to redeem this season, but perhaps I was unfair in setting my expectations that high, Shades of Blue has had its ups and downs but for the most part, these have been consistent.

To me, the first season didn’t start as strong as it should have, but then it picked up and ended with me on the edge of my seat; season two was amazing, like those last few episodes of season one but no time to breathe at any point, in a good way; and though this last season tried to keep up the intensity, all it got were convoluted storylines and lazy writing. They clearly cared enough about this story to want to wrap things up, but perhaps there was something behind the scenes we were not privy to, maybe J Lo was in a hurry to end it, she’s everywhere these days after all; but the reality is, for me, a show that could’ve made me completely forget all about those first weaker episodes became just a mixed bag overall and something I would probably not re-watch in the future.

The episode tried to set things up as a race against the clock but none of that mattered by the end. Cole just left, for a moment it looked like he might come through for Harlee but he just didn’t, maybe they were trying to indicate no one could save her this time, but for the most part, it felt like lazy writing once again, there was no tension there. At the very least I would’ve liked a hint at a possible future for Harlee and Cole, because without it the whole existence of this character feels pointless, as did many of the storylines, maybe the season would've ended by episode three if they’d avoided unnecessary complications.

Woz got the upper hand on Ramsay replacing him in his partnership with the cartel, which sounds more like a can of worms than a blessing, and the whole thing giving them Enrique was only useful for Tess to pay her debt, but the fact that Ramsay was later incapacitated from doing any business only makes this whole plot seem pointless. And it was useful to call off the hunt for Woz but that too would probably be solved by Ramsay’s downfall.

Harlee’s testimony was not even close to believable, even to people who know it’s true, she incriminated herself a lot more than she did Ramsay and yet he was immediately arrested and she wasn’t. She still decided to take a plea and pay for her sins, though really she’s sure not paying for all of them. We also learn every cop submitted a character witness statements on her behalf, which is odd considering they were willing to let her die not long ago. I guess you live or die by the Blue Wall.

She asked Woz and the crew to take care of Cristina while she’s away, but I wouldn’t task them with taking care of a fern. Especially since Woz was constantly hallucinating not long ago and he killed Ramsay in one of the most ridiculous scenes so far. And this is framed as Woz’s second chance to raise a daughter, which as a concept is a lot more romantic than in reality, and especially in execution.

Two months later we learn Woz got the bullet removed and Cristina will live in the room that used to belong to Woz’s dead daughter where they haven’t changed a thing, how creepy is that? Harlee writes a letter to Cristina explaining why she needed to come clean and it plays in the background while we see Harlee being processed and once she’s locked up in her cell she looks like she’s finally free, like she can breathe for the first time, though I can’t say that’s an accurate portrayal of prison.

Now, I don’t want to leave things on a sour note, this show has had amazing moments and has made us fall in love with its characters, perhaps not all of them, but most, no matter how flawed they all were, even if I had issues with the places the plot went, the writing of characters was incredible, I would continue watching most of them forever, Harlee, Woz, Loman, Tess and Tufo’s banter, Espada was quite absent this season which was a shame, but I even loved Nate, fell head over heels for Verco (I need anything with him front and center) and I will forever miss Saperstein, even if he wasn’t around for long.

The fact that I am disappointed by this is not because it was bad, it is because from the last few episodes of season one I thought it had the potential to be exceptional, and even though it fell short of that for me, it doesn’t take away all the good it has given us, I'm still eager to know where the cast and crew are going next and I will sure try to follow.

"I’m ending this now."

What did you think of the finale? Are you happy with the ending? Let me know in the comments.

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