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Series / Shades of Blue

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Shades of Blue is an American Police Procedural television series created by Adi Hasak and currently airs on NBC when the first episode aired on January 7, 2016. It stars Jennifer Lopez, Ray Liotta, Drea de Matteo and Warren Kole.

Taking place in New York City, Detective Harlee Santos is a single mother who is struggling to ensure her only child's future by putting her up in a good school. To do this, she works with Dirty Cops to solve her financial problems. When the FBI arrests her during an anti-corruption operation, FBI Special Agent Robert Stahl gives her An Offer You Can't Refuse: go to prison for being on the take as a corrupt police officer or help the FBI in hunting down Dirty Cops in her precinct and feed back information to him without being caught by her fellow officers.

As Det. Santos helps the FBI look for Dirty Cops and help support her daughter, she realizes that it's getting dangerous to the point that she's asking herself if she should sell out her fellow officers to help her daughter or continue to back them up and risk being arrested.


The show was renewed by NBC for a third season with two seasons being aired, which serves as the last season.

This series contains examples of:

  • Blackmail: Both the FBI and NYPD officers working under Lt. Wozniak use this to get something out of suspects.
  • Blatant Lies:
    Det. Santos: You never said anything about wearing a wire.
    SA Stahl: I didn't say anything about a lot of things.
  • CIA Evil, FBI Good: The FBI is portrayed positively in the series, even though when going after Dirty Cops in an anti-corruption probe, they do it by threatening Det. Santos with arrest, risking her daughter's safety, her education and and potentially placing her in foster care.
  • Dirty Cop: A lot of them in Det. Santos' precinct, so much that the FBI intervenes in an anti-corruption probe.
  • Disappeared Dad: Harlee tells her daughter Christine when she asks that her father didn't want to be a part of their lives. It turns out she's lying though-he was a criminal who abused Harlee, and she framed him for murder to get rid of the guy. However, his conviction is eventually revealed as wrongful, he's released and learns that he has a daughter. After learning about the lie, Christine no longer trusts what Harlee tells her of him and gets closer to her father, despite Harlee's dismay. Harlee eventually kills him when he attacks her.
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  • Everyone Has Standards: Wozniak and his team are corrupt but they are appalled when they discover how extremely corrupt the Intelligence unit is. Wozniak, a firm believer in covering for other cops, decides that they have gone too far and need to be taken down even if it means that he has to arrest other cops.
  • Evil vs. Evil: In the 3rd season, Wozniak and his subordinates face off against a rogue NYPD division in league with drug smuggling gangs.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Wozniak and his team are big proponents of the Blue Wall, a system where cops cover for other cops and protect them from investigation by Internal Affairs and the FBI. However, when they try to bring down the murderous Intelligence Unit, they find themselves on the other side of the Wall. They become Persona Non Grata in their own precinct and other cops obstruct them at every turn. When they are trapped in a gun battle, their backup just turns around and drives away.
  • Karmic Death: Quite a few, notably Miguel. The second he gets out of prison, he tries to force his way back into Harlee and Cristina's lives then tries to rape Harlee, only for her to snap his neck.
  • Oh, Crap!: In the middle of "Pilot", Det. Santos draws her Glock 19 on a supposed crook who refuses to give a bribe before she finds out that she was lured into a FBI trap in order to arrest her as part of an anti-Dirty Cop probe.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: The reason why the Dirty Cops help criminals so that the worst ones (most of them) stay off the streets.
    Lt. Wozniak: I sacrifice for the needs of the neighborhood, and you, my friend, are on the other side of that scale.
  • Redemption Rejection: Miguel takes the money Harlee offers him to start a new life, but Miguel doesn't want that, he wants his old life back.
    Miguel: I don't want a new life, I want my old one.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: The main theme of the show, as Det. Santos starts to question what is right and what is wrong after she got caught by the FBI.
  • Wham Episode:
    • In "Pilot", Det. Santos grudgingly agrees to be a covert FBI mole in the NYPD. She later finds out that Lt. Wozniak suspects that the FBI planted a mole in his unit and wants to get rid of said person. Said person being Santos.
    • In "Original Sin", Lt. Wozniak reviews a video of his interview with Santos when she was a uniformed officer and saw her brushing her hair aside from the ear. The same gesture she made while trying to put her in a lie detector test.
    • A double whammy in "Fall of Man" & "Undiscovered Country", where Wozniak wrongly suspects Saperstein is The Mole and tries to kill him, twice. He succeeds the second time.
    • In "What Devil Do", the man responsible for getting a heist done is a corrupt DEA agent who wants to steal money right under Washington's nose. Wozniak is apprehensive about it.
    • In "Broken Dolls", Stahl kidnaps Harlee after he gets removed from the FBI. Adrian, the son of a woman who agreed to testify, shoots Wozniak at the lobby of the 64th.

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