[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers from Thursday's episode of Shades of Blue. Read at your own risk.]
Thursday's Shades of Blue gave us plenty of gasp-worthy moments - including Harlee (Jennifer Lopez) unknowingly getting caught in a lie about going into Lt. Wozniack's (Ray Liotta) desk and, of course, that pivotal heart-pounding moment he confronts her with a gun. Great moments sure, but the biggest pearl-clutch came when, out of the, uh, blue, Wozniack moved in to lock lips with his colleague Donnie (Michael Esper). Did you fall out of your chair?
Up until now, we've only known Woz as straight - a family man at that, married to Linda (Lolita Davidovich) and still grieving for the loss of his daughter. While we certainly know better than to buy into the idea that gay guys can't be tough guys - we've seen gay mobsters on The Wire, The Sopranos and in real life, after all — there's still something very surprising about discovering that the sinister Woz (hello, it's Ray Liotta!) has been hooking up with his male colleague while overseeing a squad of dirty cops.
"It was not a gimmick or a stunt," showrunner Jack Orman tells TVGuide.com. "It's part of his character. We're trying to tell stories with rich multi-dimensional people." Giving the strong leader a secret adds more components to the character's story, he said.
Surely power and control factor into sexual attraction for a character like Woz, too. As hundreds of pop songs have said over the ages, sex can be a weapon; physical intimacy sometimes springs up in relationships simply because both parties know they shouldn't, which makes it exciting and alluring. "That relationship is not what it seems," Orman says. "It' isn't simply a love affair."
How Woz and Donnie's relationship evolves in future episodes isn't clear now, but additional episodes sent to critics reveal that this isn't the last time we'll see Woz with a guy - and his secret doesn't remain undiscovered either.
For his part, Liotta doesn't think it's a big deal. "My character is complicated," he said at the Television Critics Association winter previews in Pasadena recently. "He's got huge appetites. I kiss a guy, I kiss a guy," he said in a tone that indicated his major takeaway about that whole thing was, "So what?"
Shades of Blue airs Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC.