Hi all! Apologies for the lateness of this recap. But, here’s your chance to catch up before tonight’s brand new episode!
So, let’s dive in!
In Guadalajara Dog, the main theme of Graceland continues to be established as Mike vs. Briggs. These are two guys who graduated top of their class at Quantico. Their resumes upon leaving the academy were nearly identical in their impressiveness. But Mike is green. He wants to play by the rules and do as he was taught. He doesn’t understand that the life of an undercover agent isn’t necessarily the same as other jobs within the bureau. Briggs has been out in the world a long time. He’s learned a few lessons and knows that if you want to keep your cover, you can’t always be doing what you’re told. Mike can understand this lesson, and is able to recognize that sometimes – like when someone steals a bag of chips from a taco truck – it’s better to let things go. However, he doesn’t trust Briggs or the reckless manner with which he handles his cases. When Briggs asks Mike point blank if he trusts him, Mike answers with an honest ‘No, sir.’ (Interestingly enough, Jakes doesn’t seem particularly comforted by Briggs’ involvement in Mike’s plan to use his bullets, so maybe mistrust of Briggs is a common feeling)
The major complication in this relationship is that Mike has just been informed that his sole reason for being at Graceland is to investigate Briggs. Without any other information to go on, Mike is suspicious of all of Briggs’ behavior. When Mike gets called in to the bureau offices for psychiatric evaluation, he discovers that he isn’t actually seeing a doctor, but rather is using the psych appointments as a cover to meet with his supervisor on the Briggs case. When Briggs learns that Mike will continue to see his psychiatrist on a weekly basis, rather than the typical one-time appointment, he seems to know that something is up.
The development of the relationship between these two men is the heart and soul of Graceland. They are two people who innately do not trust each other and yet they are going to be put in scenarios time and time again where they must do just that. In order for Mike to do his investigation, he has to find a way to get put on Brigg’s cases. How will this play out? We know that if they doubt each other for even a moment, people will get hurt. In this week’s case of the illegal bullets, Briggs played things a little too cool for Mike, who attempted to sneak in a phone call to his supervisor. Mike’s instinct is to assume the worst of Briggs at every turn, which is a very dangerous outlook to have on your undercover partner. The episode seemed to end with Briggs leading Mike to a dark abandoned space, pointing a gun at him and asking him who he’s been talking to. The way it was shot makes me wonder if it what was happening wasn’t exactly what it looked like. But if he was, it will be interesting to see how Mike answers the question. We already know he’s very clever, so I’m sure he’ll be able to spin it in a way that will at least patch things up for the moment.
Meanwhile, as we said goodbye to one member of the house (Donny is not returning), we got to meet the one person who wasn’t present during the pilot: Paige. Paige is a DEA agent who is working an undercover case and hasn’t been home since Mike moved in. She’s playing girlfriend to the man she’s hoping to bust and has been having Charlie bring her birth control pills to slip into his drink to keep him at bay (the hormonal science of this tactic makes sense, but I had never thought of it before – brilliant!) Charlie asks Mike to come with her for the pill drop so that she doesn’t have to deal with the creepers at the bar. Mike meets Paige and is instantly taken with her. Charlie has to practically tell him to wipe the drool from his face. There’s clearly a lot of flirtation happening between Mike and Paige as the episode goes on. I’m not sure exactly where this is going, but the chemistry between Mike and Charlie is so incredible that I think it may be a little painful to watch him hook up with Paige. But, as we all know, the best relationships come out well-built tension, so I assume the Paige thing will happen first as his relationship with Charlie develops more subtly.
What do you guys think? Paige or Charlie?
One of my favorite things about Graceland is the strong ensemble. Every member of that house has a distinct and interesting personality. Right now the groundwork is being laid for the Briggs/Mike saga, but I’d be happy seeing story development for any of the agents of Graceland. I especially look forward to learning more about Johnny and Jakes.
The principle of Chekhov’s gun is used brilliantly on this show. Make sure you’re paying attention because so many references get made in the second half of this show to things that were shown briefly in the first half. It’s not always major plot points (this week’s standout was Mike’s hand exercises and his gripping of Charlie’s butt), but there’s always something that comes back later, and it’s fun to find them.
What is your favorite part of Graceland so far? Tell me in the comments!