Graceland "King's Castle" Review: Best Worst Birthday Ever!
"King's Castle" was one of the most visually stunning episodes of Graceland we've seen yet, which was nice, because by the end of it, everyone was miserable, Mike was half-dead, and Johnny was like, one spin on the chore wheel away from a nervous breakdown. It's been "getting real" for awhile now on Graceland—to the point that I'm sick of typing that particular string of words—but it's impressive, really, how much the show excels at piling on the crazy. And being pretty. The shots of Briggs burying actually-dead-for-real Juan out in the desert made him look so small under that big ol' sky. DJ's mopey birthday bar scene was elevated by the move to shoot him from behind, so that we were actually focusing on his reflection. It was an apt approach to featuring a character whose primary story often concerns the frustration he experiences when trying to balance his real and cover lives, and how the cover almost always seems to "win."
"King's Castle" was another one of those delightful, bipolar Graceland stories that contrasts some serious darkness with some zany domestic antics. Mike risked his life to go undercover in prison with his gut injury and Briggs totally sold him out, but back at the house, Johnny planned DJ's surprise birthday party—complete with a bouncy castle and strippers. BEST BIRTHDAY EVER.
DJ responded by punching Johnny in the face. Now no one gets to be happy, which is just as well because the show is taking another hiatus next week and then it's just two more episodes to sort this messy-mess out. How sad. I've enjoyed having my emotions toyed with all summer.
The conversation that Mike and Briggs so desperately needed to have finally happened, but potentially too late to make any real difference, plus we still don't know Briggs' actual motivations for being Odin. Dude dipped his toes in the more evil end of the pool this week with his call to Bello about Mike the Marine's real identity, knowing full well how poorly that would turn out for Mike and knowing full well that Mike wasn't even supposed to be out of the hospital, let alone undercover in the field. Briggs himself was the one who pointed out that a punch to the gut could kill Mike on the spot. So of course Mike took several.
The thing is, though—and I like to think this is intentional, because so far, *everything* Graceland has done has been pretty intentional—despite the increasingly awful tricks Briggs has been pulling behind everyone's back, he still seems fairly conflicted over his actions. For whatever reason, a reason that I hope goes much deeper than simply avoiding prison time, Briggs is willing to sacrifice everything to protect his Odin persona—even the housemates who, at any other time, he'll do anything to protect.
Briggs got smacked with Mike's truth stick this week when Mike filled him in on all things—even the fact that Juan was gone and the FBI totally thought Briggs was responsible. He pledged his puppy-dog loyalty and assured Briggs that, deep down in his little boy scout heart, he knew Briggs had nothing to do with Juan's disappearance. I think I would have cheered louder at this development if it had happened, say, last week. At this point, Mike just looks a little dense. Same with Charlie. Oh, Charlie. AND SHE POPPED THE BOUNCY STRIPPER CASTLE TOO. Rude.
So DJ's birthday sucked. Mike's undercover mission sucked. Charlie is making bad decisions. Briggs is making bad decisions. Johnny is trapped in an existential crisis, and Paige really only existed this week to give Mike a way to provide exposition. Why can't we all just get along again???
Because this show is way more interesting when everyone is being awful to each other. #truth
See after Labor Day, darlings! Pesky national holidays messin' with my TV schedule. :(
– Charlie threatened Bello with the "rapiest bunkmates" if he didn't help her out. Ugh, Charlie, stop.
– Eleven stitches! New house record! Congrats, Mikey!
– Bello's verbal smackdown of Mike was glorious. <3 him. (Please don't kill him!)
– How did the FBI get some random "What I Wanna Do When I Grow Up" paper Mike wrote when he was nine?
What'd you think of "King's Castle"?
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