Graceland "O-Mouth" Review: Chasing the Dragon

By MaryAnn Sleasman

Jul 12, 2013

Graceland S01E05: "O-Mouth"

Don't worry, you're not pervy. "O-Mouth" in the context of Graceland means exactly what you think it means—except the euphoria in question comes from shooting up, not getting down. Charlie and Briggs pranked poor, gullible Mikey real good while rehearsing their own O-faces for an upcoming drug-bust-in-the-making thing. Since undercover cops aren't exactly encouraged to do the drugs they're trying to keep away from the childrens, and getting high together is a tried-an-true tradition during any honest sale, the officers in Graceland shoot up with hemoglobin and fake it. A good, convincing "O-mouth" is as important as a solid cover story and reliable backup.

After taking a breather last week (HAPPY BIRFDAY 'MURICA!) "O-mouth" eased into the angst this week with some beach-party football, bar-room shenanigans, and a running joke about the will-they-won't-they potential of Briggs and Charlie—who apparently have a history, or at least their cover personalities do, or something. Once we hit the soul-crushing part of the program, however, darkness fell pretty damn fast.

You almost have to feel bad for Mike at this point. He met with Juan and stood up to his handler with the theory that everyone and their grandma has already come up with concerning Briggs: He's a good guy with unorthodox methods. Mike literally has zero evidence of Briggs doing anything worthy of a top-secret department investigation. Dude has saved everyone from death/discovery/bad tacos at least a half-dozen times since Mike unpacked his carry-on. Mike had nothing to present to an increasingly irritable Juan and frankly, he didn't even understand why the FBI so badly wanted the newbie to find dirt on their poster boy for everything-awesome-about-being-an-FBI-agent-and-more.

Blah blah blah, drugs are always missing from Briggs' busts and they think he's selling them. Whatever. I'm not buying it. I don't really think Mike is either, but he's not really in a position to say so.

So what's a Mike to do? Get closer to Bello—because Briggs is going to love that—but also, so much of the scant evidence against Briggs is tied to Bello. My own personal faith in Briggs is unwavering, but admittedly, if you're a crooked FBI agent looking to cozy up to one of your targets, Bello seems like a fun and lucrative choice... you know, when he's not busy being a paranoid nutjob burning his underlings' eyeballs out because they might have betrayed him, or at the very least, had one helluva bad day at the office.

Mike spent the afternoon bromancing Bello via a shared interest in cowboy movies and roughing up snotty Buy More wage slaves. When Mike asked to be Bello's new bodyguard, his brilliant plan was looking pretty good. I like Bello. He's not quite up to Magic City's Ben Diamond as far as utter lunacy on a power trip is concerned, but he's close.

While Mike moved in on Bello, Briggs was busy rekindling old covers with Charlie to bring down a heroin supplier... when who should wander in from the whatever passes for cold in Southern California, but Whistler! Charlie's wayward CI from the rainbows-and-kittens-filled "Heat Run." Once it was established that Whistler wasn't about to snitch on Charlie, the gang figured they could use him for one last mission when every attempt to get to the mysterious Odin using undercover players failed (and yes, Johnny, "Odin" is a totally dope name <3 <3 <3).

For a second there, I was worried that Whistler's excessive chattiness about the awesomeness of "Katie" and "Eric" would get him a bullet or a hot shot because seriously—obvious much, bro? While Whistler managed to avoid formal retaliation, a happy ending just wasn't in the cards for him: He OD'd in the bathroom. Charlie began an obvious guilt spiral, culminating—or kicking off?—with the decision to shoot the real heroin upon their target's demand. He'd read on the internet that undercover cops shoot fake smack and realized that Briggs and Charlie always shot their own stuff when they were around. Good job, internet.

So it seems to be business as usual at Graceland—some genuinely good laughs paired with soul-crushing depression. Welcome back!


– "No one wants to hear about your shitty life." File that under things I say to my dog when she's being an asshole and barking at anyone and everyone who dares walk past our apartment.

– Where's D.J? :(

– Poor Johnny. But congrats to Paige and her week of free drinks thanks to the devious prankage of Briggs and Charlie—or should we say "Eric" and "Katie?"

— I hope we're not gearing up for a Charlie-has-a-drug-problem story. I groaned before the original punk-ing was revealed because I didn't want it then, and my feelings never changed.

— I still think Juan is full of crap. How about you?

What'd you think of "O-Mouth"?

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  • cellardoors Jul 16, 2013

    Hey sugar. drug dealing in all USA shows now are we? might need to make better life choices.

  • efonsecajr Jul 14, 2013

    I think Briggs and Juan and working together to see if they can trust Mike.
    This show is good, keeps striving towards great. Inch by inch. With every ep that passes, its clear that the chemistry amongst its leads is its strong point.

  • peterspoor33 Jul 14, 2013

    Dug the episode, so far this show has me in knots over expectation rather than story. This show appears to be straddling a fence and I'm in fear of which side it's gonna fall on. At it's more "wholesome" moments it's like watching Friends where they're suddenly all law enforcement agents and then it's suddenly Narc meets Point Break with no easy answers.

    The whole Whistler arc broke my heart, the first meeting was all "buy a shirt to keep warm" and nice to catch up devolving into the second meeting with her whole harsh reality check of you're a junkie, I'm a cop let's cut the B.S.

    Liking it's almost schizophrenic nature, you got the bright young people, shared beach house and local bar hi-jinx, the gritty drug business and their fake/real relationships and also this under cover under cover pursuit. Is Briggs dirty? Compared to cops on the Shield or Justified or some such he is almost a boy scout (did like the iffy shooting or murder, the first episode) perhaps it is because he is all too aware he is being hunted. Not sure I could like him less even if he was just dirty, I would like to see him cross the line more or play Mike for his own purpose since they are both "top tier" but Briggs has thrived in the field, he is the old man of Graceland and is still breathing but I got all the time in the world for this show to start something adversarial at the pace it likes, I'm not flicking the channel anytime soon.

    I wonder how many "roomies" Briggs has chugged cold ones with? How is his psyche after seeing who knows how many agents die, leave or get deep sixed like the Russian mafia working blonde he had to evict. Briggs is like a contestant on some deadly tropical version of Big Brother who's survived years of intruders, if I were the FBI I'd be freaking out why this guy has still somehow kept his cool, not burnt out and still parties like Slurms McKenzie.

    Consistently addicted since this show seems to be walking this tightrope of an undefined something... was identifying and absorbed in the cheesiness of a Spaghetti night that then results in forcing yourself to do dishes that remind you of the scattered brain matter of a crime lieutenant who you set up for a fall after he discovered you were a rat.

  • estella87 Jul 13, 2013

    Let's assume Briggs is dirty and a drug dealer. That could actually make sense: he was suspicious of Mike from the beginning, keeping an eye on him (since he was obviously a plant). Why did he never get close to Bello if he is such a legend and great undercover agent? If Briggs and Bello are working together, Bello's behaviour - e.g. choosing Mike as his bodyguard (keep your enemies closer) and trusting him more than his own lieutenant - would make sense. He is just playing along in order to keep his business afloat. And as a bonus Mike IS training his army, slowly but steadily.

  • tryptz Jul 13, 2013

    I love the show,but sometimes I cant help wondering how the hell they cast Mike! He is just the squarest thing on tv. I want to off the tv each time he is on. I find him as a person just the most boring item on tv. I hope in season 2 they move on from him . I want to know more about Johnny and Biggs.
    Mike is ugh.

  • EsmeBuffay Jul 13, 2013

    It really wouldn't surprise me if we got a drug problem story line for Charlie soon. I'm hoping it was just a one time thing to get Odin because she's pissed about Whistler but we've seen shows go down that road and I find it that road like many real ones boring and irritating so I'm going to be crossing my fingers for that not to be the case here.

  • OlwynDoyle Jul 12, 2013

    Great episode, but I hope Charlie doing real drugs is just a once off and she doesn't end up with a drug problem.

  • andreweather Jul 12, 2013

    Good episode, but like the reviewer I'm desperately hoping to avoid a drug problem storyline... seem it before and it's always boring and depressing in equal messure.

  • Whatsoever Jul 12, 2013

    The preview for next week's episode looks promising. I hope the Briggs-Warren relationship will heat up.

  • natesjokes Jul 12, 2013

    "We left the com on as an invitation".... lol that scene was hilarious.

    Also not wanting to see the Charlie-has-a-drug-problem storyline happen.

    I like how the show is starting to get more serialized with it's stories and excited to see how the Bello story plays out.

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