Graceland "Tinker Bell" Review: Occupational Hazards

By MaryAnn Sleasman

Jun 26, 2014

Graceland S02E03: "Tinker Bell"

After so much backstabbing and sneaking around and lying prevalent at the end of Graceland's freshman season, as well as in the first two episodes of sophomore year, it was a little surprising (and kind of a nice relief) to get away from the angst and just indulge in a straightforward mission—one that will clearly have a lasting effect on this season's story. 

But first: a counterpoint to DJ's sad, sad, sad realization that he can't have a life with his son after all and in fact, the kid has no idea who he is. Opting to indulge in that old standby—drinking the feelings away—DJ's angstfest ended up being a spot of needed levity to the larger angstfest that is Graceland itself. Almost getting his face blown off when he snuck his schwasted ass into the house to reclaim his old room, DJ spent half the episode sleeping it off and drooling on stuff and the other half-day drinking on the job with one of those scowls that means the drinking isn't working and the feelings are still there and OMG GET THEM OFF ME GET THEM OFF. 

Even Mike's lecturing dad routine seemed to be played for mild laughs as much as also illustrating what a delightful square he is these days. (He needs to ditch the DC girlfriend and just chase Paige the whole time. She's the key to showcasing a personality that isn't classified.)

"Tinker Bell" also featured some professional role reversals for Briggs and Johnny, with sunshine personified Johnny finally getting just a touch of the darkness that makes his housemates cynical about the best-worst job ever. They grow up so fast.

The first two episodes of Graceland's second season built on the foundation laid in Season 1 with Charlie's guilt front and center, Briggs' ongoing thirst for revenge, and Mike's newly won leadership role that, even though I knock him for being a tool all the time, he doesn't seem entirely comfortable with. Everything Mike does, he does with the intent to get back to the DC offices. That single goal takes precedent over everything else in Mike's life (you know, until the thing between he and Paige heats up some more) and his company man routine is born out of what he perceives to be necessary to maintain order in the house. Without order, you get the breakdown that came last season, with no one capable of trusting anyone else and turning what should have been a safe haven for the agents assigned to the house into a very dangerous place. 

At the same time, however, illustrated by Mike's decision to keep drunken DJ in the house over the more personable and (at the moment) professional new guy, Mike still wants to be an intimate part of the house. He wants to be accepted. He wants to be friends with the housemates but he understands that in his position, that could turn into a serious conflict. Just look at everything that went down last season and how easy it was to manipulate each other based on the assumption that everyone was friends and would never, ever intentionally compromise or exploit that. This show is like the most elaborate PSA against workplace fraternization ever. 

Anyway, the case: Tracking down drug mules with Tinker Bell backpacks. Briggs briefly fumbled some undercover details and got Paige stabbed in the hand. Paige subsequently bonded with one of the girls smuggling for the cartel because so far, Paige has generally escaped the damage that plagues everyone else in Graceland having not accidentally gotten anyone killed yet. 

Graceland, like Wednesday-night partner Suits, is on hiatus until July 9 because FREEDOM and irresponsibly-used illegally-acquired fireworks and stomach cancer on a bun and more freedom and stuff. 


– LOL Mike preaching about insubordination.

– Paige's ditzy hippie chick drug dealer undercover persona is so much fun. 

– Do you agree with Mike's decision to keep DJ around?

What did you think of "Tinker Bell"?

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  • MichelleHood24 Jun 30, 2014

    I'm glad this show is back and overall this was a solid episode it was light when it needed to be and dark when it needed to be. Johnny finally grew up abit and realised that not everything can be sunshine and rainbows, but still poor him, I have a feeling him and the bitchy sister will hook up and couse issues. I like mike when he's with Paige he's not such a stuck up ass hat plus I don't like DC woman she's dull. I was starting to like the new guy hopefully they find a way to bring him back but I understand mikes decision, ICE only has one agent in the house but the DEA already has Paige so he was the smoothest decision.

  • chrelle66 Jun 28, 2014

    Loosing that Ukrainian girl is going to eat Paige up.

  • thelovelymissck Jun 27, 2014

    Apparently the Graceland writers have forgotten how to count when it comes to the room situation, but I'm glad people agree that this couldn't be the logical reason for Bates leaving. Sadly, I think the decision came out of Mike seeing Bates as competition for Paige. I seriously think that's all it is. I mean what else could it be? If I was working on taking down a killer cartel who was trying to off me, I would want as many people as I could get. It doesn't make sense to have less people just because of some kind of "loyalty" Mike would have with Jakes. To be honest, Mike and Jakes weren't really friends to begin with so I don't even think loyalty would even come into play. That and if the rooms were the actual reason and they had to pick between Jakes and Bates, I would pick a clear thinking DEA agent to an alcoholic ICE agent who needs to deal with his personal problems any day.

    Even Paige wanted him over Jakes because she knew he would be a good asset in taking down Salano. Ultimately, they made this a pissing contest and I kind of don't like that. Had Bates not been a "threat" there would have been no contest as to who would be staying in the house, but then again that nagging "but there's room for everybody" comes back because there IS room for everyone at Graceland. I hope this doesn't come back to bite Mike in the ass, but the way he's been acting and treating everyone (except Paige) I'm hoping it does. And don't even get me started on the way he's been treating Johnny after Johnny's been on his grind the whole episode, I'd have to do a whole separate post on it.

  • McCovey Jun 27, 2014

    Jakes is the only character on this show with a real edge--who mostly doesn't give a crap about anyone else at Graceland. This show really needs a character like that.

  • KevinG87 Jun 27, 2014

    Mike the Dick is getting annoying.. remember when he was Mikey and Levi? that was so much better.. now it seems everybody, except Paige, hates him. too much of a polar opposite from season 1. it's the most unlikable part of the show at the moment.

    but this whooooole episode I just kept internally screaming at the TV.. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE, THERE IS ANOTHER ROOM IN THE HOUSE! ugh. idiots. there was originally DJ, Briggs, Charlie, Johnny, Paige, Donnie, and Lauren... that's 7. Donnie's cover was blown, so he left and Mike took his room. So that's down to 6, then back up to 7 again. then Lauren left/got transfered/I don't even remember, which makes the count back down to 6. what does that mean, class? correct. THERE'S ONE FREE ROOM SOMEWHERE IN THE HOUSE! did they have some magical remodel off camera like immediately after Lauren moved out and nobody remembered it or something? this shouldn't be such a big deal, but they basically had the whole episode revolve around somebody leaving for lack of rooms, when there should be no lack.

  • jjafargi Jul 29, 2014

    Actually, wasn't Lauren living in Paige's room while she was temporarily on loan to another agency or op or something like that? I remember there being some sort of explanation as to why Paige wasn't around in the pilot (although she was mentioned).

  • fangtasiaforev Jun 27, 2014

    Mike is the worst! This is Brigg's show but these first episodes aren't showing it. Mike should go back to D.C. And stay there!

  • safibwana Jun 27, 2014

    Fuck Paige, marry DC-girl, and kill Charlie. Wait, was that not one of the questions?

  • MightyMad Jun 26, 2014

    Quick points:

    - Mike's DC girl-friday is cute, but absolutely no match to Paige, who is already playing him like a fiddler. He obviously still needs Jessica has his point-person in Washington, but, seriously... no competition. Plus, those two weren't serious anyway, so DEA babe all the way for me!

    - It certainly looks like a giant mouse-trap is about to fall squarely on Briggs' head. I don't see the point of the series without his dirty cop routing playing opposite/working with Mike's boy-scout persona, but it certainly doesn't look like his killing of Bladio will stay a secret by the end of the season.

    - Keeping DJ around is probably the right move... only for Briggs. For the house as a whole, not smart at all.

    - There's no way Johnny doesn't end up fiercely hooking up with Solano's sister. Like... there's zero chance of that. I give it two episodes, big max, before they start going at it hot and heavy.

    - Mike gotta stop being a dick to everyone in the house, especially Johnny.

    - Charlie probably needs to talk her stuffs over with a psychiatrist... strike that - MOST OF THE PEOPLE IN GRACELAND should go to a shrink!

    - Maybe someone should have told DJ to first speak to a lawyer before brainlessly coming up with this new custody arrangement. I mean, it wouldn't have hurt...

  • Gia_P Jun 26, 2014

    I think I like Paige the most from all the people in the house. She has no personal story yet (the romance aside), but she is three-dimensional, along with Mike and Paul. The rest of them, not so much.

    And I just hoped Mike wouldn't choose the angry, mopy, drunk.

  • Mate Jun 26, 2014

    It was a good episode. Paige in that dress, wow.

    I think however Mike chose wrong when he picked Jakes. Jakes is on a downward spiral, granted he can still do the job, but for how long until the drinking or the obsession takes him, it isn't over with him and his son. He is going to do something drastic and it is going to result with them all jammed up.

    Johnny really stepped up this episode. However it feels like they are telegraphing a potential relationship with he and the sister.

    Charlie is just kind of there right now. Same with Briggs. I like the inclusion of the others within their world. But leaving out Briggs and Charlie seems way too forced.

  • peterspoor33 Jul 05, 2014

    After that duel gone wrong I hope doing the dishes after Spaghetti night wasn't Johnny's turn on the chore wheel :-)

  • ZeroCals Jun 26, 2014

    I'm not a fan of Mike keeping Jakes around, but I think that has more to do with my hate for the character than anything else (I really can't stand DJ).

    I think, to figure out if keeping him around is a smart decision or not, we have to know why Mike decided to keep him around. I mean, if it was because DJ is the only ICE/Customs agent in the house, then I get his decision. He doesn't want to lose that agency as a resource and all the help they can provide for his OP. Even if it comes at the cost of dealing with Jakes' unstable personality and actions for the time being.

    However, if he chose DJ over the new guy because he didn't want the new guy fawning over Paige... then that's a shitty move. DJ's headspace is clearly messed up, and picking him over the new guy for personal reasons is the most unprofessional/selfish thing Mike could do. Especially considering that these guys' jobs can involve putting their lives on the line.

  • peterspoor33 Jul 05, 2014

    Also everyone should remember the cool stuff DJ's got access to like armour piercing bullets etc. Not just toy robots and baseball outfits haha! At the risk of playing devil's advocate, Zelanski's nickname is .. "Bates" cause on a long stakeout he.. and not that you can blame the guy [hey Serinda Swan] but Mike witness how easily distracted he got on stakeout after just 5min in the door whereas a seriously drunken DJ can spot seemingly unrelated "outliers" over hours of bus footage (Zelanski would probably have ended up sticky but empty handed)

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