Graceland "Heat Run" Review: Snitches Get Stitches

Graceland S01E03: "Heat Run"

When last we saw Briggs and Mikey, Briggs appeared to be onto Mike's spy shenanigans and had dragged him to a nice witness-free zone to blow his face off for being a rat.

PSYCH!

Eh, okay, it wasn't really that much of a psych. One way or another, we all knew Mike was going to get out of his latest pickle and since we're only a few episodes into the Graceland's debut season, the show probably isn't about to show and tell everything just yet—if it knows what's good for it, anyway.

Last week's big Mike-in-mortal-peril cliffhanger resolved itself in the opening scenes of "Heat Run" pretty fast, with Bello showing up and pointing guns at both Mike and Briggs and accusing them of snitching on his cop-killer shipment. Briggs pulling his gun on Mike was just part of the act—the seasoned veteran accusing the new guy of screwing over his employer. They blabbed their way out of certain death with Mike's freaky intellect leading the way, and then they headed home and Mike had one of those Perks of Being a Secret Agent Wallflower moments with the cathartic screaming from a speeding car and fuzzy-wuzzy feelings for his new BFF.

Unfortunately, those fuzzy feelings got in the way of providing Juan with detailed (read: incriminating) reports about Briggs. There was also the pesky detail of sharing a house with a bunch of other undercover agents who are all probably semi-paranoid about each other on some level anyway, which made it really hard to lock himself up and tap away at his friends-only Livejournal without it looking really obvious. Juan told Mike to sack up and go to a Starbucks. Juan really wants some dirt on Briggs.

I know that this show isn't nearly as clever and sneaky as it thinks that it is, and maybe I'm also just jaded when it comes to this kind of plot, but Juan just seems really bad at not coming off as a crooked agent. For one thing, the only motivation he ever seems to throw out for why Mike should listen to his superiors and get the scoop on Briggs is that Mike wants to go back to Washington. Graceland wasn't his dream job, and since he graduated at the top of his class, Mike damn well deserves his dream job, right? Right, Mike? So if Mike can just do this one thing for the bosses at the Bureau, Mike can totally have that dream job. Mike can have any job he wants. So whaddaya say, Mike?

He made no mention of anything like Briggs being a danger to his housemates or his country. No mention of Briggs possibly betraying the ideals that the FBI theoretically upholds and that Mike himself has repeatedly admitted to believing in wholeheartedly.

Certainly, Mike getting himself sent back to D.C. is one of his top priorities and a huge motivating factor when it comes to giving the Briggs assignment his all—but Mike is also driven by a sincere belief in the law of the land, justice, doing the right thing, and all that heroic B.S., and I think it was that motivation that prompted him to finally demand some real answers from Juan concerning why Briggs is under investigation. For as much as Mike wants to get his way and head back home, I think that Graceland has successfully established that Mike is a team player who's willing to push his own wants aside in order to uphold is oath. If it were to come to his attention, without any doubt, that for some reason his superiors at the FBI have targeted an innocent Briggs for some kind of conspiracy, I don't think he'd go through with it just to get a promotion. But I get the sense from Juan that Mike blindly following orders in order to elevate his own career is exactly what the bosses are counting on.

Juan relented and gave Mike some vague rant about Briggs' lifestyle being too expensive for his paycheck to support. I guess that would raise some red flags, but I'm not personally sold. We already know that Briggs pockets money that he really has no business touching, so I'm sure he totally misappropriates resources. But then we had D.J. handing over a crate full of illegal bullets to Mike in order to get out of doing the dishes, which isn't much better. It seems like both guys are just stealing pens out of the supply closet—albeit incredibly expensive and dangerous pens, and stealing office supplies pales in comparison to what Lauren pulled, which is more akin to... I don't even know. She awful and she crazypants and I can't believe that she only got reassigned, knowing what the DEA thinks that it knows.

Briggs certainly isn't a poor innocent victim in this house—we've seen him make little slights before, and planting the GPS on Lauren's car was a dick move even if his intentions, as he explained them, seemed honorable. He was protecting everyone in the house and Lauren clearly didn't care about anything but getting back to her dopey Donnie. She acted recklessly—and selfishly—and she stooped to some pretty questionable methodology to bring down the Russians... even though getting them all arrested ultimately served a greater good.

And while Briggs forcing her out of the house was also questionable, it too was for the greater good—in this case, that of Graceland's other occupants. My biggest concern with Briggs' actions is that his attitude seemed to imply that he thinks of himself as Graceland's lone line of defense—that he's the only agent who really cares. He said he would do the same thing he did to Lauren to any of the other agents in the house if their actions ever became a threat. The danger Lauren posed to everyone else was obvious and unquestionable, but with the suggestion that Briggs sees himself as the one authority on what is and is not good for the house, you have to wonder if he was truly referring to the whole team, or if he was just talking about himself. In the future, it'll be interesting to see what and who Briggs classifies as "threats" and what his response would be if, somehow, he was deemed to be one.

The feel of this episode reminded me much more of the pilot than last week's second episode did. The tighter writing and a more obvious underlying darkness brought back the premiere's sentiment that Graceland is a USA Network show for a more serious viewer. That is not to say that you can't like White Collar and enjoy this too (I do!), but man, even Charlie's B-story about her efforts to help a drug-addicted informant seek help ended on a total downer.


ADDITIONS TO THE CHORE WHEEL

– The big question of how much actual truth is present in Graceland's "based on a true story" shtick keeps coming up, and I honestly haven't been able to find much on ye olde interwebs with the Google-fu and all that, but here's some insight that was blurb-ed on the jacket of one of the screeners I recently received: "This story was inspired by an actual beachfront property seized by the U.S. Government in 1992. The house—situated in an undisclosed location somewhere in Manhattan Beach, California—operated until 2001 as an undercover residence for Federal Agents of the DEA, FBI, and Customs."

– So I guess Mike has a ladyfriend now. *yawn*

– Have the events of "Heat Run" forced any of you to revise your conspiracy theories?

What'd you think of "Heat Run"?

Comments (61)
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I like Mikey, he´s really smart and handsome but I kind of hate him too for helping with the investigation of Briggs. I mean yeah, Briggs isn´t innocent but he´s his friend, isn´t he? I am curious about what Briggs did but if it´s just about his money... Didn´t the man in the shop say Briggs payed the locater in cash? How could Mike see this payment on Briggs card statement then? Btw. I thought that FBI agents do make a lot of money...

I didn´t really get the scene where Briggs points gun at Mike. What if Bello would think Mike really did it? He would kill him. What if Mike mentioned the FBI calling? Bello would kill both of them. I just don´t get how the gun helped. And what exactly is the FBI waiting for? They could just arrest Bello when Mike was teaching the guys how to shoot and Eddie would be still alive...

I´m so glad Lauren is gone. She was crazy!

I liked the sauce scenes and the one with "marihuana farmer" hahah
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I like the show alright, but I'm still pretty confused about how they're able to maintain their covers. If they're not in a crowded bar talking about their jobs and covers where anyone can overhear them, they're unmasking themselves after raids right in front of the people they're arresting for no good reason. They also seem fond of wearing their FBI or DEA jackets as often as possible, even when they're presence is not exactly needed.

I get it, it's a TV Show with models and we need to see their pretty faces and watch them strut around in their cool jackets, but they could try to maintain their covers a little bit if only for the illusion.
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Damn, I got one wrong. Only 1 out of 10 though.
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Anyone else notice them reference Breaking Bad. "It's not the blue..."
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yep and I think it was mentioned below;-)
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As I said after the first episode; the black agent is just to fill the African American quota and has no storyline of his own. Somebody suggested that he would eventually get developed.
Well it's episode three and he still has no purpose apart from filling the scenes with bodies.
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Daniel Sunjata is black, so I doubt his only purpose is to fill the "African American" quota. He had his own mini story about the birds in the first episode, which is more screen time than Johnny has gotten.
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'mini story' being the operative word here..
I can bet they will write him off in a few episodes or if enough black people notice they may be forced to write him as an actual character and not just another body.
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The same could be said about Johnny and Paige, hence your argument that DJ is only there to represent a minority is moot (well, that and the fact that Briggs is black too....). Plus, it's only been three episodes; there hasn't exactly been a lot of time to devote to supporting characters.
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Briggs is not black.
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Also Graceland is boring as hell and that's saying a lot for a summer show. I'll watch anything in the summer.
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I guess I'm the only one who wished the 18 wheeler hadn't stopped in time....

entertaining show~not awesome & not horrible
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I was sitting the whole time going "wtf are you doing, there is no fucking way that truck is stopping in time! Do you have any idea how much momentum those things have?! ....Oh, I guess we're ignoring basic physics on this one..."
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I was praying to the TV gods that it wouldn't. But, I am excited for her to be a big bad in future episodes when she finds out what Briggs did.
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Lauren road pizza would of be a nice twist. I thought they wanted to go "dark" with this show
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You hates the pretty ladies
Pretty lady stop truck with a badge and a smile
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hate pretty ANNOYING people and she was pretty fucking ANNOYING.
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but soooooo hot
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Ugh she's not even that hot. She's like a 6/10. She needs to gain about 15 lbs, then she might be decent. The other 2 chicks on the show are vastly hotter, and infinitely less annoying.
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boiled any bunnies recently?

I can see stopping for the dark haired (latina?) agent but the driver couldn't see Lauren's amazing eyes from so far away.
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pretty on the outside ugly on the inside--> die bitch die
:-)
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i still would
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ahh, you like the bunny boilers!
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The psycho vibe adds to her sexiness
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why am I not surprised!

like you can really tell she is pretty from that distance at that speed.... reeks of desperation or road hallucination;-)

I'd stop because I wouldn't want to have to wash the undercarriage of the truck--dead people parts stink. Plus don't want to go to jail for manslaughter/murder (driver wouldn't of know what a bunny boiler she was).
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This show is so BAD..bad acting, bad writing...
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I prefer to think that it isn't a conspiracy against briggs. to me that's the lazy writing. you know kinda like when counter-culture becomes the norm it's hip to be square or whatever. that the conspiracy stuff just reeks too much of white collar, which I love but probably wouldn't watch more than one of. that or bates motel just has me spoiled. while everyone's second guessing everything I'm sitting back and enjoying the fact that everything is right there presented to you with nothing underlying and it's just happening at break-neck speed and kicking ass.

oh well still enjoying the show. until I saw jenn prost (?) the chick who mike was set up with It hadn't occurred to me which character had that name. it's the chick from the better of the two semi-awful twilight parody movies. chick is cute and has a great be-hind so don't mind her sticking around at all. plus she pretty seriously nailed kristen stewart in that twilight parody movie. would probably recommend just because the actors really weren't half bad.

and thank you USA for making this available legitimately the day after it aired so I didn't have to you know...
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Anybody else catch the Breaking Bad reference? Nobody makes meth better than WW.
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Liked the episode, still liking the show thus far, and very glad Lauren is gone- she annoyed me and I'm not even entirely sure why (the actress, the character, both, something else ..). I have a lot of theories about the whole investigating Briggs thing. I agree that Juan is TOTALLY a dirty agent, and probably has a personal vendetta against Briggs and grasped at something tiny to get the official investigation going. I agree with Mike being so by-the-manual (literally quoting it) that he'll pick up on Juan quickly (he is SUPER smart after all, like they keep telling us), and I think Briggs has already figured out something is up with Mike and he'll figure out exactly what pretty quickly (since before his leave of absence he was exactly like Mike). In the end Mike will figure out Juan is dirty, he'll bring Briggs in on it, at least partially because he'll still have doubts about him since Brigg's isn't exactly always by the book and above board, but the two of them will work together to find a way to beat Juan - taking down Juan will be the season 2 plot, assuming there will be a season 2. I'm interested to see how it will all unfold whether I"m right or completely off base, but the overarching season plot of Mike investigating Briggs should probably be sprinkled in a little more. Shows like these with the "bad guy of the week" story line can get stale quickly and I don't want to see this happen on this show because it has a lot of potential - good premise, great acting (now that Lauren has departed), and fairly decent writing - the actors work hard to make up for the cheesier lines.
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So Mike's supposed to be investigating Briggs because he spends money and has a nice lifestyle? Seriously?! First of all, they live completely free (rent, auto, expense acct, maybe food) so even if he doesn't make that much (but come on, it's not like he's waiting tables), his income is completely disposable. Or hey, maybe Briggs is like half the country and he's a credit card millionaire and deep in debt. So, it's a little hard to believe that Mike would buy that as a good answer to his questions or that Juan would sell it to him as the actual and whole truth.

I guess the writers decided Lauren came off as lame as we all had previously thought, so they made her suddenly cray-cray in order to write her off of the show. Hurray, but poorly done.

I actually thought the 2nd episode was easily the best of the first three. This and the pilot were pretty ho-hum to me.

Also - if you want your now former C.I. (and meth addict) to buy a house and you go 95% of the way to get it done, are you really going trust him for that last 5% to call the realtor on his own and hand over a $100K check instead of what he really wants to do, which is to immediately get high? Especially after he told you rehab doesn't work for him. Sorry, Charlie. (See what I did there...)
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well I gave Graceland the 3 episode test!! I was not impressed overall!! Heat Run bored me a lot so bye bye Graceland!!
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The first two episodes were amaze, which is why you watched the third episode. You WILL watch the coming episodes and continue commenting about each episode's reviews.
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No I won't. the first two episodes were just okay, not amazing, again Graceland is off my viewing schedule
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I still like it for the most part.

The house is all right. I can understand why someone would think that it is a good idea. I imagine that being undercover is extremely stressful, keeping all of those lies straight would take an unbelievable amount of cognitive strain on them and stress and having others to relate to and support you would be beneficial to their psyche and keep the agents on the straight and narrow.

As for the episode itself. I am not sure that Briggs was joking with Mike. And that Bello turning up was a surprise. I mean he did after tall continue the question with Mike when they were driving. Bello might have very well saved Mike.

Thank goodness, Lauren was booted out of the house. Out of all of the agents we have met thus far, she was by far the most annoying and didn't fit.

Juan, looks more like a person trying to make his career by arresting a potential dirty agent. He is smarmy and opportunistic and I agree that I don't like him either. But I am not sure that he is dirty himself. Just a douche.

The question that I am thinking about is Mike's potential love interest. Is Juan crafty enough to put someone outside of the house to keep and eye on Mike to make sure that he isn't drinking the koolaide. It seemed all too convenient that she was from Baltimore, went to Georgetown Law, which is one of the many feed ins for the FBI, and for some reason didn't take the Bar because "her dad told her to take a break" I know of no dad that would do that. You know who goes Law School and doesn't take the bar. People wanting to be Federal Agents of some sort. I am not sure if they are going to go that way. But it would seem to go along with the idea of the show.
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This episode bored me. They could've done better. Or maybe I shouldn't have watched the promo so many times. In that case, they shouldn't how all the good parts in the promo.

Another thing is, everyone likes to see the Mike and Briggs bromance because thats when things actually heat up! Anything that has mike and someone is usually cool. Because we barely know the characters. When you try and have a side story like Charlie's, you get bored and you're just wondering..... where's Levi?

The show has a lot of potential. If they can just get the stories straight it could be one of the best. Like I said, there needs to be more bromance stuff. A bit o' humor and inside jokes couldn't kill them. And atm, were all just interested in Mikey. So we can learn about everyone else laatuuurrr. But really, this episode bored me. Yes not all can be wonderful. But c'mon. They could've done better. It was missing its usuall "sexiness" and "exoticness". Idk. Don't judge me
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I've always considered the house itself to be the only thing Graceland is really based on. I'm fine with that; I probably even prefer it. In real life, it was probably a bunch of fat sweaty guys who did nothing but bicker with each other and never leave the house for anything other than their job, hehe.

I don't have much to say about the episode other than that I'm glad Lauren is out. Her character wasn't much, but I didn't like the actress all that much either (her physical attractiveness could only do so much).
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It was a decent episode. For some reason, I didn't love it as much as the previous two episodes. I certainly didn't mind the more serious tone - that was one of the things that drew me to the show in the first place. Nevertheless, I did come to really enjoy some of the easy banter that we got a lot of in the first episodes, and I think I kind of missed that in this episode, which didn't have as much. And not enough Johnny in general! :D

I also really enjoyed the undercover work scenes from the first two episodes which, again, didn't feature much in this episode, certainly not as extensively as in the first two episodes. The scene at the beginning with Bello was pretty much it. And though I really like Charlie, her sideline story kind of bored me. I just didn't care much what happened to her CI friend.

Anyway, I did enjoy the episode, but I didn't love it. The whole Lauren plot looked much more exciting to me in the previews. Looks like more undercover work for Mike next week, so that should be good :D
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This episode was pretty good. I do like that they are spending equal time on developing the interpersonal relationships of the folks in the house as well as their jobs as undercover agents. I find both equally entertaining. I do sometimes roll my eyes at some of the over-the-top things they try to pull off (Mike really couldn't get Briggs' credit purchase info from the FBI? Not that I'm knocking the covertly-imprint-this--on-my-hand move, but come on). Charlie is still my favorite.....I hope she works her way into an A story lines more, but I will take what I can get!

Also, A+++++ for the Livejournal reference!!! <3
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I also have to wonder how true this all was (even if the "based on" means thematically or only small nuggets)

Think about it logistically. You have all of these different people, from different agencies, pretending to be MULTIPLE people. And... apparently civilians are allowed downstairs.

Aren't you risking exposing 3+ agencies and probably 5+ operations by having them mixed together? What if someone starts tailing one of them or a friend-of-a-friend says "I thought your name was Jake"
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Did anybody else think some of Brigg's lines were terrible? His delivery was fine but some of his lines were just dripping with cheese. I can't recall what was exactly said but there were three times when I was just rolling my eyes. Also there are alot of really "bro" feeling moments, like when they're at the bar or just hanging out at Graceland, some of the dialog and stuff is just goofy, they feel like they belong in some crappy college movie some of the time.
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I seriously hope this series lasts for a long time because honestly I feel like it's something different and the cast and crew are amaziiing. This episode was pretty good, I mean I love the way Briggs' has been portrayed and Mike is seriously smart; sometimes thought I feel like Mike is almost too good but I don't mind it though. Charlie's B-story was alright... not much to say on that. Some of this undercover work is predictable of course like Lauren's unfortunate situation which has been done on Covert Affairs and Nikita to some extent. Her moves were so predictable. Loooved the scene with Johnny cannot get enough of that guy; plus the whole story of how to remain real and backstories being made up so that the agents can get some action was a really nice touch. <3 Graceland ;)
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Undercover work has been done before but not this way with the three agencies under one roof? Game on, Graceland.
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i hope they dont cancelled my new favorite show i realyy really really like it
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I'll be surprised if this show goes beyond one season.
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Charlie is still the best. Needed some more Johnny in this ep. I hope he still continues to be comic relief, but then has an awesome backstory episode, some underlying depth. Like Deeks in NCIS LA or something of the like. Except maybe that Johnny is a whole lot moreattractivethanDeeks WHO SAID THAT? Not me, definitely not me.....
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I like this show but where can they possibly be going with this. Is Briggs dirty or is he a misunderstood operator? He seems to care for Graceland and the Agents it Houses, that's why he framed Lauren who was only concerned with Danny and getting him back in the House and putting the other Agents in Jeopardy to do it.

Or did Briggs get Lauren transferred so Graceland would stay clean and and he would still collect cash from whatever entity he gets money from.
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I think Briggs was honest about why he got Lauren out of Graceland; to protect it. I suspect someone in the higher-ups of the FBI has some kind of grudge against Briggs or just doesn't like him, and that's why they want to get something on him.
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That sounds like the whole of the true story to me. I'm sure the characters were all created by the demographics they want to hit and the stories are all pulled out of their... writers' toolboxes.
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Nope my conspiracy theories are still firmly in place.
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Briggs move was a dick move, but Lauren was nuts for going back to that warehouse let alone jumping in front of that truck!! I'm sorry, but she got lucky and should count her lucky stars for it. I too question's Briggs motive for planting that GPS under her car, but to me, the ends justify the means.

I did like Charlie's b-story. Showed that not all of their criminals are necessarily "bad people", but also people that have simply put themselves in bad situations, and that not every ending will be a good one. Sorry to say, but the world they operate in is filled with good moments, but also many bad and ugly ones too. Good for Graceland to show that. Well done!!!

I most certainly do like this and White Collar. Both shows are very different, but still have that patented USA show formula of a good blend of drama and comedy.
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