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Graceland S01E05: "Hair of the Dog"

Unsurprisingly, Charlie needed a safe place, away from prying FBI roommate eyes, to come down from her adventure in Heroin Town—and Briggs, no stranger to flaunting regulations (or detoxing from the big H himself... surprise!) opted to stash her in one of his CI's apartments until she was once again capable of functioning like a sober person. The meeting with Odin ended up not happening, and then Charlie's superior lectured her for failing to at least take the opportunity to arrest Quinn and turn him against Odin. So so basically Whistler died, Charlie-has-a-drug-problem is probably going to eat up the rest of her storyline this season (ugh), and Briggs helped her interrupt detox-time to shoot up juuuuuust enough horse to get through her meeting with el jefe without looking like a junkie—except she totally looked like a junkie and Johnny totally figured her out—and it was all for nothing. Happy summer! Life is meaningless!

I kid. I mean, I don't kid because "Hair of the Dog" was right up there with "Heat Run" and last week's "O-Mouth" in the crippling depression department, but that's not a bad thing. They were very good episodes and as Manny Montana promised in the delightful chat I had with his awesomeness after last week's episode, Graceland has hit its stride at this point in the season. We know (mostly) who these characters are, what makes them tick, and some of us may've even gotten to the point where we like them and care about them—which can make Graceland's inherent darkness feel that much more tragic. When Whistler clearly ditched Charlie's sobriety plan in "Heat Run," sure, I felt bad. Sucked to be her. Sucked to be him. However, "Heat Run" was the third episode of the series. We didn't yet have a full sense of who Charlie is or just how deeply and sincerely she cared about her former CI. The situation in "Heat Run" was sad because it was a crappy situation and Charlie and Whistler seemed like decent enough people based on our limited exposure to them. Now, we know quite a bit about Charlie, and her desperation to make Whistler's loss "matter" and her recklessness seem "worth it" was devastating.

Then we had Johnny, BFF to all and loyal hero-worshiper of Briggs, forced into the realization that despite the ocean being right out their back door, Graceland is far from paradise. Their jobs aren't easy and sometimes they aren't fun. Sometimes people get hurt—sometimes they hurt themselves, and sometimes they hurt each other. Briggs might be a hero, but he's not flawless. Personally, I'm not sure where I stand on the decision to give Charlie more heroin. It made sense given the position she was in—she had to meet with Johnny and their superior. She had to give a statement and she couldn't go in there sweating and itching and puking all over the place, especially given the disastrous result of the operation in the first place. So it made sense and I get it, but at the same time, it was hard to watch a character who we've been trained to view as suspicious from day one—Briggs—as he encouraged Charlie to do what was literally the worst possible thing she could have done while in the throes of withdrawal, especially given her admission that she was actively craving the stuff at the time.

"Hair of the Dog" was a rough episode for everyone in the house—but for the first time sincethe series began, an episode ended and I was actually suspicious of Briggs' motives. It wasn't so much the big reveal that he attends Narcotics Anonymous meetings—nobody is going to brag about that to their co-workers, let alone an FBI agent who is already seen as something of a problem—as it was the Charlie stuff (I'm torn, guys. SO TORN) and the fact that the entire operation with Bello's torpedo followed the script that Juan outlined perfectly. That he justified keeping Mike in the dark about Johnny's escape plan with the idea that Mike couldn't mourn convincingly if he knew about the detonation ahead of time raises some red flags regarding Briggs' ideas about authenticity while undercover. Last week, Charlie's fake o-face wasn't convincing enough—but that real reaction when she shot up got the point across, and he was more than willing to let her have more heroin when she had to put on a convincing sober face. This week it was problems with Mike and Johnny. The extent to which Briggs is willing to blur the lines between their covers and their real lives is increasingly alarming—but we still don't really know who's a good guy and who's not and despite being kind of right, Juan was just as shady as ever this week, which is why Graceland is so amazeballs. (SO DON'T EFF IT UP, GRACELAND.)


NOTES

– Lol @ "yellow submarine" because I'm five and pee jokes are funny. Fart jokes are way tacky, though, because I have standards.

– I AM SO WORRIED ABOUT JOHNNY. I mean, he's like a puppy that happens to know how to detonate bombs underwater. Can we talk about his "ILU" and how presh he was when Mike was all "OMG I THOUGHT U DIED?" CRYING NOW.

– So is Briggs a super-villain? Is he electrocuting kittens and selling ALL THE DRUGZ to third graders at recess? Do we care? I kind of don't care because Juan sucks.

– JUST SAY NO to Charlie-has-a-drug-problem. Don't do it, Graceland. Pleeeease?

– Sometimes when Juan talks, I hear the teacher-squawk from Charlie Brown instead.

– Can we also talk about "LOL YOU CAN SHOOT UP MY CI'S STASH!" Seriously? You don't know what's in that shit or how clean the needles are or whether the dude's having a Pulp Fiction kind of day and put the wrong stuff in the wrong balloon. You know where the drug dealers hang out! You have druggie covers! Go buy your own!

– Okay, so I briefly had the thought that the "CI's stash" was Briggs' own, both before and after the ending scene. Idk.

– What did you think of the episode? How are those conspiracy theories going?

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 9/12/2013

Season 1 : Episode 12

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