A Graceland Community
USA (ended 2015)
For the first half of the season of Graceland I ended everyone episode with a “meh” as I turned off the TV. I gave some serious thought to just calling it a day for Graceland, but I decided to give Jeff Eastin and USA the benefit of the doubt (I’m looking at you White Collar) and boy am I glad that I did. The second half of the season has had me hooked and with where everything ended up this week I have no idea where this story might end and I like it that way.

The Story of Mike: What did I do to deserve this?

Mike’s bad day began in last week’s episode where he endured a literal stab to the gut by Jangles and later a harsh metaphorical stab to the heart courtesy of Paige. I will admit that at the beginning of this series I didn’t care too much for Mike as a character – he seemed a little bland with a bit of a cocky/boyscouty streak. The death of Eddie, the torture scene with the cartel hitman, and the breakup with Abby have finally given us a much deeper insight into who Mike really is as he has had to cope with some dire situations. His emotional confession to Paige last week may have potentially been the beginning of the downward spiral Mike will travel down as he starts to lose sight of the man he thought the FBI would allow him to become.

This week in what was clearly a response to Paige’s rejection of his “rat” mission, Mike left the hospital against medical advice with the understandable concern that Paige may have informed the house of his role there. Following a clearly uncomfortable greeting with Paige in the house, the rest of the housemates were quick to notice something amiss in paradise adding yet another pressing concern to Mike’s growing list of things to worry about. Being the teamplayer that he is, Mike agreed to the plan to continue working Bello in prison to get access to information about Odin’s identity. After an initial meeting where things were looking up for Mike, Bello ran into a meeting with Mike and Charlie in the visitor’s area and immediately assaulted and called Mike out for being a Fed.

Naturally, after having his giant knife wound pummeled, Mike was immediately called into FBI headquarters. Initially assuming that he would be getting a commendation for his work on the Bello case, Mike once again got the sharp end of the stick. His “increasingly paranoid” (that’s putting it lightly) handler had been submitting horrible job evaluations on Mike’s performance in the field. If you are focused solely on Mike’s work getting dirt on Briggs that might be not altogether untrue, but his other field work has been pretty impressive. Anyway, just another thing making me feel for Mike this week. Even more distressing news came down when Clark informed Mike that Juan had gone missing.
Mike’s next calculated move was to admit to Briggs that he was investigating him and to mention his case officer’s name to see if Briggs had any reaction.

Reluctantly thrust into the role of confidant to Mike’s plans and Brigg’s potential dirty dealings was Paige once again. I sincerely hope that she comes around to forgiving or at least accepting Mike for what he has been doing. As the only person that he has decided to be truly honest with, I think that Paige might be the only person who can prevent Mike from eventually turning into a solitary black hole where no one else can go (much like Briggs). Essentially she might be the only one who can save him from himself (and my guess would be that it would be his guilt that would be the driving force in his spiral).

: He sure didn’t hesitate to hide that body in the desert did he.
In last week’s episode Briggs accidentally killed Juan who had been impersonating Jangles. This week, fearing for his job/life (let’s be honest, without the FBI, Briggs would have nothing – as his desperation is starting to become apparent) Briggs immediately drove out into the desert and hid the body. Brigg’s next problem was the possibility that Bello might tell Mike that he was Odin in order to procure Mike a good plea bargain. Acting fast, it was Briggs who set up Mike and Charlie in the prison to be seen by Bello, once again by the tiniest hair saving his skin for another few hours. Unfortunately for Briggs and despite his heavy insistence to take a day off Charlie began investigating phone calls to the prison to identify who had set them up. Mike then came clean to Briggs that he had been investigating him for the FBI and that his handler had disappeared. This came as very bad news for Briggs who thought that he had finally removed the demon (Jangles) who had been haunting his life for the last several years. Instead of a weight being lifted off of his shoulders, they instead are growing heavier as he must now scramble to erase any evidence linking Juan’s disappearance to himself.

: My Shady Best Friend is a Serial Killer
At this point Charlie clearly knows something doesn’t quite smell right with her newfound friend from south of the border, who we know to be Jangles. Charlie continued her crusade this week to catch Odin by interrogating Bello unsuccessfully. Frustrated by this failure Charlie convinced Mike to go undercover in the prison to try and extract information from Bello. After the confrontation in prison with Bello, Charlie began tracking down two new leads (phone calls to the prison, and the video from the hotel room) and she rained on both Briggs’s and Johnny’s parades.

Johnny: The Comic Relief Needs Cohorts

Johnny survives the life he has chosen to live by splitting himself into two selves: the serious agent and the playful joker. In order to function Johnny needs both of sides of himself to be fulfilled. This week his playful side planned out a fantabulous birthday party for Jakes with a bouncy house and a group of strippers. However, Charlie murdered his bouncy house and Jakes straight up decked him upon returning home to the party. Understandably upset Johnny bemoaned the lack of fun being had in the house – essentially that you can’t be stressed out and serious all the time at home and at work and function. He was especially peeved that his “family” didn’t support him – and he was right.

Jakes: One Choice Ruined My Life

Jakes returned to the bar that his ex-wife’s boyfriend frequents to chat him up once again. Upon discovering that the boyfriend had been kicked out for the night, Jakes made an ill-timed 3AM drunk stop at his ex-wife’s house with the hopes of being taken back. Instead in what sounded like a threat to obtain a restraining order he was seriously rebuffed (again understandably). Upon returning home to the house and very much about to snap, Johnny went one step too far and Jakes decked him. It seems like Jakes may have moved on from the mistake of leaving his wife and son and was able to live with it while they lived in another part of the country, but that their return to his area has just opened up old wounds once again and Jakes can’t handle it.

Paige: Still Unclear on Where She Stands

Paige spent this week getting in Mike’s face about being a “rat” and understandably not enjoying the potential truth of Briggs troubled past. I still have a bit of a hard time understanding where Paige stands on most things (we haven’t had a solid backstory for her – like Charlie and her CI, Jakes and his family, etc.), but I do like her friendship with Mike.
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