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Graceland S02E05: "H-A-Double-P-Y"


Well, wasn't that just the sort of pick-me-up Graceland so terribly needed? I'll take "Emotional Whiplash" for $1,000, Alex. I'm gonna go ahead and blame Mike's FBI girlfriend too, just because, well, she's kind of awful—and now that Paige is trapped in a human trafficking ring due to her massive guilt and questionable decision-making skills, I predict that FBI Jessica will be on the way out soon enough, as Mike realizes he'd rather woo Paige full-time. 

Graceland—both the show and the house—is such an amazing hot mess right now. After puttering along for the beginning of its sophomore season with the occasional throwback to the Badillo Incident and inching the story forward one painfully revealed plot point at a time, "H-A-Double-P-Y" opted to blow the whole thing up in the most literal sense of the phrase and completely alter what the point of this season initially appeared to be. It was a game-changing episode, for sure. It was also batshit crazy in the most bizarre ways: So Jakes' traumatized 10-year-old decided to track down the dude he saw get arrested in his driveway like a week ago and hung out with him and his new hooker BFF? Paige decided to turn herself into a drug mule when the bust of Carlito's operation started falling apart (as these things tend to do on this show) and speaking of Carlito—I can't tell if the Evil Closeted Gay storyline is merely WTF crazypants or just wildly offensive. I will say that Charlie pointing out that female agents trade affection for intel all the time was pretty spot-on, though. 


SO. FBI Girlfriend Jessica surprised Mike with a visit and looked so fed-like with that suit and that frown in the middle of their sunny undercover Animal House that it's a wonder she didn't blow their collective cover just by ringing the doorbell. The obvious Mike/Paige endgame became all the more apparent thanks to FBI Jessica's Claire Underwood routine and Mike's own admittance that, yeah, their great romance is more like an awkward business arrangement, even with the obligatory steamy sexytime shots later on. 

FBI Jessica's arrival signified a loss of control for Mike, who may not have been the friendliest boss to work for, but who at least tended to listen to his people's input and seemed to have the best intentions for everybody at heart. FBI Jessica is clearly in it for the career advancement, showing literally zero remorse for her decision to prioritize a drug bust over rescuing the poor Tinker Bells. 


She also creates an interesting dynamic in the house, and serves to further propagate the idea that, yes, the concept of an operation like Graceland is wonky and crazy and weird—and yes, the agents currently occupying the beach house are hilariously dysfunctional and barely resemble anything that could be called professional—but Graceland's greatest successes have often come from within the house, and without the meddling of outside figures. In that light, the "no one allowed upstairs" rule goes from being an obvious attempt to protect the covers of Graceland's occupants to something a little more sacred. 

Now that Paige is undercover without a single soul in Graceland knowing where she went (good job, Jakes), Season 2's focus has shifted from the standard "bust the bad guys" mission to a rescue mission with something very personal at stake. Graceland has started to excel at expanding the limelight to include characters who weren't always at the center of the action in Season 1, truly embracing the ensemble concept and allowing the complex relationships between its characters to shine through. I don't know about you, but as unintentionally hilarious-in-a-bad-way as this episode was, I'm excited about where it leaves us. 



NOTES

– I like Jakes' hooker-friend. 

– Thoughts on the Carlito/Johnny angle? 

– Thoughts on this season as a whole? Not gonna lie, Graceland is kind of on the bubble right now when it comes to demanding weekly coverage. What say you?

– I was so perversely delighted when the evidence blew up, not so much because it ruined Mike's day, but because it ruined FBI Jessica's. 

What did you think of "H-A-Double-P-Y"?





Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 9/10/2014

Season 2 : Episode 13

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