Graceland – Episode 6 – Recap – Hair of the Dog
The newest installment of USA Network‘s Graceland keeps our undercover FBI agent main characters Mike Warren (Aaron Tveit) and Paul Briggs (Daniel Sunjata) mostly separate, and spends hardly any time in the eponymous undercover agent home base. The episode’s best moment, though, comes from the collision (literally) of Mike and Briggs near the end of the story.
Picking up from last week, Charlie recovers from last episode’s drug mishap, but Briggs has to keep her out of Graceland so she doesn’t lose her job (because, you know, law enforcement can’t use drugs). He’s got her hunkered down in an apartment belonging to one of his informants. Johnny calls her up, though, and she’s gotta be at a meeting with him and their FBI superior the next day. Oh boy. Caught between a rockin’ heroin hangover and a meeting where she has to look sharp, Charlie turns to Briggs for help. Briggs, unfortunately, only knows of one place: Charlie has to shoot up again (just a lil bit) to get sharp, and we have our episode’s title. The meeting gets a bit heated. Charlie’s superior at the Bureau grills her on the details of the job the other night (the one where Charlie got messed up on heroin). Charlie gets a bit agitated, and Johnny covers for her, taking the blame for the operation not resulting in any arrests. At lunch after, Johnny grills her about why she’s all out of it, and Charlie tells him the full story.
Meanwhile, Mike’s relationship with Abby continues to be smoochy and horribly cute. They go on a double date with Paige and some DJ (not the, uh, recurring character named DJ; he’s not in this episode). Through the evening, Mike realizes that this DJ guy is a drug dealer, and that Paige must also realize this. Yeah, she’s done it. She brought a case on a double date. Now, it’s not unusual for an agent to become romantically involved with a suspect as a means to bust them, but Mike takes issue because he’s not faking it with Abby, and this is a double date. Paige scolds him. She tells Mike he’s got to realize that carrying on a real relationship while undercover isn’t doable.
The main plot this week starts when Johnny brings in a submarine from a drug trade ring, but the crew aboard have jettisoned the drugs. Bello learns the cartel who runs the subs keep the drugs on a torpedo, just in case, and they cut it loose. Mike suggests to his new BFF, the Nigerian druglord Bello, that they go find the torpedo the drug sub jettisoned and keep it, without telling the cartel. Johnny comes in as a former Navy Seal specializing in ocean recovery. They set up the op (with Briggs and Johnny setting up another additional plan without Mike’s involvement), and head out to sea. Bello reveals to Mike that Johnny will not be coming home with them; a sniper on their boat is pointing at the ocean. After some protest and internal panic from Mike, Bello at least lets Mike be the gunman. The bomb blows, making Bello and Mike think Johnny and the drugs have also blown up. Back at FBI headquarters, a frantic Mike is relieved and confused to find an unexploded Johnny celebrating and relaxing with the rest of the team. Turns out Briggs and Johnny pulled a fast one, and kept Mike in the dark so his shock would be genuine for Bello’s sake. Mike socks Briggs a good one (and let’s face it, Briggs deserved this punch). Johnny notices the torpedo is under-loaded, and Mike notices Briggs leaving with a big suspicious duffel bag. At the end of the trail, Mike sees Briggs in a room that looks quite a bit like an AA meeting, and just as Briggs heads to the front to share first, he notices Mike at the back of the room, and says to the group, eyes locked on Mike, “My name is Paul, and I’m a heroin addict”.
Holy cow this show! It’s gotten so good! The comedic elements are gone, but since they weren’t the strongest stuff to begin with, it’s not a big loss. The best part of the show is easily the cast. Everyone puts in such a stellar performance each week that they cover the more formulaic, bland elements of the writing (though honestly, the writing never pulls me out of it). With the season halfway through, I’m excited to see where everything ends up. Now we know Graceland has one addict (who has potentially created another), and this could be the thing that either tears them apart or binds them closer than ever. Be sure to catch up, tune in, and check back here next week for another recap! In the mean time, watch the preview below.