Graceland – Season 1 Episode 2 – Recap – Guadalajara Dog
USA Network‘s newest series, Graceland, will have a hard time topping the opening of last week’s premiere, but now that we’re into the meat of the show’s plot, it may not have to. The laid-back senior agent Paul Briggs (Daniel Sunjata) and fresh-faced, brainy Mike Warren (Aaron Tveit) continue to develop their social and professional relationship, although Briggs is secretly under investigation by his new comrade-in-arms.
The episode opens on a normal hang-out with the agents. They’ve made a correct choice for lunch (tacos), but dummy rookie agent Mike nearly blows everyone’s cover when he chases down a petty crook. This dummo new agent was going to blow his cover and arrest some teen over a bag of chips. Fortunately, Johnny gives him a rough-looking tackle, and the show isn’t ended early by an errant protagonist. Johnny and Briggs give Mike the lowdown, and there’s some nice set up for an ongoing conflict between Mike’s sense of justice and Graceland’s bigger-fish-to-fry attitude.
The episode’s plot gets some foundation from DJ, our dreadlocked agent undercover as a smuggler of exotic birds. He gets locked in a van by some running perps when he finds a big box of super illegal bullets. He get out of his weirdly slapstick predicament and crosses paths later with Mike and Charlie, who are heading out undercover to meet up with the last agent of the group Mike hasn’t yet met, Paige. Seeing straight-laced Mike having to play the thuggish, possessive boyfriend of Charlie’s undercover persona.
After an introduction to Paige (undercover as a big time crime man’s girlfriend), we’re back in Graceland. Not for long, though, as Mike’s got a “psychiatric review” that turns out to be a meeting with an FBI handler (remember the last minute twist in the premiere?) about Agent Warren’s covert investigation of Briggs. He’s told to get into Briggs’ good graces, so when he gets back to the house again, Mikey is looking to cut his teeth on some sweet undercover missions with Briggs.
Mike’s got a plan, and he needs DJ’s box of confiscated bullets from earlier to pull it off. Briggs is looking to bring in a case he’s been working on, so he and Mike set up a deal to sell these bullets to a gang. Mike, undercover as a shady Marine who let this high-powered ammo “fall off a truck”, shows off his marksmanship skills, and the sale is made.
Briggs take Mike to a punch truck, telling a story about the eponymous food item, a hot dog with a bunch of weird and gross toppings. Mike is agitated, clearly, as it seems like Briggs doesn’t care about following the thugs to which they just sold a huge crate of armor-piercing bullets. Of course, Briggs has been doing this for a while, so he not only knows exactly where the box of bullets is, but he’s already set up the buyers’ van to be overtaken by a group of armed gangsters who work for (surprise!) Paige’s fake crime boyfriend, Bobby.
In the next part of Briggs’ increasingly convoluted plan, He and Mikey go to buy the bullets back with the money they got from the first gang guys, and the whole sale is busted up by FBI agents, taking down Bobby once and for all. Briggs is satisfied with the outcome of his intricate plan, but Mike is nervous, since anything could have gone slightly wrong and just ruined it all.
Mike is sure to express his doubts to his secret handler back the the Bureau, but he also commends Agent Briggs’ planning and intelligence. His meeting is interrupted by an urgent text from Briggs, who wants to meet in an hour. The big final scene twist (ruined immediately by the previews for the next episode) happens when Briggs pulls out a gun, points it at the back of Mike’s skull, and demands to know who Mike has been talking to. It certainly surprised me!
I’m pumped for this show now, despite some trepidation last week during the pilot episode. I’m excited to see what next week and the rest of the season have in store, and I hope you are too! Come back next week for another recap!