Friday, June 28, 2013

Graceland 1.04: "Pizza Box"

“You know what your problem is? You’ve got quarterback syndrome. You don’t think any of us can with if you’re not leading the charge.”
- Charlie

We begin with Charlie doing a voice over. She’s telling a story to Jakes, Mike and Johnny about her ancestor from Italy who was making a Ragu sauce during the Inquisition and that after three days the sauce was finally done. Meanwhile, we see the cops bust a marijuana drug deal where Paige was buying Mike is still texting Abby 9the girl he met at the bar) and Johnny rags on him about his girlfriend. Briggs pops in to tell Mike they got a call from Eddie. Bello wants another meeting. I didn’t realize the storylines would be so intertwined week to week. Honestly, I thought it would be more a case of the week type of show not quite so serial. Obviously serial isn’t a bad thing. I just wasn’t expecting it.

Speaking of Paige, she’s rather grumpy the next day because the DEA won’t let her go after a pot farmer. It turns out Jakes had some dealings with her on one of his own undercover assignments. He won’t set Paige up as a dealer though because his contacts were Latin. So now Johnny gets roped in. Charlie is airbrushing his tattoos and starts asking him about his backstory. She questions him basically calling out one group and Johnny says he’ll be fine since it’s got truth to it. Mike and Briggs meet up with Bello and the relationship gets deeper. Briggs gets sent off while Bello and Mike chat. Bello wants Mike to teach his guys to shoot. Sounds like things could get very messy.

Briggs is having a bit of a huff that Mike is in with Bello and it was Briggs’ case to begin with. Charlie rightly tells him that he’s being kind of a pain in the ass and that he thinks the rest of them can’t act unless he’s running things. But he mans up enough to support mike and tell him that he’s gotta step up his game. Mike goes to Bello and does a bit of a stall by saying they won’t be shooting that day. Instead, he’s going to show Bello’s guys (who Mike is surprised to learn are American) how to disassemble, clean and reassemble their weapons before firing. Briggs is actually kind of proud of Mike for that. I really have to say Mike is good at being an undercover agent, even if it really wasn’t what he wanted to do.

Meanwhile, Johnny is making things difficult for Paige and Jakes. He acts all pissed and disrespected by the pot farmer. She’s not sure she wants to do business with him either but Jakes promises that Johnny will be cool. So she invites them up to her farm and says that maybe she can help them out. The next day, Jakes, Johnny and Paige (in a separate care with backup) head out to the farm. It’s a long drive and Johnny is still messing around acting like it’s just a game and he’s gotta be the street thug. Jakes is just angry because he knows this woman is dangerous. She lit six rival growers on fire once. Yeah, I kind of have to side with Jakes on this one. Johnny is being a little too cavalier right now. Things don’t seem to be going to well when they get there. All they see are vegetables. The pot is in a barn but she can’t show them until the morning. She’s being all flirty with both Jakes and Johnny and Paige decides to call the op off. Johnny isn’t giving up though. Even if he has to sleep with her (good thing he got fake tattoos all over his body), he’s going to get her for illegal pot growing (apparently it’s not completely legal out in California).

Mike finally gets to call Abby back and they agree to go for drinks the next night (after the sauce extravaganza at Graceland). Eddie followed him and threatens him but Mike gets the upper hand and threatens him right back. If Mike ever sees Eddie following him again, he’ll take his other eye. Briggs and Charlie are a little freaked out by Mike’s story but they decide to use it to their advantage. It’s clear Bello didn’t send Eddie so they use the rift between them to nail Bello. They have Charlie drag in Eddie and Paige reprises her role as the rival ganger’s girlfriend. They offer Eddie a bus ticket out of town. Mike is concerned that since the FBI really is telling Bello that Eddie is talking to them, it means Eddie is going to end up in a body bag. Briggs doesn’t seem to see it that way. I agree with Mike here. It seems risky just to get some criminals off the street.

The next morning, Johnny (having slept with the pot farmer) sneaks into the barn and starts snapping pictures. But some of his tattoo came off on the sheets and she and some of her guys bust in with machine guns. Jakes and Paige are on the way and Jakes gets dragged to the barn. Paige, in a rather awesome rescue attempt which reminds me of a scene in Torchwood where Jack busts into a barn on a huge tractor, busts in and starts shooting. The pot farmer threatens to blow Jakes’ brains out but Johnny knocks her unconscious with a pale. Nice save.

Everyone’s at home waiting for Charlie to unveil the sauce when Mike gets a text from Bello. The rest of the gang is not happy that he and Briggs have to go (they were ragging on Mike for calling pot marijuana). Things really take a turn when a couple of Bello’s guys drag Eddie out. He insists that the FBI made up lies that he was working with the other gang. Bello lets Eddie go and takes Mike’s gun. Bello gives Eddie two options. We don’t hear them but I can guess and I think it went something like either I kill you or you shoot yourself. And Eddie does blow his own brains out. Mike is kind of shell shocked and he begs out his date with Abby. He gets home to do the dishes and Briggs offers to help. I don’t think Briggs gets that Mike hasn’t been in the field and hasn’t seen someone blow their head off. It’s traumatizing. As Mike insists he wants to be alone, we see him start to clean the dishes while trying not to break down. I feel bad for Mike. He didn’t ask for any of this.

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