Saturday, August 17, 2013

Graceland 1.09: "Smoke Alarm"

“You know, Mike. Sometimes it’s all about using one monster as bait to get the others.”
- Briggs

The morning after all the chaos went down with Briggs taking out Mike and getting his ass whopped, the house is sort of back to normal. Mike is out jogging on the beach when Paige catches up with him after some early morning surfing. She promises to keep his screw-up with Abby quiet, saying they all need some secrets. Meanwhile, Charlie kind of walks in on Johnny coming out of the shower and they snark a bit about the house rules about announcing oneself but she’s still not dropping her suspicions of Briggs. Speaking of, he’s moaning and groaning in bed over his injuries and slaps an ice pack on his ribs before heading down to the kitchen to chat up the rest of the house (minus Jakes). That dude is seriously anti-social. Anyway, Briggs and Charlie come to blows over whether they should try to continue hunting Odin or just worry about Bello and Caza. Before long, Mike and Briggs get called off about a dead body. Jangles is definitely in town as he’s just killed Bello’s number 1 dealer (including cutting his feet off while still in the sneakers. Ew.

Mike heads off to see Bello and learns he’s got to train his corner guys on using assault rifles now. Mike is clearly not pleased about this. Charlie is having a slightly better day. There was a Mexican shell company loosely tied to Odin that never had any movement of funds until the previous night to pay for a motel room nearby (we see Briggs set up a smoke alarm with a camera in a room). She’s off to see what she can find. When Mike tells Briggs they have enough to bring Bello in, Briggs shuts him down about going to the FBI. He thinks they need to keep Bello in play longer so they can nab Jangles. I still can’t figure out if the Odin persona is just to get back at Jangles or if there’s something else on his agenda.

Things are really starting to heat up on multiple fronts. First, Mike pays Juan a visit and Juan insists they bug Briggs’ car. Juan believes Briggs made deals with Caza while he was under. Mike isn’t so sure. In fact, because of a phrase Juan used (that Briggs said to him earlier), he realizes something is hinky and finds a bug in the photo his grandfather took. He goes to confront Juan and we get a bit of an info dump. Juan lays out the events of five years previously in July when Briggs went on vacation (got kidnapped and tortured). He was stationed in a house like Graceland before Graceland existed. The house burned down five days before Briggs reentered the picture. There were some calls made earlier in the day of the fire, one the main line at the house and one to one of the agents inside. All five agents died. Mike calls Juan on his obsession and walks out. He’s not going to help Juan ruin Briggs’ life for something that there’s no proof of.

Meanwhile, Charlie follows her lead to the hotel room and Briggs watches as she finds ad disables the smoke alarm camera. She also meets a potential ally. He’s a Federale who’s come north of the border to track Odin. If they work together then maybe they can actually find the guy and take him out for good. Briggs pays Johnny a visit and ropes him in to helping him with any leads to Jangles (he also sort of grills him about what’s going on with Charlie). Johnny takes Briggs to a bar where they soon discover that one of Bello’s street corner boys is spilling his guts to the Caza cartel. This isn’t going to end well for Mike who is having lunch with Bello at his safe house. Bello gives a sort of impassioned speech to Mike about the fact they’ll both feel victory when Bello is out from under Caza completely. And he thinks his men being scared means they won’t be overconfident. I just can’t bring myself to trust that Briggs is going to help Mike out. I think he’ll take out Jangles if he can and then run away before Bello can ID him.

Bello and Mike are continuing their lunch when the sprinkler system goes off. Bello doesn’t know if it’s on a timer but sends Mike to turn it off. Big mistake! Mike finds a bunch of Bello’s guards dead and starts back to the house. Briggs is actually on his way to try and save Mike’s life and he finds the tactical team all dead in the van. When Mike gets back into the house, he finds that Jangles has Bello. Mike slips up and lets his shoe squeak on the floor. He and Jangles get in a fire fight but Mike gets stabbed. Briggs shoots at Jangles and may have hit him but he spends precious time tending to Mike before the swat guys show up. Even with his face half covered, Jangles looked familiar. Last time we saw him I thought it was Briggs’ training officer but it sounds like he died in the fire. Now I have a feeling it is really Juan. We’ll see if I’m right.

Mike wakes up in the hospital and Paige is at his side. He’s going to be okay but it may take a while to heal. He’s gotten some gifts from the house mates but he’s curious to know if anything has come in from the Bureau or anonymously. He starts to tell Paige the truth about why he can never relax in Graceland but she kind of freaks out. She asks if he’s a rat and then says she can’t be there and leaves him to call after her. I really liked the Mike/Paige dynamic so hopefully they can reconcile because she’s really the closest thing he has to a friend in the house. Elsewhere, Charlie and the Federale decide to team up and as we pan past the guy’s shoulder we see he’s been injured (right where Briggs shot Jangles). So I guess I was wrong in suspecting Juan. Briggs is out at the beach where the first house burned down and he is pretty wasted. Juan shows up and goes undercover as Jangles to try and question Briggs about the fire. Briggs says he and Jangles were both responsible and before much else can happen, Juan pulls a gun they struggle and Briggs shoots Juan. Well that complicates things more. But it does ramp things up nicely for the final 3 episodes of the season. It took it’s time getting to this point but I hope we just power on ahead through the end of the run.

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