Friday, September 13, 2013

Graceland 1.12: "Pawn"

“You know what the worst part is? He knew that living with what I had done was worse than death. And he was right.”
- Briggs

Well we’ve finally made it to the season finale. For those of you wondering, USA Network renewed it for season 2 earlier this week. That said, I’ll be enjoying the show’s next season from a non-blogging standpoint. But, on with the recap!

At last count, things were pretty bad all around. Paige and Mike failed to locate the recording from Juan’s car, Charlie was pounding on Quinn and Briggs was hightailing it out of dodge. In short order, Mike puts a ‘detain on sight’ order out on Briggs. This gets a little complicated when Johnny gets the text and sees Briggs leaving the house. Briggs smooth talks Johnny out of holding him so he can go get a ride from Jakes to the port. He plans to take a boat out of the country. Or so we think. Instead, he meets Quinn in a bar and passes over a new ID to the dealer to escape Jangles. And then, Briggs heads back out to the desert to partially dig up Juan’s body so he can get a key off the dead man’s key ring. Creepy.

Meanwhile, Mike is really not happy with Jakes helping Briggs or Johnny for letting him walk away. An FBI team is about to descend on the house and Mike insists they all be there to answer questions. You know, I kind of want to punch Mike in the face. Briggs it kind of hiding out while also trying to find dirt on Jangles when Jakes gives him the heads up that there was no recording and that Charlie’s been digging into things with the Federale. And then we get one of the most hilarious montages I have seen in a while. It’s been 8 days since Briggs went MIA (kind of) and the whole house is being interviewed by Agent Clark. We mainly get their reactions to Briggs being accused of murder, Mike being a rat and assorted other things. It really made me laugh. And then, as the team is sweeping the house, the gang gets into it, pointing fingers at each other for helping Briggs, or thinking he’s innocent (or the fact that maybe Mike and Paige are knocking boots). I really am not sure how they are all going to make it out of this without punches being thrown.

We learn a little tidbit of backstory on Jakes and Briggs. Johnny asks why Briggs would to go him for help and Jakes explains that he and Briggs go way back and sometimes even when people are messed up and hurt the people around them, they still deserve help. Johnny’s disappointed that Briggs didn’t go to him. Get over it Johnny. Meanwhile, Mike figures out that Briggs is still in LA and going after Jangles. Paige tries to get him to just calm down and stop freaking out when they kiss. I think we’ve been waiting for that for some time now (at least since she learned the truth about his assignment). But she says that right now, Mike is floundering and she’s not the answer to his problems. So maybe someday down the line, they’ll try being a couple. I could get behind them, definitely.

Briggs is hiding out while trying to do his own digging into the Federale Charlie’s been working with. He clearly has a contact south of the border and after getting the names of the lawmen up from Mexico, he figures out that Charlie’s Federale is Jangles. He goes to Jakes (who is watching his son play soccer) and hands over a new number with the instruction to keep an eye on Charlie and call if anything hinky happens. Jakes isn’t too interested because he’s suspended and the rest of the house isn’t interested in Briggs playing hero. And Briggs doesn’t admit that he’s Odin, but he doesn’t directly deny it when Jakes brings it up either. A little later, Mike approaches Jakes on the beach and says he knows that Briggs is still in town. Jakes, playing the pissed off jerk, walks away but leaves the number. I’m guessing he meant to do that. Charlie is out with Jangles at a bar and he tries to entice her back to his rented beach-front house while Briggs watches from a parked car across the street. He’s looking very Unabomber in his hoodie and shades.

Things are kicking into even higher gear. Mike tells Johnny and Paige that he’s tracking Briggs’ phone as we see Briggs heading for Jangles’ house. He adds Juan’s key to the chains in Jangles’ bag but he fails to take out Jangles. Charlie, who went home to get drunk by herself and changed her mind, shows up and orders Briggs to let the fake Federale go. He does and then gets beaned by the champagne bottle. Charlie sees the bandage from where Mike shot him and tries to pull a gun but he flips her onto the ground, grabs her throat and holds a knife to it. This is going to get bloody. Jangles plans to make Briggs watch while he tortures Charlie. It’s kinda gruesome as he’s cutting into her. Mike pulls up and saves the day and Briggs tells him the full story. In withdrawal down in Mexico, Briggs gave up his training officer which led Jangles to the precursor to Graceland.

Briggs gets cleared of all charges since planting the key on Jangles’ chain implicates him as the killer and the ID he set up for Quinn in South America covers his identity as Odin Rossi. Something tells me Briggs may not stop being Odin just yet. And Mike is headed back to DC for his dream job. Charlie falls apart a bit, saying she’s going to turn in her badge but Briggs convinces her that he and the house need her and he forgives her. That night, the gang has a bonfire much like in the pilot. Briggs admits his addiction to the rest of the house and they toast to remembering home and for Mike’s promotion. A few months later, a couple kids find the recording of Briggs killing Juan in a pawn shop. Across the country, Mike’s in a briefing when Briggs calls, saying he needs help on something. So I guess they will have something to do in season two. Overall, I thought some of the plots this season moved a little slow but I think they did well answering enough of the questions and plotlines they started in the beginning while leaving enough to draw people back in next year.

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