I’m immensely pleased with the turnaround this episode had from last week’s downfall, and at the same time I’m hoping for someone to instantly invent time travel so we could fast forward to next week.
Episode Summary: Jess comes to Graceland and lets the team know that they have two more days to get to the bus cases because the operation is being cut. Jakes spends some time with Daniel and later gets arrested for it. Johnny must take his relationship with Carlito to the next level if he and the team want to put an end to the drug hauling case. Paige puts her life in great danger after she’s stripped of a tactical team.
Review | Analysis: Since there wasn’t much of as big of a storyline for Briggs and Charlie as there was last week, I won’t be singling out their characters for an analysis. I will however say that I still cannot be onboard with them as a couple. It’s entirely heartbreaking that he’s the one who put Charlie in that dark place she couldn’t get herself out of. While it’s understandable that Briggs is trying to make things right, and he’s succeeding when it comes to making sure Charlie and everyone else in the house is safe, knowing he’s lying simply makes it difficult to be in full support of them as a couple.
When Jakes first walked back into his house, I actually thought it was a random kid there because I couldn’t believe his son would find him. Daniel Jakes – though I’m sure he probably took his mother’s last name, but since we don’t know what that is, let’s go with Jakes’ – is a smart kid. And it’s expected of him as which child wouldn’t be concerned with their father’s whereabouts especially if they saw a man get arrested claiming to be him. As it turns out, Daniel had gotten a hold of the restraining order and followed the address to Jakes’ house where he got to spend time with Jakes and his “friend”, Romona (Lindsey Haun). Jakes was going to send him back to his mom’s but Romona confines him to at least spend a little time with him since he made the effort to come find him. The three of them go to what seems to be a mini carnival and ride bumper cars. I’ve always loved happy Jakes most and it was incredible to see his a raw smile on his face again. McLaren made you feel the awkwardness of a “new” parent doing everything he can to make sure a child is having fun along with the utmost form of sincere love and gratitude for the child. My heart broke for the two of them as they parted ways for the night because again, McLaren made you see the pain in his expression as he knew the chances of seeing the child again are probably slim. Even though Daniel would clearly love to see his father again, considering the law’s involved, Cassandra may try to make it difficult again. Additionally, Romona’s quick exit confused me. It didn’t seem as though she’s ever had this much fun at a job and that’s precisely why she decided to leave so quickly. However, it doesn’t feel as though this is the last time we’ll be seeing her. I actually enjoyed watching her character grow from a stranger to someone who cares about children. The fact that she stayed and played games with Daniel until Jakes got back says a lot about her and it’d be a disappointment if she disappeared forever. Also, I found myself proud of Jakes for joining Paige on the case. He could’ve chosen not to considering it was late and they no longer team but he did so anyway and I respect the fact that he’s going after human beings as Paige emphasized. The cruelty in the other cops astounds me, they should’ve heard him out. If they were going to arrest him they could’ve at least sent someone to go after Paige considering he was attempting to explain the current situation he’s in.
Writing about Carlito is the one part of these reviews I dread writing most about because of how physically uncomfortable he manages to make me – round of applause however for Erik Valdez’s performance. Viewers got a glimpse of Carlito’s screwed up home life this week and while it’s been established that his childhood was far from simple, it doesn’t in anyway excuse his actions. The opening scene especially had me wanting to throw whatever in sight at my television screen because not only is it wrong for a sibling to disrespect as sibling that way, but Carlito uses his powers as the momentary man of the house to physically and emotionally instill fear into his sister. If it weren’t for Johnny, it’s unlikely that she would’ve survived his attacks and that’s no where near alright. When he later tells Johnny that he truly cares about his sister, I couldn’t help but cringe at that as well – for last I checked, we do not in anyway intentionally harm those we care for. Carlito is mentally far too damaged for redemption in this scenario. He isn’t someone that wants to change, but rather someone who’s accepted that regardless of how terrible it is, this is how he prefers to live his life. And in that moment of vulnerability with Johnny, I only felt more and more uncomfortable with the way he was handling things. In terms of LGBT representation, I’m disappointed with this storyline. When word first got out about the plot, I was thrilled to see it represented on screen. This is the farthest from what I had in mind and it’s essentially not something I want to watch unfold any further. I’m uncomfortable for Johnny because of what a vile and disgraceful being Carlito is. This is an example of an unhealthy relationship and I hope that when it comes to another LGBT storyline, the show takes a different route and showcases a great, healthy relationship. Because the house is now given two days to wrap up the case, Johnny manages to convince Carlito to let him go on a load pick up which moments before they’re about to reach their destination, there’s a call from someone who tells him to turn back. Additionally, I feel it’s necessary to mention that Charlie’s comment about female agents always being in such a position is extremely admirable. And I love that she show makes sure there’s equality between the men and women. It’s not always the women who are forced to go out of their comfort zone, but the men as well.
As far as the mole in the operation goes, all my bets are on Jessica. I’ve had a difficult time trusting her since day one, and while there’s no proof that she’s guilty, she hasn’t exactly shown that she’s a decent human being either. I’m appalled by the fact that she was willing to pull some strings for Paige’s case to continue until she realized Mike had feelings for her. Human trafficking is one of the most tragic things occurring in our world on a daily basis – it’s a monstrous doing and if there’s a person who isn’t willing to offer help when they can, then I have a very difficult time viewing that person as anything less than cruel. It would’ve been entirely understandable if she tried and failed, but she deliberately chose not to because of where Mike’s heart was. Right now, no romance matters. It isn’t about Jess and Mike or Mike and Paige – it’s about the human beings who are being lied to, used for drug muling, then forced to do all sorts of things they don’t want to. It’s about doing the best of their abilities to save them because they have an opportunity to. Therefore, Jessica’s choice says a prodigious amount about her character.
There’s no doubt in my mind that the team will rescue Paige. And as I’ve said in every review since the season’s aired, there aren’t enough words to describe how proud I am of her. While she shouldn’t have taken matters into her own hands because of the kind of danger she’ll be put in, she’s the epitome of a good person for that. I was a fan of Mike and Paige’s budding romance since the moment he was wonderstruck upon first seeing her, but this is the episode that has me wanting them to be together forever. The profound understanding and effortless ability to bring out the absolute best in each other is exactly what I look for in TV couples. It’s what makes them beautiful and worth rooting for. And I admire Mike’s inability to be unfaithful even though it’s what would’ve gotten them the additional resources. Cheating isn’t something I personally could ever condone, whether it’s in the real world or on television, it’s a vast ‘no no’; therefore, kudos to Mike to striking to his heart’s desire. I look forward to seeing where their relationship goes as it’s only evident it’ll send them both down an emotional roller coaster from here on out. However, it’s also evident that their bond is nothing short of special and being together allows them to grow as better beings. Paige has been there for Mike since the moment he arrived at Graceland – she’s not once given up on trying to make him feel as though he belongs with them. And as much as DC has changed Mike’s work ethic, Paige has always brought out the considerable and compassionate man from within him. I feel as though Mike will certainly put a great deal of blame on himself while whatever Paige is forced to do will have a tremendous affect on her. And it’ll now be his turn to comfort and encourage her while doing everything in his power to keep his promise of saving the girls.
What are your thoughts on this week’s episode?