Graceland 2×09 “Gratis” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

At this point, I’m not sure what show runners could do in order to make this show likable again. Also, apologies in advance but because we have a strict policy against discussing things we aren’t fond of, I’ll try my best to discuss this episode both rationally and kindly.

Episode Summary: Charlie and Amber get closer and further from robbing the bank. Briggs continues to work with Sid. Johnny gets on Carlito’s bad side when he brings up cruises by Carlos Sr. Lina is killed by Sulla and Mike covers up the crime by lying to Paige.

Review | Analysis: While I’ve avidly voiced my concerns in regards to Johnny’s ties with the Solanos, I’m going to save you all the misery and simply say I’m thrilled he’s safe so far. At the moment, it’s all that matters.

Charlie may be pregnant but she feels more comfortable staying with Amber at the moment then in Graceland. This is bound to be an interesting storyline when it expands further because if she is, and the truth about Briggs comes out in the next few episodes, her heartbreak is going to be one of the saddest things to occur.

In terms of character development, Graceland has always been on point with demonstrating heart and motives even amidst the most terrible times. However, the complete 180 they’ve had Mike do this season has been nothing short of disappointing. At first, the complexity was incredible – I loved seeing him struggle between the way D.C. forced him to operate and Graceland. I loved the struggle between leader and friend. But this week’s episode was filled with horrendous plot lines. Sure men like Sulla are unpredictable, but one minute he’s fine with Mike staying there to keep an eye out, the next he’s harming the girls when he knows that’s why Mike’s there in the first place. The storyline is sloppy. And because of the fact that Paige was fiercely attached to her and wanted to save her, I feel she was at least entitled to see that girl safe and sound along with the others. It’s unfair to both her character and Paige’s, not to mention horrifying for the entire storyline.

Additionally, everything Mike’s done this season has been completely understandable, they were things I felt he’d most certainly do that’d benefit the entire team and mankind in general, but tonight’s episode ruined him. When it comes down to it, Briggs has gone through hell and back because of Jangles and the Caza Cartel, his actions were fully understandable even though the lies weren’t exactly saintlike. Mike’s been an agent for a year and about three months, what he’s gone through is no where near close enough for him to lose his entire sanity. To think he’s that scared of disappointing Paige because of his feelings doesn’t of come close to making the situation okay. It doesn’t sound reasonable or even in character. When he called her, explaining everything would’ve possibly made everything bearable in the long run. Moreover, Mike’s not someone who’d ever burn a body or hide evidence like this as his moral compass would usually point to doing the honorable thing. Lina at least deserved a funeral, just like Juan – these are real, innocent people we’re talking about and the level of heartbreak it causes is uncalled for, cruel, and downright disturbing. Not to mention incredibly difficult to looked passed. Mike’s character will not only never be the same but I feel as a person, the innocence he once possessed is gone forever. And it’s such a shame for someone like him to lose that because while the field is without a doubt one that corrupts, this event is what caused Mike to lose it for good. It’s what’ll grip him for all eternity because he did something horrifying he can never turn back from. Not to mention, the recycling of a previous plot line. If there’s one thing I love, it’s fantastic parallels when they’re thoughtful and realistic. This wasn’t. The sole point of my frustration at the moment is that I feel for the sake of appear grittier, the show’s taking turns that aren’t coinciding with the original stance of Graceland. This isn’t supposed to be the house of screwed up agents who do the worst possible things – it’s supposed to be an undercover house where these agents do their best to save others. At least that’s what the first season made it seem like.

In regards to Mike and Paige patching up their once adorable romance, the only way I see them being a healthy, unproblematic couple is if Mike comes forward with the truth. This case has damaged them both emotionally and at one point they were both at fault. Paige’s attachment to Lina alone wasn’t exactly right but understandable. There’s the idea that perhaps if she wasn’t, then maybe she wouldn’t be the one targeted by Sulla. Mike’s inability to disappoint and his panicked decision because of the high running emotions were completely wrong and in no way understandable. And that’s not on Mike, but the writing. It wasn’t a graceful move on adding depth to his character. If in the next few episodes his guilt catches up with him and he explains everything, there’s a possibility that they could allow this tragedy to help them –Mike especially– grow as people and a couple. If not, then they’re nothing but a time bomb duo and that’s a heartbreaking loss for a couple who understood one another so well and always brought out the best in each other.

Having to say this many unpleasing things is exhausting; therefore, let’s talk the only good thing that came out of this week’s episode – Aaron Tveit’s performance. Tveit’s been on top of his game this season, he’s floored me with every single scene he’s done and that final scene especially was masterful. Mike’s not a terrible and heartless being, he’s incapable of being purely evil and Tveit plays his torment phenomenally. In that final heartbreakingly horrifying scene, Tveit was unreal. As a viewer, you could see the perpetual disappoint in Mike’s face – he knows what he’s doing is unforgivable.

Furthermore, someone’s found the tape and told someone in the house about it. Hopefully if one lie is exposed another will be, too.

Note: I fell in love with Graceland last season because despite the horrible things that occurred, the heart on the show was incredible. It’s lost so much of that heart that season and I’m so displeased with the character development – which is a very rare thing for me to feel. I’m hoping the show picks itself up with these last few episodes because I’m afraid if it does continue this way, I won’t be able to review it anymore let alone watch it. It’s unfair for me to review something I’m disappointed in and I don’t want anyone to have to read those. Again, as stated last week, I’m open to discussions so feel free to drop us a message and I’ll write in regards to those. Here’s to hoping this is the last bad episode of the season.

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