“Bon Voyage” featured some of the most powerful performances we’ve ever seen on Graceland. And if that doesn’t make for great television, then what does?
Episode Summary: Johnny and Jakes reluctantly agree to help Briggs put Ari behind bars, but their plans go down the drain when Ari and Toros don’t show up for the meet. Charlie’s about to end her case in Florida, and in the midst of it, she loses her baby. The team’s confronted Mike’s addiction and while the intervention doesn’t go as planned, it appears he’s honestly willing to get help.
Review | Analysis: I wholeheartedly appreciated the fact that “Bon Voyage” paid so much homage to the first season of Graceland. It was an incredible reminder of why this series is so unique amongst cop dramas and the fire it’s lacked for a while was finally returned. Additionally, we hadn’t been given enough material to showcase just how gifted the actors in this series are, and it’s great that the episode gave them opportunities to really shine. It was evocative, intriguing, and an hour that should’ve most definitely been longer.
As you could all tell by now, I haven’t been into this season as much as I was last or even the first. And it’s entirely due to the fact that I feel we’ve spent way too much time on guest stars and not enough time on our series regulars. Graceland is full of extraordinary actors/actresses and it’s frustrating when there’s not enough focus on them. That said, “Bon Voyage” has given me a great amount to discuss. (Yes!)
Let’s cover the difficult topics first then we’ll move on to fun stuff. Interventions never go smoothly. It’s probably even written in the handbook — caution: this will not go well, approach with patience. However, that’s the best part of having people who care about you right? They want to see you get better and I’m so glad Mike’s able to see that this team’s really got his back through thick and thin. At the end of the day, this is all for him and while it’s frustrating to watch someone throw their anger out on other people, Mike’s reaction is common amongst addicts (or anyone being confronted for that matter). And I’ll say this much, I hate this storyline. I strongly dislike every part of it. I’m just tired of drug addiction storylines being recycled over and over. It’s unoriginal and frankly doesn’t make much sense, but I’m such a fan of the impeccable performances it’s bringing out that I’m okay with it staying as long as we solve it soon. As cringe worthy as it was to watch Mike point fingers at everyone else in the room, we need to remember that he isn’t at all himself and already in the process of withdrawals. And that makes it feel that much more raw. Plus, which intervention ever ended with “oh darling friends, you are all correct, I must get help.” It’s always rough in the beginning because it’s common for a person to feel attacked thus, their initial response is to attack back. Do I agree with the things Mike’s said? Not even a little. Do I expect an apology? Sadly, no. I wish it would happen, but I don’t see how the series would put time into it when we’ve still got Ari and the Sarkissians to bring down. Sigh. However, here’s to hoping I’m wrong and we do get some sort of a confrontation with everyone where Mike makes it clear that he didn’t mean anything that was said. Also, at the end of the day, everyone knows that his head’s clearly not in the right place thus there are no hard feelings. And there’s forgiveness in the air with this group because of how much they adore each other.
Aaron Tveit and Vanessa Ferlito stunned me with their vigorously moving performances. And that kind of speechlessness is something I’ve definitely missed seeing from this series. Ferlito has an incomparable natural warmth within her that exudes wonderfully on screen — it’s the same kind of motherly affection that we’re always seeing in Charlie thereby making her character so likable. It’s so fitting that Charlie was the one to confront Mike again because he needed someone to speak to him with a tenderness that’d in return would make him feel safe enough to feel vulnerable. It’s not easy to fall and at a time like this, Mike wasn’t going to let his walls down in front of just anyone. It had to be Charlie because she’s so great at making people feel safe and welcomed. She doesn’t care what you’ve done as long as you own up to it. She’ll be there to help no matter how hard things get because the love she has runs deep. It wasn’t easy to watch the two of them crumble in such a moment of vulnerability, but the impeccable performances made for the most excellent television I’d seen in a while. Tveit was able to respond to Ferlito’s heartrending openness with a powerfully evocative cry that showcased just how much Mike’s truly suffered. As viewers, we were able to see the pain that’s continuously haunted him and we were able to understand that he truly doesn’t like who he’s become. There are moments in such situations where actions do all the talking and both actors beautifully exhibited the innermost concerns of their characters spectacularly.
I love that it was after this conversation where Mike realized he needed a change and had his heart set on getting better. Although the episode doesn’t end with him saying no to drugs, I feel we can be hopeful that things are really about to change next week.
People like Rodney are the reason I have trust issues in this world and people like Amber are the reason hope is later restored. I knew something would happen to Charlie’s baby since the storyline was introduced, but I didn’t imagine it’d be this drastic. I cannot even utter the right words that could possibly do this situation justice so let’s just take a moment of silence to appreciate Vanessa Ferlito’s performance for it was truly flawless. And Brit Morgan was an exceptional scene partner to her for she was able to showcase immense and heartfelt empathy beautifully. I wasn’t always a fan of Amber, but it’s fantastic to know that deep down she’s an incredible human being who’s made some mistakes. At the end of the day, she’d never want anything to happen to Charlie and it was clear that seeing her in that situation sincerely distraught her. Prior to this, it was lovely to see the two women have a conversation that brought about a story from the past. We learned that in order to save her father’s life, Charlie sent her mafia dad to prison, and it’s because of this choice that her dad’s not dead. She explains that this is also the reason why she needs to send Amber back even though it’s clear she’s made progress and would continue too. Charlie believes in proper justice and it’s how things need to be in order for her job to be done correctly. It showed great character that even though Charlie no longer served a purpose to her, Amber still cared enough to sit by her and console her. I’m so sad this chapter with Amber is closing because she could’ve been an exquisite friend. However, I’m so glad she was there because if Charlie went through this alone, it would’ve been so much more devastating. Again, I have no words for the scene itself and how riveting it was — some scenes words simply cannot describe. The intricately haunting directing followed by Ferlito’s stunning performance made it easy for tears to stream down a person’s face. And what Ferlito did so beautifully was wearing hollowness in her expression as she states that she saw her sweet boy in the water. It’s in this moment where it all became real — a mother lost her child forever and there are simply no words.
I don’t know how this’ll affect Charlie’s future, but I don’t doubt that for a while she isn’t going to be who we knew. I just hope we’ll see the team take care of her the way she always takes care of them.
While this episode was mostly amazing because of the sublime performances, the lighthearted scenes were a perfect reminder of why this series is so unique. I’m still laughing at Jakes giving Paige a hickey while Johnny watched and laughed. This is why the show is so different — this group is so ridiculously close they can do stuff like this for a case and it’ll never get awkward later on. When they work together, they’re unstoppable. Lighthearted scenes like this one are what have been seriously lacking in the series so it’s great that we were finally given some. It was also sweet to hear that there’s nothing Paige could possibly wear that could make her less attractive — these are the kind of men we need more of in this world. And even though the case ended up with Jakes yelling at Johnny, we can be certain that at the end of the day, they’ll find a way to come out of this stronger. They’ve learned their mistakes thus when anger and frustration is set aside, they’ll strategize in a way that’ll help them defeat the Sarkissians.
Also, did anyone else think it was funny when Mike was talking about what a thrill being on stage must be like when Aaron Tveit is so familiar with the feeling?
What are your thoughts on this week’s episode? If there’s anything you’d like us to discuss, let us know in the comments below and we shall get to it.