#100DaysofFanFavorites | Day 27

25 Nearest and Dearest 24/25
Undercover Agents (Graceland)

Graceland-cast copy.jpg

There are countless TV friendships that could’ve made it onto this list, but Graceland has always been a special series here at MGcircles. And while the six agents weren’t always the best of friends, the series at its core was always about their in-house dynamics. It’s why the series differed from general FBI dramas — it focused on problems within the house more than it did on the outside. At times, it was incredibly toxic and full of secrets, but when they were good, they were great. If the series had gone on for longer than three seasons, I’m certain these friendships would’ve grown towards the better. Paul Briggs, Mike Warren, Johnny Tuturro, Paige Arkin, Dale Jakes, and Charlie DeMarco needed each other. They were better together than they were apart and though they’ve brought life threatening harm to one another, they’ve learned, and in the end, they’d do anything to protect each other. We don’t choose our family, but we choose our team, and this group of agents would choose each other over and over again.

Continue reading

Graceland 2×13 “Faith 7” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

Despite the heartache the final scene in “Faith 7” brought, the fact that it was an unpredictable and tasteful plot twist made this episode one of Graceland’s strongest.

Episode Summary: One of Amber’s men interrogates Charlie because he believes she works for law enforcement. Sid frames Mike. Paige learns the truth about Lina. Carlito and Lucia learn the truth about Johnny’s cover. Jakes remains the only logical man in the house. Briggs rescues Charlie. And a member of the team loses their life …sort of.

Review | Analysis: This season of Graceland has done a great job of depicting the consequences of poor decisions and the pangs of deception

“The reason why we are living in this house together is because there are certain missions we can’t be expected to handle alone. Alone we come untethered. Alone we lose control. Now at some point along the way we lost sight of our purpose of what led sanctity to these walls. We don’t guard Graceland, guys. Graceland doesn’t guard us. We guard each other. And when systems are failing, that’s exactly when we need each other the most.“

Continue reading

Graceland 2×07 “Los Malos” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

The best part of this week’s episode was the small in-house moments where the team were acting like bickering, but loving family family members.

Episode Summary: Briggs goes under cover with the LAPD gang task force. Charlie and Mike investigate Sid Markham’s (Carmine Giovinazzo) bank account. Paige and Jakes stake out near the trafficking headquarters and save one of girls – progress. Johnny and Lucia deal with the mess Carlito’s made then have dinner with Mrs. Tuturro.

Review | Analysis: I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I feel as though there’s not much to say regarding this episode. In its entirety, I wouldn’t say it’s one Graceland’s best, and while the action was great, it felt as though this served as filler episode more than anything else. And that’s something I usually never say because I firmly believe every episode is great in its own way, but this one felt as though it lacked the substance Graceland is usually full of.

Continue reading

Graceland 2×06 “The Unlucky One” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

Just as there’s always that one episode in the season you can’t like no matter how hard you try, there’s always that one episode that leaves you emotionally conflicted and torn between everything that’s occurred.

Episode Summary: Paige attempts to escape the place where they’re holding the girls hostage with Lina. Mike and Briggs torture Lawrence for information on Paige’s whereabouts. After she’s rescued, Mike learns that a member of the Gang Task Force may be the rat working alongside the Solano cartel.

Review | Analysis: My favorite part of this week’s episode apart from the heartwarming conversation with Jakes and Paige, was that for the first time  since the second season aired, despite being at each other’s throats the house came to do something they care about together.

Continue reading

Graceland 2×05 “H-A-Double P-Y” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

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.

Continue reading

Graceland 2×04 “Magic Number” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

There’s always that one episode in the season that you just cannot like no matter how hard you try. This is one of those for me and hopefully there aren’t anymore like it.

Episode Summary: Briggs and Charlie go out of their way to get Kelly Badillo the money she’s entitled to from the FBI. After researching, Paige becomes more certain that the girls aren’t just mules but they’re victims of human trafficking. Johnny attempts to get more detail on Carlito. Mike and Jakes find out that the bus has been emptied and there’s more than one hauling drugs.

Review | Analysis: For once, Briggs wasn’t the character I was completely frustrated with on the show. And while I still loathe the fact that he’s lying through his teeth every second of the day, I love how hard he’s trying to at least make things right. When Charlie first approaches him with the idea of finding the money and forging a check from the FBI, Briggs is hesitant. In this case, I’d be too. And there’s a huge chance of this blowing up in their faces, but let’s keep positive about the situation. I’m glad they helped out. Kelly deserves to grieve properly and though this doesn’t come nearly as close as knowing the truth does, it’s still something. Despite the fact that Charlie’s been through hell and back because of Briggs –though she has no idea– they’re brilliant together as a team. And one of the qualities I admire most when it comes to Briggs is that he genuinely cares. I’ve always felt that their dynamic as the unofficial parental figures of the house has always worked most wonderfully – they provide comfort with their words plus set things straight when they need to. And no matter what’s going on, the safety, physical, and mental health of their roommates is what matters most. Even when Briggs was running from the mess he made last season, the moment he found out Charlie was meeting up with a federali, he put his plans aside and went after her. If there’s one thing about the roommates that’s completely admirable, it’s their heartfelt adoration for one another even when they’re at each other’s throats. Especially for Briggs and Charlie, they are at their best during scenes like this one. Additionally, no matter how frustrated Briggs’ choices of lying are, their scenes are always favorites of mine because of Sunjata and Ferlito’s chemistry. They’re exquisite on screen.

Continue reading

Graceland 2×03 “Tinker Bell” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

Tonight’s episode essentially serves as the thesis for the rest of the season.

Episode Summary: We learned which bus Carlos Solano Sr. uses for the drug transportations. Innocent women are forced to do some of the dirty work. Jakes deals with the aftermaths of the last week’s situation with alcohol. Johnny and Bates attempt to handle things with Carlito by giving him what they believe are Mexican pistols. Mike’s losing the little amount of patience he had. Charlie’s still dealing with guilt. Briggs accompanies Paige to case that later leads to an even bigger case.

Review | Analysis: Yet another in-house argument adds on to the tension that’s already been present since Mike’s returned. While I’m aware that plot holes tend to make way more often than not and there’s probably a legitimate reason for it, it’s a little irritating that we’re supposed to forget that Lauren and Donnie both had their own rooms. Thus, there should be an extra room in the house for Bates as well.

Continue reading

Graceland 2×02 “Connects” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

Graceland has been exceptional so far, and if it continues this way viewers are in for a ride packed with both giddiness and heartbreak.

Episode Summary: Briggs goes to Mexico in order to meet with Caza leader Alfredo Armes to see if he has any information as to who sent the kidnappers after Mike. Charlie’s blaming herself for Juan’s death. Cassandra, the mother of Jakes’ son, gets a restraining order against him. Mike and Paige team up to bring down an N-Bomb lab. Tensions still run high at the house, but they’re now closer to taking down the drugs transporting buses.

Review | Analysis: At this point in the show, I’m concerned for the sanity of all these characters and the amount of lies flowing through their veins – and not even for their jobs, but their personal lives.

Continue reading

Graceland 2×01 “The Line” Recap

Spoilers Ahead

Graceland’s anticipated season return was solid – though it’s still the whimsical and dark show it started off as, numerous differences leave viewers pondering left and right.

Episode Summary: There’s a new roommate at the house, Bates (Deniz Akdeniz) or “better Mike” according to the chore wheel. Guns are allowed downstairs. Jake doesn’t label his things anymore. Johnny’s still Johnny with a bit more fight in him. Charlie and Briggs are more than just friends. Paige’s still a badass sweetheart. And Mike’s a conflicted kid.

Back at DC Mike’s undercover in a case where he’s certain buses are smuggling heroin; however, he’s pulled out of the operation when he fails to obtain the drugs. He then receives a call from Briggs who tells him Caza has a hit on Mike the Marine, and he should take a mini vacation to handle the situation. Unfortunately, things spiral backwards, verbal shots are fired, disagreements are expressed, and Mike’s captured by a group of men pretending to be Caza Cartel members. Upon realization that his theory on the Buses still stands, he asks Jess (Emily Rose) to speak to the director and get him a team in California to finally settle matters for good. As it turns out, his team is the group at Graceland and things quickly become awkward as no one seems thrilled to be working for him.

Review | Analysis: As far as the rest of the season goes, I’m mostly excited to see how much further we explore these characters and their distinct personas. The changes they’ve gone through are understandable and they’ve each made sense; however, what I’m hoping we’ll get to see more in the next few episodes is the gradual processes in which they occurred.  Graceland doesn’t have flashbacks often, but they’d make sense this season as the audience could get a glimpse of the little things that have caused their growth throughout the last year.

This episode’s analyses is going to be a bit different than usual as we’re going to be taking a closer look into the characters as opposed to the story.

Continue reading