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‘Graceland’: Just a few broken ribs

Mike and Abby split while Briggs literally fights to keep his alter ego under wraps.
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Cody Powell, August 9, 2013 2:01:24 AM

Thursday’s episode of Graceland really should have been titled “[Mixed] Bag Man.”

For starters, far too much time was dedicated to Mike and Abby’s woe-filled relationship, which passed the point of obnoxious long ago and was quickly venturing into insufferable territory — while undoubtedly cute together, she’s just too nosy and he too cagey for it to ever work.

Fortunately, it appears the pair is done for the interim, and I don’t feel a lick of sympathy for Mike. He was warned about bringing people back to Graceland, yet he did it anyway, and it predictably blew up in his face. While Abby didn’t completely obliterate his cover, she saw enough during her abbreviated stay to figure out that he isn’t really a pilot.

Honestly, the entire scenario was a bit too high school/Rebel Without a Cause-ish for my tastes, and fell well below the line of acceptable behaviour for an undercover agent, especially one who’s normally level-headed and is being relied upon to carry out a top-secret internal investigation. Of all the Graceland crew, he’s got the most to lose if his cover’s blown, yet you’d never know it.

All that time spent on childish shenanigans could have been spent on more Jakes and Johnny, whose scenes together were the highlight of the episode. Those two have perhaps the strongest chemistry on the show, always riffing off each other so well, and I laughed out loud at their comedic juxtaposition in the elliptical scene, with Johnny huffing and puffing and giving it his all and Jakes never accelerating above an effortless saunter. Hopefully, with Abby now out of the picture, Jakes will see his screen time elevated; dude went ghost for a bit before muscling his way back into the picture last episode.

Briggs, meanwhile, remained front and centre as usual. Last episode, we learned that he and Odin are one in the same, and this week’s episode answered the elephantine “why?” surrounding his decision to become a heroin kingpin, though not explicitly.

It appears he wants revenge on the Caza cartel, specifically Jangles, for turning him into a junkie and attempting to derail his career. Since there’s no way the FBI would let him near the cartel again, the only way he can get close to them is to encroach on their drug business — which explains why he’s been skimming drugs.

And it’s working. One of the cartel thugs who attacked Bello’s operation let slip that Jangles is en route to address the situation, affording Briggs the perfect opportunity at revenge. All he has to do now is stay out of Charlie’s super-alert crosshairs, though I wouldn’t mind seeing him lower the boom on some more of his housemates like he did Mike — their fight scene was all kinds of epic, especially Mike’s backflip off the cage.

Of course, it’s not going to go down that easy. Juan has stopped taking Mike’s calls, which, to me, is a total red flag. My guess is that slimeball sees Mike has turned full-on sycophant, and is working on a contingency plan behind his back, to be enacted right at the moment Briggs is about to get his revenge. Briggs will probably get tossed in the clink, and Jangles will get away.

Honestly, though, that wouldn’t bother me much, as Jangles is one of the best things to happen to Graceland. He’s essentially a bogeyman, and has injected an unexpected horror element to the series. It’s not a revolutionary idea (see: Red John in The Mentalist), but it’s been very welcome, nevertheless, as things were starting to drag a smidgen before his timely arrival.

All in all, “Bag Man” was a decent ride. While it could have used less romance and more fisticuffs, it shed some much needed light on the whole Odin situation and set up a potential Jangles/Briggs face off, the very idea of which has me salivating. If that bugger Juan interrupts said clash in any way, as I suspect he will, I hope he joins Abby on the Discarded Characters heap for all eternity.

 

Graceland airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on Bravo Canada.

What did you think of “Bag Man”? Are you looking forward to Briggs vs. Jangles as well? Comment below, or hit us up on social media!

 

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Cody Powell

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