In the Graceland series premiere, Mike Warren was given an extremely difficult dual assigned at the Graceland undercover house to work with and investigate veteran agent Paul Briggs. He successfully completed his first undercover case, but his were just beginning as he quickly found out.
Screw the Book!
At first, I thought it was a bit odd that Mike would run after a kid for stealing a bag of chips and hitting the food truck guy, but then realized that he's a by-the-book guy. The rules are ingrained in his head and it was just instinct to go after the kid.
His reaction was no different than his perfectly folded shirts in his suitcase or the habit to make his bed military-style in the morning. If Mike is going to succeed as an undercover agent, he must loosen up even if just a tad.
Briggs made the rules clear when he told Mike, "Screw the book. It wasn't written for you. Okay. You're an undercover agent. That means your cover is everything, especially here. This is our home."
Investigating the Legend
Mike was called into headquarters supposedly for a psych evaluation after the shooting, but really it was an excuse for Mike to meet his new handler, Juan Badillo. Mike has career goals and he wants to make it to the top of the FBI.
If his initial meeting with Juan is any indication, he's got what it takes ... as long as his time at Graceland doesn't corrupt him. Mike knew right away that Juan wasn't who he said he was. The interrogation questioning method, the FBI Director book, and the name sign gave the fake doctor away.
Despite the subterfuge, Mike was happy to finally get more insight into his assignment to look into Briggs. Though, he really wasn't given much guidance at all. What is it that the FBI believes that Briggs is doing? It remains a mystery.
When Mike needed Juan, his handler wasn't available and didn't call Mike back. This is not a good sign going forward. Though, they did come to an understanding about Briggs. The man is a legend that shouldn't be underestimated.
Briggs Isn't Easy to Impress and Won't Take the Easy Road
Mike was desperate to get in on a case and used Charlie and DJ to help him. He presented Briggs with the idea to use the "Cop Killer" bullets that DJ confiscated to trap their target, Bella. At first Briggs dismissed the idea, but then came around and agreed.
Mike poised as a military guy that stole the ammunition and Briggs made the connection. When the buyers weren't able to hit any of their bear targets, Mike took charge and showed off his shooting accuracy on the poor bears and even a car.
The ammunition proved out and a deal was made. Later, Mike and Briggs made the sale to Bella's guy and that's when things got a bit weird. The FBI didn't come in and arrest them as Mike expected. Instead Briggs took Mike to get a Guadalajara Dog and root beer at a food truck.
Briggs had a plan. He used Paige to get her target to steal the ammunition from Bella's guys. And, then used the money they got for the ammunition to buy it back through Paige. And, that's when the FBI showed up to take down her target.
Success. Briggs didn't burn his in with Bella's guys and he helped Paige bring down her target before he pushed her out for not sleeping with him. It was a win-win. Though, Mike questioned the plan as it had plenty of possible problems that could have happened.
Through this mission, the lack of trust between Paul and Mike became clear and was brought into the open. Mike admitted to almost calling headquarters, while Paul kept the true plan a secret from his own partner.
At the end, Paul took some of the ill gotten money and used it to take everyone out. Is that what the investigation is all about? Stolen money?
From the moment Mike entered Graceland, Briggs knew something was up with Mike's assignment. The top graduate should get their choice of assignment and normally wouldn't be sent to work undercover at a place like Graceland.
Plus, Briggs is highly intuitive. He knew something was up with Mike and he didn't wait to find out. He lured Mike to a private location under the pretense of their case. Briggs didn't go the route of calmly asking Mike what was up. Nope.
Briggs pulled his gun and pointed it at the back of Mike's head and asked, "Who you been talking to?" WHOA! Looks like Mike was caught with his hand in the cookie jar, which is much worse than being caught drinking DJ's orange juice.
That was a stressful cliffhanger for the episode to end on. It will be a long week to find out what happens next.
(Image courtesy of USA.)