'Graceland' Recap: How Not to Treat Your Mother
'Graceland' Recap: How Not to Treat Your Mother
M.K. Costigan
M.K. Costigan
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Previously on Graceland, Mike discovered that yet another lawman is working undercover for the bad guys. This time, though, it isn't Briggs. The culprit is Sid Markham, head of the LAPD gang task force. There is no question of innocence this time around; "Los Malos" opens with a montage detailing how Markham has gotten away with ruining everything for the team over the last few days, from tipping off Carlito to killing Lawrence. In the present time, Mike waltzes up to Markham in a restaurant and calls him out for being a no good, very bad guy. Was this move smart or premature? Only time will tell.


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Secret Agent Man

Aside from the murder and aiding of drug cartels, Markham seems to be a pretty decent guy. He's a family man, a seemingly capable cop, and he looks eager to leave his position as a Solano informant. To learn more about him, though, Briggs decides to go undercover with the LAPD. Charlie finally mentions that they do every undercover case in the entire state of California, and therefore the deception may be obvious, but Briggs is insistent. I'm starting to suspect that these guys may actually be the only undercover government agents on the Western seaboard, so there may be no other options.

Markham and his equally dirty partner are suspicious when Briggs arrives, but all of his references seem solid. Briggs also gets a chance to prove himself when a sting goes south. The CI working with them bails at the last moment because of a paralyzing fear of wires, and since Paul just so happens to speak the same little-known dialect of Spanish that's needed, he volunteers to go in instead. Will these people ever come up against a language they can't speak? I'm waiting for a St. Patrick's Day episode where Jakes busts out flawless Gaelic or for Charlie to start rattling off Esperanto in her tattoo parlor.

Alas, even Briggs' multi-lingual charm isn't enough to save the operation, and he ends up telling the criminals that he has a wire and fighting his way out. Luckily his badassery keeps him from getting killed, and he ostensibly earns Markham's trust.


Any Excuse for Theft

Mike and Charlie are also addressing the Markham situation, but from a different angle. They discover that Markham uses two banks, which they deem suspicious even though that's actually pretty common. Mike gets them into the second bank by sending in a counterfeit hundred, thus necessitating FBI involvement. Once there they discover that Markham has at least a dozen or so safety deposit boxes in his name, presumably all filled with his blood money. Now that is suspicious.

The team thinks that Markham may be retiring from crime, since he already has more than enough money stored away. Thus, Mike thinks the only way to keep him in the game and catch him is to get rid of his nest egg. He proposes organizing a bank robbery, and naturally the team knows someone who can help with that. See you next week, Billy.

Weirdest Love Triangle, Ever

As for everyone else, they have their own side plots this week. Paige is still justifiably upset about leaving the sex trade outpost up and running, and is staking the building out in case Carlito or another higher up comes by. She doesn't find Carlito, but she and Jakes do manage to bust a man who has just bought one of the girls, and Paige beats the misogyny out of him with her righteous fists. Later, she uncovers audio from a phone conversation of Carlito's saying that he's attempting to close as much of his operation as possible in an attempt at evading the law. Mike still refuses to free the girls, though, and Paige is still angry.

Meanwhile, Johnny's finally-interesting storyline is no longer interesting. Carlito is gone, and with it their awkward gay love affair. When Johnny goes to Carlito's house in hopes of getting some information, he's instead beaten and held hostage by two men waiting for a shipment of guns to arrive. Lucia is also there, and they stall for time by giving the men some coke. The guys go hog wild with the stuff, but not enough to get distracted from the task at hand. This is unfortunate, because there are no guns. Simon finally arrives and pretends to have the shipment, but instead shoots both men dead. He's killed in the process, and Lucia realizes that the people the men worked for will come after her again to get what they paid for.

Since Lucia is Johnny's pre-ordained love interest, he cannot let this happen. And since it's too dangerous for her to go to any of her friends, Johnny takes her to his mother's house. I repeat, Johnny takes the daughter of a drug cartel's leader, who currently has a rival gang hunting her down and who he has spent a grand total of five minutes with the entire season, to his mother's house. His implausibly young mother takes them in, and we have a few scenes of bonding before Jakes shows up and starts talking sense. He is equally horrified by Johnny's actions and tells Johnny not to mix work and real life. Johnny takes this sage advice and does the exact opposite. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why Johnny wasn't allowed to go undercover before now.

Graceland airs Wednesdays at 10pm on USA.

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