The next day, when the average blood alcohol level in the house has come down a bit, Mike gets everyone back to work on the bus case. Paige is in her cocaine-buying dress and is planning to meet with a dealer affiliated with the Salano cartel. Mike wants her to ask for more coke than the guy could possibly have, thus making him reveal the date of the next shipment. She and Briggs think it's a bad idea, but go with it anyway because Mike is their boss now.
Surprise! It turns out to be a bad idea. Paige introduces Briggs as Paul the Dominican lottery winner, who wants to buy 20 grand worth of coke so he can sprinkle it over strippers. Even the resident drug dealer finds this outrageous. He freaks out, pulls a gun on them, and stabs Paige through the hand. Briggs manages to talk him down by having actual knowledge about the Dominican Republic, and they find out that the next shipment is on Sunday. So the mission is technically a success, but Mike feels pretty guilty when he sees that his terrible judgment led to Paige being hurt. He hangs up on his rom-com plotline back in D.C. to apologize and marvel at Paige's skills. And also have sex with her.
How Many Languages Does She Speak?
In addition to other things, Mike manages to get his hands on a box of VHS security tapes from bus stations that need perusing. He gives the job to Jakes, probably to make him pay for his display the night before. Nobody's really sure what to do with Jakes yet, since they don't know if his transfer request will go through and he's a total mess. Briggs briefly tries to offer his happy-granola-Zen advice before Jakes reminds him that he recently murdered a guy and should be working on his own damn self. Fair point.
Despite the fact that he's still at least 65% drunk, Jakes manages to spot a key clue in the bus tapes. A number of white girls appear, all wearing the same pink fairy backpack. At the very least they're smuggling something, though Jakes suspects that they themselves are the product. He and Paige go down to the station to see if they can catch a real live Tinker Bell.
While on stakeout, Jakes continues to drink and talk about how he hates puppies and sunshine. Luckily for Paige, puppies and sunshine enthusiast, she spots a Tinker Bell and goes after her. The girl is clearly terrified, so Paige ushers her into an empty bathroom. Here we learn that Paige miraculously speaks perfect Ukrainian, that the girl was promised an American passport in exchange for smuggling drugs, and that she has no idea where she's going or where she's been. All she knows is that she's supposed to get on bus 220 to Sylmar and that she really, really doesn't want to. Paige makes her get on the bus anyway, planting a phone in her backpack so that she can track her and promising to find her soon. The girl tearfully gives Paige a letter to her father and makes her promise to send it. She is so gonna die.
Jakes tracks bus 118, the bus the Ukrainian girl arrived on, to a mysterious garage. Mike is thrilled, because they have likely found the operation. Meanwhile, Paige finally goes after bus 220. She tracks it to a station and decides to call the phone she put in the girl's backpack, despite the fact that the ringing would be incredibly incriminating should cartel members be within earshot. She finds the backpack in a trash can and no Ukrainian girl in sight. What an unforeseen set of events!
The French Mistake
Another facet of the operation has also been going on. Since Charlie bailed on seducing Carlito Salano's right hand man, Johnny had to step up. It's worth mentioning that Charlie is still having her crushing guilt issues from last week, and once again confesses to Briggs how horrible she was to think he did all those things he actually did. He continues to not tell her the information that would stop the unravelling of her psyche and instead comforts her by saying that he's trying to talk Kelly Badilla out of her alcoholism. It seems to help.
Back to the action. Johnny learned from Carlito's friend, Garcia, that Carlito is obsessed with antique Mexican weapons. Zelanski helps him get a set of dueling pistols, but they end up being French. Mike is horrified by the fact that Johnny is the one undercover and by his presumed incompetence in general. Johnny tries to rectify the error with something about Napoleon, but Mike doesn't want any of that nonsense. The lead up to the actual mission is more or less just people emasculating Johnny over and over again.
Johnny brings the pistols to Carlito's house, per Garcia's invitation. There he is immediately abused by Carlito's rude sister Lucia, but Carlito doesn't really like her so it's all good. Carlito, it must be said, knows about his antique Mexican weapons. He immediately recognizes the pistols as French because of some vague initials on it. But all it not lost! Turns out Johnny wasn't just screwing around about Napoleon. He did his research, and he not only gives a mildly plausible explanation about the pistols, but he learned how to properly load them. He can't match Carlito's knowledge, though, and Carlito forces Johnny to duel.
Carlito clearly has no intention of letting Johnny leave alive. He turns before the eight paces are up and is about to shoot Johnny in the back when Lucia and her attitude save the day. She doesn't want Carlito killing people in their living room, which is reasonable. It looks like she might be able to appeal to Carlito's rational side, but it quickly becomes apparently that he may not have one. Garcia makes the mistake of giggling, so Carlito shoot's his number two in the neck. He and Lucia are ready to organize a body dump, but since Garcia is not actually dead, Johnny starts working on saving his life. Impressed by his shirtlessness, Carlito lets Johnny go with a promise that he'll call him. Johnny and Lucia make hand-to-hand contact as well, which means she's his new love interest. Good luck with that.
Back in the van, Johnny is rightfully upset about what just happened and angry that Mike doubted his ability to succeed. To make matters worse, his new BFF Zelanski has moved out of Graceland while Johnny was narrowly avoiding death. Mike chose Jakes, so Zelanski had to go. I have no idea why, since Mike is just there temporarily and Zelanski and Jakes were both living in the house before he got there, but whatever. Plot points will be plot points.
What do you think? Is Zelanski gone for good? How many episodes will Johnny and Lucia stare meaningfully at each other before getting it on? Is the Ukrainian girl deader than Brigg's honesty? Share your thoughts!