The life and death situations that the Graceland agents face daily was front and center in "Pizza Box." Dale and Johnny went undercover to bust a
marijuana babe farmer when a simple mistake led to them nearly being buried behind the barn. Meanwhile, Mike got closer to Bello and had a gun pulled on him at least three times. That calls for nerves of steel!
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I'm not sure if I lived in Graceland that I would want Johnny to have my back. In the end, he came through to save Dale with some quick thinking and a bucket, but his poor decisions led them to that situation.
While Charlie did a sweet job on Johnny's tattoo, he should have known better than to think it would last a night of sweaty, intense sexually activity. Besides, when is it ever a good idea to sleep with a target? Wouldn't that compromise their case?
It's intriguing to compare the lengths that Lauren went to avoid intimacy with her Russian mark, while Johnny risked the bust to get some. Not only did Paige call off the mission, but Dale warned Johnny against staying.
In the end, Johnny's smudged back tattoo gave him away. There was no escaping the black mark he left on the the sheets. Plus, it didn't help that he was caught in the barn taking pictures. At least, Dale and Paige made it there in time to save him.
The Quarterback and the Pizza Box
After spending years cultivating a relationship with Bello, Briggs was sidelined for the new guy, Mike. The conversation between Briggs and Charlie about his Quarterback Syndrome was telling. He does have the leadership role in the house, but when should he step back and let the agents do their thing?
Using the football analogy, Mike is as green as a rookie can be, but he was their shot at bringing down the biggest drug dealer. As much as Briggs wanted the victory for himself, he had to let it play out naturally and that meant using Mike.
When Mike stumbled over the WQB question, I feared for him. It was a real moment of risk for him. He had a gun pointed at him for what would only be the first of many times in the hour. His response was perfect by replying about the pizza box, he put Bello in his place while solidifying his military cover. Well done, Mike!
Danger and Death
Mike successfully passed Bello's initial test and was brought in to train the criminals to shoot better. This assignment was not something that Mike could do. If he helped them, they would use those skills to kill people just like himself.
As an instructor, Mike instead convinced Bello that importance of teaching gun maintenance and safety. Bello is so smitten with Mike that he was more than willing to go along with that plan. Eddie on the other hand was suspicious and continued to believe Mike was a plant.
Eddie attacked Mike on the street, which led the FBI to pick him up to point suspicion on him. That action just heightened his belief that Mike was an agent. Bello was blind to Eddie's conviction.
Eddie pulled his gun on Mike three times. Once at the restaurant, then on the street, and finally in front of Bello after accusing Mike of being an agent. Instead of shooting Mike, Eddie killed himself. That was his only way out.
What a twist of events. When Bello is eventually arrested, he's going to feel like the biggest fool for not listening to Eddie. It's only a matter of time now that Mike is one of Bello's trusted allies.
The Toll of the Job
The house provides an area of safety and comfort for the undercover agents. They are living with others that are going through the same difficulties. The making and eating of the "sauce" was a way to provide a little bit of normalcy for the residents. It was too bad that Mike didn't get to experience his first sauce bonding dinner.
From the difficulties with dating to all the secrets that are kept, it's a difficult life to live. Mike learned about the isolation and suffering that comes with the position as well after Eddie's suicide.
He wasn't in any mood to go out on a date with the seemingly perfect girl for him. Mike couldn't share what happened and couldn't be comforted. He was alone in his pain. Not even Briggs could help him.
That final moment when Mike was washing the dishes was heartbreaking to watch. The job took a turn from one full of adrenaline and excitement, like after they successfully sold, stole, and re-bought the ammunition, to one of isolation and pain.
Eddie was dead because of Mike and his decisions. It didn't matter that Eddie was a bad guy who worked for an even worse guy. Mike felt guilt over his death and didn't have a way to deal with his feelings other than to clean the pots alone.
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(Image courtesy of USA.)