Still a Better Love Story Than Twilight
"The Ends" opens as every episode of Graceland does, with someone making horrible, horrible choices. Since Carlito has suspended all Solano trade until a suitable trafficking replacement for the buses can be found, the team is working on setting up a replacement for him. Mike thinks using tunnels will work the best. They plan to set up a tunnel system to pitch to Carlito, which will give them an upper hand when the cartel's operations resume.
To pitch this idea they will need Johnny, which brings us to our horrible decision of the week. Johnny is still shacked up with Lucia in his mother's house. Let's take a quick break to review all the things we know about Lucia thus far:
1. She doesn't like her family's business.
2. She throws things when angry.
3. She has brown hair.
Lucia has virtually no characteristics other than being a plot device and love interest. Yet Johnny is so taken with her that he's willing to risk his mother's life by bringing her into her home, as well as his career by sleeping with the subject of his investigation. (Although it isn't an episode of Graceland if someone isn't jeopardizing their career, so Johnny isn't uniquely stupid on that point.) Even Jakes, Mr. Violates-Restraining-Orders-And-Sleeps-With-Hookers, calls Johnny out for being a damn fool. But alas, Johnny is not thinking with his upstairs brain.
He does, however, begrudgingly agree to convince Lucia to go to her father's house in Mexico, where Carlito is currently staying. Lucia desperately wants to get away from her family, and Johnny had promised to help her, but they have no other way of relaying the tunnel information to Carlito. Mike sets Lucia up for the three murders that took place last week, forcing her and Johnny to go into hiding. She is very much against seeking refuge with her father when Johnny suggests it, but lets him make the decision. So off they head to Mexico, where Carlito presumably still thinks Johnny is his boyfriend. That'll be an awkward reunion.
The Hard Sell
Though Mike is making progress with Johnny's undercover operation, he's having less luck with Paige. She's growing more and more impatient and angry with his refusal to close down Sulla's sex slavery den. Mike attempts to buy all of the girls, thus saving them without shutting down their link to the cartel, but Sulla refuses. Paige is livid. She's also against the tunnel plan, since they would just be providing the cartel with another avenue of human trafficking. Jakes suggests that they use a plane to parachute contraband, making it impossible to continue with the sex trade. He finds a plane by the end of the episode, so this is presumably the route they will pursue.
Since Paige is ready to order a sting on Sulla's business herself, Mike decides to try a different bargaining strategy. He's goes in posing as a buyer for a much bigger client, and offers a large down payment for all of the girls. He understands that they can't leave the building, but he will essentially be putting them on layaway. In addition, he wants to stay in the building with them. Sulla is reluctant at first, but the money whispers sweet nothings to him, and he agrees to give Mike a room.
Your Tax Dollars at Work
Elsewhere, Charlie is starting to organize the bank robbing plan proposed last week. She meets with Billy, who introduces her to heist genius Amber. Charlie immediately realizes that Billy is useless and decides to work exclusively with Amber instead. Of course, Amber is sleeping with Billy, so the potential for double-crossing is strong with this one.
Amber also has Charlie commit armed robbery in a bar to prove herself. Just a reminder, the government paid her for that.
And rounding out the team is Briggs, who is still dealing with the consequences of being a terrible person last season. While undercover with Markham, he gets a call from Kelly. She calls him to say that she can't live without Juan, which naturally sends up some red flags. Briggs runs out of a meeting, attracting the attention of Markham and his deputy, and finds Kelly in the midst of a suicide attempt at Juan's grave.
Kelly's swallowed a possibly lethal amount of pills, but if she goes to the hospital she'll lose custody of her daughter. So Briggs takes her to his secret heroin apartment to help her get the drugs out of her system. Markham shows up, since his deputy had followed Briggs, and Briggs quickly has to school a near-comatose Kelly on his current alias. She maintains the charade, and Markham seems convinced that Kelly really is Briggs' troubled ex. He even sends over a doctor to help. While he and Briggs make peace he alludes to some shady business his wife got involved in, but doesn't elaborate. For now he seems to trust Briggs and has every intention of getting out of the Solano business.
It isn't as easy for Briggs to smooth thing over with Kelly, though. When she's regained sobriety, she quickly connects that Briggs and his mysterious identities must have known her husband. Briggs doesn't deny it, and even confirms to her that Juan is dead. He refuses to give her any more information, which prompts Kelly to backhand him and throw him out of the apartment. Briggs doesn't tell Charlie about this, because he never really tells her anything of importance, but he does picture Kelly while having sex with her. I give this relationship a few more episodes before it crashes and burns.