'Graceland' Recap: Vegetarianism 101
'Graceland' Recap: Vegetarianism 101
M.K. Costigan
M.K. Costigan
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Previously on Graceland, Briggs was a terrible person, Jakes had family issues, and Charlie suffered from a crippling case of self-doubt. This week on Graceland, Briggs is a terrible person, Jakes has family issues, and Charlie suffers from a crippling case of self-doubt. Mike has a new haircut, though.


"Connects" starts off with Briggs being typical Briggs and putting himself in unnecessary danger. He has some sketchy Caza contacts in Mexico (of course) and thinks he can use them to find out who tried to have Mike killed. He says he's doing this because they don't have the time to go through the mugshots of every Mexican in southern California, but his self-destructive quest for vengeance is pretty much always a factor in his decisions.

Once in Mexico, he's dropped off in the middle of the desert, with only a rundown house and an adorable goat to keep him company. If you're like me, you made the mistake of becoming emotionally invested in this goat. Graceland quickly reminds us that it's best to go through life cold and unfeeling, because the leader of the Caza cartel shows up, slaughters the goat, and makes a stew out of it. I get you now, PETA.

Alfredo Armas is the leader of a murderous international drug ring, and even he thinks Briggs acted immorally by becoming Odin and lying to everyone in his life. Briggs is like "pot, have you met the kettle?", but overall the two have a surprisingly civilized meeting. Armas wants the FBI off his ass for ordering the hit on Mike, which he didn't do, and for all the various crimes he actually has committed. He agrees that, if Briggs will help get the focus away from him and his organization, he'll tell Briggs who ordered the hit as soon as he finds out.

Secrets and Lies

Back in Graceland, everyone is wrapping up their own cases and transferring onto Mike's. Charlie realizes that Briggs is gone, and confronts Mike about it in her typical cool-headed manner. She's furious that Briggs risked himself for Mike and that Mike allowed him to do so, unaware that Briggs is probably in more danger from the FBI than he is from Caza. 

She hasn't really cooled off by the time Briggs gets back. She's angry about being left out of his decision to go to Mexico. Briggs then has the gall to talk to her about trust, and how he knows she's been sneaking out at night without telling him. Unless she's been sneaking out to run a secret drug business and commit manslaughter then I think she still has the moral high ground, but Briggs is trying to pretend that never happened.

After meeting with Jakes about the knowledge that Charlie is investigating Juan Badillo's widow (Jakes' response: get out of my apartment), Briggs confronts Charlie while she's on a stakeout. It turns out Charlie is really more angry with herself than she is with Briggs. She's staking out Badillo's family and observing their suffering (Kelly the widow has reverted to alcoholism, his nine year old daughter is now fatherless) just to punish herself for trusting Jangles. She was so focused on seeing Briggs as the villain, she says, that she let all of this happen, and it's tearing her apart. Briggs, of course, has the power to alleviate all of this suffering with the truth, but does not. In fairness, it's probably really awkward to confess drug trafficking and murder to your partner.

Since telling the truth is out of the question, Briggs tries to fix the mess he's made a different way. He follows Kelly to a liquor store and pretends to be a member of her sobriety group. He ends up convincing her to get coffee with him instead of buying industrial strength whiskey, and in their conversation mostly does tell the truth about his own sufferings. Kelly probably needed someone to commiserate with more than anything (except, you know, not having her husband get killed), but presumably she'd be none too pleased to learn that the man helping her is the cause of her pain.

Charlie, on the other hand, is not so easily consoled. Armas sends a goat-themed message that Carlos Salano Sr. is the one who ordered the hit on Mike. Salano is the head of the Salano drug cartel, though the most well-known member of the organization is his son, Carlito. Mike thinks that they're the ones running the bus smuggling operation, and wants to move immediately. 

Carlito's right hand man is going to be at a club that night, and they want to get imbedded in the organization using Charlie's feminine wiles. But when it comes time to do the seducing, Charlie panics and leaves. She doesn't want to be responsible for another fallout like the Badillo case. Since Johnny's storyline this season seems to revolve around the fact that he's always relegating to running tactical missions, he improvises and moves in to chat with the target himself. Presumably in a less seductive way, but hey, let's not make any assumptions.

Bow Chicka Wow Wow

Meanwhile, Paige is having trouble letting go of a case before transferring to the bus investigation. She'd been working on bringing down a big shot dealer named Moreno for four months, mainly by cozying up with his associate, Finch. Though she insists that she doesn't want or need any help, Mike brings in a lip reader to decode a video without any audio. From this they learn that Finch plans to cut Paige out of meet with Moreno and that the meet is happening in half an hour. 

I'm not going to go too much into depths on this subplot because it was really just a set up for the end of the episode. Long story short, Paige gets on her skanky drug-dealer clothes, crashes the meet, and chases Moreno while maintaining her cover when the team swoops in. She seems taken with Mike's handcuff skills, and later we find that those lingering reaction shots of her face were not meaningless. While Mike's on the phone with his "it's complicated" relationship status back in D.C., Paige gets naked in front of him. Since he's not dead, Mike follows her into her room and shuts the door. Well, that's one way to do it.

Law Degree Provided by Google

Last but not least, Jakes has a very eventful episode. After telling Johnny about his son and the backstory of how he became an absentee father, Jakes finally moves out of Graceland. He plans to get a nice, safe desk job and some visitation rights, but it's clear from the phone call he has with Cassie that she's not pleased with the situation.

Blinding to her obvious unease by his own excitement, Jakes dresses in a suit and tie and goes over to Cassie's house to meet his son. But when he gets there, Cassie and her boyfriend inform Jakes that, not only will he not be getting visitation rights, but they have a restraining order against him. I actually looked up the restraining order procedures in California, because the whole situation seemed incredibly abrupt and because I am a huge nerd. In my expert opinion, this was in no way legal. But I'm also pretty sure that 90% of this show is inaccurate, so let us never speak of it again.

Because this isn't depressing enough, Jakes gets violently arrested just as Daniel comes home. He starts calling for his father, but a second later it's revealed that he's talking to Cassie's boyfriend. This is certainly not the way Jakes wanted to be reacquainted with his son, and he's taken away as he tries to tell Daniel who he is. Later that night, he smashes the room he prepared for Daniel and cries. It's almost as heartbreaking as the fate of that poor goat. 

Graceland airs Wednesdays at 10pm on USA.

(Image courtesy of USA)