'Graceland' Recap: When Girlfriends Collide
'Graceland' Recap: When Girlfriends Collide
M.K. Costigan
M.K. Costigan
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Previously on Graceland, too many bad decisions were made to summarize in a one sentence. 

This week...well, I think you know what to expect by now.


Facebook Relationship Status: Screwed

"H-A-Double P-Y" informs us that there was, in fact, contraband in the barrels Jakes spotted last week. Thus, though the sex trafficking ring hasn't been cracked and Carlito is still free and homicidal, Mike's operation is a success. He has the evidence he came for, and Jess from D.C. stops by to congratulate him. This is pretty awkward, since he left their relationship open-ended and is currently shacking up with Paige. It doesn't help that all parties involved are armed.

Jess hasn't just come to make Mike deeply uncomfortable. She's here to tell him that his bus operation is being shut down at the end of the week. They'll get anything they can out of the last shipment-hopefully Carlito-but the main mission has been accomplished. Even worse, Jess is pulling Paige's team from the sex trafficking investigation so that they have all the manpower possible focused on the next drug shipment. Not sure why sex trafficking is less of a priority than drug dealing, but I guess they just want the win. 

Mike has the unpleasant task of telling Paige that the FBI is unconcerned with the Tinker Bells. Somehow Paige immediately realizes that Mike and Jess have a thing, though Mike claims that it was just a fling and he only has feelings for her. Paige is unmoved; she wants Mike to get her team back by whatever means necessary, including sleeping with Jess. This is a lose-lose situation for Mike if ever there was one.

Because he is an idiot, Mike actually does give the whole seduction thing a shot. It works at first; persuaded by the sight of Mike's shirtless bod, Jess says she'll talk to her bosses about getting Paige a team. But Mike just can't go through with it, and Jess realizes that Mike and Paige have a thing just as easily as Paige made the same realization about Mike and Jess. Needless to say, Paige does not get the team.

Facebook Relationship Status: Illegal

Speaking of stupid men, Jakes finds his hooker friend from last week lying on a bench and immediately tries to rescue her. Not that it's stupid to treat prostitutes like human beings; that's actually one of the better qualities Jakes has revealed over the course of this show. But he's clearly falling down a rabbit hole that no law enforcement officer should fall down. He probably likes her because she doesn't judge him at all for being a hot mess, which is the number one quality he's looking for at the moment. They almost hook up again when he takes her back to his apartment, but Mike calls him at the wrong moment and he has to resume his undercover work.

Here we get yet another scene of people being cranky with Mike for demanding crazy things like showing up on time for work. I'll cut Jakes some slack this time, since he was just about to get some and didn't yet know that the operation suddenly has to be completed in a few days. To find out the date of the next shipment in a hurry, Jakes buys some booze and pretends to be drunk at work. His boss calls him into his office, furious, and Jakes throws up on him in order to be left alone in the room. Do they teach you how to puke on command at Quantico? I pray I never find out.

After telling Mike that the shipment arrives in two days, Jakes goes back to his apartment to find his hooker with a heart of gold hanging out with his son. For a horrible moment I thought she kidnapped him in order to repay Jakes for his kindness, but Daniel really just rode his bike to the address he saw on the restraining order. He seems like a pretty cool kid. He's clearly quite resourceful, and seems totally unfazed by the fact that his only memory of Jakes is him getting tackled by police in his front yard. Jakes is prepared to send Daniel away, because of that pesky restraining order, but the prostitute convinces him to spend the day with his son. I feel bad just referring to her as "the prostitute", even though they don't specify her name at any point on the show. IMDB lists her as Romona, though, so that's what I'll be calling her from now on.

Since he doesn't actually have any experience with children, and Romona seems to be great with Daniel, Jakes asks her to spend the day with them. He even offers to pay her, which I'm sure will never blow up in his face or be brought up in future lawsuits. She agrees, and they spend a lovely day at a carnival. When it's time to drop Daniel off at home, Jakes gives him an emotional hug, and Daniel says that he hopes to see them again. Romona is touched by this, and takes a majorly discounted rate for her service that day. I'm not sure if she'll pop up again as Jakes' love interest or if she was simply his spirit guide for a few episodes, but I would guess that she'll be back.


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In other love interest news, Johnny's life gets very complicated this week. He starts off by visiting Casa de Crazy, where Carlito and Lucia are throwing things at each other and being violent in general. It escalates when Lucia actually hurts Carlito and he responds by strangling her. Johnny has to punch Carlito in order to keep him from suffocating his own sister, which means he may have blown his entire cover. But he and Lucia are clearly heading for a hookup, so he couldn't let her die before that happened.

Since the operation has suddenly gone into overdrive, Johnny has to try and salvage his cover so they'll have a chance at arresting Carlito when he picks up the drugs. He goes to Carlito's ominously-lit living room a day or so later for a deeply disturbing conversation. Carlito relates how he was abused as a child, which probably didn't help with his budding psychosis, and how despite the evidence to the contrary, he cares about Lucia more than anything. He just wants love and trust and respect and all those good things usually reserved for people who don't go on killing sprees when they get a hangnail. 

It is then revealed that the homoeroticism that I assumed I was imagining is, in fact, the real deal. Carlito is gay and has the hots for Johnny. Briggs makes a two second appearance in this episode to feel uncomfortable on Johnny's behalf, but Charlie reminds him that this is exactly the sort of thing female agents work with all the time. Preach it, sister! For the sake of the mission, and perhaps gender equality, Johnny agrees to use Carlito's feelings for him to help with the bust.

Johnny meets Carlito at the club they always seem to frequent and throws the words from their intimate conversation in his face. Carlito takes Johnny to a back room to beat the crap out of him, but Johnny surprises him with a kiss. After some symbolic action with his pistol, Carlito kisses back, and agrees to take Johnny on the pickup to get some alone time with him. 

Johnny is still trying to process the fact that he has a date with a sociopath when he meets Lucia outside. For some reason he decides that it's a good idea to tell her that he's not gay, despite the fact that his entire cover and probable survival is dependent on convincing her brother of that very fact. Lucia too realizes that Johnny is not thinking with his upstairs brain, and kisses him about two seconds before Carlito picks Johnny up. If he gets caught, he deserves it.

Spoiler: Everything Goes Wrong

These three storylines collide in the final scenes of the episode. Mike and Jess are waiting with the barrels of contraband for Carlito to make the pickup. Charlie and Briggs are tailing Carlito and Johnny as they drive towards the meet. And Paige has of course decided to defy orders and reason, getting a ride on the next bus to Sylmar and taking Jakes as her backup. I can't say I really blame her for being unable to let this one go.

Naturally, everything goes to hell. Paige finds the Tinker Bell, a girl named Anika. She initially plans to have Anika wear a wire and follow her, but it becomes clear that the girl is not well. She manages to throw up the heroin balloons she was smuggling, but one of them burst. She dies of an overdose, and Paige decides to take her place. She swallows the recently-regurgitated balloons and heads off with the people meant to take Anika, having reported via radio to Jakes what she is doing. But Jake doesn't hear her, because he's busy being arrested for violating his restraining order. Thus Paige has thrust herself into the middle of a human trafficking ring without backup or anyone knowing where she is.

The other horrible thing that happens is that the pickup is completely blown. Almost immediately after Mike radios it in, Carlito gets a call warning him not to pick up the drugs. He drives away, and no one has any idea where he and Johnny are going. Even worse, someone has rigged all of the contraband barrels to explode, destroying all the evidence Mike has in the bus case. They have nothing to show for their efforts except Jakes' boss, who has been arrested, and the knowledge that someone on the inside must have tipped Carlito off. Sound familiar? That's because it was the entire plot of last season.

What did you think? Is Briggs up to his old tricks? What exactly is Johnny going to have to do to keep his cover? Will Jakes ever catch a damn break? Share your thoughts!

Graceland airs Wednesdays at 10pm on USA.

(Image courtesy of USA)


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