Season 2 | Episode 3 | “Tinker Bell” | Aired June 25, 2014
Graceland continues to develop the individual housemates’ plots in “Tinker Bell.” Jakes’, Paige’s and Johnny’s stories all pick up. After you’ve been kicked to the curb by your baby mama and told you can never see your kid again, the logical thing to do is to get drunk and headbutt your friends. Well, at least, that’s the logical course of action for Jakes. Jakes gets back to Graceland in quite the state. He wakes everyone up as he attempts to break into his room, which is now occupied by Zelanski. After headbutting Johnny and causing a general ruckus, Jakes is escorted downstairs to sober up.
Mike is nowhere to be found during the incident, but as soon as everyone is downstairs, he sneaks out of Paige’s room and heads down to see what the problem is. It’s time for Mike to put his bossy pants on and decide who stays in the house now that they’re one roommate above the limit. Initially he goes with Zelanski and relegates Jake to sleeping in the equipment room. Mike gives a good show of shying away from his new role as head honcho, but in reality, he’s definitely enjoying his little power trip.
With Charlie too nervous to make contact with Carlito (Erik Valdez), Johnny steps up to the plate with a cockamamie story about some antique French-Mexican weapons. Turns out that Crazy Carlito really enjoys Mexican antiques. Johnny sets up a meet through Crazy Carlito’s bodyguard, Esteban (G-Rod). Zelanski has secured some antiques for Johnny, but they are French, not Mexican, leading Johnny to create his long story about Napoleon’s cousin. Johnny’s knowledge of Napoleonic history is far more impressive then any antique weapons could ever be. Upon arriving at Carlito’s, Johnny is immediately confronted by Carlito’s sister, Lucia (Jamie Gray Hyder), who is not happy to see a new face in her house.
After all the Carlito build-up, we finally get to see the man in action, and he really is just as crazy as Mike said. Johnny tells Carlito the story about the weapons, but Carlito isn’t buying it and challenges Johnny to an old-school duel in his living room. Knowing that calling in the FBI team would shut down the entire mission, Johnny plays along with the duel with no plan on how to get out of it.
Luckily, Lucia bursts in at pace seven and puts an end to it. Carlito killing a stranger in her living room is too much for Lucia — plus it would ruin the carpet. Johnny is safe for now, but in a lapse of judgement, Esteban chuckles at Carlito’s expense and gets an 18th-century bullet to the neck. If Carlito is willing to shoot a bodyguard whom he has known for years, we don’t want to imagine what he would do to Johnny if he discovers Johnny is a fed. The distraction of Esteban bleeding out on the floor somehow leads Carlito to decide Johnny is OK. With his cover securely established, Johnny gets the hell out of there and throws his watch transmitter at Mike. The entire case now hinges on Johnny’s cover, so this is definitely not the last time we’ll see Johnny in a pickle.
Paige suggests using one of her coke contacts, Lil Top, to find out when his next shipment is coming in. As a Solano dealer, Lil Top’s cocaine may be coming from Mike’s buses. In an effort to speed things up, Mike sends Briggs to act as Paige’s Dominican sugar daddy and press Lil Top to sell more than he can handle. As Paul tells Mike, though, coke dealers do not like change. Top flips out and stabs Paige when she and Briggs ask for a massive quantity of cocaine. Luckily, Briggs passes Top’s Dominican Republic geography quiz and lets Paige and Briggs go, telling them that his next shipment will be on Sunday.
Mike is on the phone with Jessica discussing his personnel issue when a bleeding Paige walks in. Seriously, Jessica has magical powers and is somehow always on the phone when Paige appears. A bloodied-up Paige lets Mike know when the shipment is coming in. Mike immediately goes to check the bus schedule, but Paige reminds him that buses don’t run that late. You know what that means — more sexy times!
To keep the customs agency happy, Mike decides to keep Jakes over Zelanski despite Jakes’ obvious drinking problem. With these busses carrying God knows what up from Mexico, it makes sense that Mike may need ICE’s (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, for those of you who thought Mike was talking about the ice machine on his fridge) help down the line. In his drunk and disorderly state, Jakes is tasked with watching hours and hours of bus-stop footage. He doesn’t find any outliers, but he does find Tinker Bell.
Several pretty young girls with the same exact backpack have been coming through the bus terminal. Mike and Paige assume that the girls are drug mules, but Jakes makes a good point. You don’t use ass like that to haul the product; “ass like that is the product.” Seems like Mike’s bus theory may be much more complicated than he originally thought. It’s stake-out time, and Paige and a less-than-happy Jakes are on the buses. From VHS tapes of buses to real-life bus-watching, Jakes’ day is looking up.
When Paige spots a Tinker Bell, she rushes out to talk to her. The girl is Ukrainian and doesn’t really have an idea of what is going on. Some guys gave her a bus ticket and told her to go to Sylmar. She also swallowed some drug balloons. Instead of taking her in, Paige sticks a cell phone on her and sends her to Sylmar. Jakes and Paige follow the bus Tinker Bell got off to a warehouse. There’s no scheduled maintenance on the bus, so the warehouse is definitely connected to the drugs. Paige then heads to Sylmar to try to find her Tinker Bell, but only finds the phone and the backpack in a trash can.
Only three episodes in, and we’re deep into the season 2 plot of Graceland. Mike has tons of interesting news to send back to the FBI, Johnny is in with Crazy Carlito Jr., and Paige is chasing whatever horrible thing is happening to these girls. The twists and turns are all there this season, but the surfing and house bonfires are sadly missing.
The balance of Graceland has shifted. Despite Charlie and Briggs’ and Paige and Mike’s sexual escapades, the house feels less like the beach frat party it once was. It’s all work all the time for the Gracelanders. With a 13-episode season, it’s hard to fit everything in, but regardless of the intricately interesting plot, we are still craving a drink at The Drop.
Graceland airs Wednesdays at 10/9 C on USA.