Season 2 | Episode 8 | “The Ends” | Aired Aug 6, 2014
It’s time to install another new character on Graceland, to further discombobulate the already impossible-to-follow plot. Meet Billy, the man who is going to help Charlie rob Markham’s bank. When Billy was first mentioned in episode 7, it felt like maybe this was someone we had met before, but it isn’t. Billy is a sleazy crook whom knew Charlie and Paul back when they were together the first time. He also knows someone who can get Charlie into the bank—namely Amber, a sexy blond bombshell who knows a lot about bombs.
The more random people we don’t care about that Mike and Charlie recruit to fake-break into the bank to get to Markham’s safety deposit boxes, the more far-fetched the plan seems. Obviously something is going to go horribly wrong, but watching Charlie flirt with Amber is pretty epic, so we’ll let it slide. Charlie tries to get Amber away from Billy and wants Amber to work just for her. She thinks she is successful, but after slamming the door in Charlie’s face, Amber hops back into bed with Billy. Is Amber going to double-cross Charlie? Is there something more juicy going on here? It’s impossible to tell, as Billy and Amber’s characters and relationship are not further developed, leaving us confused as to why they are there in the first place.
In a test to gain her trust, Amber challenges Charlie to rob a motorcycle bar armed with a shotgun. Amber thinks Charlie won’t be up to it since Charlie’s cover is a mere warehouse robber, but as Charlie is a trained FBI agent, the bar heist goes off without a problem, and she even delivers the cheeseburger to Amber as requested (in addition to the cash).
Do these people even have a controlling officer anymore? Mike is the head of the operation, but doesn’t he have someone over him to determine if robbing a restaurant or giving random girls drugs or sleeping with a prostitute is acceptable behavior for government agents? Seriously, someone needs to knock some sense into the Gracelanders. Anyway, Charlie is in with Amber, and the bank-robbing portion of the convoluted Carlos Solano takedown is set.
After weeks of being Mike’s lapdog, Briggs was allowed to have a sliver of his own plot on this episode. While in a meeting with Markham, Paul receives a phone call from K, who turns out to be Kelly Badillo. She is in bad shape, so Briggs naturally races to her rescue. His sudden exit does not go unnoticed, and Markham sends his lackey after Briggs to check it out.
Briggs finds Kelly and a bottle of pills next to Juan’s grave. He carries her back to her apartment and forces her to throw up the pills. While Kelly has her head in the toilet, Markham knocks on the door. In order to maintain his cover with Markham, Briggs tells a nearly unconscious Kelly that he is Paul West from El Paso. Briggs manages to pass off Kelly as an ex-girlfriend, and Markham even sends over an off-the-books doctor to help out.
When Kelly regains her senses, she is understandably confused by Paul’s lying. It slowly occurs to her that Paul really is a cop and that he knew her husband. Kelly outright asks Paul if he knows what happened to Juan. For a good five seconds, it looks like Paul is finally going to come clean about accidentally killing Juan, but before he gets the chance, Kelly kicks him out.
Later, while having some crazy-sexy times with Charlie, in a moment of passion Briggs sees Kelly’s face above him rather than Charlie’s. Uh-oh, creepy sex hallucinations are not a good sign for Charlie and Briggs’ relationship. It could be guilt that Briggs is seeing, but it also could be a true desire for Kelly Badillo. Either way, Briggs needs to clear his head. Maybe a drink at the Drop would help? Why, oh, why can’t they ever just go for a drink at the Drop anymore?
In other sexy-times news, Johnny and Lucia are still going hot and heavy at Johnny’s mother’s house. It’s a little weird to have shower sex with an asset in your undercover case. It’s a lot weird to do it while your mom is in the next room. Lucia’s dad, Carlos, has been in touch, and really wants Lucia to go home to Mexico to keep her safe. But since Carlito and Carlos are known for being crazy murderers, Lucia doesn’t want any part of that. Johnny tells her not to worry and that he will take care of her, which is sweet but impossible.
Mike thinks that getting Lucia to Mexico will help with the investigation, so as per usual, with complete disregard for anyone’s feelings, Mike leaks a story that Lucia is a person of interest in the homicide that took place at her house. This gives Johnny the ammunition he needs to change Lucia’s mind about going to Mexico. With some passport help from Dale, Johnny and Lucia are headed on a romantic getaway to her insane father’s house.
The purpose of Johnny heading to Mexico is convincing Carlos to switch to a different method of drug transport, since the buses are out of service. Mike originally toys with the idea of tunnels, but when Paige brings up that girls could be trafficked in tunnels, she and Dale come up with a plan to use planes. After a day of looking at old planes that definitely will not fly with the Solanos, Dale comes across a government-owned fixer-upper that will do the drug-dropping job just fine.
Paige has been up all night at Sulla’s again, and she has nothing but disdain for Mike. In an overly abundant episode of sexy times, Graceland‘s cutest, blondest couple are nothing but cold. Any feelings Paige and Mike had for each other have disintegrated into frustration over their disagreement about how to handle Sulla. Mike is still adamant about letting the house run for the time being, which is only pushing Paige further away. Paige only has one goal in her mind: Get those girls out.
After some deliberation, Mike decides he’ll simply buy all of the girls for $1.5 million; since the bus bust, Carlos hasn’t been able to transport any new Tinker Bells. Problem solved. Mike puts on his fancy sex-trafficking duds and goes to meet Sulla, not at the house, but at a hospital. Turns out Sulla is less than eager to sell Mike the girls and go against Carlos, since the Solanos beat Sulla’s brother so viciously that he is now brain dead.
Sulla is a business man, though, so Mike figures out a way to please everyone. He brings $250,000 to the house as a down payment on the rest of the girls. Mike tells Sulla that he will receive the remainder of the money when things die down and the girls can leave. For now, in order to maintain the health and welfare of the product (the Tinker Bells), Mike will remain at Sulla’s house to keep an eye on things. Sulla is not thrilled by the idea, but since he hasn’t had a sale in a while, he accepts.
With Mike inside the Tinker Bell house, the girls should be more safe, but the Gracelanders are bound to get into all sorts of trouble. Now that Mike has gone undercover, their makeshift boss is gone and the bad is likely to keep on coming. The Gracelanders are getting deep into some heavy, illegal stuff, and it is less clear than ever if what they are doing is right or wrong. Sure Markham has some shady business with the Solanos, but over the course of this episode, he actually stopped a couple of bad guys. That’s more than can be said for anyone in the Graceland house recently.
There are only five episodes left of the season, and despite the first half of the season being overly plot-heavy, the Gracelanders haven’t made that much progress on the Solano case. At this point anything could happen with the Solanos, but one thing is for sure: If someone doesn’t whip the Graceland crew back into shape soon, the entire house might fall apart.
Graceland airs Wednesdays at 10/9C on USA.