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'Graceland' recap: Men or women?

Season 2 | Episode 9 | “Gratis” | Aired Aug 13, 2014

The Graceland team is more divided than ever right now. Johnny is getting a little rest and relaxation at Daddy Solano’s massive Mexican drug estate, Mike is inside Sulla’s house trying to monitor the girls, Charlie is still working on the bank robbery, and Briggs is chilling out as an LAPD cop.

Johnny is the only person with solid access to the Solanos. Everyone else is just working peripherally to connect the puzzle pieces. When the house became disjointed in season 1, emotions ran high, but this season everyone is so focused on their missions that they’ve barely noticed that Graceland is falling apart.

After a long drive down to Mexico, all Johnny wants is some quality time with his main squeeze, Lucia, but no such luck. He is greeted instead by an eager Carlito, who is also looking for some private time with Johnny. This sibling love triangle is not going to be easy on Johnny. Luckily, Lucia storms into the room, telling Carlito to leave Johnny alone and let him rest. The second Carlito is gone, Johnny tries to jump Lucia’s bones, but apparently she actually wants him to rest.

At breakfast the next morning, Johnny attempts to impress Carlos Sr. with his impeccable pronunciation of “Buenos dias,” but it’s going to take a little more than that to knock Carlos Solano’s socks off. Mike tips off Johnny that the Solanos may be attempting to move girls by cruise ship. On the pretense of taking a vacation to the coast of Mexico, Johnny casually mentions that he used to go on cruises with his family. This makes Carlos and Carlito very jumpy and prompts some tricky questions about customs.

Lucia is, of course, upset at this turn of events, and takes out Johnny to her Gothic cathedral in the backyard for a chat. Johnny admits that he is not there to work with her father or Carlito, but because he wants to be with her. That might be true in Johnny’s heart, but unfortunately, what he is really interested in is the mission. When Johnny gets back to his palatial guest room, Carlito is creepily waiting in the dark corner with a gun. He is not happy about Johnny talking to his father and may very well blow Johnny’s brains out, but Johnny’s adorable face manages to get him out of yet another bind.

Carlos is questioning Carlito’s cruise ship idea and asks Johnny for his input, offering Johnny the perfect moment to lay out Jakes’ and Paige’s plane plan. After some thought, Carlos decides Johnny’s plan is more feasible than Carlito’s. Unlucky Lucia sees Johnny meeting with her father, which confirms her fears that Johnny is more interested in the business than in her.

Graceland - Season 2

The bank heist is still in full swing. While we, along with the rest of the Graceland house, have completely forgotten about Sid Markham, Charlie is still determined to break into those safety deposit boxes. Charlie arrives at Amber’s inner sanctum to find Amber hard at work on the set of Ocean’s 14. Amber is constructing a model bank, because that is the first step in robbing a low-security, small, independent bank, apparently. Charlie is scantily clad yet again, and Amber takes the opportunity to ask what we’ve all been thinking: “Men or women?” Instead of answering the question, Charlie just stares Amber down.

Amber says that their wheel man, Greg, is on his way over to meet Charlie. The southern California bank robbery ring is a pretty close-knit group though, and Charlie knows this Greg from a previous assignment. If Greg sees Charlie, her cover will be compromised, so she calls Briggs to take care of the driver. As Briggs is now the official Graceland lapdog, he jumps at the chance to chase the driver down.

With Greg unavailable, Charlie calls Jakes in to pose as a backup wheel man. Jakes is the perfect candidate for the position, as his bickering with Charlie is exactly the energy Amber is looking for. Back at the house, Charlie is getting ready to brush her teeth when she gets nauseous and runs to the bathroom. There is only one reason to feature vomiting on a television program: Charlie must be pregnant. Feeling overwhelmed, Charlie packs up and heads to Amber’s for the night. Her excuse is that everyone else is deep undercover and she wants to be too, but really it seems like she is avoiding Briggs.

Graceland - Season 2

Mike is not having an easy time sleeping in Sulla’s house. Instead of the respite he desperately needs, he is using the night hours to install bugs in the building so the FBI can listen in. Sulla is getting a little stir-crazy too and is not so happy with Mike knocking around his place. Mike’s presence is definitely not enough to stop Sulla from being a disgusting crazy person.

In the day, Mike meets Paige to give her an update, but the only useful information he has is about the cruise lines. There’s still no movement in the house, and Mike has no idea how to get the girls out without taking down Sulla in the process and losing his only connection to the Solanos. Back at Sulla’s house, Mike finds Sulla “sampling the merchandise”—in other words trying to rape Lena. Mike tries to get him out of there and receives a finger to the eye instead.

At this point, the whole thing is too much for Mike. He announces to Sulla that he is taking Lena out now. There are a bunch of guards and Sulla to contend with, but Mike just says, “OK, we’re leaving,” and heads for the door. Sulla abandons his dinner and stabs Lena repeatedly with his steak knife. There is nothing Mike can do as Lena bleeds to death on the dirty floor of this awful place.

Mike jumps on top of Sulla, choking him, but is quickly thrown off by one of the guards. Sulla tells Mike to clean up the mess he made. Mike nearly calls Paige, but hangs up. This is a truth he decides he can’t tell. Instead, he tells Paige that he is getting Lena out and to meet him at an abandoned lot. Before Paige gets there, Mike knocks himself out in an attempt to make it look like Lena escaped. Mike tells Paige that Lena jumped out of the truck and ran away. Paige immediately calls for backup to try to find Lena. Paige asks for Mike’s help, but he says he has to head back to the house. This is a big lie for Mike to hold onto, and it doesn’t bode well for any small chance Paige and Mike had of getting back together.

In secondary plot news, the cassette tape is back! Those kids’ dad finally felt compelled to turn over the Juan/Briggs tape to the police. With that reveal on the table, maybe Briggs will come back into play in a bigger role next week. Despite the still-divided plot lines, “Gratis” was one of the most entertaining episodes of the season. The Johnny/Solano plot is ridiculous, but a pleasure to watch, and things inside Sulla’s house are getting pretty intense. It will be interesting to see the cassette-tape secret play out. Who knows how the house will react when Mike’s secret about Lena is inevitably revealed?

Graceland airs Wednesdays at 10/9C on USA.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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