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Graceland - Season 2

'Graceland' recap: Baby mama drama

Season 2 | Episode 11 | “Home” | Aired Aug 27, 2014

After the blood bath that was the take-down of Sulla’s house in episode 10 and Lena’s stabbing in episode 9, Graceland has been on a murder trend, but luckily the only brutal murder in “Home” was a deer. Sorry Bambi, but we’d rather see you go than Mike Warren.

Briggs has spent season 2 meandering around doing Mike’s bidding, but with the Badillo tape resurfacing, Graceland is back to being all Briggs all the time and it rocks. The bank heist, sauce night and Briggs’ neurosis finally bring Graceland back together, and for the first time this season, there is a single plotline. The hopping back between different characters’ stories has been interesting, but where Graceland really thrives is when the house works as a team.

We begin with an anonymous phone call that throws Briggs completely, and he can barely talk to Charlie or Mike. Mike asks Briggs if Markham has set up a meeting, and he stares at Mike like his perfectly coifed hair has suddenly turned pink. The initial shock of someone having proof that Briggs murdered Juan wears off quickly and Briggs goes into neurotic planning mode.

Graceland - Season 2

Obviously the most likely owner of the tape is Sid Markham, well obviously to Briggs, not to us. Since Jakes has been embroiled with this mess from the beginning, Briggs enlists Jakes to give him an alibi while he murders Markham. Despite Juan’s murder being an accident, Briggs is convinced the best course of action is to commit more killings to hide the accidental one.

This season Briggs has seemed level-headed and almost trustworthy compared to his heroin-fueled Odin days, but in 45 minutes or less, he turns into the rash impulsive fanatic we have sorely been missing. Briggs goes to Markham’s house to confront him and after a few minutes of creepy stalking to make sure Sid’s wife and kid are out of the house, Briggs knocks on the door ready to blow Sid’s brains out.

Markham opens the door bleary eyed from a good night’s sleep, something Briggs never gets, with a smile on his face. It’s apparent that Markham is not the one anonymously calling Briggs, so Briggs switches to mission mode and tries to get Markham to open up about Solano. Turns out Markham and Solano have been connected for 20 years since Markham made detective at the ripe age of 3. Markham caught Solano on a narcotics charge and since then, Solano has been helping Markham take down other cartels in the area in exchange for leniency on the Solano cartel—or so Markham claims.

With Markham cleared of prank calling, Briggs’ next guess is Mike. It’s not like Mike to sneakily taunt Briggs with the tape. As we saw from the diner sit-down back in episode 7, Mike is much more of a lay-your-cards-on-the-table type of guy, but we’ll roll with it. Next stop, sauce night. Great Nonna Francesca’s three-day sauce is done, and finally the whole house is sitting down to a meal. Johnny and Jakes are back from Mexico, Paige is slightly less anxious with the girls safe (minus Lena), and it looks like the Gracelanders might spend more than five minutes chatting with each other.

Charlie bans work talk, so Jakes immediately switches to talking about laundry. Since that is a rather dry subject (get it? dry?), the conversation quickly switches back to work, and the classic family dinner screaming match begins. Briggs is shouting at Mike about the tape, Paige is shouting at Mike about the girls, Mike is shouting at Briggs about Markham, and it all ends with Charlie flipping over the three-day sauce on the table. If the children can’t get along, they don’t get sauce. In the quiet that follows, Johnny admits to the class that he’s in love with, Lucia and they’ve been sleeping together. Sauce night is a disaster, but at least one major secret is out of the bag.

Graceland - Season 2Briggs’ murderous tendencies lead him to construct a ridiculously convoluted plan to rid the world of the beauty that is Mike Warren. First Briggs convinces a movie crew to move their shoot to be in front of the bank. Since it is a night shoot, Amber and Charlie are forced to reschedule the heist for daytime, and for a daytime heist, they need a big crew. The Gracelanders, a group of trained federal agents, are the perfect crew for a partially phony bank heist.

Masks in hand, they head to the bank. Briggs expresses his distrust in Mike to Amber, laying the groundwork for his evil plan. Paige is elected to take the money to the car, but Briggs makes an excuse and says Mike should do it. When Amber sees Mike with the money, she assumes he is going to steal it, so she locks Charlie in the vault and goes after Mike.

Briggs is passively watching Amber hunt down Mike, when Briggs gets the anonymous tape call again. Briggs was wrong again; Mike isn’t the one with the tape. Before Amber can shoot Mike in the back, Briggs takes her down. That’s two weeks in a row that Mike has escaped a gun aimed at his head. If neither Mike nor Markham has the tape, who does?

Briggs doesn’t want to blow his cover with Markham, so as the police arrive at the bank heist Briggs and Charlie duck out of the fray. Markham is not surprised that Mike found the safety deposit boxes and is now holding the money for the investigation. Markham doesn’t seem the least bit concerned for his own well-being. There has got to be something else going on with this Markham guy that Mike just isn’t seeing. Like many of the threads Mike has been following, this safety deposit box thing may end without any decent information.

To help clear his conscious and finally get some sleep, Briggs is ready to tell Charlie the truth. Briggs can’t just tell her that he murdered Juan though; he needs to dig up the body and show her because there is no better pre-natal vitamin than a decomposing corpse in the desert. On the way to the desert, Briggs runs over a deer in his truck.

Briggs freaks out and jumps out of the car. He may have wanted Mike to get shot in the head, but this deer is an innocent! As Briggs lays over the dying deer, Charlie says she wants to go home then shoots the deer to put it out of its misery. She turns to Briggs and says “you lit the fire,” which is a direct quote from the Badillo tape.

In a twist to own all twists, Charlie was the one prank calling Briggs and playing the tape. She has known for weeks that Briggs killed Juan. Charlie asks Briggs why he didn’t just tell her the truth, but Briggs doesn’t answer. He just stands in the middle of the road staring at his baby mama and completely lost for words. Charlie will never trust Briggs the same way again and armed with the tape she now has the power to completely ruin his life any time she wants to.

Graceland airs Wednesdays at 10/9C on USA.

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