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'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.

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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