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Old Mike Returns, Graceland “The Line” 

Yes, there were lots of changes in the season two premiere of Graceland — guns allowed downstairs, Jakes no longer labeling his food, Briggs not up for a party —  but when it came to Mike, was it just me or was anyone else having a major case of deja vu? This may have been season two, but it felt an awful lot like the Mike we first met at the beginning of season one. Last year Mike arrived at Graceland as a bit of hot shot, he was judgmental of the other agents and when it came to operations, he was convinced he knew best. And this year, he didn’t look all that different.

Photo Credit: Jeff Daly/USA Network
Photo Credit: Jeff Daly/USA Network

Don’t get me wrong, I think Mike came a LONG way last season, but apparently after a few months back in DC, he’s reverted back to some of his old holier-than-thou ways. And that became abundantly clear when Briggs tried to call off the op after their mission went haywire.

Briggs: I’m calling it off.

Mike: Guys, nothing has changed, we still grab them and roll it up.

Briggs: If we don’t control the time and place of the meet, I can’t guarantee your safety, Mike.

Mike: My safety?

Briggs: Yea.

Mike: Since when are you concerned about my safety? Use to be you’d march me to the gates of hell if it meant a shot at the Caza cartel.

Johnny: Dude, let it go. If Briggs says the mission is over, the mission is over. C’mon.

Mike: You need to start thinking for yourself, Johnny.

Johnny: I’m sorry, what’d you say to me?

Briggs: Wow, you’re really on one today, aren’t you, Warren?

Mike: What happened to you guys? The Briggs that I knew, he could see things from 3000 feet. Now its like, its like you guys are a bunch of beach burnouts playing cops and robbers.

Johnny: {Laughs} Burnouts.

Mike: Can we get to work? Or should we go spin around the shotgun? That looked fun.

Johnny: Can I hit him?

Briggs: No, Johnny, you can’t. I’m calling the operation, Mike. It’s off. I’m sorry you wasted a first class ticket out here. Hope you didn’t wrinkle your suit.

Johnny: You know we was doing fine without you, right bro?

I understand Mike’s frustration, but “burnouts” seems a little harsh. Especially after Johnny just shot a bullet in to a guy’s hand and ultimately saved Mike’s life. Sure, Briggs is being far more cautious than the Briggs we knew last season. But season one Briggs also almost got himself and everyone else killed while playing tough and double-crossing so much that our heads were spinning. So is a more reigned-in Briggs really all that bad? Clearly what he went through changed him and if it means he is a little more rational and throws less caution to the wind, I can hardly blame him.

That being said, Mike has returned in search of his former mentor and their previous glory so clearly he wants the Briggs that he remembers. I have no doubt that Mike will get back in the groove and play nice, but now that he’s the boss and leading the op, I’m so curious to see how others respond to him actually having the power.

Photo Credit: Jeff Daly/USA Network
Photo Credit: Jeff Daly/USA Network

I will say though that unlike season one, it was nice to see this Mike actually want to be here. In season one, he was all about getting back to DC and rising up the ranks, which is how he spent the hiatus. But pushing papers and planning ops lacks excitement once you’ve lived life in the field. I’ve always liked the relationship between Mike and Paige so it was nice to see her call him out and also help him recognize why he was so quick to jump on a plane back to the west coast.

 Paige: So DC kind of turned you in to an asshole, huh?

Mike: Now I’m an asshole?

Paige: Just like we’re burnouts.

Mike: I didn’t mean you.

Paige: Johnny wasn’t the only one spinning around the shotgun, Mike.

Mike: Look, when I got to DC, I was a rock star. I was a real undercover agent, you know? Everyone was excited. They were so excited, they stuck me behind a desk.

Paige: Isn’t that what you wanted?

Mike: Maybe, but after you do what we do…

Paige: Nothing else feels like real life. I know.

Mike: I had this theory, right, this bus theory and I basically made them, forced them, to let me pursue it. And I just burned right through all the clout that I had going in.

Paige: Ahh, so you’re back here to try to make yourself a rock star again?

Mike: {nods}

Paige: This world has enough dead rock stars, Mike. Briggs is just trying to make sure you’re not one of them.

And if Mike wanted “real life”, that’s certainly what he got…nothing says “welcome home” like being stripped, tied to a chair and having a plastic bag put over your head. Nevertheless, I love that his seemingly unrelated DC case will tie in with his Graceland case and that he’ll be forced to guide the team in solving both, while also dodging the target on his head. If this episode was any indication, this season is off to a solid start. But please, let’s soften Mike up sooner rather than later…I really came to love him last season and one episode of him being a jerk is more than enough for me.

Be sure to watch Graceland Wednesdays at 10/9c on USA.

Related Article: Graceland‘s Vanessa Ferlito talks about Charlie and Briggs and season two here.

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