I think it’s fair to say that ever since Mike hasÂ returned from DC, Â he’s been kind of a jerk. After he wasÂ named head of the op, the power wentÂ straight to his head and despite the fact that he truly believes he is doing the right thing, he goes about it in the worst possible way.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that there is a lot at stake here and that every move must be carefully considered and planned. However, the thing we realize and he seems to have forgotten is that all the people on his team have just as much, if not more, experience than he does. I’m not saying he should hand over complete control, but now that he’s put on his big boy pants, he’s becomeÂ bossy, stubborn and far less of a team-player. Not to mention, when you only have two weeks left for a career-making op, it’s probably not the best use of your time to be arguing and isolating the very people who are there to help you succeed.
That being said, I was glad everyone started calling him out on his attitude. They’ve been doing it since he returned in jest, but it’s clear that they’re getting fed up with his holier-than-thou attitude and starting to put him in his place.
Briggs: So are these the kind of upper management skills they teach you in DC?
Mike: HR is not my strong suit
Briggs: Naah, you’re doing great.
I love Briggs sarcasm here. As Mike’s former “leader”, there is a lot Briggs could say to put Mike in his place. But instead, he keeps it light and good-natured. However, when it comes time for Mike to face his attitude (which I’m hoping will happen sooner rather than later), I can’t help but hope that Briggs is the one who helps guide (or push) him there.
As I mentioned before, a lot of these guys have been doing undercover work far longer than Mike. Which is why I was glad when Bates pointed that out while Mike was peacocking his power over Johnny’sÂ antique pistol plan.
Mike: Guys, we have two weeks, okay?! Two weeks! So if Solano even caught a scent of this…
Johnny: He didn’t catch a scent of this, Mike.
Bates: Johnny been doing this way longer than you, Mike.
Mike: This is not a question of tenure. This was dangerous, irresponsible and frankly, insubordinate.
Bates: Ooooh, insubordinate?! I think we hit the quarter chute.
Yes! Dangerous and irresponsible are more or less standard inÂ undercover work (just look at last season for proof), but it was the “insubordinate” part that really got Mike’s goat. And of course, just as I start to like Bates, they get rid of him. I think he and Johnny are adorable together and I loved watched the two of them go back and forth in this scene. Not to mention the scene in the beginning of the episode when he came out of his room in his boxers with his gun and the scene where he told Mike that’s Johnny’s safety was more important than his feelings. I’m certainly hoping this isn’t the end of this character. After all, he left a robot for Johnny, that has to mean something, right?
Anyways, back to Mike. Never one to hold back, Charlie also put him in his place during the Johnny/Solano argument.
Mike: He was suppose to act in support of you, but instead he went…
Charlie: Mike, at some point you have to stop acting like you invented undercover
Johnny: Thank you! That’s exactly what I wanted to say.
I love that Charlie doesn’t mince words. She comes in to “break up the fight” and calls it as she sees it. Mike may be a big time DC guy, but that doesn’t mean he’s cornered the market on undercover work. Sure, he did well as “Military Mike” last season with Bello, but other than that, his undercover work has beenÂ minimal. Which leads me to my favorite dig of the episode. Â Just as Johnny is about to put his neck on the line and go face to face with the linchpin of this operation, Mike feels the need to express both the severity of this op (which is obvious)Â and doubt in Johnny (which seems extremely counterproductive at this point in time). But as much as he is a goof, Johnny is also smart and a whip and deliveredÂ the final blow byÂ turning Mike’s words back on him.
Mike: Johnny, this whole case hinges on Carlitos Solano, if I have to send that team in there…
Johnny: Just keep yourÂ team back, alright. I got this. I’ve seen Briggs hold shit together plenty of times to see how its done.
Mike: You’re not Briggs.
Johnny: Yea, well neither are you.
I absolutely loved this. I mean, no, I don’t like them not getting along, but I do love the fact that they both hold Briggs as the gold standard and aim for the same field of competency. And they’re both right. Neither one of them is Briggs. And neither one of them can be Briggs. But that doesn’t mean that they can’t succeed as Johnny and as Mike. I thought Johnny’s performance with Solano was absolutely phenomenal. The whole “Joseph Napolean Bonaparte” explanation blew me away and was without a doubt something that Briggs would pull out of his back pocket. To be honest, I couldn’t imagine Mike pulling off that same situation nearly as smoothly. That being said, the bodyguard getting shot was not ideal, but like Johnny said, he held it together and showed Mike that you don’t have to be DC heavyweight to know how to handle a sticky situation.
The show won’t be back for two weeks, but according to the previews, it looks like the next episode might be the one where Mike finally comes unraveled. Obviously I don’t want to see him fail, but I am ready for him to gain a little humility and hopefully recognize how much he needs the rest of the team if he wants to succeed.
Graceland returns with a new episodeÂ July 9 at 10/9c on USA.
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