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It’s Anything but Smiles in Graceland “H-A-Double-P-Y” 

This episode was hard to watch. When all the shit hit in the fan in the end of this week’s episode, the intensity made me squirm in my seat and more than once I covered my eyes to shield myself from the inevitable apocalypse. Not to mention, I never ever imagined that a Shirley Temple song could be considered creepy. Until now.

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

Don’t get me wrong, the whole episode wasn’t impossible to digest. I enjoyed watching Jakes bond with his son (although the instant befriending of the hooker did throw me for a loop). I enjoyed watching Mike squirm while watching Paige and Jessica came face to face and then eventually acknowledge his feelings for Paige. And though it was brief, I enjoyed Charlie and Briggs middle-of-the-night chat. However, in watching all of that, I also knew that something big had to be coming. And I was right.

First, let’s start with the music. Like Mike, I couldn’t help but feel like Paige’s early rendition of “You Gotta S-M-I-L-E to be H-A-Double-P-Y” came a little out of left field. Sure, it was silly and made for a cute moment, but that hardly justified making it the title of the episode. So when the song came back around at the end, it gave me the chills. The song started playing just as the barrels of drugs explode on Mike, the Tinker Bell girl dies on Paige, Jakes gets tased by police and hauled away in the back of a squad car. Hardly things to smile about.

“You’ve got to S-M-I-L-E

To be H-A-Double-P-Y.

Keep it in mind when you’re blue

It’s easy to spell and just as easy to do

You’ve gotta S-M-I-L-E

It’s gonna help considerably

Just keep your chin up and give it a try

And you’ll find silver lined clouds in the sky”

And just as the song fades, the intensity doubles as Paige relays her plan to what she thinks is Jakes, but what we know is really an empty car.

“She’s dead. Jakes, she’s dead. Okay, Jakes, I’m gonna need you to roll with me with this. I’m going to take Annika’s place, okay? I’m going to wear the wire. I need you to follow me in”

Just seeing that one-sided transmission gave me such chills down my spine. Granted, some may say that she should’ve found a way to receive confirmation back, but how could she ever have imagined that Jakes would currently be in the back of squad car for a restraining order violation? It’s unfathomable. Which is also what makes it so good.

Nevertheless, the overhead shot of watching Paige swallow the baggie of drugs once again made my stomach churn. Not only did she just watch a girl die (die!!) from doing the same thing, but this is stepping past the point of no return when it comes to putting herself in a dangerous situation. That being said, Paige is not one to shy away from danger. She clearly takes this case personally and feels a heavy responsibility for these girls — I mean, after all, she did tell Mike to sleep with another woman to keep the op alive. If that’s not a clear sign she considers these girls a priority, I don’t know what is.

But it wasn’t only the Paige sequence that was edge-of-your-seat intense. Watching Jakes get hauled out of the truck, attempt to run only to get tased and then handcuffed and placed in the back of the squad car left just as big of a pit in my stomach. Despite his gruff exterior, I’ve always like Jakes. There’s something genuine and caring in him, even if he has trouble showing it. Seeing him awkwardly attempt to bond with his kid made me feel for him. Like he said, he doesn’t know what to do. But to see it all come together with the cotton candy and the bumper cars and the goodbye hug gave me a shred of hope. Of course, I should’ve known better considering that this is Graceland.

That being said, the kid did come to him, which I think should count for something…it’s not like he went tracking him down or attempted to contact him on his own. Nevertheless, I know the courts won’t take that in to consideration and frankly, I can’t imagine a worse possible time for him to have been arrested. Not to mention, since the op is not sanctioned, there’s little he can do or say to stand his ground. First he is being forced to bail on his kid (I know I know, it was his choice to bail before, but now he’s trying to make up for it) and now he’s being forced to bail on his partner when her life quite literally depends on him. Jakes has not had it easy this season and I can only imagine it will get worse before it gets better.

That being said, the whole ending sequence was downright chilling. Often times I like knowing what the characters don’t know, but this time, the intensity was more than I could handle. Paige doesn’t know that Jakes is being hauled away. Jakes doesn’t know that Paige is going in as Tinker Bell girl. Mike and the rest of the team don’t even know Paige and Jakes are at the bus station. And I know all of this but there’s nothing I can do about it. When a show can make you stress from the comfort of your own couch, you know they’ve done something right and I can’t believe we have to wait a whole week to see how it all shakes out.

Be sure to catch Graceland Wednesday at 10/9c on USA.

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