After leaving us with a major cliffhanger in the last episode, Graceland picked up right where we left off with the bone-chilling ruthlessness of the Sarkissian clan. But it wasn’t long before the rest of the world started spinning again and we revisited many of the stories that were put on hold, including Mike’s near-death dream, Johnny’s Solano drama, Charlie’s oxy bust and the roommates’ eternal debate over what counts as “too far.”
Cortney: Tina, let me start by saying, you know how much I love this show, right? I rave about it to anyone that will listen. However, I have to admit, this episode didn’t wow me. While it had a lot of good elements and good scenes, it just felt choppy. We start off wrapping up last week’s drama then we jump right in to Mike’s dream weaving, which introduces us to a super quirky new criminal and just as I’m getting in to that, we suddenly jump back to the Solano story and before I know it, that’s over and we’re back at the Mike storyline.
Don’t get me wrong, all good stories, but this episode felt like it should’ve been two, at least. Especially the Johnny/Lucia saga. I’m going to go on a little rant here, so bear with me. After a season of INTENSE Solano craziness, I feel like that storyline deserved more than a seven-minute wrap up at the end of an episode…it barely even gave me enough time to dive back in to it and care again and then poof, it was done and Carlito was arrested and Lucia called it quits. I mean, is that it? We invested all this time and emotion and it was over in the blink of an eye? Also, I couldn’t help but feel like the fact that Briggs could bring it all down with one quick trip to Tijuana totally belittled all of Johnny’s hard work and effort so far this season….he was facing a real goliath but this almost made it feel like Carlito was more of a Disney-level villain. Am I crazy for wanting more build up to the closure of this storyline?
Tina: Okay, let me tackle your comments in pieces.
- I think any episode coming off last week’s epic-sode was going to pale, especially since there wasn’t as much action in “PiÅˆon Tree.” “Aha” was seriously one of the best Gracelands of all time. The entire hour was devoted to one case — bringing down Ari Adamian. The laser focus treatment really worked for me. So did the teamwork. I was on a Team Graceland high. In this week’s episode, some roommate conflict was back and the teamwork happened in pockets (yay for a lot of good Mike/Briggs quality time). So while that was enjoyable to me, it still didn’t give me as much of a high as last week. And, yes, using the term “high” seems so appropriate when it comes to this show.
- Mike’s dream weaving turns into something more. This isn’t a shock. We knew what he saw when he was dying was going to lead somewhere. Not sure if I realized it was going to be this. But, yeah, it was a little jarring to have the show go so heavy on this story arc when there were still so many other balls in the air, namely, Germaine, Ari and Carlito.
- The end of Carlito: I was expecting another intense rollercoaster ride after what went down last week. Although, we did get that earlier this season when Johnny manipulated Sid into helping him go after Carlito with him. But, still, for an end of a story arc, I did expect to get more than just a few minutes near the end of the hour. But I admit, even though bringing the Caza Cartel in on this was a bit anticlimactic, I did like how Briggs finally put his stuff aside in order to help Johnny. I just wish the whole team could have been in on the action.
Now that we’ve gone over some of our issues with “PiÅˆon Tree,” what were the things you liked about it? Because, like you said, it did have some good elements and scenes.
Cortney: Okay, good things. First off, I LOVE how everyone was trying to feed Charlie breakfast. They were mama bear’ing the mama bear! She always takes care of everyone so it was nice to see them taking care of her….and clearly if she is eating tuna casserole for breakfast, she needs it. But on a bigger scale, I have to say I was really intrigued by Mike’s new red bird tattoo buddy. Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t entirely get that storyline or how Mike reached the conclusion that he did, but I find Vin (Mahedi Rakib) kind of fascinating. I mean, the guy wants to be a Hollywood Stuntman or own a cruise ship, how can you not like him?! He is a compelling blend of quirky and open and naive and genuine and I’m totally on board. That being said, his wife (Katherine Crawford) is another story…I don’t trust that woman at all…she has to be in on the red bird/WMD story somehow…I mean, she wouldn’t haveÂ a prosthetic leg for nothing, right?
Tina: Like you, I think I’m going to dig Mike’s operation that involves Gusti or Vin or whatever he wants to be called. I love that the reason he calls himself Vin is because of Vin Diesel. Of course, he mentions xXxÂ but man, I was hoping he’d talk about the most recent Furious movies. Because those flicksÂ are all kinds of awesome. Not sure what I think about the wife yet. My first thoughts are that the two make a strange pairing. But they’re a pairing I want to see more of.
Oh and what about the “fight” between Mike and Jakes at the bowling alley? Jakes got a punch in — and that totally shocked Mike — yet Warren prevailed. It was all for Vin’s benefit but it was still fun to watch. Glad Briggs’ plan made good use of Jakes, even though he got a sore arm out of it.
Cortney: Yes!! I loved that scene! I get such a kick out of these characters wearing alternate-personas. Last week Jakes showed off his “white voice,” this week he was an agent pretending to be a cop pretending to be a tough-guy stereo pusher. I also appreciated the irony that in fake fighting, Mike was actually doing what stuntmen do, even if Gusti did think it was Kung Fu. Speaking of which, who could sit through xXxÂ a million times?!
Tina: Excuse me, Cortney. I think Gusti said he’s seen it “more than one billion times.” I watched xXxÂ once and I was good. In other roommate news, while I didn’t much appreciateÂ almost everybody bailing on Briggs’ Ari plan, I totally understood why they did. And it meant a great scene with the entire team together so I was on board for the dysfunctional fun. As for Briggs, he’s in obsession mode. He’s got to take care of Ari sooner rather than later. And now he’s making it his mission to bring down Martun for what he did to Colby. I like when Briggs starts to get a bit out of control. He becomes completely unpredictable. At the same time, I like how the members of the household go to him for help hatching plans. The guy is smart. And while his plans don’t always work for his own stuff, they almost always work for everybody else.
I adored the group scene at the bar as well. But did you notice when they were taking shots that no one realized Charlie didn’t drink hers? These agents are not being very observant.
Cortney: Of course I noticed that Charlie didn’t drink. But refresh my memory — who knew she was pregnant in the first place? And of those people, who knows she “had” the abortion? I can’t keep it all straight.
Tina: Now you’re making me think. Let’s see…Paige and Briggs know about her pregnancy and subsequent “abortion.” After that, I have no idea who knows what and when and how. All I know is that Briggs thinks she’s no longer pregnant. But if he’d keep a closer eye…well, we know he has a lot going on.
Cortney: I feel like Mike and Charlie talked about it at some point too…but maybe Mike was too focused on his next score to remember. Speaking of which, you asked about the drug problem last week and this week clearly showed us that it’s not going away anytime soon. That being said, I also LOVED that scene with all of them in the bar together celebrating Johnny’s “big win.” Anytime the whole group is together and ragging on each other, I’m in.
As far as Briggs goes, I love that he’s determined to follow through and get justice. So much talk in the house has been about not putting the bad guys down and that’s really all Briggs wants to do here, even if it is in a non-official and potentially unethical way. And when talking about bad guys, Martun is more than that, he’s a BAD guy. I mean, burning someone with battery acid?! That’s some crazy s–t. But in order to play at that level, Briggs has to get a little crazy too and that scene at the bar with Ari was no joke.
Briggs: CLEAN UP YOUR S–T! If you don’t have the sack to step up and take what’s yours…if you don’t trust me after everything I have done for you, then you know what man, do me a favor and blow me away right now.
Ari: You are stupid.
Briggs: Do it, Ari. Do it, Ari. DO IT!!
Ari: Hahaha, you’re a lunatic, man.
You could see the wild look in his eyes and it was kind of scary. But you have to admit, it worked. Even when he is a little off his rocker, Briggs knows what he’s doing. I’m still baffled that he managed to get out of that bathroom in the first scene without a bullet in his head. As far as what landed them there, I’m glad that for once, Paige didn’t beat herself up for making a mistake but instead she decided that she had to jump on board and help make things right. Briggs needs someone on his side if he’s gonna get this done.
Tina: And Briggs is the one that had the most problems with Paige betraying Mike. He wanted her out of the house. I like that they’re going to work together. Maybe it’ll repair some of the damage to their relationship.
Then there’s the Solano situation. Man, I really wanted to see more of Lucia in this whole thing. But I did love how she started kicking her brother when he was down. She wanted to do more. And you know what? I wouldn’t have minded if she offed him. This is a television show. My imagination is allowed to be more twisted than what goes on in everyday existence, right? It seems like she’s happy she didn’t go there because it would have proved she was a Solano inside and out. Instead, she has a lot to figure out. What she does know is she can’t do it with Johnny. I’m glad the show didn’t kill off Lucia. I’m not as sure about Carlito. Both of them could return someday and Johnny better watch out if Carlito figures out a way to enact revenge from behind bars, or worse case scenario, figures out a way to escape prison — legally or illegally.
Cortney: Yes! And after your awesome chat with Jamie [Gray Hyder, Lucia], I was definitely expecting more. However, I’m also curious to see what happens next. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I get where Lucia is coming from…sort of…but man oh man, I feel SO bad for Johnny! Look at all he has gone through and all the lines he crossed to save her and be with her! And now she pushes him away. I know that Johnny was doing it for love and would’ve wanted her safe regardless, but that was a hard pill to swallow. I’m interested to see if that affects him going forward. And while I wouldn’t have minded seeing Carlito six feet underground as well, I think it was better for both Johnny and Lucia that they didn’t do it. I can imagine that would’ve just been one more thing to haunt them. However, I hate to say it, but I definitely don’t put it past Carlito to make things happen behind bars…or to find his way out again….at which point someone needs to put a bullet in his head.
Tina: Yes, agreed. It’s good he lives…for now. But if he tries again, all bets are off. I’m also curious how this has affected Johnny. And if that will be addressed. In the bar some of his roommates were telling him to move on. I agree with Johnny. It’s too soon and I’m glad he realizes that. He’s always been a sensitive one. I’m also happy he was able to apprehend Carlito. But, of course, in doing so, the Caza Cartel is that much stronger. Wonder if that’s going to bite Briggs or anyone else in the butt someday?
Graceland airs Thursday nights at 10/9c on USA Network.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Maahra Hill Talks The Irrational
I’m a Jesse L. Martin stan back to the OG Mothership Law & Order (pour one out for Lennie Brisco, y’all), although I admittedly tapped out on The Flash at a certain point. This season, Martin has been back in his old NBC stomping grounds with The Irrational, a different,…
George R. Olson, Tim Rozon, and Sarah Levy Talk the SurrealEstate S2 Finale
[Spoilers for the SurrealEstate Season 2 finale.] How’s everyone doing after the finale? As we close out the second season of SurrealEstate, some of our merry band of misfits are scattering to the winds–Zooey to law school, Phil to the Vatican, and Augie back to his think tank with Rochelle,…
Previewing SurrealEstate Season 2 Finale + Revisiting the Season with George R. Olson
[Warning; General spoilers ahead.] Strap in, SurrealEstate fam, because we’ve arrived at the Season 2 finale, and it’s a doozy. As we saw in the closing moments of last week’s episode, Susan is back. But because we have one more episode left, it’s not as simple as all that, as…
Tyler Hynes Talks Through His Eight-Film Hallmark Holiday Library
Things you realize when you have to re-record your shows on a new DVR – just how many Hallmark movies your people have done. Fan favorite – and one of ours – Tyler Hynes has done eight Christmas movies for Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries since 2018. Alongside…
Spencer Creaghan Talks About Creating SurrealEstate’s Signature Sound
SurrealEstate is winding down its second season, with two episodes left, and just as in Season 1, Spencer Creaghan’s music continues to be a character unto itself. And every week, he shares tidbits with the fans via his s social media channels, something he started to help give them an…
Andrew Walker Talks Christmas Island and the Magical Hallmark Community
[Warning: Spoilers for Christmas Island.] Now that the Screen Actors Guild strike has been resolved, we’re able to resume regularly scheduled programming and interview our favorites and yours. Up first, earlier today, I spoke with Andrew Walker about Christmas Island, which premiered last weekend and encores tonight and through the…
George Olson and Danishka Esterhazy Talk SurrealEstate “I Put a Spell on You”
[Warning: Spoilers for the episode.] Tonight’s fun new SurrealEstate found Luke caught up in an especially bewitching woman, Kay, played by Tara Yelland, Susan trapped in her house, and Zooey learning the ropes. In the next part of my conversation with showrunner George R. Olson and producing director Danishka Esterhazy,…
Danishka Esterhazy Talks SurrealEstate: “The Butler Didn’t”
[Warning: General spoilers for the episode]. Tonight’s new SurrealEstate, “The Butler Didn’t,” follows the team as they investigate the years-earlier mysterious death of a woman whose ghost now reenacts her hanging by dropping over the banister from the second floor to terrify anyone on the landing or at the bottom…
Scott McCord and Elizabeth Saunders Talk the From Season 2 finale
[Warning: Spoilers for the season finale.] How’s everyone doing after that finale? While we wait and wonder and hope for a third season announcement, soon, here’s what Scott McCord and Elizabeth Saunders had to say about their parts of the finale, and where they hope they get to go next….
Scott McCord and Elizabeth Saunders Talk From Season 2 + A Season Finale Preview
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] It all comes down this, #FROMily. As Sunday’s episode wraps up Season 2, we begin with the aftermath of the terrifying onset of seemingly simultaneous attacks on Julie, Marielle, and Randall, which accelerate the “We gotta get out of this place” of it all. Sara comes…
What They Said: Three Revealing Conversations from Survivor’s Remorse “Closure”
WARNING: Spoilers for Survivor’s Remorse “Closure” The latest episode of Starz’s Survivor’s Remorse featured conversations that showed characters really digging deep into their thoughts, emotions and motivations.
Two Takes: The Catch “The Knock-Off”
Who can you trust? If this episode of The Catch was any indication, the answer is just about nobody. Betrayal was running rampant as Felicity (Shivani Ghai) arose from the dead to seduce-con Margot, Gretchen (Maria Thayer, Gotham, The Mindy Project) played gold-hearted Alice 2.0 before swindling Ethan, Tessa jumped…
What They Said: Top 3 Quotable Moments from Preacher “El Valero”
Both Quincannon and Jesse refuse to give up on what they each think is rightfully theirs. While Jesse is struggling to face the consequences of his actions, Quincannon has laid his past demons to rest and is hellbent on moving forward and putting Annville on the map again. Despite a…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Supergirl “Worlds Finest”
Oh, Supergirl. That ending was cold. But I can’t hate on you because the latest episode has quickly become one of my favorites.
What They Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Black Sails “XXIII”
The dialogue in “XXIII” is phenomenal. It’s always a fun ride when Black Sails carries its viewers along without giving them the chance to catch their breath. When an episode moves at this unforgiving pace, there is no chance for a breather nor is there a respite from the information…
What Lucifer Said: Favorite quotes from Supernatural “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
Supernatural episodes are almost always funny but thanks to the dialogue and a certain man speaking said dialogue, I laughed a lot during “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” You know, when I wasn’t busy fearing for Sam’s life or wondering what in the world was going on with Dean and…
What They Said: The Flash, “Legends Of Today” and Arrow, “Legends Of Yesterday”
Two nights of Arrow +Â The Flash = what more could we ask for?! I don’t know what it is about blending these shows, but I canâ€™t help but feel that every time they come together, they somehow become greater than the sum of their parts. And thatâ€™s saying a lot…
What they Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Graceland “Little Bo Bleep”
Shoot outs. Fake outs. And long-awaited revelations. “Little Bo Bleep” was a jam-packed episode that wrapped up some loose ends and totally frayed others. Â It finally gave us one Sarkissian in jail and pulled back the curtain on Briggs’ master plan, but it also set up Jakes for a world…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Poldark “Part 4”
â€œWhat have I told you, I don’t require my wife to crochet and sip tea, but I do require her to remember she’s not a beast of burden.â€ No, Iâ€™m not talking about The Rolling Stones! I have to admit though, just for a second, the lyrics popped into my…
3 Moments of Goodness from Brooklyn Nine-Nine “Johnny and Dora”
The most satisfying part of this season’s finale has to the Jake and Amy kiss. Well, they kiss three times but the last one is the best one — and it means something. The Charles and Rosa dynamic was also great. I love how she’s convinced he doesn’t know anything…