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Two Takes: Graceland “Hand of Glory” 

Two Takes: Graceland “Hand of Glory”
Photo Credit: Jeff Daly/USA Network
Photo Credit: Jeff Daly/USA Network
Photo Credit: Jeff Daly/USA Network

Whenever a bad guy opens up and reveals something human about himself that makes you hate him a little less, odds are he’s about to meet his maker. And Graceland‘s “Hand Of Glory” was no exception. Toros kicked the bucket, but even with one less member of the Sarkissian clan to take down, things are about to get a lot messier for the agents. This episode not only gave us a bloody good ending, it also gave us money in the walls, Jakes in his underwear and, once again, Mike failing to trust Briggs and landing everyone in a whole heap of trouble. Let’s discuss.

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

Cortney: Tina, I have to start by saying I am beyond frustrated with Mike right now. Is it bad that I liked him drugged-up better? I mean, at least you could blame the pills and his addiction for his stupid decisions, but now it’s all on him. How many times does he have to wrongly doubt Briggs and ultimately make things worse before he learns to stop stepping in? I got him being suspicious in Season 1, he was new to both the house and the field, but now, his chronic mistrust of Paul is clearly a bigger issue and he’s dragging Johnny in to it too. You would think all his failed attempts to “catch Briggs,” not to mention a near-death experience, would make him think twice before jumping the gun, no?

Tina: Okay, so we’re on the same page here. I was trying to talk myself out of being annoyed with Mike. Maybe there’s something else going on here, I told myself. Something I’m just not getting. But now that I’ve read your thoughts, I’m back to being super frustrated with the man. Here’s what I typed up after watching this episode:

GRACELAND -- "Hand of Glory" Episode 309 -- Pictured: (l-r) Daniel Sunjata as Paul Briggs, Rhys Coiro as Ari -- (Photo by: Jeff Daly/USA Network)
Photo Credit: Jeff Daly/USA Network

I hold these Graceland truths to be evident: 1. Bearded!ShadyMike is a much cooler individual than Clean-shaven!DoGooderMike. 2. Sleepy!ShirtlessJakes may possibly be my favorite Jakes EVER. 3. Rhys Coiro continues to rule my world on this show. 4. Paige is seriously ripped. Like whoa, she’s in shape. It’s inspiring (I type as I eat a mini-cookie). 5. Number one comes off the list if it turns out Mike’s mistrust of Briggs is something else entirely. 6. More Shirtless!Jakes scenes need to happen.

See? I was seriously trying to talk myself off the ledge when it comes to Mike. Because I love him so much but I become conflicted when he outwardly shows such lack of faith in Briggs. To be fair, when Paul says the “plan’s all on the table” — that’s almost never the case. But you’d think after Briggs supported him through the withdrawal phase of his recovery, he’d wait a little longer before he — as you put it — jumped the gun.

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

Cortney: Haha! I love your truths. And I second all of them. Although I don’t know at this point what Mike’s “something else entirely” could be. This DoGooder determination never ends well for him. And while yes, Paul can be a *little* withholding at times, he is a pro when it comes to anticipating every possible move and planning accordingly. I certainly wouldn’t want to face him in a game of chess. That being said, Paige could’ve and did almost DIE because of Mike. I mean, hello! He literally gets his sights set on something and won’t let go. I mean, Mike had the SWAT team on site and was going in ready to SHOOT and literally take down the man who had just saved his life. That’s messed up, right? Granted, Mike’s logic held a bit of sense, but it’s Briggs, sometimes you have to let go and trust. That being said, I did LOVE Briggs’ reaction to Mike when he came in guns a-blazing. And I was even fond of Logan (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.) and his bravado too for a brief second…until he reminded Briggs that the target is still on his back.

Tina: There are many words I can say about Logan, “fond” is never one of them. Not even for a second. Not even when he backed up Briggs’ story and put a halt to Johnny arresting Ari.

I’m going to go with Mike’s mind and his world being a bit jumbled right now. I think the show purposely didn’t give us a flashback to the phone conversation when Briggs mentioned Logan’s license plate number. I remember seeing that conversation from Mike’s perspective. Did he witness things the way it actually happened? I can see where Mike would have doubts. I don’t see why he felt the need to bring a team of agents down on Briggs. I’m sorry. No matter how many reasons Paul gives me to doubt him, I can’t ever lose faith. He always has a goal in mind. He may get there a little shady, but he’s so damn smart. There’s a method to his madness and the wise move would be to go for the ride.

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

As for Paige, that shot of her standing in the Graceland house in her bloodied up white dress looking all devastated, was well done. Serinda Swan has been fantastic this season, don’t you think?

Cortney: Yes, absolutely. And I am beyond grateful for it since I was extremely frustrated with her character last season. That final shot was exceptional, but even before that, her scenes with Toros (Val Lauren) this week were some of her best. In past weeks, it’s been all cover and mission as she clearly puts up with his handsy advances. However, as mentioned early, he actually showed some humanity this week — first being nervous and feeling unworthy and then with the revelation of his father and how the Sarkissians rescued him. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t justify all that he’s done, but I can see why he feels such a sense of loyalty to them and I like that Paige picked up on that as well and almost seemed to feel bad for him. I realize the irony of this sentence, but if he wasn’t such a slimy murderous scumbag raised by the Sarkissians, I could see him actually being a decent person. And the way Paige handled him and supported him, even as a cover, was both badass and sweet.

Toros: They were expecting this to be Ari, I can see it on their faces. Where the hell is Tev?

Paige: Come here, listen to me. They may have been expecting Ari, but who they got is so much greater. You made everybody in this room realize your strength. Do you know how much I admire that? Do you know how rare that is? I want a man who takes what he wants.

Toros: You’re exactly what I need. Thank you.

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

Tina: Yeah, one of my Toros takeaways is that I appreciate how much he appreciated the support of a good woman in his life. It was — dare I say it — adorable? But then the macho other side of him roared back as he felt betrayed by Paige’s escape from the church. I feel bad Paige had to kill him. But not as bad as Paige feels. In the promo for next week’s episode, it’s clear killing this guy affects her.

Cortney: Right?! If he had THAT much rage simply because she bailed on him at the church, I can’t even imagine what would’ve happened had he found out she was DEA! Now that Toros is out, does that mean Ari is a shoo-in?

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

Tina: Will Martun anoint Ari in the wake of Toros’ absence? Who knows. He might be busy trying to figure what the hell happened to his right hand man. In fact, there’s a chance he could be suspicious of Ari now that Toros is gone. It’s hard to guess with this show. I think one thing, they do the exact opposite.

Cortney: Ooh, interesting idea, I kind of like that. Might be an opportunity for the agents to either divide and conquer or just let them take each other out. They already have enough blood on their hands so letting the bad guys just kill each other would certainly save them from adding more.

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

Tina: What are your thoughts on Operation Nab Germaine? I enjoyed how we’re finally getting to see more Jakes…in more ways than one. He has been working out! I’m also enjoying getting to hear Hal Ozsan’s real accent. I feel like he often plays Americans. I had no idea he was British….well, according to IMDB, the actor was born in Northern Cyprus but grew up in East London. Actually, scratch that. I feel like I should know this bit of news and maybe I just forgot. Whatever. The accent was nice to hear.

Cortney: First off, back to your truths — Sleepy (and slightly cranky) Jakes is my favorite!! Honestly, I thought spiffy Jakes was good, but this was even better

Jakes: Why are you bothering me?!

Charlie: I want Germaine.

Jakes: Yeah, well I want a big house, I want a million dollars and I want the love of a beautiful woman, but it’s not in my cards.

Charlie: Yeah, well then you need a new deck, let’s go.

These two are so phenomenal together.  And thanks to recent casting news, Jakes may not have to wait too much longer for that third wish. But back to the op, I love that Charlie has refocused on Operation Nab Germaine. After being defeated last week, I wasn’t sure if she was going to give up, but I am so glad to see she just needed a few days to regroup before getting back on track. And agreed, Geramine’s accent is pretty charming…heck, it’s even charming when Jakes attempts to mock it.

Tina: LOVED that moment. Jakes gave the accent the old college try. I’m up for him trying again. I also appreciated him telling Charlie she would have made a good mom. Poor Chuck.

Cortney: That being said, as far as the business side of things, my knowledge of money laundering is admittedly limited so I’m not entirely understanding the whole $$ in the walls part of the process. Nor do I get how Jakes being Germaine’s North American “guy” will help to take him down without ruining the ATF investigation, but I am enjoying watching it go down and am definitely along for the ride. That being said, any idea why Chuck seemed so hesitant and unsettled when she saw Germaine and Jakes on the deck of the yacht? Something seemed off and I couldn’t put my finger on it.

Tina: I got nothing. I guess we’ll have to sit back and see where this story goes next. And I can’t believe you quoted the Charlie/Jakes bedroom scene. I WANTED TO! I think you and me need to have a conversation with Jakes. Does he really think it’s not in the cards to get the love of a beautiful woman? The dude is kinda damaged and that makes me sad. He deserves some happiness. Although, this is Graceland. True happiness is seemingly unobtainable in this universe. At least so far.

Graceland airs Thursday nights at 10/9c. Heads up: Elementary actress Lucy Liu directs next week’s episode. Can’t wait.

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  1. MT

    Re: the phone conversation, try watching the last episode again. The exact dialogue is “Hey, did you find him yet? No, no, no, no. It’s ‘T.’ Not ‘D.’ Tango. TLX119. Yeah. No, we need to establish patterns, you know, where he goes, how he moves, evasive maneuvers – things like that. All right. Speak soon.” “TLX – that a plate? Who you tailing?” “One of the Sarkissians.”

    It was presented as a straightforward scene, not from Mike’s POV – it actually starts with Briggs alone in the room. He was already lying to him in that scene itself, I don’t think Mike’s chronic mistrust is the problem. You can’t justify trusting Briggs with that example at all.

    1. Tina Charles

      I don’t blame Mike for doubting Briggs. Briggs makes it so hard to trust him sometimes. But I do feel like there may have been another way of handling it.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. Jamea

    Briggs makes it really difficult to trust him. Everytime he makes an effort to redeem himself, he goes back to his old ways. I didn’t blame Mike at all for wanting to get to the bottom of this. I felt frustrated for him to be honest. But as the commment before mine has said, this all could have been handled a better way.
    I.e Briggs telling his entire plans to those involved; Mike, Paige and Johnny so they wouldn’t be making such huge mistakes like that. Such as Paige being told she’d be burned so she could have avoided seeing Toros altogether that night. I guess that wouldn’t have added to the drama that is the show though lol.

    The highlight of the ep for me was Charlie and Jakes working together again~
    I also like when Johnny and Mike work together too, but I wished this could have ended better.

    1. Tina Charles

      Thanks for your comment. I agree, Briggs does make it hard. I don’t know why he continues to be anti-transparency. But Mike only made himself look bad with the way it turned out. And I love him too much to want him to look bad.

  3. Fadimat

    I wish Briggs had been a bit more forthcoming with the rest of his plan and I also wish Mike had a little more faith in him, I mean how many times can a guy save your life before you trust him. These situations do make for a very exciting Graceland episode though. It’s got me psyched for next week, can’t wait.

    1. Tina Charles

      Yeah, they both have issues. haha

      Thanks for the comment and thanks for reading!

    2. Kim

      When I re watched the phone call episode, I thought it said “Paige, have you found him yet?”, since Paul was working on the case with Paige. I agree about the Mike/Paul dynamic–but it’s gone back and forth so many times, it’s becoming unbelievable to me. They are BOTH really smart guys, who are supposed to be on the same team. Also, wish it could be clearer how much time passes between scenes/episodes. Hard to believe all this happens in 1 day, or from one day to the next. Obviously, I’m WAY too invested 🙂

      1. Fadimat

        I feel the same way about time between episodes/scenes. The scene where Briggs tells JT “not everything that’s happening is happening right in front of you” in reply to JT asking him about his plan to resolve the Carlito problem had me wondering if I’d missed a scene or episode because as far as I could tell, we hadn’t seen any interactions between Briggs and JT where JT actually discusses the details of his activities with Carlito. I’d like to think that the fact that things like these bother us(just a teensy weensy bit) make us awesome fans ?

        1. Tina Charles

          As far as showing time between episodes/scenes – during Mike’s intervention — Cortney had to point out to me that three days went buy for him to go through withdrawals. There was a line but I missed it. So to me the whole thing seemed like it went by VERY quickly. So I agree.

  4. Caren

    While watching the show (without going back to watch last week’s), this is what I thought. Briggs did give the license plate of Logan last week. When Briggs visited Logan and said he needed an agent to question, the scene ended with Logan thinking (from recollection, not verified). When Logan was kidnapped I just assumed that was the plan. Logan volunteered himself to be the agent who was questioned. Or even if he didn’t volunteer, he was compliant with the request, so Briggs picked who he wanted: Logan. Logan was in on the plan one way or another so what should Mike care if Briggs gave the license # or repeated it after hearing from someone else. Briggs doesn’t tell Mike the full details because he can’t trust Mike. Mike doesn’t like not being trusted so responds by not trusting Briggs.

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