‘Graceland’ Episode 8: “Like Putting a Sweater on a Dog”

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Quick recap, ready?

Charlie is the smartest one on the show. Johnny is comic relief. Jakes doesn’t like anyone (still). Mike remains our hero. Abby is gone, hopefully for good (sorry, girl, you just weren’t that interesting). Paige has a big thing for Mike that the show is pretending to be discreet about. And Briggs really is Odin, the drug lord.

It’s funny that while a lot of things are happening, I’m still bored with this show. Not actually bored. Tonight was the first time I ever watched it live, which says something about both how exciting my life is and how a good cliffhanger stewing over two weeks (there was no new episode last week) will pull an audience in.

No, Graceland isn’t boring. On the whole FBI front, it’s actually doing very well. Over halfway through the first season and it turned one of its stars into its prime villain. Two weeks ago, I thought Briggs might still be good and USA was trying to pull a fast one on us. While I’m not willing to rule that out quite yet, his closet full of heroin and choke-holding Mike until he passed out seems to confirm at least some darkness within Briggs.

So what’s the other front? The sex front. Yep, still no sex in Graceland. Paige may have used the delightful phrase “the get laid parade” in lieu of “the walk of shame,” but the only people having sex on this show are Mike and Abby (yawn) and even that seems to be over for now. Come on! Paige and Mike. Charlie and anybody really. Charlie is primed for a good hookup. That girl is warmest, funniest, richest part of this show. Vanessa Ferlito, who plays Charlie, steals every scene she’s in and makes her character’s bond with every other character look strong and deep. Paige may be the hot girl, but Charlie’s the one worth watching.

So there are still questions, obviously. Is Briggs really a heroin addict? If so, is he just doing all of this to get back at Jangles, who turned him into one? It seems likely. This is USA, not AMC, and they’re not going to turn one of their two starts into an antagonist–just a wounded and misguided protagonist. That’s my prediction for all of this.

Go ahead. Tell me I’m wrong and that USA is a beacon of television risk-taking.

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