Warning: Spoiler Alert
Second seasons scare me. Really, second anything. There’s the sophomore curse for musicians, my second pregnancy was a nightmare, and the blank screen for my second article stretches before me like a desolate wasteland, begging me to fill it with words.
But, here we are.
I am putting fingers to keyboard, my third pregnancy gave me the daily hilarity that is my son, Linkin Park’s second album is STILL their best album, and Graceland is back with full force.
First, a quick note on how much I LOVED how they tied in the season finale with the season première. It gives you a better sense of the timeline, and makes for seamless Netflix binge watching when it hits my favorite streaming service.
Let’s talk characters.
Paul Briggs. SOMEONE. BRING. ME. HIS. HEAD. He is pure evil! The way he is just so effortless in his lies speaks to both the writers and Daniel Sunjata’s performance. I don’t remember the last time a TV show made me hate a character as much as I hate Paul Briggs. Usually, I can only get that level of loathing from books because of how deeply I immerse myself (Dolores Umbrige, that evil wench in pink from Harry Potter and Peter Baelish of Game of Thrones, just to name a few). The thing about Briggs is, it’s FUN to hate him. When he meets with the head of the Caza cartel, I took great joy in spewing profanities at my much abused television.
Mike Warren. Oh, Mike Warren. We got him to loosen up a bit last season, but he seems to have shoved that stick firmly back up his hindquarters. He is all business. You can see his insecurities peek through from time to time with how he asks Briggs for advice, but he covers it with a hard edge – i.e. calling the team “burnouts” to Johnny and Briggs. The writers have kept him sympathetic with the scene on the beach with Paige, and the wash of pale white terror that comes over him when Briggs tells him of the hit the cartel has put out.
Which brings me to Paige. I’ve said it before – Paige is my girl. She’s snarky, absolutely freaking gorgeous, and a just a little vulnerable – much like myself. Okay, you can stop laughing now. Her friendship with Mike and their ensuing kiss at the end of last season had me positively drooling for more. In fangirl terminology, I am a hardcore Pike (Paige + Mike) shipper. I have a physical and emotional need for them being together. This being just the start of the season, the implied Paige/Mike hook up caught me off guard. The husband and I were left screaming at the TV at the end of episode two from the shock of it. Michael Warren, you DOG, you.
While we’re on the subject of people sleeping together, how about Charlie and Briggs? For as much as I find Charlie irritating with her hot-headedness and ability to blame herself for everything under the sun, I can see where she fits into the team. She’s necessary. Her relationship with Briggs creates a sort of “mom and dad” dynamic in the house, which I find a little funny. Think about when they fight. I can see Johnny retreating from the living room to walk past Paige muttering “Mommy and Daddy are fighting again.” It only seemed natural for Charlie and Briggs to become a couple, especially after everything they went through last season. Although, I do have that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach for when Charlie finds out about Briggs’ shady shenanigans. All holy hell is going to break loose, it will be delicious, and I cannot wait.
As of now, I can do without Jakes. Don’t get me wrong, Brandon Jay McLaren is doing a phenomenal job, I just don’t see the purpose of this storyline. If I wanted to watch baby mama drama, I would turn on Maury Povich. Yes, it explains his attitude, but frankly, I think the way they’re going with it is beneath the writers. Jakes could be such a deep and complex character, but they’re choosing to go the boring route.
As for Johnny…man. I just do not know. Something happened while we were away, and I so hope they get into it. There is something wrong, and I don’t like it. Sure, he’s cracking his jokes, but there is an underlying sadness. I have a feeling this will make a juicy storyline, but I can’t wait to have my Johnny back to his old self.
There is a new face in the house – Wayne “Bates” Zelanski (Deniz Akdeniz). My first instinct is to like him, but I’ve been burned before. When I like a character this much this soon, they either die or become some awful guy. Please, please, PLEASE keep him a good guy! And alive! Though, I’m not sure of his staying power. The writers haven’t really integrated him as much as I would like. I hope they keep him around. He’s fun.
So where do we go from here? Mike went from complete newbie to big boss man, Jakes moved out, Johnny is a sad panda, MY GRACELAND UNIVERSE HAS BEEN FLIPPED ON IT’S HEAD AND I DON’T KNOW WHICH WAY IS UP!
The bad guys are at least somewhat familiar. The infamous Caza cartel is looking like the big bad of the season, but I’d bet dollars to donuts that they’re the SERIES big bad. But, by that same token, I’d put money on the end of the series coming down to Mike versus Briggs. The big boss battle – Graceland against its former leader!
Just thinking about the relationships this season makes me emotionally exhausted. The whole Charlie/Briggs situation can only end badly. This sends Charlie into a tailspin and she’s going to make life in the house complete hell for everyone, since she is already prone to tantrums. For as much as I want Mike and Paige to ride of into the sunset and make pretty babies together, it’s too soon. It has to go sour and some point, and it’s going to happen quickly. I don’t think they’ll ultimately end up together, but my inner teenage girl is squealing for them to go the way of Josh and Donna from The West Wing and fly off on vacation together at the end of the series.
Two episodes into the second season, and I am gung-ho about it. Going through the terrible twos is never easy. Believe me, I know, my son is two. But when it comes to season two, Graceland has zero to worry about.
Graceland can be seen Wednesday nights on the USA Network