Warning: Spoiler Alert
It’s the morning after the night that everything burned to the ground in FBI agent Mike Warren’s task-force’s case against the Solano family, in the sixth episode of the USA Original Series “Graceland.” All the members of the house are having bad mornings, but for Paige Arkin, the situation’s dire, as she goes undercover to infiltrate a sex-trafficking operation also controlled by the Solanos without any backup due to a snafu that Jakes found himself in. Just as Paige called an audible changing the game plan, Dale’s pulled out of his truck by two policemen, as he had violated the restraining order when his son Daniel visited him in the previous episode.
Paige gets taken to the facility where the operation’s hiding a group of young foreign women, who are being held to sell to buyers to use as prostitutes. She’s taken the place of the original drug mule transported by Cal-Coast Bus Lines from Mexico, after swallowing ten balloons filled with heroin. The young woman vomited up nine of the balloons but the tenth burst inside her and she died from an overdose, Paige then swallowed the remaining nine and took her place. The man in charge at the facility asks her where the last balloon is and Paige tells him that’s all she swallowed. He then brings her into a room and demands she undresses then takes her picture to post on their website. She’s then brought in to where the rest of the young women imprisoned, including the young Ukrainian woman she had tried to help weeks before. Arkin believes that agents will rescue them shortly, unaware that Jakes ended up in a jail cell.
Warren’s disgusted that an inside source tipped off the Solano family and destroyed all the evidence and warned Carlito Solano to steer away from the pick up he was driving to. However his superior from the Bureau’s headquarters Jess, walks into the house referring to Mike as the conquering hero. The agent looks at his friend with benefits, as though she lost her mind, but she spins it as a great victory for the FBI and will win them great favor with Bureau Director. Warren refuses to perceive the situation in that manner, saying that any evidence that could have locked up the Solano family no longer exists. Jess leaves but first asks Mike to come back with her to his position at Bureau Headquarters with her, he tells her he’ll think it over.
Mike still has one card to play, as he is holding Lawrence the Cal-Coast supervisor involved in the smuggling operation that kept a steady flow of heroin coming over the border from Mexico and Warren believes that Lawrence knows far more than he’s admitted. The supervisor does concede that the Solano family control a member of law enforcement that informed them the bust would go down, allowing them to destroy all the contraband. The agent also inquires about the sex-trafficking operation, but Lawrence denies knowledge, so Mike leaves the prisoner handcuffed to a chair in the safe house.
The phone rings at the house and Briggs answers to find Dale on the other end, explaining he’s in jail and asked if anyone had heard from Paige. When the response is no, he tells Paul that he believes Arkin’s in danger as he believes she may have gone undercover to try to bust the operation. Mike immediately freaks out but Briggs takes control, saying he and Charlie will find the recorder in Dale’s truck with Paige’s messages and Johnny goes to bail out Jakes with Mike insisting on going with him.
The tape’s found letting the team know that she took the young women’s place and Johnny and Warren greet Dale when released. Warren decides that Jakes doesn’t feel sufficiently guilty, so he tells the DEA agent that if Paige’s harmed it’s on him. We have seen evidence throughout the season that Mike’s severely lacking in management and people skills and once again handles the situation in the worst possible way.
When they get back home, Mike seeks out Paul finding him on the beach. He tells Briggs he’s holding Lawrence prisoner and he’s sure the supervisor has information on the sex-trafficking operation, but he won’t confess anything to Warren and asks Briggs for help in the situation. The two arrive where Lawrence’s held and he asks Paul who he is and the agent responds that he’s the man going to set him free and the supervisor gets excited. However, Briggs tells him before he can unlock the handcuffs, Lawrence must provide some info on the operation and once again the supervisor denies knowledge. Paul tells him he’s got one more chance to answer and Lawrence repeats his statement.
Briggs then grabs the gym-bag he brought with him and tells the prisoner he brought his old mistress for him and pulls out a large bottle of liquor and Lawrence begs for mercy as he’s a recovering alcoholic, sober for the last 16-years. Paul laughs derisively, then hands Warren a towel and tells him to put it over Lawrence’s face and hold back his head, then starts pouring the alcohol into the prisoner’s mouth through the towel. They remove the towel as the supervisor spits out the liquor and gasps for air and Paul questions him again and without an admission tells Mike to put the towel back on the prisoner’s face, but the other agent questions Briggs if they should proceed further. The look in Briggs’ eyes tell Warren that’s not an option and they torture Lawrence again.
Paul’s methods pay off as Lawrence agrees to cooperate and tells the pair he has to set up a meet in order for them to gain access to the operation. He contacts the people in charge and sets up a meet with them for the next morning at a local hotel and then they will transport him to the facility. The agents fear releasing Lawrence until they get Paige, so they leave him at the safe house. Briggs and Warren head back to Graceland to plan out the rescue with their housemates. Before they get into the car, Mike says he didn’t realize how brutal Paul would get and Briggs calls him out asking what did he expect when he asked for his help?
Arkin realizing that no help’s coming any time soon tries to escape with the Ukrainian girl, but the attempt fails as they run out to the yard of the facility and Paige tries to scale a chain link fence. As she climbs the boss comes out and whacks her in the thigh with a baseball bat and she falls to the ground with a badly bruised thigh.
Back at the house the five sit down to strategize, but nerves shot and tempers short. They finally agree to have Mike go undercover as the buyer and Jakes will follow the car that transports him to the facility. The next morning Mike’s met by the boss and a guy wearing a cowboy hat, searched and then they put a hood over his head and he gets into the car. Shortly after they pull out, Jakes starts his truck and trails the trio.
The young women get lined up and each given a placard with a number on it, Warren’s brought into the room and the hood’s removed and we see Paige smile with relief. Looks like things are going to wrap up nice and tidy, but there’s still 20-minutes of airtime left, so we realize things won’t run all that smoothly. Mike tells the boss that he wants to purchase Paige but she plays like she’s afraid to go with him. The boss starts to get ready to pummel her, but Warren tells him she’s scared and he wants some time alone with her, they head into a room that the boss monitors them on a security camera.
Mike informs Arkin that all the evidence against the Solano family no longer exists and tells her he wants to keep the operation running a while longer so he can pin the sex-trafficking on the family. Paige vehemently disagrees and says that he should take the Ukrainian woman in her place, but his emotions won’t allow him to agree and she slaps the agent across the face. At that point Warren exits the room and says he’s going to buy her but she’s uncontrollable, to which the boss responds by punching Paige in the face.
The two get driven back to the hotel each wearing hoods and then the men drive off. Mike and Paige enter the vehicle he’s driving and he apologizes for not following her wishes but gives her his word that they’ll shut down the operation and rescue the young woman she’s concerned about. Paige tells Warren exactly how much she values his word in unflattering terms.
They arrive at the house and all the housemates embrace her, as Mike feeling unwanted heads to his room. When she settles into her room, Jakes comes in and tells her he can’t express how terribly he feels and gives her a music box that belonged to his mother. The box has a ballerina on it and Dale tells Paige that he thought she’d like it as the Ukrainian girl’s a dancer. She breaks down crying and asks her friend that if they can’t save this young woman, than what are they accomplishing, Jakes holds her and tells her he lacks the answer.
Mike arrives where he’s holding Lawrence, removes the handcuffs and hands him an envelope with a forged passport and traveling money. He tells the supervisor to leave and to stay out of contact with his associates. Lawrence leaves cursing Warren out as he does.
Jess arrives and tells Mike she’s returning to Washington and asks if he’s joining her, when he admits what we’ve known all along, that he’ll remain at Graceland. She says that she truly thought his goal was to become Bureau Director and he replies that he thought that as well. Jess tells him that if he doesn’t return with her, their benefits end and Mike acknowledges he’s aware of that. She then wishes him good luck addressing him as Agent Warren and leaves.
Mike’s with Paul when his phone rings and he tells the person on the other end that the news he’s getting is terrible. He gets off the phone and tells Briggs that Lawrence was found dead at his home and he gets in his car and drives to the crime scene. When he arrives a detective gives him a hard time until Warren identifies himself, the cop feeling foolish introduces himself as the head of the LAPD Gang Task-Force and says that Lawrence’s murder was the work of a cartel. Mike asks him if he has any idea who set up the hit and the detective names the Solano family. He then gives Warren his business card including cell number and tells him to call him anytime.
The final scene’s a conversation between Briggs and Warren and Mike says he found the Solano’s inside informant, the detective he had just talked to. He tells Paul that the cop’s second in command was at the bust, in fact he was standing right next to him. Briggs replies that Mike’s taking on a huge fish and Warren responds they’re going to reel him in shortly.
Graceland can be seen Wednesday nights on the USA Network.