Graceland: The Head Of The Pig

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Episode recaps
Photo by: Jeff Daly/USA Network

Warning: Spoiler Alert

FBI Agent Mike Warren lost a battle, however he gained a better chance to win the war in the tenth episode of the USA Network Original Series “Graceland,” however he couldn’t overcome the loss to fully appreciate the position his team getting far better odds of shutting down the Solano Cartel and enough evidence on corrupt cop Sid Markham, to put him in the gray-bar hotel for an extended stay. In order to strengthen their odds in shutting down the Solanos and Markham, Paige Arkin and Paul Briggs conspired behind Warren’s back, which resulted in shutting down the Solano’s sex-trafficking operation and the death by Markham’s squad of all the operation’s employees, so they couldn’t testify against Carlos Solano, or his son Carlito.

The episode opens two weeks after the previous episode and Paige confides in Briggs that she thinks that Warren’s lying about the young Ukrainian woman Lena escaping from the compound, as all her leads have come up cold. Paul tells the DEA Agent that Warren didn’t kill Lena, however Arkin guesses the truth, that Mike’s covered up the death to keep the case open. She asks Briggs if he can help her and he replies that he can’t but his undercover persona Detective Paul West of the LAPD, might be able to aid her.

Johnny and Jakes meet with Carlos and Carlito Solano in the Mexican desert, to watch Jakes display his idea to smuggle heroin and weapons across the border to the United States, by dropping a palette out a plane and ideally floating safely to the ground via the attached parachute. The test, however falls far short of ideal, as the palette crashes to the ground and the contents get strewn across the desert. Solano, tells Johnny he’s wasted his time and he’s decided to go with Carlito’s suggestion of smuggling the contraband via cruise ships.

Briggs has tried his best to win Markham’s confidence to become involved with the Detective’s dealings with the Solano Cartel, but he’s still kept outside as Markham asks for some privacy to talk with his second in command about the Solanos’ cruise-ship smuggling plan. However, Briggs believes busting the sex-trafficking operation by stealing the case from the Feds should earn Markham’s interest and trust, so he arranges for Paige to pose as a FBI Agent the next day at the precinct.

Back at the Solano compound, Johnny tries to apologize to the elder Solano, but to no avail as he refuses to give he and Jakes a second chance. He tells the undercover agent, that Carlito’s in California, finalizing arrangements on the cruise ships. When he returns, Carlito will host a dinner for Johnny to bury the hatchet, then Solano tells him he will go home.

Markham’s second in command sees Briggs talking with Paige in the station and asks Markham who she is and the Detective replies she looks like a Fed and goes to check things out. Paul’s holding a box of walkie-talkies and Sid busts his back jokingly asking who gave him authorization to give away department equipment. Briggs starts to say he had just told the lady he was going to ask Markham for permission and Paige introduces herself with a fake name and says she’s a FBI Agent and hoped to borrow the equipment. The Detective gladly grants her permission and Paige says good-bye and leaves.

Markham asks if Paul knows what she’s working on and he tells the Lieutenant, that he overheard her mention a sex-trafficking operation run by the Solanos. Markham, pulls Paul into an office and tells him that the Feds have their own agenda and his department already has lots of evidence against the cartel and doesn’t want the Federal Agents to mess things up, so he asks Briggs to try to pump Paige for information and Paul tells him he will gladly.

Down in Mexico, Carlito’s back and the family’s having a going away dinner for Johnny. The main course arrives, a whole pig broiled on a spit, just as Carlos’ phone rings and he excuses himself to take the call. Markham’s on the other end telling the crime boss that Carlito’s running a sex-trafficking ring and now he’s got to clean up the mess. After not believing Markham at first, the elder Solano finishes the call and returns to the table, as Carlito’s carving the pig. He tells his son to put down the knife, then proceeds to beat him bloody, telling him he’s disgraced the family. He then tells Johnny that he has another chance as Solano won’t work with his son again.

Briggs and Arkin want to get Mike out of the compound before Markham’s crew raids the place, so Paige talks Warren into heading back to Graceland for the night to get a decent night’s sleep. She also tells him that she forgives him for not closing down the operation when she requested. His guilt lessened, he takes his former girlfriend’s advice and heads back to their house.

Paul calls Johnny down in Mexico and the undercover agent freaks out, fearing the Solanos will know. Briggs just wants to find out if Solano gave Johnny and Dale another opportunity, since he found out the sex-trafficking compound was getting raided. It finally made sense to Johnny, why Solano had pummeled his son and gave him another chance. As soon as he hangs up from Briggs he calls Mike to share the news and this time Warren freaks out when he hears about the impending bust.

Warren gets in his car and drives as quickly as he can to the compound, Paige sees him and flags him down and he tells her he has to save Sulla or he has no case against the Solanos. He arrives perhaps two minutes before Markham’s unit does and runs through the building searching for Sulla. Meanwhile Markham’s crew’s on a seek and destroy mission, shooting every employee they come across, whether armed or not. Mike finds Sulla and the two try to escape, but Markham finds them and shoots Sulla dead. He has his weapon aimed at Warren, seconds away from pulling the trigger when Paige walks in, saving Warren’s life.

We then witness Markham, Briggs in his guise as West and Warren give statements. While Markham and Briggs tell the man taking their statements that they did what they had to do to save the young women and themselves, while Warren tells the truth, trying to implicate Sid but gets nowhere with the man, who clearly thinks he’s delusional or lying.

Back at the house, Mike tells Paige and Paul they screwed him, but Briggs says they’re in better shape than they were 12-hours earlier, as he’s about to crack Markham’s inner circle and Johnny and Dale impressed Solano by adding a rubber life raft to the bottom of the palette to soften the impact.

Later that evening as Paul starts slicing peppers for Charlie, his cellphone rings and it comes up as “Unknown.” When he says hello, he hears the tape that Juan Badillo recorded the night Briggs accidentally, killed him as they struggled over a gun.

Graceland can be seen Wednesday nights on the USA Network.

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