Graceland: Cliff Hanger Central

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Episode recaps
Photo by: Jeff Daly/USA Network

Warning: Spoiler Alert

With one episode remaining in the second season of the USA Network Original Series “Graceland,” the rope that FBI Agent Mike Warren, wanted to wrap-up the Solano Cartel and corrupt LAPD Detective Sid Markham with, started to fray, with each strand in danger the damage done to its, to hard to overcome. By the end of the penultimate episode, four of the six housemates were in danger of blowing their cover’s and risking their lives. What appeared as wrapping up loose ends at the beginning of the hour, turned into the least of the team’s worries by the end of the show.

We see Paul Briggs walking through the house in the first scene, likely after he finished walking home when Charlie left him in the middle of nowhere, during the previous episode. Charlie had possession of the audio-tape of the accidental shooting of FBI Agent Juan Badillo, by Briggs last season, as Badillo masqueraded as Mexican bandit Jangles, hoping that Briggs would incriminate himself. Badillo pulled his gun, they struggled over it and Badillo accidentally got shot and killed.

Paul knocked on Charlie’s bedroom door, but she refused to open it, choosing to talk through it instead. Briggs asked her after hearing the tape, didn’t she realize the shooting was accidental? She tells the father of the baby she’s carrying, that what bothers her is that he never confided in her over the past year and asks if he was keeping the information to keep her from being hurt and Briggs responds it was to protect himself, ending the conversation.

We move to the beach and we join Warren, Johnny and Jakes sitting in front of a bonfire. Warren starts counting his chickens before they hatch, as he brags that from tracking bus-lines, he’s about to take down the Solano Cartel and Markham. Dale responds that’s their job, but Johnny catches on realizing that Warren wants compliments from his housemates.

Johnny and Dale are marking money with dots to track it when Carlos Solano and Markham have the bills in their hands, when Paige walks into the house. Johnny asks if she’ll help mark the bills, but instead tells her two housemates, she believes Warren covered up the death of the Ukrainian woman Lena by Sulla and had burnt her body to get rid of the evidence, which is exactly what happened. Johnny doesn’t believe Arkin, but Jakes says it’s hard to predict how a person would react in a situation.

Warren and Charlie lead a tactical-team to Amber’s hideout, but they find she’s abandoned it and she ended up pulling the bullet out of her back that Briggs shot her with during the bank-robbery in the previous episode. After the rest of the team leaves, Charlie looks at an empty tank of CO2 Argon and decides to get it filled where Amber bought it, in hopes of tracking her down. She gets to the shop and the owner Duke, says he doesn’t remember selling the tank to her and she tells him she worked with Amber. She asks if Duke has any contact info on her and he says he doesn’t, but Charlie pulls out a pistol and threatens to shoot the chemical tanks blowing his shop up. Duke suddenly remembers he’s got an emergency contact number for Amber.

Briggs in his cover of LAPD officer Paul West, part of Markham’s task-force enters the detective’s office, as Sid had requested to speak privately with him. He tells Paul that he’s signing a new contract with the Solano Cartel and asks if the officer wants in, Briggs responds that he’s got a baby on the way, so he’s got to think about his financial future and accepts the offer. Markham tells him they leave first thing the next morning.

Dale and Johnny are in the Mojave Desert waiting for the Solano shipment to land on the American side of the border. The pallet drops perfectly and a crew starts to unload the contraband. Johnny and Dale ride with the crew to the drop-off spot and are given cash to present Carlos Solano in his house in Mexico. They arrive there to find Solano arguing with his daughter and Johnny’s girlfriend Lucia over money. He welcomes the pair as Lucia walks away and Solano produces the briefcase full of cash he’ll give to Markham, however it’s not the marked money they just brought with them. Johnny makes an excuse for him and Solano to see the horses out back, giving Dale a chance to switch the money.

Paige gets a phone call from immigration services, saying they have Lena in custody at LAX. Totally shocked she tells the official she’ll head over to the airport. However, it’s not Lena, but her younger sister Irena who came to the States to try to find her sister. She has a letter from Lena, but it’s postmark states it got mailed from Scottsdale, Arizona.

Mike’s summoned to the Los Angeles Bureau Office as Markham, has filed a complaint against Warren. Mike lies through his teeth when asked if the operation was to target Markham and instead tells his supervisor that the plant got created to trap Amber. Sid starts threatening Warren and the supervisor throws him out of the office, but as soon as the cop’s left the supervisor tells Warren he’s treading dangerous territory. Warren leaves the office and finds Sid waiting for him in the parking lot.

Markham’s good and goads the FBI agent enough that Warren attacks him, socking him in the gut then slashing the officer’s face. Markham head-butts Mike, but Warren gives better than he gets, standing up victoriously, until he realizes that the supervisor has witnessed the entire brawl.

Johnny meets with Lucia, tells her the motel he’s staying at and for her to meet him there the next morning and they’ll leave her family behind. She tells Johnny, she’s always fantasized about living in some distant land and that’s where they’ll head to.

Charlie hears from Amber, who tells Charlie that she wants to meet her downtown to give her half of the money from the robbery and she tells Warren. She’s not sure if Amber’s sincere, but tells Warren shell bust the bank robber either way. Mike’s heading to Mexico, so he can’t help but he tells her he’ll have backup arranged for her at the meeting spot. Charlie then gives Mike the audio-tape of Badillo and Briggs.

They sit down and listen to it and Warren says that it sounded like an accidental death and Badillo put himself in a dangerous situation. Charlie agrees that Badillo was foolish at best, but he wouldn’t have stalked Briggs if he hadn’t been skimming drugs and operating as Odin, a fact that she denied every time it got presented to her previously. She tells Mike she’s carrying Paul’s baby and she loves him so she can’t turn him in, so Warren has to. He tells her he has to arrest him as part of Markham’s crew and he’ll just hold onto him.

In the remaining moments of the episode everything unraveled. Somehow, Markham got finds Graceland, realizing that Warren lived there, however he didn’t realize his officer “Paul West” was a member of the house, he finds documentation that Warren has on him and grabs a pistol from a drawer.

There’s a knock on Johnny’s motel room door and he opens to see a smiling Lucia on the other side, after exchanging a kiss, she tells him they won’t have money concerns and produces the briefcase meant for Markham. Johnny’s beside himself, realizing one part of the plan’s now messed up.

Charlie’s the next to fall into trouble, as Amber set her up, ramming Charlie’s car with a pickup truck and then two men and Amber carrying an automatic weapon, pull the agent out of her car and into their silver SUV.

The episode ends with Briggs and the rest of Sid’s crew waiting for Markham to arrive. The detective makes a wise-crack to Briggs and as he’s about to enter his vehicle, he’s wearing an ear-to-ear grin.

Graceland can be seen Wednesday nights on the USA Network.

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