Warning: This story contains major spoilers from the season premiere of Graceland. Read at your own risk!
Following the heartbreaking events of the Graceland season finale, in which Paige (Serinda Swan) told Sid (Carmine Giovinazzo) where to find Mike (Aaron Tveit) so he could kill him, Graceland definitively revealed Mike’s fate in the season premiere—and it wasn’t pretty.
Picking up 10 days after Sid cut off Mike’s air supply at the hospital and left him for dead, it’s revealed that Mike Warren is, in fact, still alive and he wastes no time in letting Sid know the truth when it looks like Paige may sacrifice herself to take Sid down. What’s next for Mike? Get the scoop from Tveit:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Mike is alive! Did you always know that he would survive the finale or were you ever worried?
AARON TVIET: It’s funny, when Jeff [Eastin] pitched me the idea, we were just starting to shoot our finale last year and they wanted to leave it on a bit more of a cliffhanger. Also, I think the main focus was to show how dangerous this job is, that these people really are in jeopardy. When we talked about it, I was so excited about it, I thought it was such a great idea that I didn’t even think of a second about it. Then I got off the phone and I had a moment, and I was like, “Wait a minute, is Mikey off the show?” [Jeff] assured me immediately that that would not be the case. They would find a way to cleverly make it work that I could come back where it didn’t seem unrealistic that I could make it. He was very upfront about that. I was never worried, which was nice.
How has Mike’s near-death experience has changed him?
I think it’s changed him a lot. You’ll see that get played out over the course of the season. It really puts him on this whole other journey that he follows. He comes out of it and it opens his eyes up to the mistakes that he made while he was thrust into this leadership position last season. He realizes he’s been given a second chance and he wants to make the most of it. He’s trying to go about things in a different way. He’s trying to figure out why he’s back. The why is the question that’s driving him crazy.
What kind of danger is everyone in now that Sid knows Mike is alive?
As soon as I wake up, I imagine the first thing I would’ve said to Briggs is, “Yo dude, Sid did this and he knows where we live.” The fact that he knows that we’re all in this house, and because of the type of guy he is, the people in the house are in imminent danger. We need to make sure we get him and arrest him. That’s the primary focus.
It seems like they’re setting up Mike to be addicted to these pain pills. Is that going to come back to haunt him?
It’s a double-edged sword. Obviously I leave the hospital way too soon, so I’m not recovered and I’m in terrible pain. But in order to get Sid and finish this mission, I’ve got to be popping these pills to get me even and stay right. Because of that, I become reliant on them. Then it becomes a thing where I need the pills for work, I can’t work without the pills, and the pills are really messing me up. I get into a little bit of a vicious cycle from being hurt. The scary thing about these type of pills is that’s how a lot of pill addictions start for people: You get an injury and your body takes to this medicine so much that you need more and more. It’s a thing that plays our for a while and it’s another really big problem this season. I’m really happy where it goes and how far we go with it.
Mike saw something during his near-death experience. What can you tease of where that storyline is going?
He saw this very specific imagery in the time that he was dead. These images are in his head and he’s trying to get them out of his head. He has this weird, awesome dream journal that Briggs comes upon. The very neat thing is that these images literally pop up in front of him as he’s trying to track this next case that presents itself. As he’s following this little path and these hunches he has, these things end up really sending him down the rabbit hole because he keeps seeing more and more and they keep leading him down this path.
Can Mike and Paige ever reconcile?
As you saw in the first episode, he does forgive her. It is a fast thing, but it really has to do with the fact that Mike has changed after this experience. He does recognize that he was going about things the wrong way and he might’ve pushed. With this new clarity, he actually sees that if he doesn’t do that for her, she’s going to be lost. She’s really going to spin out. He’s putting aside some of the things he may actually feel about it just to be a rock for her to then say, “OK,” and then move on. At the same time, I don’t think they’ll ever get back to where they were and what they had. Hopefully they can live together, much less be friends. It’s a really tough thing.
How do you think his time at Graceland has changed him as an agent?
We met this guy who has all the ambition in the world. And in the second season, he’s put in this leadership position and he thinks he’s the shit. He thinks he knows how to do this, and then he quickly realizes that pushing people around is not how to be a great agent, and ultimately a great leader as an FBI agent. What I think is really neat is you’ll see a little bit this season the new way that he’s dealing with things. He’s sitting back and letting the people around him find their own way through things. He’s not really jamming his opinions down people’s throats. That makes him a much better partner. Ultimately, who knows how far the series is going to go, but I think these new qualities actually make him a great leader without him even knowing it. I’m hoping we get to play that out too. This change brought him to his original goal and he doesn’t know it yet.
Graceland airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on USA.