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'Graceland' postmortem: Has Paige gotten in over her head?

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Jeff Daly/USA Network

Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Thursday’s episode of Graceland. Read at your own risk!

Briggs is one step closer to taking down Ari and the Sarkissian family.

During Thursday’s episode of Graceland, Paige (Serinda Swan) infiltrated the Sarkissians through Toros (Val Lauren), the volatile lieutenant who stepped up in the wake of Ari (Rhys Coiro) falling from grace. But Paige may have bit off more than she can chew since Toros has a penchant for violence, even in the bedroom. Will Paige make it out alive? EW caught up with Swan to get the scoop:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Paige has been able to infiltrate the Sarkissian family, but how much danger is she now in?

SERINDA SWAN: It’s very, very, extremely, terribly dangerous, because there’s two sides: One, if she’s found out as a DEA agent, she’s dead. The other, if she doesn’t give Toros what he wants, there’s a chance she’s dead there, too. He’s not the type of person that’s like, “Let’s have an adult conversation about our relationship, and then maybe we’ll part ways happily .’ It’s more like, “OK, you don’t want to be with me?” Bang! He’s not a reasonable guy; there isn’t any reasoning with him, and so there’s a very fine line that she has to walk. It’s keeping him intrigued and leading him on, but never getting caught up or put in a situation where she would have to go against her morals.

That’s a lot of the difference between females and males, is that when a guy gets caught up in a situation, it’s violence that will get them out of it. For a female, a lot of the time, it’s being intimate—there’s a sexuality that comes in. I’m not saying that men undercovers don’t come up against the same issues, but for females, it’s a lot more prevalent. So to watch her play that game with Toros, and walk that fine line, and, you know, she jokes, she’s like, “I just don’t want to sleep with him,” you know? It’s like, “How about I just don’t want to?” This is a really fun undercover to play, and I think her and Toros are very interesting together. Even though it’s black and white, I think there’s moments where you think she’s in trouble, and then she walks away smiling. She’s very in control in these situations, even though he is very out of control.

Paige did use violence to get out of sleeping with him this time. What’s the next time going to look like?

Well, luckily he was into it. She would have figured out in another way for herself to get out of it, but the moment she found that out, it was like, “Oh, you want me to hit you. You think I work for a shipping company, but what you don’t know is I’m an undercover DEA agent that knows jiu jitsu and boxing.” That’s why I love that scene, I just think it’s so much fun. Originally, the first draft of it was that she knocks him out, which I thought was amazing, but then when we were playing around with it, there was such a nice rapport after the fact between the two of us, that they left it as that I just broke his nose. And so that’s part of the fun of it. But she’s so multifaceted that she would have figured something else out, and she does. You have those jokes about, “I can’t tell him that I have a migraine again, I’m going to have to figure something out.” So it’s that cat-and-mouse game. It’s keeping the intrigue, but without getting in a sticky situation or pushing him away so far that he’s done with you, because she really is the only lifeline to the inside of the Sarkissians now, and that’s our entire world right now at Graceland, is the Sarkissians, and she’s buddying up to the most dangerous member of that organization. So for Paige, this is an arc that goes to the end, and it doesn’t get any easier, and it doesn’t end well.

 

Does Paige basically have a death wish at this point after what happened with Sid and Mike?

At this point, it’s less about being a martyr and dying as it is about doing what’s right.She has to make things right for herself, and she has to make things right with Mike, to some degree. There’s still some animosity there. They both had a rough year last year, and they were lovers. So it’s worse if it’s a friend that does it, or a colleague, but [it’s worse] when it’s your boyfriend. She still loves him. She absolutely still loves him, but I don’t know if she’ll ever be with him. This insistence of “I’m doing what’s right for Colby” is really driving her throughout the Sarkissian storyline. It’s less about herself and her spiraling and more about trying to gain her compass back. Obviously you see at the beginning, she’s just spiraling out of control, but she’s slowly finding control within controlling the situations around her.

 

Ari seemed to recognize Paige. Will how much he actually remembers from that night be addressed?

Here’s the thing: Ari’s not stupid. And with Graceland, how closely we have to play to all of the criminals, or all of our bad guys, yeah, it definitely puts you in another situation that is not great for vital signs, for sure. So Ari is probably our baddest of the bads, and with her being with Toros, at any point in time their paths can cross in a way that could maybe trigger his memory, that could bring something back. It’s definitely extremely dangerous, and it does come to a head within the next few episodes… It’s hard when the house is falling apart as we speak.

 

Will the house confront Mikey over stealing Charlie’s drugs?

All I can say is, basically, within Graceland, it’s a family. So when you see a family member falling, we always try to come together. The other thing though: Is this a repairable family? By season 3, there are some people that are exhausted from trying to keep it together. There are some people that just don’t care anymore, and it’s, “Is this the final straw?” So I think this is the most the house has been in shambles, and you see by the season finale how that actually changes the entire dynamic within the house. It’s definitely comparable to last year’s season finale with tone and with shock value, and I don’t think anybody’s going to see this coming.

 

Briggs is the FBI sin-eater. Could Paige end up being one too now that she’s involved with this case?

Mm-hmm. Absolutely. I mean, this is the thing is, it’s a slippery slope. Graceland is a slippery slope. We’ve gotten so far off where we started that we’re all just trying to find our footing now, and by the end of the season, a line will be drawn, and not all of us will be on one side of it, and that’s going to be pretty interesting to see.

Graceland airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on USA.

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