Graceland recap: Chester Cheeto
Charlie makes a big decision... or non-decision.
It’s twists and turns, snakes and ladders, and cats and… actually, forget that last one…on Graceland this week. Baby mama drama, Oxycodone lycanthropy eyes, and soapy crimelords are our watchwords. Let’s go!
Mike and his floppy season 3 bangs are a-snoozin’ on the couch when he’s rudely awakened by Jakes, who wants to know if Mike can tie a bow tie. Why is the gang getting gussied up, you ask. Well, Paige is receiving an award from the Attorney General for her work on the Lina case, despite contributing to Mike’s “murder” at the conclusion. On Graceland, you can be a civic hero and a coldblooded killer.
Johnny, who certainly can tie a bow tie, is nowhere to be found. He didn’t come home the previous evening. He was too busy acting as Serpent Sid’s Uber driver. Briggs enters looking slick in his suit (I don’t think it’s possible for Daniel Sunjata to not look slick. He’d probably even make ugly-crying look suave, somehow.) While Briggs verbally jousts with Jakes, Mike pops some painkillers in one of the show’s least subtle story lines.
It turns out Johnny is meeting with Sid at church. The priest is one of those on-screen stereotypical pastors, this one letting bad guys beneath the church, which doubles as the first stop on the underground fugitive railroad to Mexico. They must have some interesting bake sales at that church. A wardrobe in the room has a secret door and surprise. No it’s not Mr. Tumnus and a lamppost on the other side. It’s a creepy tunnel to Mexico!
At the award ceremony, Briggs is swapping a pistol for cash in the men’s room while Paige is giving a brief acceptance speech that not everyone is a fan of. “Well, if it isn’t our exceptional hero,” Charlie snipes at her. Charlie is definitely the mom of the Graceland-ers because only a mom would ignore your achievement and instead be snippy about your acceptance speech. Paige is blase about her award, and Jakes (who managed to tie his bow tie) notes that not every DEA agent rescues a bunch of girls from sex slavery. Charlie tries to inspire Paige with the rallying cry of “bitches get shit done.” Not the most feminist-sounding (or classy) motto, but it does result in a callback and a hug from Paige. Mike mopes over and asks her if they can talk. Aaaand, nope!
Charlie then receives a call from Interpol, and they have exactly squat on Germaine. Briggs thinks they should offer Amber a deal, but Charlie and her unborn baby aren’t feeling that. Amber almost caused a miscarriage through that directed beating. Briggs knows that the baby is his, right? Shouldn’t he be a little more concerned with protecting and avenging his impending child? Dude is TOO laid back sometimes.
NEXT: Why does Mike have werewolf eyes?
Back at Graceland, Briggs oversees Mike taking even more painkillers. Changing the subject, Mike asks him if he has Ari Adamian under control. Using a surfing metaphor (of course), Briggs notes that a man who kills people for internal organs (and removes them himself!) probably isn’t controllable. He also reveals why he’s been buying guns in restrooms: He’s going to kill Ari. Ignoring Mike’s protests, he explains that his Bureau boss Logan doesn’t provide him with a cover team. He’s always alone with the Armenian Alley Surgeon. It’s perfect! Mike’s counter-revelation is that he knows about the Juan Badillo murder cassette, and that Logan will use it on him if he gets out of line.
Later on, Ari and Briggs cruise around. Ari pulls over to harass a rotund man in a fire-engine red jogging suit. This is “Chester Cheeto.” He’s a computer millionaire, and Ari goes all recess bully on him. “Chester” refuses to sign something over to the Armenians, so Ari hangs him upside down off a bridge. Ari makes him sign the document while hanging upside down over the railing! In triplicate! Ari doesn’t play. Unfortunately for “Chester,” Ari lets go of the leg he’s holding and Briggs is unable to hold “Chester” by himself. (Maybe Briggs should work out more.) Chester lives, but Ari would rather flee the scene than help him.
Charlie meets with Amber in the slammer, and they hiss insults at each other (Amber describing Charlie as “Godzilla with tits” was especially inspired). Amber says the only way to catch Germaine is via a drug dealer she knows in Florida—Germaine used to launder his money.
In a terribly humiliating, typical Mike moment, our newly minted prescription pill junkie goes to blackmail Logan into letting Briggs off the hook. He threatens to call his former Deputy Director boss. Logan has obviously done his homework and gives Mike a scathing review of his progress in the FBI so far. It amounts to a large red stamp on the Warren file that reads “HUGE FAILURE.” Mike scuttles out with his tail between his legs—which leads to more pill popping. (By the way, does Oxycodone always give you werewolf eyes or is this the Graceland showrunners being artsy?) Jakes enters and cautions Mike against drug addiction. He also puts a pin in his roommate’s “I was brought back from the dead for a reason” balloon. Jakes is the wisest guy in the house. Those dreads are full of smarts.
So Mike goes for his Bureau check-up and hi, Aaron Tveitt’s body. He’s been doing his crunches. Sorry. Anyway, Mike asks the doctor for more meds, but he’s told that he can’t go back in the field if he’s taking Oxys. Mike says no problem, put me back in, Coach.
Briggs goes to blow Ari’s head off back at the office, but they’re interrupted by Ari’s girlfriend. She’s the kidney recipient’s daughter, so Ari would be a dead man if word spreads he’s getting with her. Ari asks Briggs to run interference with her until she attends Stanford in the fall. Ugh, she’s pretty young, which makes Ari pretty gross.
Charlie’s having a “Convince Paige to stay” dinner, but it all goes to hell when Briggs learns of her plan to fly to Florida with Amber from the slammer. Suddenly Briggs DOES care about his spawn and forbids her from going. He tells her to start acting like a mother. This concern is sudden, and you were just going to shoot an Armenian in the back, so who are you, Briggs?
Paige is packing when Mike comes in and explains exactly why he covered up Lena’s murder. Serinda Swan gives the feels as she tears up hearing about Lena’s final hours. She tells Mike he (and her award) remind her of everything she did wrong. He suggests she use it as a reminder of what she did right. They embrace. It looks like Paige is staying on. He really got over that time she sent Sid to kill him, huh? Must be the Oxys.
Meanwhile Johnny and Sid surface in a Mexican strip club. Johnny tries to convince Sid to help him get Lucia out of Crazy Carlito’s in exchange for Sid’s money. Sid’s not about that. Thinking quickly, Johnny knocks out Carlito’s goon when he arrives. He hides the money, and cons Sid into thinking he needs to assist or not get paid. Johnny donates the briefcase of cash to the staff. Johnny and Sid then break into Swimfan’s mansion (a.k.a. Carlito’s house) and find Lucia. Johnny reveals he had no intention in getting Sid his money. Lucia spoils the “psych!” moment by telling him that if they don’t off Carlito, they won’t make it 10 miles. That crazy owns everything! Psych right back ‘atcha, thinks Sid!
Carlito’s bathing when Johnny and Sid enter. You know he planned this. The crazy gangster follows their orders to get out of the tub and takes them to his vault—and then pulls a knife out of his bathrobe. Johnny and Sid struggle, as Lucia is taken away by Carlito’s thugs outside. While Sid is trying to drive the knife through his head, Carlito tells Johnny that if he dies, so does Lucia. BANG. Bye Sid!
But then things get even more real when Paige drops Charlie off at an abortion clinic… except she’s faking getting an abortion. Later Charlie lies to Briggs and says she did have an abortion. How will she pull this off long-term? Is she just going to wear ponchos around the house and secretly drink O’Douls? (You can read Vanessa Ferlito’s thoughts on Charlie’s future here.)
We end with Paige actually smiling (she has teeth?), and Charlie providing Amber with a plane ticket. Johnny smashes up his room, and Jakes is quietly reading in bed. He really is the smartest one. Briggs dons a ski mask, rams Ari’s girlfriend Layla’s car, and goes to….cut! We’ll find out the future Stanford matriculator’s fate next week. If she has a future…