Graceland 2.02 Review: And So it Begins

by Shelli / June 19, 2014

NUP_162349_1191-680x452Immediately following last week’s premiere, last night’s episode of Graceland saw the residents learn that there are consequences for their actions.  All of them.

(Well, maybe not Zelanski.  We haven’t seen much of him yet.)

After Mike instituted his new plan to crack down on illegal trafficking through bus lines, the residents of Graceland are now working for the once-rookie.  However, they also have their own projects going on.  Paige is in the middle of busting a bomb house, Charlie is feeling guilty over the death of Juan Badillo – which she believes she’s responsible for, and Jakes is desperately trying to have a normal life.

The episode made an interesting twist, essentially flipping the apparant A and B story lines, making these secondary plots the forefront of the action, while MIke and Briggs’ hunt for the Caza imposters took what seemed to be a back seat.  This is an area in which Graceland has excelled since its first premiere.  By making the characters the focal point, the show becomes less of a procedural and becomes somehow, inherently more interesting.  Paige’s irritation toward being put under Mike’s command, and flirtation with him at the end of the hour can only suggest further drama – and heat – to happen later this season.

As always, Briggs, in this episode, becomes practically a new person.  After learning of Charlie’s side project, keeping an eye on Juan’s widow, Kelly, he takes on the guilt for the man’s death and seeks Kelly down to try and keep her from drinking again and becomes a friendly ear.  Is this simply a softer side to the msyterious agent?  Or can we expect ane explosion at some point?

After all – the teens who found the recording of Juan’s death know what’s on it.  But for the time being, the tape is stashed away, the kids believing that it’s just a piece of snuff*.

Meanwhile, Jakes suffers most in “Connects.”  Last season saw Jakes pining for the life he gave up with his son Daniel, and now he is trying to do something about it.  Unfortunately for Jakes, and the rest of us watching the heartbreak, Cassandra, Daniel’s mother, has not been won over by his efforts, and has him arrested for harrassment.  And of course, Daniel witnesses the takedown, prompting Jakes to thoroughly destroy the room he had set up for his son.

But of course, the larger storyline in the season right now is the hunt for Mike’s attackers, and the group smuggling with busses.  Briggs makes a move on his own time to strike a deal with a Caza leader, to find the identity of the impersonators gunning for Mike – almost surprisingly, he’s successful, and the team gets a line on the Selano cartel.

Only…Charlie flakes on getting in with the family.

If Graceland can keep up this style of storytelling, making the characters matter as well as the action, the show will surely stay on my list of top shows.  This episode jumped well off of last week’s premiere, hinting at conflict that is sure to happen on the dark drama, while also adding in that bit of heart that is necessary to draw the audience’s interest.  There are still plenty of questions to be answered, perhaps the only thing that one has to be patient with.

While yes, this is a show that features, well…action, the Graceland team executes it in a very slow, almost drawn-out manner.  Hence, you have to be into the characters to stay into the show.

What do you think of Graceland‘s style coming into Season 2, and what did you think of “Connects”?  Hit the comments!

*”snuff” refers to “Snuff film,” and the urban legend of real murder existing on film for entertainment purposes.

   
Gator. Telecommunications Management student. Writer, reader, TV lover. Find me @shellidw or on tumblr @ fortheloveoftelevision.tumblr.com to talk TV.