'Graceland': There's Something About Briggs

Graceland's rocky premiere ended on a great reveal. What is Paul Briggs's secret, and why has rookie Mike Warren been assigned to investigate him? But there were no answers this week: just another uneven hour of television.

We still know virtually nothing about Graceland's female characters—so far, they're merely different flavors of vamp—yet the show thinks nothing of wasting a full minute of screentime on Aaron Tveit making his bed in a skimpy pair of underpants. I'm not inclined to complain about Tveit in his underpants, but this writing doesn't make a lot of sense.

Of all the ladies, Charlie is the clear standout so far. She recruits Mike to play her tough-guy boyfriend at a sleazy karaoke bar: "Grab my ass. Seriously. Mark your territory and grab my ass." It's there we meet Paige, another housemate slash agent, who routinely slips crushed birth control pills into the drinks of her criminal "boyfriend" to make sure he can't get it up. Possible highlight of the episode: Graceland's costume-filled "undercover closet," containing everything from clunky old-school cell phones to bibles hollowed out to conceal guns.

When Warren turns up for a compulsory psych evaluation, we learn that his FBI ambitions were originally inspired by his grandfather, a crime scene photographer who worked alongside J. Edgar Hoover. Mike quickly susses out that "Doctor" Badillo isn't a shrink at all—he's the officer supervising his investigation of Briggs.

Hungry for an undercover assignment, Mike comes up with a scheme to snag Bello, a target of Briggs's, by selling him a truckload of illegal cop-killer bullets discovered by Agent Jakes. In character as a Marine, Warren adopts a charmingly bad Southern accent that, unfortunately for us, Briggs quickly shoots down. "You're not playing Curly in Oklahoma," he says.

Bello's crew tests the bullets on giant teddy bears dressed in cop hats and body armor. Where did they get giant teddy bears dressed in cop hats and body armor? Unclear. When their shots miss, they blame the quality of the ammo. Mike saves the deal by expertly shooting out the toys' eyes and severing their limbs. This scene was definitely not brought to you by Build-A-Bear.

Ultimately, Briggs's brilliant, risky plan kills two low-lifes with one stone: Paige's pseudo-boyfriend holds up Bello's crew, stealing back the bullets, only for Briggs and company to arrest him in the very next scene. So, everything's A-OK, right?

So, so wrong.

In the episode's final moments, Briggs leads Mike to a deserted dock and points a gun at his head: "Who you been talking to?"

Oh, Graceland. Just when I thought I was out, you pull me back in.

Image via USA

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