Graceland 2×11 ‘Home’: Paranoia

Graceland 2x11 Cover

In stories, there has to be a certain cohesive nature in which the elements of the plot come together.  Of course, in life, events aren’t ordered and neatly structured.  Often, things happen with a chaotic nature, and they come from some complex cause-and-effect pattern that we don’t necessarily understand.  Within stories, the writer has to maintain the façade that we’re watching something with a basis in reality while also putting his/her hand to manipulate events.  It’s a very delicate balance that has to be achieved in order for any show to truly be good, and it’s a balance that can easily be broken.

Graceland 2x11-2

Source: USA

In last week’s episode, “The Head of the Pig” we saw Briggs dealing with Charlie being pregnant and the Badillo tape that was clearly in somebody else’s hands.  While this is something that we’ve known was coming for a long time, and it’s something that was part of the show’s world for a long time, the problem is that it’s so conveniently placed that it correlates directly with things like Charlie getting pregnant.  It’s okay to re-introduce ideas that were planted a long time ago, but it’s the precise timing that makes it feel twisted by the writer, not to mention the ridiculous twist at the end.  Sure, having it so that Charlie has the tape is definitely creating some tension for the end of the season, but it’s a ridiculous twist that’s more about keeping us tense than creating realistic situations for the characters.  In the end, Charlie torments Briggs with the tape, not thinking about the inevitable consequences of her actions.  And that doesn’t seem like something that Charlie would do.

Graceland 2x11-1

Source: USA

The Briggs drama overshadowed the bank heist this week, which wasn’t that big of a deal considering that both of those storylines (the tape and the heist) are some of the weakest of the season.  The bank heist never came together in a way that expanded on character (like the Tinker Bell storyline did), and it was a tangential solution to the Markham problem (which wasn’t very interesting anyway), so it was essentially a side story to a side story.  It was so far removed from the main action that it didn’t feel like the stakes were high.  It’s likely that having Amber go after Mike was a way to increase those stakes, but even that stemmed from a storyline that feels out of place.

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Source: USA

The underlying idea that encompasses all of this is great stuff.  It’s easy to quarantine the past in order to survive in the present, especially as you immerse yourself further in darkness and need the stay in the present in order to function.  Briggs continued moving forward, lashing out at anybody who he believed could have the tape, all in order to keep himself above water.  He lashes out at Markham because maybe he has the tape, but that doesn’t work.  He lashes out at Mike because maybe he has the tape, but that doesn’t work and almost ends in catastrophe.  But now that Charlie has the tape, it’s complicated.  The past is coming back to add onto the stress of the present, and with no easy way out, the strain on Briggs is going to lead him to do something drastic.

As we get ready for the finale, we know that something has to happen between Charlie and Briggs, between Lucia and Johnny, and with the case as a whole.  Hopefully, we get more scenes like the raid scene from “The Head of the Pig”, but there’s been more than enough setup for this already.  Ever since the middle of the season, the overarching plot has been spinning its wheels, as everybody split up to be a part of their own plotlines for the time being.  But, now, it’s time for the dominoes to come crashing down, and with the amount of setup for the finale, they’d better come crashing down in spectacular fashion.

So what did you think of “Home”?  Now that the heist is out of the way, we can gear up for whatever finale is in store for us.  So do you think that finale will be any good?

Michael St. Charles

is just a Michigan State University grad who loves a good story. If he’s not off teaching the young ones how to solve quadratic functions or to write an expository essay, he’s watching old-school HBO shows, indie horror movies, or he’s playing Resident Evil 4.

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