On the “Graceland” season finale, Mike (Aaron Tveit) thinks he knows who Briggs (Daniel Sunjata) really is: the guy who killed his training officer, Juan. Yet, what people think, and what Briggs shows the world, are two very different things on “Pawn,” which aired September 12.
As if Briggs’s reality isn’t dramatic enough on the USA Network drama, Jangles is also sticking around, which is exactly why Briggs doesn’t ride off into sunset to save himself.
To catch Jangles though, Briggs has to have a plan, something he always seems to have in his back pocket. Part of that plan is giving drug dealer Quinn the new identity he was going to use, that of Anthony Busca. It’s also why Briggs goes to Dale Jakes (Brandon Jay McLaren), the only guy who knows the truth about him, and tells his fellow agent why he isn’t running: Briggs thinks the Federale Agent Charlie is talking to is really Jangles.
And that is the crux of “Graceland” season one. Briggs fancies himself the hero, despite the fact that he’s lied to his “family” of friends, despite the fact that he’s played the part of drug dealer, and despite the fact that he killed an FBI agent and is now trying to hide it. But he can’t get away with all that, can he?
While the first half of “Pawn” is quite a bit of talk -- mainly about whether everyone in the house should trust Briggs or not -- the second half starts off with a bang. Briggs tracks Federale Agent Rafael to his beach house by tracking Charlie (Vanessa Ferlito). But rather than take him down right away, Briggs adds Juan Badillo’s key to Rafael’s key chain (yet another important piece of the puzzle).
Nevermind the fact that Briggs just made a dangerous situation worse, not just for himself but also for Charlie. Thankfully for both of them, Mike really is a hero. After discovering Briggs’s burner phone number, he tracks them. Just as Jangles is about to slice Charlie open and make her watch, Mike shows up. It’s a duel. And Mike amazingly wins.
Jangles is dead, just like that. But there’s still 20 minutes left of the show to go at that point, so what now?
Well, first and foremost, there’s Briggs and his story. The FBI pins Juan’s murder on Jangles, because of the trophy keys. As for Odin’s real identity? They’re looking at Anthony Busca, a.k.a. Quinn. From the beginning, Briggs apparently had a plan, and while it seems convenient, everything is now working out smashingly for just about everyone. Mike gets sent to D.C. for his “dream” job. Briggs and Jakes are cleared of wrongdoing. And, the house is still intact (minus a musketeer).
But “Graceland” just got renewed for season two, so it can’t be over quite yet. Plus, while Briggs planned for almost everything, there’s one stupid thing he left undone: he never found the missing recording, which some kid in Marina del Rey stumbles upon.
This stellar USA Network summer drama is far from over, and chances are Mike’s days in D.C. are numbered. In the final moments of the season finale, Briggs calls Mike, and says, “Listen, Mike, I haven’t told anyone else about this…”
Briggs is clearly a slippery, unreliable character. While the season finale shed some insight into why he did everything he did -- to avenge his friends and Lisa’s death -- it also proved that Briggs thinks he’s a hero, even when he’s not. That’s something worth exploring more, and thankfully it will be in “Graceland” season two, which airs next summer.
What did you think of the finale? Do you like how it ended? And where do you think it goes from here?
© Elizabeth SanFilippo 2013
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