With Colby dead and Martuun planning to hand over much of Ari’s territory to Toros Berbarian, it’s safe to say that Briggs’s plan to take down Ari has completely failed. To make matters worse, Logan is wants to pull the plug on the entire operation. Briggs digs in, ready to go to the ends of the earth to take down the Sarkissians and wash some of the blood from his hands. But with the rest of the Graceland team losing faith in Briggs and Ari ready to shoot him on sight, the path towards absolution seems murky at best.
At the same time, Briggs calls in a favor from an unlikely place to help Johnny rescue Lucia from Carlito, while Mike’s drug addiction prompts him to steal from one of his roommates.
Meanwhile, Mike’s hunt for the meaning of his vision leads him to an online black market deal involving the pickup of an undisclosed parcel from a shipping container in LA. Mike thinks this may be the case he’s been waiting for, but when it turns out the mystery smuggler is just a harmless small-time thief, Mike starts to worry that his red bird may be a wild goose.
When Ari wakes with no recollection of how he ended up with a pipe through his windshield, blood on his clothes and an empty clip in his gun, Briggs must walk the unstable mobster through the events of the previous evening. Their search soon leads them to a gas station in the mountains, and a run in with Martuun Sarkissian and his right hand man, Toros Berbarian. It turns out that Martuun is on the hunt for Layla, who didn’t come home the night before. Layla’s recent car crash already has Martuun seeing red, and with little love lost between Toros and Ari, the situation quickly becomes tense.
Of course, Briggs has orchestrated the whole thing in a bid to finally be rid of Ari, and his plan is going swimmingly. But as the group heads to a remote mountain cabin in search of Martuun’s missing daughter and Ari begins to get the feeling that he did something truly terrible, Briggs may find that he has a lot less control over the entire situation than he planned…
Charlie heads to Miami with Amber in tow in order to track down a dealer with ties to Jermaine. But when it becomes clear that Amber knows a lot less than she let on, Charlie begins to think twice about their deal.
Back at home, Mike gets the call that Sid has been found dead, prompting the team to put the wheels in motion to finally bring the Solano case to an end. However, with Lucia still in captivity, Johnny must remain under Carlito’s thumb, even if it means undermining his own friends.
At the same time, Briggs tracks down Colby Moore, the previous agent working on the Sarkissian case. And quite contrary to Agent Logan’s report, Colby is not dying of stage four cancer; it turns out that working so close to Ari drove him to quit the bureau and go into hiding. Now, Briggs wants Colby, and the rest of his Graceland housemates, to help put a complicated plan into motion to take Ari down for good. But as Colby points out, Ari has a way of making even the best-laid plans go awry.
Meanwhile, Mike nearly gets shot up during a raid on Carlito’s smuggling operation, causing Paige to cancel her plans to leave Graceland out of concern for his health. And while Briggs isn’t pleased with Paige’s decision to stay, he can also see that Mike is a man who needs help. Little do either of them realize just how far gone Mike really is…
OCEANDRIVE.COM – USA’s Graceland returned last night for its third season, and we caught up with star Serinda Swan, who plays sharp DEA agent Paige Arkin, to find out how she learned to do her own stunts, what it’s really like to film in the Miami heat, and what compels her to give back.
When you were first handed the script, what were your initial feelings on the role of Paige?
SERINDA SWAN: I really liked her. There really wasn’t much information on her; it was such a rushed process. I went in on a Wednesday and I was working by Monday. That was like, move to Florida, grab all your stuff, and go. There wasn’t really much time with the character description or backstory or anything like that. Luckily, Jeff Eastin, our creator, before I signed any contracts, I talked to him, because I needed to know what their idea was for her, because obviously I can create something, and I want to make sure we’re on the same page.
It’s different than doing a movie. When you do a movie, you read the whole script and then you can really get an idea who the character is. But when you’re doing a TV show, every episode, every couple of weeks when you get a new script, it’s less about knowing what the script is and more about knowing what the character is, and then by knowing who she is, you get an idea of what adventure she’s going to go on within the life of the show. I was really excited; There were a lot of characteristics about her that I love. I like that she has a sense of humor, I like that she’s a badass, I love that she leads with her heart. It was sort of a leap of faith after talking to Jeff and being like, ‘All right, let’s do this. I think she’ll be awesome.’
Have you found any similarities between this character and others you’ve played in the past?
SS: Yeah, it’s kind of amazing because a lot of my characters carry guns and shoot people. I don’t know what that says about me, but I seem to play some badass characters, which personally, I love. I have a lot of fun with that. I do pretty much all of my own stunts, and if I can’t do it, I try to train to make sure I can do it in the future.
What’s that process like?
SS: I called up one of my friends—His name is Lin Oeding, who’s an amazing director and stunt coordinator—and was like, ‘You have to train me.’ We got together one night and figured out how to choreograph it in a way that was right for Paige, and also right for the scene. You can’t be punching over your lines because you won’t be able to hear them. You have to figure out a way to choreograph it so you can punch only in the pauses of your speech and not make it look like that’s what you’re doing, because then that breaks the line of reality for the audience members. It’s everything from learning how to box, to taking courses on how to stunt drive and now [getting] my motorcycle license, to doing C.R.O.S.S. Maga—it’s all over the place. But honestly, it’s so much fun. It’s actually one of the most exciting parts about my job.
Do you ever get nervous and have to force yourself to do the stunt?
SS: Oh yeah. There are parts I read in my head and I’m like, ‘This is awesome! I can’t wait to do it.’ And then I’m standing on a precipice about to go over and I’m like, ‘This looks a little sketchy.’ Or car stuff is always a little scary, too, because you never know—it’s not your car, you’re not used to the brakes, you’re not used to how it handles, all of those things, and there’s not a lot of time to get used to it. So absolutely, there are definitely times when I get sweaty palms but again, that’s part of the fun.
What’s the energy like on set? How has it changed since season one?
SS: You get closer to your castmates and become more acclimated with who they are and how they portray their character. You start to find these idiosyncrasies that happen. You don’t have to work so hard anymore to make sure you’re getting your character right; they become part of you. It’s this very weird alter personality that sits with you. There will be times when I’m walking down the street in a sketchy neighborhood and I’m like, ‘Put on your Paige pants. Let’s go!’ You’re walking and you get a little more swagger. It’s a bizarre characteristic that you keep with you. I think we all have the ability to pull it out right away and it becomes more fun. We play more. The writers and directors and producers know that we have these characters down now, and they give us room to be able to ad lib and play and all that.
What’s it like filming in Miami?
SS: It’s hot! Oh my god, it’s so hot. It’s 91 degrees right now and 200 percent humidity. It’s not fun. And the allergies—you can hear me sniffing and my voice is crazy. I have the worst allergies down here. That being said, I’m living in Miami where there are beautiful beaches and amazing food and the culture is phenomenal. It’s a give and take. I may always be a snotty red-eyed girl walking down the street but I’m heading toward the best restaurant and then going to the beach.
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After hitting yet another dead end, Charlie begins to realize that her only shot at finding Jermaine may be to make a deal with Amber. However, the idea of working with a woman who nearly got her killed is putting a bad taste in Charlie’s mouth.
Charlie isn’t the only one forced to make the best of an unappealing situation. As Johnny smuggles Sid south of the border, he makes a desperate play to enlist the dirty cop’s aid in freeing Lucia from Carlito.
At the same time, Paige receives a commendation for her role in shutting down the sex trafficking ring, but the award only serves to remind her of the mistakes she made.
Meanwhile, Briggs decides that if he can’t shut Ari Adamian down, then he’ll take him out. With no cover team in place and no oversight, it will only be a matter of finding the right time to pull the trigger, despite the consequences. However, when he learns that Ari has been secretly seeing Martuun Sarkissian’s daughter, Briggs begins to formulate a new plan.
ACCESSHOLLYWOOD.COM – After everything she’s been through, and everything she’s done, Paige Arkin is making a change.
In the “Graceland” Season 3 premiere last week, she announced she’s moving out.
Since the middle of Season 2, when Serinda Swan’s character got involved in tackling the sex trafficking ring, the case took her further away from the team, and especially Mike Warren (Aaron Tveit), who was also working the case. Turning Mike’s hospital details over to Sid though, after she found out Mike lied about what happened to Lina (the young woman forced into the ring), changed everything. Mike luckily survived Sid’s murder attempt, but Paige is full of so many emotions, including guilt, and those feelings of betrayal by her ex that it’s pushed her further away from the housemates she’s relied on in the past. It all adds up to a very separate storyline and a very internal one too as the season continues for Paige, and the actress who plays her.
“There’s definitely a distance there [for Paige],” Serinda told Access Hollywood. “I think a line has been drawn for her and there is that, ‘What am I capable of?’ and watching herself and really becoming an introvert and trying to understand what mechanisms or belief systems are in her that she can kind of go this crazy… and so I think there’s sort of this inward pull to become calm and that translates on to the set as well. I mean, we’re a pretty light and fun set, but you know, I’ve probably read 18 books because I sit there and I read and I’ll kind of just get into my head and where I need to be… but there’s definitely a little bit of life imitating art for sure.”
Paige told her housemates that she can’t move out until the Sid situation is resolved, and living with Mike won’t be easy.
“I think it’s a heightened reality and it’s interesting thing to watch how, you know, now we have to live in the same house and like how does redemption happen, if it can happen? How does the relationship get repaired, if it can get repaired?” Serinda said. “It’s an interesting season for sure.”
While Paige is wracked with emotions, Paul Briggs (Daniel Sunjata) is battling to keep his in check after being strong armed by his new FBI boss, Special Agent Sean Logan (“The Walking Dead” alum Lawrence Gilliard Jr.), into going undercover to take down an arms dealer. The very first situation Briggs was thrown into after going undercover and working with Ari, the nephew of a top boss in the Sarkissian arms family, saw him take part in a kidnapping that resulted in Briggs being tased, covered in blood, and having to help Ari destroy a body.
Access Hollywood has a sneak peek at Thursday’s all-new “Graceland,” where Briggs is involved in more questionable activities that will test how far he is willing to go. In the clip, Briggs is brought along as muscle as Ari tries to threaten a man he likes to call Chester Cheeto (the name of Thursday’s episode), into signing something over to the Sarkissians.
The situation for Briggs is a tough one, but he has no choice. Logan has the tape of him killing Agent Juan Badillo.
And a major them for Season 3 is “atonement,” Daniel told Access.
“For a living, we walk this tight rope of moral ambiguity… doing bad things in order to advance presumably good agendas, but regardless of the reasons why you do bad things, they’re still bad things and there is a comeuppance eventually,” Daniel said of the characters on the series.
“Graceland” continues Thursdays at 10/9c on USA.
BUSTLE.COM – When you think of the most badass female characters, Chicago P.D.’s Erin Lindsay and Law & Order: SVU’s Olivia Benson probably come to mind, but they’re not the only take-charge cops on TV. Flying slightly under the radar are the women of USA Network’s Graceland, DEA agent Paige Arkin (Serinda Swan) and FBI agent Charlie DeMarco (Vanessa Ferlito), who often go deeper undercover and put themselves in more danger than the men on the show.
Throughout the show’s first two seasons, we’ve seen Charlie shooting up heroin to save her cover and take down a drug cartel, and Paige posing as a sex slave to infiltrate a major human trafficking operation. That is just the tip of the iceberg for these fearless ladies. When Bustle visited the Fort Lauderdale, FL set, the two stars teased that Season 3 is only going to get crazier.
If you’re not currently watching the show, Season 2’s final episodes delivered some of the most insane twists and biggest storylines of the series to date, including Paige putting her ex-boyfriend and fellow agent Mike Warren (Aaron Tveit) in danger, and Charlie finding out she’s pregnant with her sometimes-shady-boyfriend — and again, agent — Paul Briggs’ (Daniel Sunjata) child. These aren’t soap-opera-style twists, though — even though platonic and romantic relationships have a place on Graceland, it’s more about the ripple effects these bombshells make than who’s hooking up each episode.
As we head into Season 3 — premiering June 25 at 10 p.m. ET on USA Network — Vanessa Ferlito revealed that Charlie won’t slow down one bit because of this pregnancy. In fact, she just works even harder because of her baby on board. “I don’t think she realizes the severity of having a baby. She’s like, ‘I’m pregnant, but I’m going to go get [revenge on the bad guy] Jermaine or roll in the mud,’” she tells Bustle. “I think it hasn’t really hit her yet. It’s still very early on, and she’s still in the house and running wild with crazy people. She’s just out of control, really.”
Even though she admits that Charlie will have to “sit out for a little bit,” no one will dare to tell her what to do. “Nobody’s tried to talk sense into her at all. Briggs actually tries to shut me down and I just go right over him. I kind of do something really bad,” she reveals. “It’s really scandalous. It’s like some real Maury s**t.”
Clearly a man can’t hold Charlie back, as Daniel Sunjata reiterates. “She threatens to go do something and start some mission, and Briggs is like, ‘I’ll have you on maternity leave before you push back from the gate!’ And she does not like that,” he says with a laugh.
Meanwhile, Paige is working to get out of the dark place she ended up last season, with Mike flatlining in the hospital after she sold him out to dirty cop Sid in a moment of resentment. But, actress Serinda Swan is fine with being the bad guy for once.
“She’s strict with her emotions and makes sure she walks that line correctly. I mean, she’s a badass. She’s definitely done some things like, ‘Let’s sweep under that rug.’ … It’s fine being the bad guy,” she says. “I think it’s something they wanted to push the boundaries with and I’m open to that. You never want to hold your character to a place where they’re so precious that they can’t dip into the darkness. I just have to fight my way out of it.”
Clearly Season 3 is going to be full of awesome action and badass women, so, obviously, we should all tune in come June 25. I know I’m going to.
BUZZFEED.COM – You might’ve seen Serinda Swan kick ass as an undercover DEA agent on Graceland, USA’s hit show which premieres its third season June 25. Serinda stopped by BuzzFeed LA to answer a round of rapid-fire questions.
1. What’s your favorite color?
Blue. I love blue.
2. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
I am a morning person if it starts at 11, anything before that, no. So evenings, definitely.
3. What’s your favorite pizza topping?
Pineapple. Weirdly, I know but I like pineapple.
A lot? A little?
A lot. Like to the point where people don’t even want to eat pizza with me. It’s more of a fruit salad with cheese and bread.
4. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Sushi. Definitely sushi, I love sushi. Oh, but I’m a vegetarian now!
Is this a new development?
Yes, since January.
So what do you eat now?
Pineapple now. I have lots of amazing different salads and variations. I eat avocado rolls, Oh my God, it’s avocado! The one thing I would eat for the rest of my life is avocado.
5. What word do you say way too much?
This is gonna sound really weird but “duality.” I’m not joking, I say “duality” way too much. That and dude, I say dude a lot.
6. Backstreet boys or *NSYNC?
*NSYNC. Even though Backstreet was my jam at first but then *NSYNC came along and I hated them at first ‘cause I was like, you’re just Backstreet-light and then they did kill it.
7. What sport would you want an Olympic medal in?
Gymnastics. I was a gymnast growing up. My mind thought I could but my body thought otherwise.
8. What’s your favorite city in Canada?
Vancouver, where I’m from! I love Vancouver.
9. What’s the most Canadian thing you’ve ever said or done?
Oh my Gosh I do so many Canadian things every day and I don’t even notice. I open doors a lot — always. And hockey! I’m obsessed with hockey to the point I have a hockey app, I stream it live, vintage t-shirts that are good luck.
10. What’s your biggest pet peeve?
One, mismatched socks. Gets me every time. That and people who eat very loudly.
11. Do you prefer puppies or kittens?
Puppies. That wasn’t even up for discussion.
12. What’s your guilty pleasure?
The Bachelorette. And Kaitlyn Bristowe, she’s from Vancouver!
13. What’s your favorite season?
14. Do you have any hidden talents?
Wouldn’t you like to know? I do. I can do really weird hand puppets. There’s two brothers.
How did you figure out that you could do this?
Isn’t that sad? I honestly have no idea how I learned how to do that. When I was really young, this wasn’t like last Wednesday.
15. Team Taylor Swift or Team Katy Perry?
16. Coffee or tea?
17. What scares you?
Spiders. Like any spiders. Nope.
18. Who’s your favorite Disney princess?
Cinderella. LOVE her. I used to dress like her when I was younger and this sounds terrible to my parents but I’d pretend I was her and I would scrub the floors and be in my room and be like, “I’m coming dad!”
19. What is your life motto?
Do what you can where you are.
Catch Serinda on Graceland Thursdays at 10 p.m. on USA!
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