by Billie Doux
Justified is always interesting and often funny, but there's an edge to this show that often creeps me out.
There's something about all this weird down home violence that's just so disturbing. Josiah Cairn disappeared, leaving behind nothing but a blinking watch and a severed foot. There was the possibility that the still missing Drew Thompson could have been eaten. There was Theo Tonin's directive that death wasn't enough for Thompson, resulting in some serious bloodstains in Wynn Duffy's beige-on-beige trailer. What is it that keeps me watching this show, since it's not the violence? Is it the unpredictability?
Whatever it is, it's working. Considering the fact that we still haven't actually seen the guy yet (unless he's someone we know), I'm now intrigued by Drew Thompson, how he managed to stay hidden for thirty years, and if he'll survive long enough to testify against Theo Tonin. (Raylan's kin, second cousin Mary from Chuck, knows what Thompson looks like, so I'll bet we see her again.)
At least we finally got Raylan and Boyd in the same scene. They ran into each other while imprisoned in a shed, braved the dangerous hill country and nearly died, and they're both after Thompson now. I have no idea who to bet on. And we finally got some Raylan/Boyd bantering frenemy goodness. Although I think I enjoyed Boyd and Wynn Duffy discussing Glastnost and Perestroika a little bit more.
It's nice that Ellen May is still alive, although that was because of Sheriff Shelby's smarts, not her own, and I still don't see a glowing future ahead her. I don't see Shelby managing to take down Boyd, either, and not just because Walton Goggins is a series regular and Jim Beaver the guest star. It bothers me that Boyd appears to be out of his depth with Wynn Duffy and the Dixie Mafia, too, but Boyd has a tendency to land on his feet.
There were an amazing number of excellent guest stars in this episode, and every scene had something going for it: Raylan and a pregnant Winona talking about their baby's disappearing tail; Tonin's guy Nick Augustine, who apparently has a cat phobia; Wynn Duffy, who totally kept his head while those around him were losing theirs; the morally bankrupt Josiah Cairn being dragged alongside Raylan's car; the return of assistant D.A. Vasquez, ready to broker the deal with Arlo, and the wonderful Constable Bob and his Gremlin. I especially liked the tense standoff between Tim and Colton, who were carefully angling for position in case they had to shoot each other while they were talking about how the hill folk of Kentucky reminded them of Afghanistan. In fact, this episode might have been a bit too rich. Agent Barkley's sudden death kinda got lost in there.
What next? Will Raylan find Thompson first and regain his credibility with Art and the Service? Will Arlo go free, return to prison, or get himself killed? Will Raylan find Josiah Cairn, with or without his foot? Will Ellen May and Shelby live long enough to put Boyd back in prison? Will Wynn Duffy adopt a cat?
At least Boyd and Raylan have the same objective now, increasing the likelihood that there will be more banter-filled moments during the rest of the season.
Bits and pieces:
-- Colt lied to Boyd about killing Ellen May. I sort of expected her to turn up at the bar that very moment.
-- Raylan told Winona he was saving money. I thought it all got turned into chickens, though. Nice contrast, with Raylan determined to keep his own evil father in prison. Hey, I wouldn't want Arlo around my baby, either.
-- Tim likes to read fantasy novels. More Tim, please.
-- Colton is fascinating. I almost expected him to take Tim's suggestion about working for the Marshal Service seriously.
-- Are there really cannibals in the Kentucky hills? Or possibly Afghanistan?
Wynn Duffy: "Do you see any cats?"
Boyd: "I never knew you had hills in your blood, Raylan."
Raylan: "I do."
Boyd: "I'd whistle the theme song to Deliverance if I thought you had a better sense of humor."
It's often referred to jokingly now, but Deliverance is an exceptional movie. I own a copy of it.
This was a middle-of-a-complicated-season-long-plot episode. How many cats in a beige trailer out of four would you give that?