Justified: The Collection

"His last night of freedom, and he's talking to someone about his Hitlers?"

Another criminal-of-the-week episode, with murder, a faithless wife, and her scheming lover who had a crisis of conscience.

But what made it interesting was the Hitler paintings. They were real, they weren't real, doesn't really matter. What mattered was that Karl Hanselman had made it his life's work to acquire the damned things and destroy them. What a wonderful denouement. Raylan referred to what Karl was doing as a "crippled life," but I didn't see it that way. There are worse hobbies. It was a way of symbolically destroying evil, of repudiating a father who loved that evil. Hitler's paintings shouldn't exist, much less be worth anything. Or maybe I just love Robert Picardo in anything.

Raylan's love life is getting more complicated. The lovely Ava was hinting that she wanted to live with him, while the lovely ex-wife Winona was suddenly hanging around asking him for illegal favors. Winona's husband Gary Hawkins is obviously in some kind of trouble. Raylan still cares about Winona, so much so that he dropped by to apologize to Gary for breaking in and scaring him, and wound up threatening him, instead. I didn't get the impression that Gary was listening, though.

Raylan figured out pretty easily that Mrs. Carnes and Greg Davis the horse guy (Brett Cullen from Lost) were conspiring and had murdered her husband, possibly because he knew how Davis felt, stuck in the barn while his woman chose to be with another man — for money. Which was why Raylan pointedly asked Winona why she had left him, and if it was because of money. Winona didn't really answer the question. But I will again ask, who goes from a man like Raylan to a man like Gary Hawkins?

The episode was bookended by Raylan visiting Boyd, and yay for more Boyd, although having him in prison makes it feel like he's on hold. Raylan was hitting up Boyd for info on Arlo, while Boyd was worried about Raylan's immortal soul because Raylan is a violent man. Maybe. It's difficult to tell what Boyd is up to. Has he really gotten religion? Really? The slightly sarcastic way he talks about faith makes it hard to believe he's being genuine. But somehow, I think he does mean what he says to Raylan about bettering himself, about leaving his anger and violence behind. Maybe.

Walton Goggins is so good that everything Boyd says sounds so interesting. I pretty much love everything Art says, too. It's hard to keep my quotes section down to a reasonable size, but I draw the line at transcribing the entire episode.

Bits and pieces:

-- I really liked the observation Karl made that Hitler's art work was strong on buildings and streets, but that his depictions of people were poor and had no detail. I looked it up, and it's true. Boy. Psychology. There's something to it, huh?

-- U.S. Attorney David Vasquez is investigating Raylan for the Bucks shooting. He was fun, but I sense a problematic plot approaching.

-- Ava loves living in Lexington because no one knows who she is.

-- There seems to be a lot of back and forth about exactly what marshals do. I never knew what marshals did. I always thought of them as Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive, which Raylan even mentioned awhile back.

-- Raylan once worked in North Texas.

-- Raylan finds bigotry offensive, but doesn't confront. Mrs. Carnes was going on about Jews, and Raylan simply left the room. This suggested that Carnes collecting Hitler paintings wasn't coincidental. Who would collect Hitler paintings without wanting to collect Hitler paintings?

-- The episode ended with Boyd saying he had something big about Arlo. What is that bat-wielding rascal up to now?

Quotes:

Boyd: "I can see by the glazing of your eyes that you didn't ask to see me because you wanted to hear about my ministry."

Art: "Are you cold standing out here?"
Raylan: "Not really. Why?"
Art: "'Cause I can't keep from staring at your nipples."

Art: "We're with the U.S. Marshals Service.
Karl: "That still exists?"
Art: "Yeah. We like to keep a low profile."

Karl: "He did it mostly when he was younger, before World War I."
Raylan: "Before he got into mass murder and so on."

Raylan: "I figure people are entitled to their hobbies, and I'm entitled to think those people are creepy. No offense, Karl."
Karl: "Next time you're in Cincinnati, come by the gallery. I'll show you my collection. I think you'll be quite surprised."
Raylan: "Honestly, I think I'd rather stick my dick in a blender."
Art: "That might solve a few problems."

Raylan: "I want to know. Was he funnier than me? Smarter? Does he have more money? A bigger house? A bigger dick?"
Winona: "Yes, no, no, um, ah, I didn't measure."
Raylan: "Wait. Run the order of that by me again."

Karl: "So this has been my project. I buy Hitler's shitty paintings, and I burn them. Do you understand?"

Wonderful dialogue, romantic tension, Hitler paintings, what's not to love? Three out of four jars of ash,

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

4 comments:

Josie Kafka said...

I really like this episode, even if the denouement is a bitLaw and Orderish.

The perfectly-organized jars of Hitler paintings always make me a little weepy. Happy-weepy at the poetic justice, that is. I'm not mourning the loss.

I also love the "realtor" joke, which I believe has a punchline in a few episodes.

Josie Kafka said...

Forgot to mention: Raylan starts off the episode half-naked and only gradually gets fully dressed in the full blazer, hat, etc. regalia. A sign that he's recovering from the trauma of the previous episode but pulls himself back together fighting crime?

Greg Quinnell said...

Mr. Carnes was played by Peter Jason, who played Con Stapleton on Deadwood. And David Mortimer was played by the hilarious Tony Hale, aka. Buster Bluth from Arrested Development.

ChrisB said...

This is one of the best episodes of television I have seen. Perfectly constructed; intelligently written; beautifully acted. TV just doesn't get much better than this.

In the opening scene, Boyd tells Raylan "to think about [his] immortal soul." In return, he will get some information on Arlo. I'm not sure how much soul searching Raylan actually does, but boy howdy, do we get a lot of insight into his soul and his life.

Right off the bat, Raylan is a man with few friends. It says a lot that Boyd, a convicted criminal that Raylan shot in the chest not all that long ago, is probably the closest thing he has to one right now.

His relationships with women are, to say the least, problematic. I get the impression that although he likes Ava well enough, and he certainly likes getting laid on a regular basis, he is far from in love with her. He doesn't open up to her at all and he tries to hide her from Mullen. I also don't think he would mind too much if she took Johnny's advice and left Kentucky.

I think he is still in love with Winona, however. At any event, she is able to spark some pretty intense feelings in him. In the space of this episode, we get to see frustration, envy and a desire to protect her. He is so willing to protect her that (I'm sure) he lies to her about what he found when he ran those names. The scene on the porch where he admits that he played his part in their divorce and that losing her eats at him was touching. It obviously touched her as well.

He has issues with authority figures, pretty much ignoring them when they tell him to do something (or not do something as the case may be) that he doesn't like. Raylan ignores the calls from Mullen, which causes his boss to come to his door looking for him. Was he, subconsciously, trying to get caught with Ava? If so, well done. It worked. And, he just laughs when Mullen tries to talk some sense into him.

He is more than willing to call the crime lab for information, even though he knows it falls outside his purview. When Mullen calls him on it, he basically just shrugs and expects Mullen to clean up the mess.

Likewise, David Vasquez, the AUSA, is on the horizon just ready to cause trouble. I get the distinct impression that Raylan is not going to give him the time of day until Vaquez is well and truly in his face.

Raylan is incredibly bright and insightful. He reads people exceptionally well. In the space of this episode, he figures out that Gary is in real trouble, he figures out what really happened in the Carnes household and he figures out that Greg is holding a gun on him. He also knows, more often than not, exactly what to say to somehow get them to back down. His "where will it all end" to Greg is repeated by Greg almost verbatim just before he reveals he is wearing the wire. The irony in all this is that Raylan doesn't seem to read himself all that well.

We also got some little insights into Raylan. He doesn't know a whole lot about art. He is very uncomfortable around racism of any kind. He is uncomfortable when a woman uses coarse language or speaks openly about her sex life.

The scene with Karl at the end was so moving I cried. I was not surprised when Raylan described Karl as "crippled." I think what he meant is that Karl is still living his life trying to destroy what he father was most proud of. Raylan does not want to be that man.

All of these insights are perfectly bookended by the final scene with Boyd. Boyd asks him, "Did you take a peek into the soul of Raylan Givens?" Raylan doesn't answer him directly, but does tell him to back off looking into Arlo.

We as the audience, on the other hand, can answer Boyd much more directly. That answer would be (in our best Kentucky accents), "hell yes!"