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Justified: Fathers and Sons

"You are determined to be contrary, even if it gets you strung up from a tree."

The title of this episode could pretty much cover the entire season. Raylan versus Arlo, Boyd versus Bo. With Ava as a wild card stuck right in the middle.

I don't like Arlo, but he's sort of fascinating. That scene with the wire in particular had so many layers of duplicity. While supposedly an informant and in real danger, Arlo cheated both Bo and the feds out of the money while at the same time letting Bo know that he, Arlo, was under federal protection. I don't know what game Arlo is playing, but it seems pretty clear that the only side Arlo is on is Arlo's. He'll do anything to anyone to acquire cash and stay alive, and I'm starting to think that includes Raylan.

And yet, in the same episode, Arlo did something incredibly decent for a fellow veteran. It took a lot of courage to stay cool and talk down a nut job playing with the pin in a live grenade. That scene was sort of out of left field. It was probably there to show that Arlo has a good side. Raylan even looked a little proud of him for a moment.

While Arlo is all about Arlo, Boyd is a completely different kettle of outlaw fish. I loved Boyd preaching in the church on Jesus and the moneychangers. (Walton Goggins is such a charismatic actor. It's hard to take your eyes off him when he's on screen.) Boyd's witnessing was an outright declaration of war against his father Bo, who was sitting right there in a pew, fuming away.

Boyd, rocket launcher, truck, boom. No deaths this time — yet — but the Miami cartel will not be pleased, Bo will be furious, and he'll know exactly who did it. It's going to be a mess.

Ava went home. Why did Ava go home? Is she just stubborn? I don't think she's stupid, and she's certainly brave. It took real nerve for her to confront Bo like that, although I think it might have had the opposite effect. She might be just a bit jealous, too, because her knight in shining armor appears to be more interested in his ex-wife than in her.

Raylan and Winona reconnected in a nearly wordless way. She came in, took off her wedding ring, and that was it. What a lovely, meaningful love scene. (I guess dumping Ava on her wasn't enough to turn her off, after all.) As much as I like Ava, and I like her a lot, Raylan and Winona have a lot more romantic sparks. I just wish she hadn't put her ring back on before she left.

Bits and pieces:

-- We finally saw the face of the Miami cartel, Slimy Golf Guy. (IMDb says the character's name is Gio.)

-- The details on how to cook meth sounded so familiar.

-- Vasquez was back. I like Vasquez.

-- There's a new sheriff in Harlan, and she hates Raylan for ruining Mosley. Actually, I think Mosley ruined Mosley.

-- It occurred to me that the way Raylan confronted Arlo in Art's office was similar to what Boyd did to Bo in church. And in this same episode, both fathers told their sons that their mothers would have been ashamed of them.


Arlo: "You want me to be a snitch."
Raylan: "It's astounding to me that you're just now realizing that's why we're here."
Arlo: "What's it pay?"

Gio: "I hear he's not a huge fan of yours, either."
Bo: "Probably not. But the good news is, I can swallow that asshole with a short glass of water."
Is that eloquent, or what?

Boyd: "Brothers and sisters, I'm here to tell you today that bullet missed my heart, but it struck my soul."

Bo: "That there is Crowder gospel. You mark them damn words, son."

Arlo: "I just spent an hour next to a nut job with a live grenade. Turns out I ain't as afraid of dying as I used to be."

Ava: "You setting up whores now?"
Bo: "Why? You looking for work?"
It's unsettling how most of Bo's threats aimed at Ava have a sexual component.

Arlo: "I'm already paranoid, and we haven't even done anything yet."

Lots of unsettling set-up for the finale. Three and a half grenades with the pins pulled out,

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


  1. "It's unsettling how most of Bo's threats aimed at Ava have a sexual component."

    Amen to that. Makes you wonder about all these dead former wives among the Givens and Crowder clans.

    Billie, I know it's not anything like your usual fare, but I think you might really enjoy The Shield.

  2. Walton Goggins is in The Shield, isn't he? I might try it, then.

  3. "What a lovely, meaningful love scene."

    This is maybe the hottest scene in all of Justified. Not maybe, it definitely is. I don't think they ever came close to pairing two characters like this again (unless you count Raylan and Winona in The Hunt which is another H-O-T scene). Gosh, these two have volcanic chemistry. It's almost laughable to think Raylan was ever with Ava or those forgettable others in S4 and S5.


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