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Justified: Cottonmouth

"You wanna make a living in this business, you gotta know your ABCs. Always be cool."

State Trooper Bergen asked Art for Raylan's help in Harlan, and it appears he's needed. But maybe not at the mine, since Boyd just took out the criminal element there.

I loved the way Boyd manipulated those three stupid, greedy robbers. Am I wrong to have enjoyed it so much, even when they ended up blown to pieces? If Boyd hadn't learned so cleverly with his cell phone that they were planning to kill him, would he have just gone along with the robbery? I think he would still have drawn the line at killing his friend Shelby. Yes, Boyd is a criminal, and as he told Ava, it's what he is, but he has his own set of principles. He gave Ava the money so that she could pay her mortgage. I love the gentle way he speaks to her. Will Ava give Boyd an alibi? Am I wrong to hope that she will?

After Boyd's cleverness with the battery, the explosives and the phone call, my second favorite part of this episode was the taser scene. Raylan kept his head and even some control of his limbs when he was tased and managed to turn it on Reverend Banks. If he hadn't, things could have been bad. And yet, I think Raylan has decided he doesn't hate being back in Harlan any more. As Trooper Bergen pointed out, they're Raylan's people. He knows them, and they know him. And that makes him a more effective lawman.

And at least he and Bergen have finally discovered that Walt McCready is missing. (Raylan giving Loretta a cell phone and telling her to call him day or night if she needed him made me go "awww.") It was certainly understandable that Mags would be upset about the checks. She did kill McCready, and what Coover and Dickie were doing pointed right at the Bennetts. I was wondering what Mags was capable of doing to her own sons, and now we know. Good lord. I can't stand Coover, and that hammer scene still made me cringe. And she didn't just do it once. She kept on hammering his fingers. How could anyone do that to someone they love?

No criminal of the week. This episode was all Raylan, Boyd, and the Bennetts. And it was terrific.

Bits and pieces:

-- Loretta is selling weed. I suspect Mags isn't the best of parental influences.

-- Coover was actually a bit intimidated by Loretta.

-- Arlo violated his tether again. Will 6K and a little info on Bowman Crowder be enough to keep him out of jail?

-- You don't usually see a church slash off road vehicle place slash illegal check cashing establishment. Did they call it "The church of the two stroke Jesus" or did I hear it wrong?

-- Shelby was played by the wonderful Jim Beaver from Deadwood and Supernatural. Which is why Dan and I kept calling the three morons "idjits."

-- Two new entries in our Harlan vocabulary: herbal relief (pot), and hillbilly doorbell (dogs). Nearly every time we watch this show, Dan and I start speaking to each other with bad hillbilly accents.

-- I rarely comment on clothing, but I loved the tie Timothy Olyphant was wearing during most of this episode.


Dewey: "Damn, Raylan, I thought I was really sick."
Raylan: "You don't even know what TB is."

Raylan: (rubbing the tips of two fingers together) "This is the world's smallest man playing 'my heart bleeds for you' on a tiny violin."

Bergen: "I've been in Harlan eighteen years. People still look at me like I'm some kind of Yankee come down there to burn their crops. But this guy..."
Raylan: (smiling) "I know my people."
Art: "You're like the hillbilly whisperer. Should put you on Oprah."

Kyle: "What are you doing?"
Boyd: "Dishes."
I really loved Boyd soaking the battery in dishwater.

Raylan: "Hello, fellas. Don't believe I've had the pleasure."
Marcus: "You don't need to know us. We mind our own business. Suppose it'd be best if you do the same."
Raylan: "Well, that wouldn't be like me."

Reverend Banks: "You tased me in the nuts, you son of a bitch."
Raylan: "Well, I tried to shoot you first."

Four out of four hillbilly doorbells,

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


  1. Definitely an outstanding episode. And I, too, found myself hoping that Ava would give Boyd his alibi. Even though the thought of clueing Raylan into his perilous situation and fleeing never crossed his mind.

    You know, the thing I found most sickening about what Mags did to Coover was the way he cried and sought her forgiveness like a lost child when it was done. It was somehow heartbreaking to see him desperately seeking approval from the monster who had just wounded him so.

    Lovely to see Jim Beaver in any context, but this was an utter waste of the man! I got so excited when I saw his name in the opening credits, and was really disappointed when he had almost nothing to do. But that was really the only bad thing about the episode.

    "Hillbilly whisperer." Tee hee!

  2. I really want to reply to your comment with a casting spoiler, Jess, but maybe I shouldn't?

  3. I almost did the same, Billie. But then decided against it.

  4. Well it's kinda obvious NOW, don'tcha think? :) Just one Google search away, really.

  5. Yeah, it's sort of out of the bag now.


    Jim Beaver is going to be back for a multiple episode arc in season three.

  6. LOL. Yeah, both non-spoiler replies kind of gave away the game. :) No worries for me, though. I'm glad to hear it.

  7. The NYTimes just did a brief profile of Olyphant's work on Justified that was an interesting read. I thought y'all might enjoy it.


    Thanks for reviewing this show, Billie. It's one of my favorite on the air, and it's great that you can expose more people to it. Margo Martindale really deserved her Emmy, and it was the hammer scene in this episode that made me first realize it. Few actors can make you believe a character is equally caring and cruel.

  8. I loved this episode, too.

    HappyElk, thank you for that link. I recommend it to everyone else: it's a good interview.

  9. Yes, Happy Elk, thanks so much for the link. Excellent article. And you're welcome.

  10. Enjoyed reading the NYT article. Very interesting and insightful.

    How can anyone not love Dewey? That character makes me laugh as soon as he comes onto the screen. The opening scene with Raylan was hilarious.

    Mags makes my blood run cold. I can't imagine hitting someone I loathed with hammer, let alone a member of my family. What that woman can do is terrifying.

  11. It's funny that people are cringing about the finger-hammering when for me it was her telling Dickie the only reason he's not being punished too/in place of Coover is because he's already crippled past uselessness. Jesus lol, although there definitely is something more disturbing about the sight of Coover grovelling for forgiveness. I felt sorry for him. He's a dim brute but he's so helpless.

    Particularly good episode, always good to see Dewey again, Boyd did nothing wrong. And, dare I say it, neither did Mags!!!


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