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Justified: Cut Ties

"You have the right to remain silent. As long as you can stand the pain."

Everyone was so competent. Which makes it sound like a boring episode. This was not a boring episode.

Art Mullen is a terrific character and I'm fond of him, and this may have been his best episode so far. It certainly showed that he was ready to throw away the book if he had to, which surprised me. I certainly understood why, though. If there is a degree of evil in criminal activity, then torturing and killing the marshal who is protecting you, and having an innocent woman and her two small children killed just so you can get back into a life of crime, is at the far range of despicable.

I kept expecting Poe to get the drop on him, but Art knew something wasn't right, he figured it all out, and he got protection to Mary Archer and assistance to Rachel in the nick of time. Although Rachel was also exceptionally good at her job and probably would have been okay on her own.

Raylan showed a lot of smarts. Yes, it was a bit after the fact, but Raylan figured out that Boyd deliberately picked a fight with him in order to get to Dickie, so he got Boyd released and Dickie placed in solitary. Raylan just couldn't compensate for a guard who was willing to be bribed. (The Raylan/Boyd conversation in the jail was delightful.)

Boyd was competent, clever and surprising. And brave. It takes a lot of nerve to walk up to a bunch of scary looking prisoners and pick a fight. He found the right guard, got himself into solitary, and it turned out he didn't plan to kill Dickie after all. He was after Mags' money. (Which is why all the pot sheds were torn up, of course.)

Unfortunately, a frightening guy named Limehouse is holding the money for Dickie, and I don't see him as easy to circumvent. That scene at the end absolutely did its job. Without showing us anything more violent than the man butchering meat and a horrible scar on the back of another man's hand, Limehouse completely freaked me out. I am definitely tense about Boyd taking this guy on.

The rest of the episode featured some really lovely Raylan/Winona banter about realtors, firemen and lion tamers, and the introduction of assistant chief marshal Goodall, an old friend of Raylan's from the Miami office. When he was alone with Goodall, Raylan wasn't forthcoming about the fact that he's involved with Winona and has a baby on the way, but then he kissed Winona in front of Goodall, as well as the whole office. Was Raylan trying to prove something to himself and/or to Goodall? Winona, in white ruffles, seemed like a little girl next to Goodall in her dark red blouse and decolletage.

This was an exceptionally suspenseful episode. I truly thought Art was going to die, and that Goodall was brought in because she was going to replace him. And then I thought, no, Rachel is going to die. And I really thought Boyd was going to kill Dickie. And none of those things happened. Awesome.

Bits and pieces:

-- The realtor called Raylan "Mr. Hawkins," and apparently, the real-e-tor joke is going to live forever. Still nothing about the idiotic Gary. I do hope he's safely in Tahiti, which sucks.

-- This was the second time Rachel had to kill someone. She seemed to be okay with it, but sometimes these things wait in the wings for awhile and then come back at you.

-- Art told Bill Nichols that Raylan was his penance for what he put his first chief through. Poor Nichols. He was a good marshal and a nice guy, and when he was young, he wanted to be a hero. And what did he get? Tortured, killed and dumped.

-- Terry Poe, the villain of the piece, had aquariums full of reptiles, and he starved them to death. Heartless, thoughtless cruelty.

-- The guard (Todd Stashwick) was listening to Boyd and Dickie, wasn't he?

-- Carla Gugino (Goodall) was the star of another, less successful Elmore Leonard property, Karen Sisco. She's very good. Here's hoping she's around for awhile.


Raylan: "What do you make of a man who divorces a woman, then gets her pregnant, then wonders if maybe they should move in together?"
Boyd: "Well now, Raylan, you're talking to a man who's sleeping with his dead brother's widow and murderess. So if you're looking for someone to cast stones at you on this matter, I think you've picked the wrong sinner."

Raylan: (looking at the ultrasound) "Just from this angle, it bears a striking resemblance to the creature from Alien."

Goodall: "You're different than I remember."
Raylan: "Yeah. Well, I'm older."

Another good one. Three out of four lion tamers,

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


  1. The real-a-tor joke should go on forever, because it still makes me laugh every time. (My sense of humor is very mature and highly developed, so not everyone gets it.)

    I like Raylan and Winona together. Their rhythms match. And I'll bet the real Mr. Hawkins never would have been able to keep riffing on the lion-tamer joke.

  2. I believe that AD Goodall is actually supposed to be Karen Sisco, but they couldn't get the rights to that character, so they couldn't call her that. They couldn't even give her the first name Karen apparently! Note that no one ever refers to her by her first name in the ep.

    I hope that she comes back this season and gets a bit more to do. I was looking forward to Carla Gugino's appearance and felt like she got short shrift here. I mean she got way more screen time than Limehouse, yet he left a decidedly stronger impression!

    Loved that final scene! As you say, all it took was some meat butchering and a quick glimpse of that other man's hand to sell this guy as completely terrifying. Boyd and Ava are in for a hell of a showdown!

    It was great to see Art get to be a total badass tough guy in the field. He may not be your guy for a foot chase, but if you need to interrogate someone and are short on phone books ...

  3. That bit about Karen Sisco sounds right. It's a shame that even with Elmore Leonard as a producer, they couldn't pull that off. I assume it's because someone else has the rights to the TV show. I thought she and TO had acting chemistry. Especially when they took down those two guys in the hallway.

  4. I thought that Goodall/Sisco's sudden introduction wasn't handled well. It felt awkward and rushed. Apart from that, I enjoyed this one, mostly because I loved seeing Art get to be the badass for once.

    And the Boomtown fan in me was more than happy to see Mykelti Williamson show up. Hopefully we won't have to wait too long before he gets to have a scene with Neal McDonough.

  5. The conversation between Raylan and Boyd in the prison was my favourite so far. I watched it again and again, laughing. The two of them have the best chemistry.

    I am a huge Mykelti Williamson fan, but have never seen him like this. He scared me!

  6. I didn´t like how disconnected the story of this episode was from that of the last episode. I got really confused about all this new people and couldn´t get into their story. Boyd, Raylan/Winona and that Art showed us a different side were the only things I liked.

    What is it about butchers? The scene reminded me of Gangs of New York and Boardwalk Empire.

  7. Definitely some history with Goodall and Raylan but interesting that it was clearly nothing lasting. And she was the one who was trying to tempt him, not vice versa. I love that Raylan is consistently shown as faithful and undoubtedly in love with Winona. It's rare for a TV show especially one with such an incredibly good looking lead. But then again, Winona/Natalie Zea is such a stunning beauty that there's no way I would believe Raylan would pick any other woman over her, Goodall included.


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