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Justified: Debts and Accounts

"You are who you are. Nothing I say has never made any difference. No punishment I can dream of will ever change you."

This isn't what I expected from an aftermath episode. We had Mags determined to keep the peace and not kill Raylan. We had Boyd attempting to start a kinder and gentler Crowder criminal organization. We had Art writing Raylan off in a particularly painful way. And, oddly, there was a whole lot of romance. Oh, and a gun battle.

That meeting between Mags and Helen was so tense, considering it consisted of two older women just sitting at a table in a cafe. I kept expecting Mags to decide on a bloodbath of violence. Is she sincere? I couldn't tell. Maybe she really does want it all to end so that she can enjoy her money.

Unfortunately, there is Dickie. Why on earth did Mags decide now was the time to cut him off? Because he betrayed Coover's location under torture? Mags even said that if Coover had killed Loretta, she would have killed him herself, and I believe it. It was unfair to Dickie, who was the only one who is actually mourning Coover. (Doyle just looked smug, and didn't hide his pleasure from Dickie. He's getting all the money, and he's not his brother's keeper.)

Dickie is determined to flout Mags and kill Raylan. He's taking on minions and confronting Boyd, who is also making plans and acquiring minions (including his surprisingly not dead cousin Johnny, whose wheelchair is a great place to hide a gun). If it's going to be Dickie versus Boyd, I'm betting on Boyd. He's a lot smarter.

Boyd was determined to keep Ava out of it and moved out of her house, but (how romantic) had to go back one more time just to look at her from a distance. And now Ava has chosen Boyd, even knowing that he's an outlaw again. It made me wonder about Bowman. We never met him but Ava loved him, and it's possible that Boyd is somewhat like him. At least we know Boyd won't beat her and will treat her with respect. It was a lovely payoff for the way their relationship has changed since the beginning of the series.

So Boyd has literally left his Bible behind and is getting back into the game, and Raylan has decided he's had enough. There was something deeply upsetting about Art telling Raylan that he had written him off and expected his problem would eventually solve itself, because there was a ring of truth to it. Art said that Raylan was a lousy marshal but a good lawman, meaning, of course, that Raylan has courage, smarts and good instincts, but he refuses to follow the rules and it will eventually get him killed. Raylan likes and respects Art, and this clearly threw him. Enough that he has decided to leave the Marshal Service, get a less dangerous job, and remarry Winona.

(You'd think that getting ambushed and shot at would make Winona decide she'd had enough of Raylan. I think she really does love him a lot, to go the other way.)

Finally, I just have to comment on one more scene. When Raylan and Winona were on the way to the attorney's office, he noticed they were being followed. He stopped at a light, got out of the car, and went back and told them he was testy because he killed a man three days ago and when he turned right, they'd better turn left. And they did. It was such a Raylan thing to do. He's a fascinating leading man. How many people would have the nerve to do something like this?

Who were those thugs, by the way? If Dickie hired goons, they'd probably be driving a pick-up. Was it the Miami cartel? Wynn Duffy?

Bits and pieces:

-- Hobart Curtis picked the wrong day to confront Mags. Actually, any day is the wrong day to confront Mags. She's like a queen, and a dangerous one. You don't talk that way to a queen, or they'll put you in the Tower and execute you.

-- The official story is that Coover killed McCready over the watch. How convenient, and how difficult to believe.

-- Winona has filed for divorce. Past time, and very sane. I was surprised when Gary showed up. Why hasn't Wynn Duffy killed him already? I'm sure we'll find out.

-- Dickie's new employee, Jed, was played by Richard Speight, Jr., who also played one of my favorite continuing characters on Supernatural. Is Dickie planning to use Jed to kill Raylan?

-- Boyd also picked up his former minion, Devil. Where's Dewey? Still in jail and terminally stupid?

-- Loretta isn't adjusting to foster care, and is denigrating her relationship with her father so she won't feel so much pain. I liked Raylan's patience with her. Couldn't Raylan and Winona adopt her? I'm serious.

-- Raylan was again wearing my favorite tie. I liked that. We usually just ignore the fact that people on TV often appear to have limitless wardrobes but us 99%ers have to wear the same thing over and over.


Art: "I think what you want is to walk in here and have me go, just sit down son, and tell me, in your emotionally crippled way, just what it is that's troubling your heart so that we can get back what we lost."
Raylan: "Okay, sorry. Forget it."
Art: "No, no, no! You opened this can, let's eat it all."
What a great expression.

Winona: (re: divorce) "It's difficult and painful. Well, you know how it is."

Raylan: "When someone says it ain't you, it's me, they mean it's you."

Raylan: "See these old timers right here? Well, I don't think a week goes by I don't look at 'em and wonder. Should I grow a mustache?"

-- Okay, this doesn't often happen to me, but Winona and Raylan had an exchange in the car about Neil Young being Canadian, and I'm watching high def re-runs with no close captioning. Did anyone catch it?

(And here it is! Thanks, JK.)

Raylan: (upon hearing something he likes on the radio) "Voice like this grates on you at first, but then, maybe, you learn to like it. Like Neil Young. Didn't like him, then I did."
Winona: "Well, he's Neil Young."
Raylan: "National treasure."
Winona: "M-mm, he's Canadian."
Raylan: "Well then I guess he sucks."

Three out of four references to Neil Young that I didn't quite catch,

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


  1. I agree, Billie, that this was an interesting aftermath episode and not quite what I expected. I also agree that the Art-Raylan confrontation at the beginning was "deeply upsetting." Art resigning himself to Raylan's dark future and the end of whatever friendship they had made me very, very sad. And it made me a little mad at Winona. If she hadn't been so very stupid ... although I'm sure eventually Raylan would have done something else to push Art to this point.

    I'm very conflicted on the Boyd-Ava pairing. I'm glad that Ava has someone in her life, and I'm glad it is someone who will treat her with respect, but I'm kind of bummed that she's willingly signing up for this life of crime. I really like Ava and want better for her. Of course, what would be best for her is to leave Harlan, but that would probably mean no more Ava on the show, which would be a bigger bummer. At least this is a good development for keeping her character a bit more in the thick of things.

    Devil is played by Kevin Rankin, who had a wonderful recurring role on Friday Night Lights as Herc. Herc was a paraplegic confined to a wheelchair, so I got weird "meta" enjoyment out of Devil hanging with Johnny, who's now confined to the wheelchair. I wonder if the actors traded notes on the experience.

    All I remember about the Neil Young exchange was that Raylan didn't used to like him, but now he does. And Winona said, "Well, yeah, because he's Neil Young!" or something like that. I don't remember how the Canadian bit tied in to that.

  2. Raylan: (upon hearing something he likes on the radio) "Voice like this grates on you at first, but then, maybe, you learn to like it. Like Neil Young. Didn't like him, then I did."
    Winona: "Well, he's Neil Young."
    Raylan: "National treasure."
    Winona: "M-mm, he's Canadian."
    Raylan: "Well then I guess he sucks."

  3. Thanks so much, JK. I'm going to update the review.

  4. Jess, I agree that I don't want Ava to get involved in a life of crime again. It seems to me that one of the given's :) about Harlan is that there aren't a whole lot of alternatives. Maybe a part of her is attracted to it, too, or she wouldn't have married into a criminal family.

  5. Debts and Accounts is a perfect title for this episode. We saw a lot of them.

    Art/Raylan: I've said it several times now. Raylan flaunts authority and, as his boss, I can see why Art has had enough "clearing up after [him]." Art's bluntness really affected Raylan, but I'll be interested to see if he truly changes him moving forward.

    Mags/Helen: Mags want to settle her debt with money; Helen just wants to keep the peace. I've been wondering why Helen was so keen to keep Raylan away from the Bennetts -- now I know. Interesting that it is these two women who have kept the feud in check.

    Boyd/Ava: As he's leaving the house, he talks about the debt he owes her for "taking [him] in and healing [him]." He's also an honourable man; he respects her rule about criminal activity and leaves the house. I am very glad they are now a couple. I've always thought they are very good together.

    Raylan/Winona: I do believe they love each other, very much. But it seems they are falling back into old habits very quickly. She's complaining about his job; he's being overprotective. And, it is way, way too soon for them to be talking about getting married again. How much of this is due to what happened with the money and the fact that they now share this life changing secret?

    Dickie/Mags and Doyle: Incredible that Mags cannot see that it is her actions that turn her boys against her. If there is any blame to apportion for Coover's death, it is to her. Dickie now feels that he is owed, and arguably he is. How interesting is it that Doyle refers to Coover as "your" brother, not "our" brother. These boys have chosen sides, and I cannot see this ending well.

    Boyd/Johnny: Boyd owes Johnny -- a lot. Glad to see the two of them working together again. Another sign of Boyd's honour is that he was sending Johnny money while he was trying to go straight. Now that he's not, he can give Johnny something more important -- a sense of self-worth.

  6. Re-watching the series in prep for next season, and I just got to this review. Your point about Mags being a Queen is very good, and it made me think. Dickie acts like an entitled prince, everything he does is informed by that title. He is Dickie of the House of Bennett. Bow down before the might of his family.

  7. Re: Raylan remarrying Winona at this point, I didn't get that at all. Yes, he wants to move with her to Glynco and start a new life together. I don't doubt he WANTS to marry her again, he is in love with her and that hasn't changed since the day they met. But I get the sense that Winona isn't ready for that. She seems unsure (and we later learn why) if their love is enough to prevent history from repeating itself. I appreciate how the show does something that most "anti-hero" shows don't do: they show the man more in love/more infatuated with his woman than the other way around. Winona is no Betty Draper, she's not hanging around. She filed for divorce. She left Raylan. And Raylan hasn't been able to move on. I love that she has the upper hand.


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