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Justified: For Blood or Money

Art: "She's the best marshal I got."
Raylan: "You realize I'm sitting right here."

Okay. So you screw up your life and end up in prison and when you're out and in a halfway house, you forget to do your chores and lose your privileges. So in order to give your son a birthday present, you beat up your halfway house manager, shoot your friend and steal his car, break into your mother-in-law's house and tie her up, and create an armed standoff in a kid's pizza restaurant. Overreact much?

I know how strongly people feel about their kids, because I'm a parent myself. But if you're going to cut a swath of near death and destruction to give your kid a present, you could at least give him something better than the stupidest looking toy I have ever seen in my life. How appropriate that the idiotic Furby knockoff ended up lying in the wood shavings, crying. Although the end of the episode when Clinton had to admit to his son that the marks on the toy were blood was rather sad. Most obvious symbolism in a great big way.

Although it was nice (no, slash that, interesting) to learn a little more about Rachel and her not-Cosby-Show childhood (I do like Rachel), the scene with the frightening Bennetts was more compelling. Raylan walked right into a Bennett family gathering and confronted Mags with the murder on the oxy bus. Brave, indeed. Why did he do it? Yes, to keep the Dixie Mafia from wreaking havoc in Harlan county, but I think Raylan wanted Mags to know what her sons had done so that she could fix the problem.

Dickie said that he thought Mags wanted them to kill Raylan. Coover agreed. Doyle was the only one with sense. Although I doubt Doyle would hesitate if he thought they could get away with it.

Along with the Bennetts, I also really enjoyed the scenes with Boyd and Ava. Was she flirting with him? I think she was, and I think Boyd noticed that she was. And she got a rifle to back him up, too, when the bad guys came by. Please tell me Boyd is not going to succumb to temptation and $80,000. I just don't have any sense of trust in Kyle and Pruitt. Maybe I'm just not the trusting type.


-- I like how the story evolved in regard to Rachel's sister. At first, it was that Clinton had killed her, then that he had killed her while driving high, and then that he had crashed the car while trying to get her to the hospital. And then we learned that she had been into drugs since she was nine. There are layers to every story.

-- Raylan brought Mags an apple pie, her murder weapon. And Raylan gave Loretta a marshals' coin for kids that said, "Justice is coming."

-- When Mags was yelling at Raylan, she stood right over him and shouted down. There was another reference to trouble between their families 21 years ago, this time in reference to Dickie's limp. And after Raylan left, Mags referred to "bigger plans."

-- Boyd was reading Of Human Bondage. I tried it once and never finished it.

-- Boyd always wondered what he'd look like with long hair, loves music, but can't sing. I have a hard time picturing Walton Goggins with long hair.

-- Olander, Clinton's project manager, was a freaking saint. I guess he truly believes in what he's doing. More power to him.

-- Emmett Arnett was back, and is apparently going straight by using Gary's mall property as a financial base. (The thing with the pants was a great character moment.) We got to meet his secretary in person this time. :) The terrifying Wynn Duffy is in charge now, which isn't good.

-- Gary uses foil and vanilla to make a vacant house smell like baking cookies. That's Gary all over.

-- Winona lied to Gary about when she started with Raylan.

-- Raylan and Winona still need to work on their communication skills. He keeps taking the wrong cue from her. I think Raylan is right about Gary's divorce gambit.


Doyle: "Do you have any idea of the federal shit storm we'd bring down if we killed a marshal? We're talking Black Hawk helicopter time. Jesus. I don't want either of you two doing shit, or even contemplating doing shit, until you run it by someone who can think."

Raylan: "Are you wearing pants?"
Emmett: (behind his desk) "I like to maintain my creases. Stay sharp."

Raylan: "How much of a bad guy is her brother in law? Heads in a duffel bag, or just an asshole?"
Art: "He killed her sister."

Art: "Why do I have the office where the deputies shoot people?"

Raylan: "She reacted faster than I did."
Art: "You're getting old."
Raylan: "Not as old as you."
Art: "And you're a dick."

Raylan: "I never bore any illusions that my family was the Cosbys."
Art: "Your family wasn't funny."
Tim: "At least you got to shoot your father. Mine had the nerve to die before I got back from Basic with skills and a loaded weapon."
Raylan: "You didn't miss much. I thought it was gonna be way more fun than it was."

I'd say two out of four ridiculous-looking furbots,

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


  1. I appreciate that they are trying to give Rachel some characteristics beyond "Black Woman" but the story with her brother-in-law felt rather flat. The actress just didn't do a good job of selling it for me. Even her moment in Art's office talking about her delusions of Cosby-hood felt stiffly acted, rather than truly felt. Tim, Art, and Raylan all felt so natural in that scene, but Rachel came across like an actress delivering dialogue. That said, she did do a nice job with the scene looking sadly at her photo of her and her sister. I was actually moved by her pain in that moment.

    I'm not feeling this Boyd and Ava connection, Billie. And I don't know if I really want it to go there. I've come to find Boyd very sympathetic, but the idea of him and Ava still creeps me out. I guess we'll see how their dynamic continues to develop and shift. I do like that they are becoming more like friends. Boyd needs a friend besides Raylan. And Ava seems like she could use a friend, too.

    I find it fascinating that Dickie's and Coover's stupidity hasn't gotten them in more trouble in the past. Are they just overreaching now because of the "power" vacuum in Harlan? Or have Mags and Doyle always managed to keep them off the radar in the past?

  2. You have a good point about Rachel, Jess. Her performance was just a tad awkward. I do like both Rachel and Tim, though, and I feel that they work well as supporting characters. I wonder when we're going to get an episode about Tim?

  3. It's funny, even without a "Tim episode," I feel like his character is better developed than Rachel's. He gets a lot of little moments along the way that give him slightly more definition than "young white marshal" or "ex-military sniper guy." It just feels like he has more of a personality to me. We get little glimpses of him off duty (the bar concert, tying one on before getting dragged to the VFW) and his interactions with Raylan typically have a dynamic that goes beyond "marshal sidekick for this week." I wish they would do that for Rachel, too. She always almost feels more like a body filling space and not her own unique character. I wonder if it is a writing oversight or a limitation of the actress.

  4. I believe Clinton's project manager, at least according to IMDB, was named Olander, not Orlando.

  5. The overall story was not one of the series' strongest. I agree with Jess that Tim feels a much more rounded character than Rachel. I just didn't sympathize with her all that much.

    The scene with Mags was great. I love the way that Raylan always maintains such a veneer of civility and southern manners, even when he is threatening.


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