Justified: Full Commitment

"Are we done with play time now?"

This was like a chess game with guns.

Art put Raylan and Winona under protection, but Raylan just wouldn't stay down. He had to find out who put the hit on him, and in his own occasionally amusing way. (I really enjoyed the constant sparring banter with Tim, who must have been deeply frustrated with the situation but still tried to follow orders and be a friend to Raylan at the same time.) Raylan must have made a list of who might have done it, and ticked off all the boxes. No, it wasn't the cartel. No, it wasn't the Bennetts. Who did that leave?

I started thinking early on that maybe the target was Winona. She was in the car with Raylan both times because her car wouldn't start, and the thugs didn't just kill Raylan when he got out of the car and confronted them. Plus, back in season one, Raylan thought he was the target of a hit, but it turned out to be Ava. When I watched this episode the second time, I could swear from the way Raylan looked at Gary that he knew right away it was probably him, but he deliberately checked elsewhere first because he really didn't want it to be.

How could Gary have been so stupid? Did he think he was going to get away with it? Wouldn't the cops have investigated Winona's husband, since they were in the middle of an acrimonious divorce? (And now his questions about Winona's insurance during the meeting at the attorney's office make a lot more sense.) Gary compounded his stupidity by not even considering the possibility that Wynn Duffy would take him out. I'm not surprised Raylan didn't kill Gary, but maybe he should have compromised his cowboy principles and killed Wynn Duffy. That man is frightening, and he's going to come after Raylan with a vengeance now.

Boyd versus Dickie turned out to be tragic. Boyd recruited Arlo and ripped off Dickie because he wanted to see if Dickie would fold and whether or not Mags was backing him. Arlo left Helen alone, and Dickie killed her.

Helen was Raylan's mother in every way that counted. It was a sad bit of foreshadowing that earlier in the episode, Helen was giving Ava motherly council about being with Boyd. "You can't tell what you don't know." When you choose to live with a criminal, even when you keep what he does at a distance, you can still end up a target. Interestingly, that applies to Winona (I'm talking Gary, not Raylan) as well as to Helen and Ava.

Raylan is the one who is constantly in violent situations, but he wouldn't hurt Gary because he knew it would tear Winona up. Winona divorced Raylan because of his dangerous job, and it was non-violent realtor Gary who would have killed her. Plus, innocuous-looking Dickie killed his two big, scary-looking minions in cold blood, and without hesitation. You can't tell a book by its cover, huh?

Bits and pieces:

-- Passionate Ava/Boyd bedroom scene, complete with Boyd's bullet wound scar and swastika. Ava doesn't want Boyd to run whores, and he promised he wouldn't. What sweet pillow talk, she said sarcastically.

-- The Bennett store was vandalized. I wonder if it was Hobart Curtis, who confronted Mags in the cafe. Feels like a set-up.

-- Boyd hijacked Dickie's business while it was being transacted, but let the other guy leave with his pot. That was some beard on the big shot pot dealer from Tennessee.

-- Rachel and Tim went to bed, and Tim left Raylan on watch. I think Tim was banking on it keeping Raylan in the house. Wrong.

-- Johnny Crowder gave Ava a hard time. Maybe Ava should avoid Johnny. Actually, Ava should have left town at the beginning of the series. I don't think she's going to do it.

-- Wynn Duffy apparently headquarters in an RV. That's actually pretty smart.

-- What movie were they watching at the house? High Noon?

Quotes:

Raylan: "Art told me to steer clear of the investigation."
Dan: "Let me get this straight. When Art gives you orders, you actually follow them? Or are you saying that to hurt my feelings? Seriously, Ray. Have you pissed off any shitkickers lately?"

Raylan: "Do I look like the climb out the bathroom window type?"
And of course, he went out the back.

Duffy's minion: "Mind if I zip up first?"
Raylan: "I'd mind if you didn't."

Mags: "You did kill my baby."
Raylan: "Yeah."
Mags: "But I was the one let him become a nitwit."

Tim: "I feel like I'm in The Big Chill."
Raylan: "Except no one's dead."
Tim: "Yet."
Rachel: "And the music sucks."

Raylan: "Now, look. I know it's unseasonably cold at the moment. It'd be fun sitting in a car all night without the heat on, but this is the life we've chosen."

Gary: "Duffy is crazy. I think you need to call for some backup."
Raylan: "We ain't calling anybody."
Gary: "Why not?"
Raylan: "Because all they'll do is try to arrest him."

Duffy: "Are we finished?"
Raylan: "As long as you understand that the next time we have this conversation, it won't be a conversation."

Four out of four pints of convenience store ice cream,

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

2 comments:

Jess Lynde said...

I was rather shocked by the turn of events in this episode. Not so much that Winona was the target, because I figured this was blowback from whatever stupid thing Gary was up to with Wynn Duffy. But I was dumbfounded to learn that Gary put a hit on her. The guy's a complete idiot, but he never struck me as the kind of man that would have his soon-to-be-ex killed. I'm sort of glad Raylan opted to keep that news from Winona, because I do think it would have devastated her.

I was less shocked by the developments with Aunt Helen, because that's one of the things I knew about this season before I started it. But that didn't make those final moments any less of a gut punch. Damn you, Dickie.

I found it interesting that Ava chose to ignore Helen's advice and insisted that Boyd not keep her in the dark. Again, I'm sad she's chosen this path, but it is probably the best development for keeping her character off the sidelines. And at least she's pretty much making this choice with her eyes wide open.

ChrisB said...

Goodness me! I need to catch my breath.

I'm an idiot. While I was watching the episode, I thought that Gary had put the hit out on Raylan. Thank goodness I have Billie and Jess to set me straight. It's more than obvious when I re-watched the scene with Duffy, who chills me to the bone.

I did not see Aunt Helen's death coming and I am terribly sad about it. I liked her and I liked the way she was with Raylan.

The fallout from all this is going to make for some exciting viewing, I would guess.