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Justified: Harlan Roulette

"That is why it's called 'organized' crime."

One of the cool things about Justified is that it's not just about the hero. It's also about the bad guys, and their characters have just as much depth, and possibly more. Although there were several choice bits of Raylan, this episode was wall to wall bad guys. In fact, it was practically a bad guy smorgasbord.

If there was a criminal of the week, Glen Fogle was it. Like all Justified bad guys, he was complicated, even though he was just a one-shot character. (Pun intended.) That standoff at the end was laugh out loud funny; Raylan just stood there yelling for everyone to put their guns down and Fogle and Beckett did the world a favor and killed each other. It reminded me a bit of that shootout in the office with Wynn Duffy.

Abuse and murder of unfortunate minions was a big theme. J.T. screwed up and got arrested, and Fogle scared him silly with "Harlan Roulette" before killing him. (Now, really. Was that necessary?) We already know what Limehouse does to his minions. Devil screwed up, and Boyd hit him, but in the end, they were sharing a drink and talking about it.

Boyd is a complicated bad guy, too, but the difference is, he's my bad guy. I'm emotionally invested in Boyd as well as Ava, and I've accepted that Boyd is going to try to get his father's business back. He said he wouldn't make his father's mistakes and that his new mob would be meticulous and clean, but making overtures to Limehouse made me nervous. I noticed a lot of mentions of Boyd's tatts. I've been watching too many edgy, uber violent shows lately, more than I usually do, and I've literally been having nightmares. Last night, I was thinking about Boyd's swastika and picking a fight with the black guys in prison and Limehouse and the lye, and wondering if they've just set up a future scene where Boyd will get burned by Limehouse. I'd rather not, please.

At least Boyd got Johnny's bar back as a base of operations. The standoff in the bar, like the shootout with Fogle and Beckett, was surprisingly funny.

There were returning characters in practically every scene. We had Dickie, Dewey, and Murphy the guard, whom I had guessed was listening (they wouldn't cast Todd Stashwick to play one scene, and I'm betting he's not going to live too long). Wade Messer, who is too mean and stupid to live. Johnny Crowder, and state trooper Tom Bergen.

And Mr. Detroit, who is cool evil with a smile. He sacrificed Wynn Duffy's guy Fogle on the off chance that he might succeed in taking Raylan out. He was even unconcerned when Raylan walked in and beat on Duffy. (Can I just say that I absolutely loved Raylan dropping a bullet on Duffy's chest and saying, "Next one's coming faster"?)

Wynn Duffy was practically the voice of sanity. I think they're using the very scary Wynn Duffy to make Mr. Detroit seem even scarier. I loved that moment when Duffy was going to the bathroom and saw a man tied to the bed in the bedroom. His face was priceless.

Bits and pieces:

-- That long story that Raylan told Wade Messer had a point: that "we all got lines we gotta cross". Has Raylan mentioned his uncle before? Was that a setup for a new character?

-- And that's why you don't use a panel truck as a getaway vehicle.

-- Dickie's prison hairdo was really something.

-- Limehouse has a restaurant. That explains the meat locker.

-- Mr. Detroit has that track on his arm for his little gun. I sense a future shoot-out with Raylan coming down the pike.


Raylan: "Double bowl vanity. Separate commode area. Add three, four years on to our relationship."
Winona: "You just said 'commode,' didn't you?"
Raylan: "Thought it sounded better than 'crapper'."

Bergen: "So you come all the way out here to let Messer get away?"
Raylan: "One of your boys let him get away. I got the driver. Besides, these boots aren't made for running."

Raylan: "You know what they say the difference is? A drunk will steal your wallet and feel like shit about it ..."
Bergen: "An addict will steal your wallet and help you look for it."

Raylan: "I think the question you should ask is whether I care if you ride out of here cuffed in the back of my car, or get carried out of here in a coroner's bag. The answer is, me and dead owls don't give a hoot."

Raylan: "Thinking of buying a house."
Fogle: "Yeah? What neighborhood?"
Raylan: "The greater Lexington area of kiss my ass."

Raylan: "Remember that conversation we weren't gonna have? This is it."

Three out of four commodes,

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


  1. This felt like a solid transitional episode to me. I was far more interested in the pieces moving around for the larger story than in the case-of-the-week with the addicts and the pawn shop. (By the way, was it Fogle or Vogel? You refer to Pruitt Taylor Vince's character as both.) Mr. Detroit just gets creepier every week. The casual way he was talking to his kid about his normal "business as usual" day as he went into the room with the nearly naked, bound-and-gagged man was completely unsettling. Almost as chilling as the bright and shiny smile he flashed for Raylan's camera phone. That's not a guy who's worried about getting caught!

    I liked the way they implied that Limehouse provided refuged for Ava when she was being beaten by Bowman. I read an interview with Graham Yost that said in their research into the area, his staff discovered that there was a black hamlet that provided haven for abused white women, because the rednecks wouldn't dare go in after them there. Or something like that. I liked the small nod to that here.

    Dickie's prison hairdo is indeed a thing of wonder. I find myself focusing on his hair during his scenes, instead of the information being conveyed. One of his many distracting, yet entertaining quirks. :)

  2. Thanks for the correction, Jess. I wasn't sure what Fogle's name was and wrote it several different ways, and then I checked IMDB, which is what I should have done first. This is just more evidence that I really need an editor. :)

    I hope you're right that Limehouse did shelter Ava. I didn't catch that, but it would definitely be cool and it would certainly give us something to like about him.

  3. No worries. I think we could all use that editor. I can't tell you how many times I've reread an old review of mine and found a typo. Heck, there's a typo in my previous comment! (I meant provided "refuge" not "refuged." Sigh.) When you are working on a piece, you start getting slightly blind to what you've actually written, because you know what you meant to say and tend to just read it that way. Erg.

  4. Programming note -- my DVR screwed up the recording of the next Justified episode, "The Devil You Know". My review will be a little late.

  5. Great review, Billie. This show just goes from strength to strength. I love the depth of the individual characters; such a nice change from one hero and a bunch of one-dimensional baddies.

    Having said that, have we seen anything good in Mr. Detroit yet? He creeps me out -- especially his smile. Shiver...

  6. I think Raylan mentioned an uncle in the previous episode when he visits Boyd in prison.

  7. Mr Detroit giving that shit-eating grin when his pic's being taken, lol. I loved that ending. Also this was the episode that let me know that 'breaking bad' is an actual term and not just something made up for the TV show BrBa

    That oxy addict that gave Loretta a ride was cracking me up too. Genuinely pondering whether tying Raylan up upside down makes them friends or not. And of course the dead owls line.

  8. I cannot stop rewatching the episode-titular scene with Fogle, the oxy-guy who got caught and the gun. It's weird that it didn't make THAT much of an impression on me the first time, I can usually tell when something ought to grab me like that.

    Fogle's actor is so good in that scene, all the little very specific acting bits and little expressions that I'd sound borderline autistic for pointing out. It's funny that once he has to deal with Raylan he just becomes another villain of the week lol. I too've only seen Pruitt Taylor Vince play cowardly/everyman roles and now I think it's a waste because he really pulled off the menace here. His almost kindly smile before the "One more." The way he picks up the bullet and points it almost at the camera to make sure we're clear it's really going into the gun. His goon's stupid remarks in the background is also a detail I liked (and I liked that he seemed more cowed than satisfied that the murder actually went through). Fogle's mimicking is cool/funny too. Funny at first with him mimicking Wade's "C'mon, Mr Fogle" but then when he's doing it again calmly without a funny voice with "Please, Mr. Fogel..." it's disturbing again. And the tune that plays (not really a tune but it sounds like someone drawing a single... note... on a cello I don't know the proper vernacular for music stuff sorry) as he's spinning the chamber for real. I love the look/sound of the spinning chamber. And his look when it doesn't go off and he says "Maybe it's just your lucky day, son!"

    Even with all that nonsense I typed out I think I still only covered just over half of every single instance I liked in that scene... but oh well, that's good enough tribute for now. And no I'm not inebriated or in a funny mood. I just really, really like that scene all of a sudden lol.


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