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Justified: Loose Ends

"Are you trying to cut a deal with me while I'm standing on a land mine?"

A land mine in a garage and a political debate. Explosive and fun.

I've been missing my Boyd, so it was great to have him back and preaching against "the man." It reminded me of Mags in the church sermonizing about the evil of Black Pike, except that Boyd probably meant what he said. (Or maybe he didn't.) But it was the same argument he's used in private against Quarles, that Sheriff Napier wasn't "one of us," that he was a company man, and I loved the disparaging comments about Napier's fancy haircut. Of course, I want Shelby to win because I want Jim Beaver as an ongoing continuing character, but you all knew that.

I've been missing my Ava, too, and she was certainly front and center in this one. She's starting to make a habit of killing men who abuse women, and I love it. Boyd respected Ava's choice and seemed just a tiny bit amused or bemused by her murdering Delroy, as well as her decision to become a madam. Who knew that Ava would take to the criminal life so well?

I was a bit confused by Raylan making a pass at Ava, although his story about Tiny and the sensible girlfriend made me fairly certain that he was attempting to save her from Boyd. "You do know what Boyd is, right?" Did Johnny Crowder make a pass at Ava, too, or was he just trying to control her? Was that what pushed Ava into killing Delroy? Johnny is feeling threatened by Boyd's connection with Ava. If it came down to violence between Johnny and Ava, or Boyd having to choose between them, I'm betting on Ava and her shotgun both times.

The title of the episode made me think we were going to lose both Ellen May and Tanner. I'm becoming fond of Ellen May, so I was glad she survived Delroy's bankrobbing version of Charlie's Angels and made it to the end of the episode. (I jumped out of my chair when Delroy killed the second girl, but I should have seen it coming.) I didn't care as much about Tanner surviving, even if he did love his mama. The scenes with Tanner's mother Imogene were fun, although the last scene with the television remote was poignant. One of the reasons I like Raylan so much is that we knew he would hook up her TV. And he didn't take that money or report it.

That final conversation between Raylan and Limehouse was oddly moving and covered some heavy topics. Limehouse said that he didn't kill Arlo way back when because little Raylan was watching the fight. Wow. I've been wondering why Limehouse is sucking up to Quarles, and (I know, sometimes I'm slow) it's obvious now that Limehouse is just playing him to find some way to protect Noble's Holler. Why else wouldn't Harvey Jones the moderator and election fixer do what he said he would do at the debate? I mean, if I were working for Limehouse, I certainly wouldn't screw up like that. Right?

Bits and pieces:

-- The opening scene showed Raylan walking into his above-the-bar apartment with a prominent shot of the toilet. That pretty much said it all. He hid the all-important incriminating gun in his own place, and he didn't even try hard to hide it. I guess he's thinking no one is going to search it twice.

-- There is a missing hustler named Brady Hughes. Has he been mentioned before? Could he possibly be Quarles's bedroom torture guy?

-- Quarles called Limehouse out on his sweet talk with a discussion of shoo-fly pie. My mother was from Pennsylvania, so I'm familiar with shoo-fly pie. It's hard to describe it if you've never had it.

-- Old bomb guy Lemuel Briggs was smart. It would have worked if Errol hadn't been ordered to kill Tanner.

-- So much for William Mapother. He's very good at playing distasteful characters, isn't he?

-- I have two comments unrelated to the episode. (1) I could look at Timothy Olyphant every day all day and into the evening. And (2) after we watch an episode, Dan and I speak in the drawl afterward. And we don't even do it on purpose.


Raylan: (to Boyd) "You're asking me to go find your 'get out of jail free' card."
And Raylan did just that, didn't he? He and Boyd both want to get rid of Quarles so much that they're working together again.

Quarles: "Mister Limehouse, I'm sure you didn't invite me up here to discuss the sociology of baked goods."

Raylan: "Social awkwardness is often the curse of genius."

Raylan: "I just left your friend Napier. He was waiting for you in a secluded spot with a shovel and a rope. What was that about? You guys doing some gardening?"

Boyd: "Here? In that bar where all them people are standing?"
Ava: "Yeah. But y'all don't need to worry bout that 'cause me and Ella Mae cleaned up every drop. We even got out stains been there ten years."

Three and a half out of four poignant television remotes,

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


  1. "I have two comments unrelated to the episode. (1) I could look at Timothy Olyphant every day all day and into the evening. And (2) after we watch an episode, Dan and I speak in the drawl afterward. And we don't even do it on purpose."

    Yes to both of those. Especially the drawl.

    I loved the fake ATF agent, the "sociology of baked goods," and pretty much everything else. Except for that terrible shirt Ava was wearing.

    Speaking of Ava: I loved her conversation with Boyd at the end, when they were trying to avoid having a fight. Boyd was so obviously torn between being supportive and being upset.

    How, exactly, does Ava plan to "help" Boyd? Raylan took it to mean redemption, but I took it to mean helping him gain control of Harlan County. Ava doesn't seem to be a fan of reforming the bad guys.

  2. This episode made me realize that Ava's relationships with both Boyd and Raylan work (in the sense that they get along well) because neither man underestimate her. They trust her judgment and, in a way, treat her like an equal. And every single man Ava kills makes the same mistake: think she's stupid/weak because she's a woman. I believe it's a very feminist statement.

    I was trying to remember where I'd seen the actor who plays Limehouse before, and imdb told me he was in season 8 of 24. I barely believed it, because I remember thinking he was a terrible actor, and now in Justified he's so good. Actors always say that good text and direction helps them act better, and I guess it is true.

    Billie, are shoo-fly pies good?

    Olyphant is an actor I admire. I'd like to be like him when I grow up.

  3. This season is just getting better and better.
    I was unsure whether Limehouse was really the big bad for the season or not, but it seems he is a 'good' guy--in a show that is all about (character) shades of grey.
    Ava's character is fascinating. The whole episode with Delroy and Ella Mae, and consequently Boyd was fabulous. I look forward to her being a Madam and taking care of her gurls! I am not sure how this will play out with her and Raylan. She kinda reminds me of Trixie from 'Deadwood'.
    I believe this season builds upon the last one,emphasizing the power of the women of the show-its lovely to see a show embrace this so wholeheartedly.
    Speaking of Deadwood, I love the calibre actor crossovers between this and many other of my favorite shows--but have a request that the producers track down Ian McShane (aka Al Swearengen from Deadwood) for season 4--that would make it pefect!!

  4. Gus, shoo-fly pie is pretty good. The filling is made with molasses and brown sugar.


    Robyn, they would have to give Ian McShane a huge continuing guest spot. Wouldn't he make a great seasonal big bad?

    Josie, I agree. That was a truly awful ruffled shirt.

  5. Is it overwhelmingly sweet, like pecan pie? I've only ever used molasses to make gingerbread men, so I can't really imagine what it tastes like without the ginger and cloves.

  6. Ian McShane makes anything he's in cooler. It's a pity he's in so many bad movies. His imdb list is one of the most uneven I know.

  7. Any episode that brings back Boyd in Preacher Man mode and Ava with her trusty shotgun is a winner in my book. Lots of good character beats and smaller moments in this one, too. I agree with Josie's observation that Boyd was clearly struggling to balance being upset with being supportive. I'm glad that he has that impulse to try being supportive before flying off the handle.

    Timothy Olyphant is certainly a fine-looking man, but the person I crush on most with this show is Joelle Carter. She is so damn sexy (ruffled shirt or no), and I love the complexities of her character. I can't wait to see where this professional shift takes her. I'm glad she'll have a piece of the criminal enterprise that is her own. She should be more than Boyd's right hand, and this change to me, puts her more on an equal partner footing with him.

  8. P.S. Gus, you should check out Boomtown. Both Mykelti Williamson and Neal McDonough give really great performances in that show. (It gave me such a thrill to see them interacting in Limehouse's place this week.) Graham Yost was the showrunner for that one, too, so your point about text and direction is well taken.

  9. Thanks for the tip, Jess. I'll watch it as soon as I finish Mad Men.

  10. Shoo-fly pie is sweet but not overwhelmingly. It's not at all like pecan pie without the pecans. There's a lot of crumble on top. There's a chocolate version of shoo-fly pie that I like a bit better than the regular, non-chocolate type. But then again, chocolate makes everything better.

  11. I agree with Jess that any episode with Boyd in full on preacher mode is worth the hour of my life. I just love the way he can turn a room full of people in about a minute and a half.

    And, Ava as a madam? I can absolutely see it. As someone who needs to take care of women, this is a role in which she will succeed.

    As usual, Billie is right. I grew up not far from Pennsylvania Dutch country, so shoo-fly pie was a staple. It is much, much better with the chocolate.

  12. Oh lord. I just rewatched this, and that scene at the end where Limehouse tells the story of nearly beating Arlo to death - great acting from both of them, but Tim O's reactions to Limehouse's recounting were just masterful. He showed so many layers of just how raw a nerve it was, being reminded of how vulnerable he must have felt as a ten year old, in such a traumatic situation. It was so clear but still subtle, as well as him covering it and managing to be the tough guy as well, and have that not seem like false bravado. What a fine line to walk. So delicately done. Bravo Tim! I love it when actors do their jobs well. :)

  13. I recognized Limehouse first as Bubba from Forrest Gump, but I knew he was a good actor from his work on Boomtown... first season of that show was really promising.

    A version of that curious tune from the beginning of episode 7 played again here when Ellen May and co. were disposing the body. Less strumming, and I still can't track it down. None of the show's OST seems to be traceable. Just the pre-existing songs that were featured on the show. Ah well. It'll remain stuck in my head then.

  14. "I was a bit confused by Raylan making a pass at Ava"

    I'm fairly certain that was intended to convey that Raylan is drinking himself silly after Winona left him (he's once again, at the bar midday drinking) and is pretty openly devastated by the breakup. He even tries to play it off with Ava that he did more in the breakup ("I'm saying I played a big part") which is sort of pitiful because you can't help but feel for him. And Ava sees that too. He sees a familiar face, someone he once had a connection with and it's comforting to kiss her. But it doesn't actually alleviate his pain.


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