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Justified: Coalition

"It's funny how that money bring together all them wayward personalities."

Fast-moving, plot-heavy, thoroughly enjoyable episode.

I'm not quite sure why I've become oddly fond of Dickie Bennett. Maybe it's the way Jeremy Davies gives Dickie as much vulnerability as he does stupidity and meanness. I felt a little bad for Dickie when he asked Boyd if he was going to live through the night, and even a tiny bit bad that he got shot, is on his way back to jail, and that he'll never get his hands on his mother's money.

But at the same time, there is no question that Loretta McCready deserves every dime of that money. Raylan thought so, too. He even counseled Loretta (probably unnecessarily, since Loretta is a sharp young woman) on how to keep the money on the down low and not to draw attention to herself. What an exceptionally satisfying resolution to the "where's the money" plot. Couldn't have been better.

It also made me wonder about Limehouse. Was he just avoiding trouble, or did he give Loretta the money because he thought she deserved it? Despite the cleavers and knives, Limehouse keeps doing things that make me want to like him -- protecting the Holler, providing a haven for abused women, setting up Boyd, Quarles and Dickie to pretty much cancel each other out. At least Dickie is finally out of the picture. Quarles and Boyd, not so much.

I was starting to worry about Boyd. He didn't question his luck with Errol's defection, and then he left Quarles alone with two witless hookers. Afterward, it was obvious that Boyd was setting Quarles up to take the fall for the bank robbery. At least Quarles didn't kill the girls. Probably didn't have the time.

The bank manager was dazzled by Ava's beauty. It was smart of Boyd to send her on that particular errand. I also thought it was sweet that he then used it as an excuse to keep her out of the line of fire. Arlo too, although Arlo's derangement is turning him into a loaded gun that is bound to go off pretty soon. I was seriously worried that he was going to kill Ava, and I would hate to lose Ava. She and Boyd are such a sweet, interesting pair of criminal lovers, aren't they?

Speaking of losing characters, I'd hate to lose Tom the state trooper. I hope he isn't dead. I thought Quarles would have been taken out by now, but no -- he's out there, stoned, burned, and even more pissed off than before, if that's possible. At least for one more episode, anyway. I don't see him making it to season four. Do you?

Bits and pieces:

-- The title of this episode is "Coalition." I liked the little nod to coal country. And the fact that the real coalition was Raylan's with Limehouse.

-- I thought for a moment that Raylan was baiting Dickie so that he'd have reason to kill him.

-- Boyd wasn't impressed with the ear story. :) I was sort of disappointed that Wynn turned on Boyd, too. The only "principled" crooks this season are Boyd and Limehouse.

-- Arlo called Boyd "Raylan."

-- Dope smoke shotgun. I've heard the expression but never seen it done with an actual shotgun. Maybe I've led a sheltered life.

-- Johnny got jumped, too. Ava is great, but Boyd needs more and better minions, doesn't he?


Quarles: "Ever see Platoon?"
Witless hooker number one: "The movie with the old people where they go to outer space?"

Raylan: "You know what the two saddest words in the English language are? 'What party?'"

Raylan: "Nice car."
Tom: "New state issue, unmarked. Wouldn't outrun a dairy cow."

Raylan: "Escort's a nice touch. It's like visiting the Wizard of Oz."
Minion: "Yeah, I never seen it. All them flying monkeys? Uh uh."
Raylan: "You should stick with it. In the end they pull the curtain back, turns out the guy's kind of a pussy. How you been, Ellstin?"

Loretta: "Marshal, do I strike you in any way as a Van Halen fan?"

Four out of four incompetent minions,

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


  1. Programming note: My Justified reviews have been going up in two days instead of the next day, mostly because they air too late in the evening for me to watch them on Tuesday. But I'm going to be off next week; my review of the finale should go up Wednesday.

  2. I really enjoyed this episode. Everyone continually sussing out each other's plans was so much fun!

    I kind of like that Limehouse has been revealed as "kind of a pussy." Actually, he's more of a softie, just trying to keep things on the down low and stay off the radar. I'm starting to suspect that his minion accidentally got burned by the lime and Limehouse just uses it to scare the newbies into flying right. We haven't actually seen him do anything horrible this season, have we? He's just been talking scary and maneuvering the more unsavory characters the whole time. Plus, it was kind of nice to know he was honoring his contract with Mags, making sure that Loretta got the money and that Dickie never got wind of it. If it wasn't for the whole criminal enterprise thing (and Loretta's daddy getting murdered), it would all be kind of sweet.

    I can't help wondering if it wasn't Quarles that shot Trooper Tom (whom I also hope is not dead). We didn't actually see him fire the shot. Maybe it was Wynn or his henchman. Or, it could have been the loose cannon, Arlo. That could really turn into a pickle for Raylan, couldn't it? And it might even bring back some much needed emotional heft/tension to the story next season. Hmmm ...

    What I loved about Boyd's reaction to the ear story was that it was basically the same as Wynn's initially (if memory serves). They both wanted to know what Tonin says to the ear. :)

    Great episode. Looking forward to the finale next week!

  3. "My favorite Whyn-Whyn situation"

    Second week with a pun on Duffy's name in a row!

    This episode kept me guessing until the end. It was electrifying! I can't wait for the finale. And I bet Quarles is going to be a much bigger pain in the ass than we suspected. I also think I smell an Emmy nomination. I love his performance.

    I was worried about Ava, too. She's not on screen much, but when she is, she makes a difference.

    Great review and great episode, Billie

  4. Billie -- as here in the UK we are watching these episodes two months after they have aired in the US, a delay of a day or two in your posting your reviews isn't something that is going to bother us. :-)

    A fantastic outing. Did it seem to anyone else that Raylan was almost a supporting character this week as our "bad guys" each tried to outsmart the other? Not only that, but everyone else from the Marshals Service was missing as well and the KSP had much more of a starring role. Unfortunately, as it turns out. I, too, am hoping that Tom is not dead. I like him.

    One of the things I like most about this show is that it doesn't resort to lawmen = smart and villains = stupid stereotypes. By far, my favourite "villain" is Ava. I just love how smart she is and how she keeps a cool head. She is the one who saved Dickie's life and, knowingly or not, set in motion the entire chain of events depicted in this episode. She's come a long way from the abused wife we met three seasons ago.

    Yes, Dickie isn't the brightest bulb in the box, but I agree with Billie that there is something endearing about him. Perhaps it's because he's always a step or two behind which, this week, was too far. He gets props for bravery in my book; it could't have been easy to walk into Boyd's bar.

    I completely agree with Jess' assessment of Limehouse. All season, I've been waiting for those meat cleavers to cut into something other than a cow or a pig, yet it's still not happened. Instead, we keep seeing him do these honourable things -- the top of my list is giving Loretta the money. What a great way to end that story.

    I, too, was just at the point of beginning to question Boyd when the guns popped out and I realised that he was still playing the game. Huge sigh of relief as I would hate for anyone to get the better of him.

    Great set-up for next week's finale. There are still so many ways the story could go.

  5. Many episodes earlier I was a little disappointed to find out Dickie was right about Limehouse holding out on him concerning the ~3 million dollars, but this episode set it right.

    Also TOM NO D:


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