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Justified: Kin

Boyd: "Whole world's a tree, Raylan. I'm just a squirrel trying to get a nut."

Justified is always interesting and often funny, but there's an edge to this show that often creeps me out.

There's something about all this weird down home violence that's just so disturbing. Josiah Cairn disappeared, leaving behind nothing but a blinking watch and a severed foot. There was the possibility that the still missing Drew Thompson could have been eaten. There was Theo Tonin's directive that death wasn't enough for Thompson, resulting in some serious bloodstains in Wynn Duffy's beige-on-beige trailer. What is it that keeps me watching this show, since it's not the violence? Is it the unpredictability?

Whatever it is, it's working. Considering the fact that we still haven't actually seen the guy yet (unless he's someone we know), I'm now intrigued by Drew Thompson, how he managed to stay hidden for thirty years, and if he'll survive long enough to testify against Theo Tonin. (Raylan's kin, second cousin Mary from Chuck, knows what Thompson looks like, so I'll bet we see her again.)

At least we finally got Raylan and Boyd in the same scene. They ran into each other while imprisoned in a shed, braved the dangerous hill country and nearly died, and they're both after Thompson now. I have no idea who to bet on. And we finally got some Raylan/Boyd bantering frenemy goodness. Although I think I enjoyed Boyd and Wynn Duffy discussing Glastnost and Perestroika a little bit more.

It's nice that Ellen May is still alive, although that was because of Sheriff Shelby's smarts, not her own, and I still don't see a glowing future ahead her. I don't see Shelby managing to take down Boyd, either, and not just because Walton Goggins is a series regular and Jim Beaver the guest star. It bothers me that Boyd appears to be out of his depth with Wynn Duffy and the Dixie Mafia, too, but Boyd has a tendency to land on his feet.

There were an amazing number of excellent guest stars in this episode, and every scene had something going for it: Raylan and a pregnant Winona talking about their baby's disappearing tail; Tonin's guy Nick Augustine, who apparently has a cat phobia; Wynn Duffy, who totally kept his head while those around him were losing theirs; the morally bankrupt Josiah Cairn being dragged alongside Raylan's car; the return of assistant D.A. Vasquez, ready to broker the deal with Arlo, and the wonderful Constable Bob and his Gremlin. I especially liked the tense standoff between Tim and Colton, who were carefully angling for position in case they had to shoot each other while they were talking about how the hill folk of Kentucky reminded them of Afghanistan. In fact, this episode might have been a bit too rich. Agent Barkley's sudden death kinda got lost in there.

What next? Will Raylan find Thompson first and regain his credibility with Art and the Service? Will Arlo go free, return to prison, or get himself killed? Will Raylan find Josiah Cairn, with or without his foot? Will Ellen May and Shelby live long enough to put Boyd back in prison? Will Wynn Duffy adopt a cat?

At least Boyd and Raylan have the same objective now, increasing the likelihood that there will be more banter-filled moments during the rest of the season.

Bits and pieces:

-- Colt lied to Boyd about killing Ellen May. I sort of expected her to turn up at the bar that very moment.

-- Raylan told Winona he was saving money. I thought it all got turned into chickens, though. Nice contrast, with Raylan determined to keep his own evil father in prison. Hey, I wouldn't want Arlo around my baby, either.

-- Tim likes to read fantasy novels. More Tim, please.

-- Colton is fascinating. I almost expected him to take Tim's suggestion about working for the Marshal Service seriously.

-- Are there really cannibals in the Kentucky hills? Or possibly Afghanistan?


Wynn Duffy: "Do you see any cats?"

Boyd: "I never knew you had hills in your blood, Raylan."
Raylan: "I do."
Boyd: "I'd whistle the theme song to Deliverance if I thought you had a better sense of humor."
It's often referred to jokingly now, but Deliverance is an exceptional movie. I own a copy of it.

This was a middle-of-a-complicated-season-long-plot episode. How many cats in a beige trailer out of four would you give that?

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


  1. "...Wynn Duffy, who totally kept his head while those around him were losing theirs..."

    I would like to create a new awards category: best joke embedded in a list. And I would like to nominate that quote (above) as this week's winner.

  2. I really liked this episode, and I can say with 100 percent certainty that it is the characters and the incredible knack for guest casting that keep me coming back for more. Not only did we get the great Raylan-Boyd interactions this week, we got a great cavalcade of guest actors (as you noted)! I was so delighted to see Gerald McRaney, Mike O'Malley, General Beckman, and even Romy Rosemont as Arlo's lawyer (let's hope she has to face down Judge Reardon some day soon).

    At the moment, I have strong suspicions that Josiah Cairn may be Drew Thompson. Especially given his timely disappearance and willingness to cut off his own foot. There was also a quick shot of the step-daughter snaking a photo album or something out of the trunk before Raylan took out the photo of his mom and Mary from a different album. Possibly trying to hide someone's identity? Of course, maybe that's too obvious a turn.

    I've also got suspicions that Shelby is going to tie into all this down the line, thanks to the quick scene last week with him noting Drew Thompson's case has been reopened. Maybe the Deadwood fan in me is just hoping Shelby will get to take down Josiah. :)

    A couple little moments that I loved, which you didn't note: in discussing Tonin's current state of mind, Nicky mentioned that he was "talking to the ear"; and Tim's chilling response to Raylan's teasing about being too old to read those fantasy novels "Yeah, well I was probably too young to be blowing the heads off the Taliban, so maybe it all evens out" (or something like that).

    Just the way he delivers that line gives Tim so much more shading than Rachel. I wish they could make her as compelling and interesting as he is. When I saw the Marshal SUV pulling up in the hills I found myself mentally praying Tim would get out, and when he did I let out a little cheer! I very rarely cheer when Rachel puts in an appearance. Which makes me a bit sad.

  3. I bet you're right that Josiah is Drew Thompson, Jess. I'm a fan of Gerald McRaney's, too.

  4. From the minute he appeared on the screen, I wondered if Cairn were Thompson. It would fit, especially when we consider all of the people who know who Thompson is.

    This show does long term storytelling in an exceptional way. While this episode did not rank among my favorites, it was still tense and I felt as though I was watching the beginning of some truly excellent plots.

  5. Ok, first off... didn't anybody else have a little "Gleek" moment when they realised the best parents on that show (only decent ones in fact) were guest starring on Justified?! Pity they didn't share a scene...

    My problem with Justified has always been it takes it a bit too long to pull me in, to get me interested in the long term storytelling. This episode was the clincher for me for this season. FINALLY I'm curious about this missing parachute guy!

    I sure hope Arlo doesn't get out of jail... not only did he kill a cop, he truly thought he was killing his own son! He deserves to rot behind those bars!!! :o(

    Winn Duffy and Boyd are both incredible at surviving against all odds, so I'm really curious as to see which one of them will come out on top!

    Nice to see Winona again!

    And yeah, more Tim please!

  6. >>"It's often referred to jokingly now, but Deliverance is an exceptional movie. I own a copy of it."
    I-isn't that the movie with the... one scene? How could you find anything about this show's weird down home violence disturbing after seeing something like that (of course, not a serious question lol)? Maybe I'll have to watch it one day... but I'll have to be in a very strange mood myself

    I was howling when Agent Barkley was shot in the head. Not out of any ill will towards him but because Duffy being right there not reacting reminded me this is a post-Quarles world. Duffy's seen some shit.

    I don't really mean this as a complaint because I'm not entirely sure it isn't just me but this episode felt really heavy on the exposition somehow. So much of the show has always been, I don't know why it felt blatant here to me. Maybe it's just the Agent Barkley stuff.


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