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Justified: Money Trap

Raylan: "He's armed and dangerous. And an asshole."

This episode had all the things I find enjoyable about Justified: lots of Raylan, who may be my favorite leading men ever, plus unusual and interesting characters saying and doing interesting things. But I'm still not quite feeling it this season. Why isn't it working for me? Is it not arc-y enough, perhaps? Maybe the Drew Thompson mystery has gone on just a bit too long and has involved too many red herrings.

Although I'm the first to admit that I enjoyed Boyd and Ava Crowder undercover at a sex club. Even though it was obvious at the outset that our Harlan lovebirds weren't about to do any swinging, and that at some point, some unlucky man would make an unwelcome pass at Ava that would be shut down by Boyd, I still thought it was fun to see them in such an unCrowderlike milieu. And I had no idea Boyd would end up confronting the Clover Hills cartel that he didn't know had power over him. Problems with his life of crime seem to be Boyd's fate this season. I don't know where it will go from here, but Boyd isn't just going to kill someone on cue. At least I hope not.

(And I was pleased that we got yet another terrific character actor as a candidate for Drew Thompson: Sam Anderson from Angel and Lost. Although he seemed awfully mean. I've been imagining Drew Thompson with a dry sense of humor.)

I knew we hadn't seen the last of bad, bad Jody. I had a bet going with myself that Raylan would shoot him by the end of the episode, and of course, he did. Since Raylan was moonlighting when he first caught Jody, will this particular gunfight make even more trouble than usual for Raylan at the marshal service? Let's see, what else? I liked Jody's video challenge. I liked that Jody jumped out of a window, fell spectacularly, and got hurt. It always seems like people on shows jump out of windows and don't get hurt, except for a decorative slash wound somewhere visible that doesn't slow them down at all.

The highlight of the episode for me, though, was the very Elmore Leonard-ish Jackie Nevada, second generation card shark. I liked that Raylan let her keep the money, and I even thought she might have been sincere about crushing on Raylan. (Who wouldn't?) I hope this isn't the last we see of her. Do you suppose she has anything to do with the ongoing Drew Thompson mystery?

Cousin Johnny has landed an interesting story this season. He could tell something was wrong, he got the whole story out of Teri, and now Johnny knows that Ellen May is alive and Colton lied to Boyd and Ava about it. The really interesting thing is, though, that I have no idea what side Johnny is on or what he'll do with this choice tidbit of information.

That final Raylan/Arlo encounter practically seethed with venom. It's sort of sad that there is (quite understandably) no way for Raylan to ever make peace with his toxic father. Are we ever going to find out what Arlo's plan is?

Bits and pieces:

-- Kenny Blanks, the movie hat guy from Mad Men and Jody's buddy, was fun. I especially liked him talking to himself in the mirror.

-- Raylan wasn't that smart to mention where he lives in front of a criminal he had just apprehended. But I liked that he remembered that he'd done it later on when it was important.

-- The law enforcement officers who picked up Jody weren't so smart, either. And not as lucky as Raylan. Again, I bet Raylan's part in that whole thing is going to come back to bite him.

-- Rare vintage FBI bullshit. Not just any FBI bullshit.


Raylan: "You're doing that thing that makes me believe you don't have high hopes."
Art: "Is it an eyebrow thing?"
Raylan: "Yeah."
Art: "'Cause I don't have high hopes."
Tell me why we're getting so little Art this season, please?

Ava: (to Boyd) "You look grand. Your hair's combed... almost."

Ava: "Lord, we're going to a rich folks sex party. Who'd a thought?"

Am I being too hard on Justified? What did y'all think? (I can say "y'all" because I lived in the deep South once.)

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


  1. I know what you mean about this season. I was thinking while I was watching this episode that I wasn't sure why we were being told this particular story. How does Jody fit in to the overall arc of the season? I hope it all comes together later.

    But, like you, there were parts of this episode that I really enjoyed. Jackie Nevada is fantastic. And, I loved the fact that Raylan is looking out for a wife and her kids -- even if he is less successful at doing so with his own.

    Don't excuse a good y'all! My stepmother is from the deep south and it is an expression we have all picked up from her, especially when we are around her. I draw the line, however, at all y'all.

  2. This season feels kind of season one-ish and not in a good way.

    I still like the season because I like the characters but I would have liked to have a story were the big picture is clearer to see. The point of the last episode has yet to be revealed (I hope it will eventually).

  3. Yeah, I'm having a similar reaction to this season. At the very least, I haven't been "feeling it" the last two episodes. I liked this one a bit better than last week's --- it didn't feel nearly so jumbled --- but I still didn't really like it that much, except for a few bits.

    I wasn't keen on Ava and Boyd at the sex party. In part, because I find "rich folks sex parties" tedious and skeevy, and in part because they were so horribly out of place and I just knew it wouldn't go the way they were hoping.

  4. The dialogue is as good as ever, but the stories themselves are a bit all over the place. I'm already sick of the search for Drew Thompson, but Holland Manners is probably a safe bet....

  5. I'm still enjoying it. I wasn't especially fond of s3 having too much PLOT going on after the 2nd half of it.. made my brain hurt.. and I'm liking this return to s1's style but with a background mystery. Jody was awesome, loved him directing the car away after smashing into its roof.


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