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Justified: Good Intentions

Alison: "You tend to get involved with women who run afoul of the law?"
Raylan: "It's happened once or twice. I wouldn't call it a tendency."

Justified has always been about characters with many shades of gray, darkness in our heroes, stray bits of goodness in our villains. But everyone is looking pretty evil this season, aren't they?

I expected fun to ensue when Rachel moved into Monroe's house with Raylan. Instead, she asked him a pointed question about Alison planting drugs to get a kid away from his parents, and Raylan didn't see anything wrong with it. Raylan knows better, or he used to. Hitting Henry repeatedly with the baseball bat made me uncomfortable, too. Raylan has always been a bit dark. Is he going bad? Like Vic Mackey in The Shield bad?

Boyd ripped off Dewey big time. That's not surprising, and I never expected Dewey Crowe to hang on to his windfall, but I'm getting bummed about how evil Boyd is becoming, with the killing and drug kingpinning and so on. And now he's cheating on Ava? Maybe not technically quite yet, but Mara was fondling his Nazi tattoos. And the Boyd/Ava scene in prison was tense and confrontational. Is Boyd going to abandon his Ava? Say it isn't so. I choose to believe he's stringing Mara along for a very good Ava-related reason.

The bad guys were very bad this week, too. Monroe suffocated his girlfriend Gloria twice, without actually killing her. That was brutal. Cousin Darryl woke Dewey up about how Boyd was cheating him, and is pushing Dewey into killing the idiotic Wade. The now awake Paxton ordered Sheriff Mooney to kill Boyd. And delightfully devious Cousin Johnny was revealed to be the one behind all the murders and shipment problems that have been dogging Boyd. I was wondering where Johnny was.

The female characters all appear to be duplicitous, too. Along with the aforementioned Mara, who is exactly like one of the gorgeous-but-evil dames in a hard-boiled detective novel, Alison is setting off my smoke alarm, too. I can understand why a compassionate social worker might end up planting drugs to save a child, but Alison just feels like she has an evil agenda. You'd think Raylan would sense that.

My favorite scene this week by far and away was Wynn Duffy shooting Cyrus with a BB gun. Are the writers fans of A Christmas Story? I laughed like a loon when Cyrus said, "Jesus man, you almost took out my eye!" Not that it was actually ha ha funny. Wynn was scary and pitiless, shooting Cyrus over and over. Although Cyrus did exactly the same thing to one of his friends in the previous episode, which completely eliminated any pity I might have felt for him.

Bits and pieces:

-- Wynn's idiot minion Mikey is a stone killer. That explains why Wynn puts up with him.

-- Mara mentioned a saying by her mother, "Cold hands, strong body", about how survivors tend to compartmentalize. Why does Mara want dead bodies? What's her evil plan?

-- I felt bad for both Gloria and Candy. They did what they did because of their guys, and both were victimized for it. What I don't get is why Gloria isn't on her way to Oregon or something. I would be.

-- They keep mentioning Monroe's bowling alley. I bet there's more treasure there. Or maybe a private bowling alley is just funny.


Raylan: "It's the kind of thing you drop soon as you discover girls. And yet here you are, all growed up, still dinging and donging and don't have the sense to ditch."

Rachel: "Call me if you're gonna be late for supper."
Are they ever going to do something with Raylan and Rachel? Since Justified tends to be more like real life, it would make sense if they had a one night fling of sorts and then went back to awkwardly working together.

Dewey: "What's curb appeal?"

Alison: "This guy… did he have a shamrock tattooed on his neck?"
Raylan: "Please tell me that was a lucky guess."

Dewey: "Now I can see how this 'pealing curb they got might hold the price down…"

Dewey: "You said I'd be making money hand over glove!"

Boyd: "Now sometimes being a man means you gotta know when to put your foot down. Well, put your foot down, Dewey Crowe!"
It takes some nerve to give a pep talk to a guy you ripped off.

Raylan: "I hoped you were the kind of man who chooses not to live in the past."
Wynn: "Well, normally I am. It's just that, you know, try to kill me once, shame on you…"

Wynn: "Isn't there an 'allegedly' that goes along with that?"

Wynn: "You're protecting me from a situation that you created?"
Raylan: "I can see how'd you'd see it that way if you want to focus on the negative."

Mara: "He won't take the sheriff's word that you're dead."
Boyd: "Well, I could say that Mooney can take him my head, but most days, that's my best asset."

I'm not quite feeling Justified yet this season, but that's happened to me in earlier seasons, so I'll give it time. Two out of four Nazi tattoos,

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


  1. Man, I'm all for beating up on the bad guys, but that baseball bat scene was rough. I wonder if Raylan will go over the edge or something will pull him back and ground him again.

    Boyd also looks like he's gonna do something that may put him into unforgivable villain territory. Leave Ava to fend for herself perhaps. It's great that Johnny's back on the scene. He's such a snake.

  2. I can see this series being a slow-burner. They do look like they are positioning all the characters in to uncomfortable situations - even Raylan, like you say. I wouldn't be surprised if we get no real resolution at the end of the series, just a handful of hellish cliffhangers set up ready for an explosive final season. Tears will be shed.

    I hope I'm wrong. I like all my good guys to be good, and all my bad guys to be bad - and even some of the bad guys - Boyd - to be alright, really.

  3. I'm glad that you said that you're not quite feeling the show this season, because I am not either. I can't really put my finger on what is missing, but I think it is that too many plot lines are trying to run at the same time. I trust that all, or at least some, will come together down the road, but right now I don't feel as though any of the stories are getting enough time.

    Alison set my spidey senses tingling the minute she appeared on our screen. I believed Henry, which means a meth cooker is more credible than a social worker. Interesting.

  4. Yeah, after this week, I realized I'm not quite feeling this season yet either. And I agree with Chris that it is probably the excess number of seemingly disparate plot lines.

    This week, I was feeling so disconnected from everything, that after that awful scene with Monroe choking out his poor "maid" multiple times, I turned the episode off. I needed to walk away for a bit and come back to it the next night. I'm hoping the show starts to gel a bit better in the coming weeks. At least the return of Cousin Johnny seems mildly promising.

  5. Well I for one am enjoying this more than the comparatively early episodes of s4. Love Shelby but the whole Drew Thompson mystery was never all that compelling to me.

    They can't kill Wade D: Maybe he'll be this season's Ellen May.

    That scene with Monroe and Gloria was kind of hot. I don't have that particular kink but I get it now. Goddamn. Though to be honest I lost track of that subplot with Wynn Duffy and the gold.

    What's Ava's problem anyway? Why DID she feel the need to dump the body herself? In any case, the fact that the conspiring wife is named Mara is a very bad sign lol. A lot of Boyd's position feels like Shane Vendrell's desperation actually, it was kind of a breather that he finally got to peg Johnny by the end. I need to rewatch The Shield sometime too, it's been years.

    Also there was Raylan's "What? D:" right before the opening credits. And the on-going bit with Ava's attorney accidentally taking his headphones off because he thinks she's signalling him still cracks me up.

    It's darker than what I expect from Justified, but that's still my show.


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