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Justified: Kill the Messenger

"Family and dysfunction go together like peanut butter and chocolate."

Rallying after losing Ava, Boyd continued to consolidate his power in Harlan by making a deal with a Mexican cartel represented by a Korean consigliere (Ando from Heroes!) and, surprisingly, hiring the Crowes to do his dirty work.

I had actually reached the point where I was wondering how the Crowes had managed to live this long; with the notable exception of Wendy, they're all destructive idiots. But once they acquired a strong leader, they were a force to be reckoned with. I just wonder if Darryl and Danny are smart enough to realize that turning on Boyd would be an incredibly stupid move. I bet they'll do it, anyway.

Because he's not pretending to be a rabid racist any more, Boyd didn't succeed quite as well with his plan to provide protection for Ava in her new digs at Orange is the New Black. Also interesting that having her hair butchered may have shocked Ava into taking some action of her own. It's about time, too. Ava is no shrinking violet who can't manage without Boyd's protection. She's the woman who set up and killed her abusive husband at the dinner table, after all. I'm suddenly a lot more interested in Ava's story this season.

It's sad that we didn't get to see Raylan telling Art the truth about Nicky Augustine, because that was a scene I really wanted to see. Art punching Raylan out was fun, though. If that was the only price Raylan will pay, then he got off easy. And Rachel's part of the story was also fun; I always enjoy Raylan and Rachel together. I think she really wanted to just help Raylan, although I had initially assumed, as Raylan did, that Art had sent her along to keep an eye on his very bad rogue deputy marshal.

Alison's reaction to Raylan confronting the Crowes about running her off the road was interesting, too. She said that Raylan was a hero who would run into a burning building without blinking an eye, but that he was also the one who probably set the fire. Perceptive.

The best scene of the week was Boyd's clever minion Carl, duct-taped to a chair and bleeding, explaining that he and Danny had forgotten their safety word. (Danny's face was priceless. It was like he wanted to deny everything but knew he couldn't and his expression was warring with itself.) Snake-in-the-face Jimmy also got a good scene in this episode. And so did Hot Rod, who managed with subterfuge to convey his dire Cousin Johnny situation to Boyd over the phone. Johnny had better get his ducks in a row because if Boyd says he's going to kill him, I bet Johnny's days are numbered.


-- Kendal backed up Danny's lie about the Haitian. I am betting that this particular lie might split the Darryl and Danny apart. Here's hoping.

-- That poor old guy Mike got bamboozled by the Crowes and lost his house, his store and his hunting cabin. I bet that saw was meant for him.

-- There was a fun Dewey Crowe scene where he unsuccessfully tried to sell his damaged above ground pool so that he could get out of town. His cell phone cutting out while he was trying to threaten Boyd was also funny. Can you hear me now?


Tim: "What, did you slip in Art's shower?"

Wynn: "You must be Mr. Yoon."
Mr. Yoon: "And how do you know that? Oh, the one wonton among the tortillas?"
Boyd: "I would have said 'kimchee in the salsa'."
Mr. Yoon: "Oh, that's good."

Danny: "Carl said he ain't gonna press charges. He said we were up there doing some sex thing, and it was… it was… consens… it was consexual."
I am now seeing the family resemblance because that could have been a Dewey Crowe line.

Boyd: "One lesson you could never understand is why make an enemy when you can make a friend."
Seriously. The world would be a better place, wouldn't it?

Raylan: "That’s why you came along, right? Report back to the boss that the chronic problem deputy was kept in check by the office kiss ass?"
Rachel: "You might see it that way if you were a son of a bitch."

Certainly not as strong as the previous episode, but it had its moments. Three out of four kimchees in the salsa,

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


  1. I read another review that interpreted Ava cutting off the rest of her hair as her succumbing to depression, and I was surprised. Because, like you, I read that moment as Ava deciding to stop being a victim and trying to reclaim some of her agency. If Boyd can't protect her, she's going to step up. Of course, that's what I really want to see happen here, so I could be projecting. :) I like my Ava fierce and feisty, not as a helpless victim.

    I get what you are saying about wanting to actually see Raylan tell Art the truth, but I really loved that opening scene. So much going on there, and even without words it pretty much told us all we needed to know. Nick Searcy was great.

  2. Ever since the story of Samson, cutting one's hair is usually used a symbol of the loss of power, the loss of strength. Tie this scene in with Ava asking her attorney for help, and I was concerned that we had a new victim on our hands.

    The more I thought about it, however, I tend to see Ava's cutting her hair as you do. She is not a victim and I would like to see her start fighting back.

    I loved the scene in the car with Raylan and Rachel. The way she speaks is so effective. Have we ever heard her raise her voice? Yet, she carries immense power in her words.

    Agree that Allison is perceptive, but kudos to whoever came up with that metaphor. I love the idea of a hero running into a fire that he has set.

  3. I think the difference maybe comes in making the choice to cut the hair yourself. Samson lost his power because Delilah cut his hair. Here, Ava was victimized by the others cutting her hair. But in the end, she made the choice to "fix it" by cutting the rest off herself, thus taking the power into her own hands. Kind of like someone facing chemo deciding to shave their hair off, rather than waiting for it to fall out. Again, I may be twisting things to serve the outcome I desire. :)

    Agreed about Rachel in the car. I really loved the way she responded to his hurtful jabs with that fairly calm, "You might see it that way ... if you were a son of a bitch." Fantastic delivery.

  4. Yes, that's how I took it, too. If Ava had been defeated and depressed, she would have stayed in bed instead taking matters and her hair length into her own hands.

  5. I thought it was interesting that they didn't show the conversation between Art and Raylan. Where does this leave the two of them? Will they ever mend that bridge? I wonder if Raylan and Rachel's conversation in front of the elevator was poking fun at people wondering if they're ever gonna hook up. Are they? Heh.

    It was great seeing Boyd show once again he is not to be trifled with. I'll admit there was a certain satisfaction to the beatdown that was dealt. And Carl's explanation of his predicament was hilarious. His mocking reaction to seeing Danny again was great.

    Generally speaking, cutting ones hair or more often, shaving ones head is a way of showing determination and guts, or sometimes even just a way of showing a significant change in a character. It's often done in action movies and videogames. Heck Walking Dead did it with Shane. Granted, having your hair cut against your will is more in line with being weakened. But I think Ava cutting her hair is probably more to signify her taking charge of the situation. Though I can't help but wonder if she may be shooting herself in the foot if she does something drastic.

  6. Darryl with Boyd is pretty cool, and I'm amazed Johnny keeps surviving.

    Rachel and Raylan was my favourite scene. She really is great


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