Justified is in full swing! This week, it was a wild ride between the bag mystery, Raylan’s relationship drama, a suicidal FBI agent, and a showdown in the preachin’ tent. It’s going to be hard to wait a week to see the fall out.
Realizing that Billy’s sister is the brains of the operation, Boyd attempts to bribe her to take Billy out of Harlan. She initially refuses and is half-heartedly indignant, but then reveals that the price is just higher than what Boyd offered. There is an interesting tension between the sister and Boyd. I briefly thought that might lead to some sort of hook up between the two. But, I can’t see Boyd cheating on Ava. As bad as Boyd is, we’ve never seen him as a philanderer. Boyd is unwilling to pay a steeper price and walks away.
Boyd sends his thugs to Preacher Billy’s tent. In a particularly bad ass scene, they unwittingly walk into a room filled with rattlesnakes. They escape, but one guy does so with the head of a rattlesnake lodged in his cheek. I liked this scene because it was unpredictable. I was expecting when the men entered the dark tent that a light would turn on and the sister would be sitting there with a shotgun. That is how things generally go in Harlan. But snake attack was way better.
Boyd returns to the tent with a wild snake in a box and challenges Billy to pick up the snake. But when Billy actually decides to do it, Boyd tries to stop him. Boyd doesn’t like Billy on a business level, but it looks like he almost feels sorry for him. After all, Boyd was in his shoes not so long ago. Boyd looks genuinely sad when Billy takes the snake and is bitten. Boyd is a complicated character. In these moments, he appears genuinely empathetic. But, then there are other moments when he does not hesitate to put a bullet in somebody’s head. One thing we haven’t had enough of in these first three episodes is Boyd and Raylan together.
Raylan experiences some quasi-domestic drama. At the end of last week, we learned that Randall is the husband of Raylan’s bartender girlfriend. Raylan’s relationship with Lindsey has always seemed casual. We don’t see them in any setting outside the bar, and Raylan doesn’t seem to be that interested in her. This casual relationship is appropriate considering that we know Raylan still loves Winona and is still awaiting the birth of his child. Lindsey feels more like a Band-Aid to ease his loneliness. Nevertheless, it was surprising at the end when, presumably, Lindsey and Randall ransacked Raylan’s room and stole his money. It also means, though, that Raylan may be back on the market. I’m wondering, though, when we’ll get more information on Winona and the baby. It will be interesting to see how Raylan acts as a father.
The thing that impresses me most each week about Justified is that it manages to advance the bigger story arc, this season it’s the story behind the bag in Arlo’s wall, while advancing the character stories and the side stories. The side story of Boyd’s brother potentially betraying him with Wynn Duffy is short enough to not be distracting. The scenes with Rachel acting out and telling Raylan that she left her husband were perfect. Both were subtle performances that showed Rachel’s vulnerability and the concern that Art has for her.
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