…an episode reminding us all the importance of “getting involved with women who run afoul of the law.”
It’s been awhile since my last recap of Justified, but hey, it’s not called overstuffeddvr.com just because it sounds fancy. Quick insight: my DVR is legit overstuffed, so sometimes certain shows that I love take a backseat in the name of more pragmatic management (I’m looking at you, 90-minute episodes of Sherlock). I know, I know: #TVJunkieProblems. Well, enough belly-aching! I’ve been away for far too long and need to dive back into Harlan County feet-first. Let’s do it!
The first quarter of this outstanding season of Justified could very well be paired with a subtitle: The Distorted Domestication of Raylan Givens. First, it was about shirking his responsibilities as a father; then it was the inevitability of them finding him; now it’s making sure Raylan can be properly housebroken. Seriously, our favorite quick-witted US Marshall found himself playing house at the seized mansion of Charles Monroe, the dirty money washer for the local mob Raylan arrested in the previous episode. He even has a companion: the lovely Allison, Loretta’s social worker. Those two are playing so much bowling all over Monroe’s house: on the stairs, on tables. Just bowling, bowling, bowling**. Add in a few pants-less rump pats, and Raylan is essentially in heaven.
**Is it possible I don’t know what bowling is?
Unfortunately, domestic bliss does not seem likely for Raylan, as a bat-wielding thug with a shamrock tattoo shows up and tries to play “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” with the alarm on one of Monroe’s cars. Raylan does not like having his special private time interrupted, assumes the dude’s a not-so-subtle message from Monroe, and threatens him but good in typical Raylan fashion. Ah, but there ’tis a twist! Maybe the rump-patting, weed-smoking Allison isn’t quite so lovely afterall. You see, it turns out that goon was really on the hunt for Allison. After a very aggressive candygram from Raylan and a few gentle proddings with an aluminum bat, he learns that this guy thinks Allison planted meth during one of her visits in order to obtain cause to retrieve his son, Henry Jr, from the house. Chick is hardcore! Seriously, I’m worried about Raylan because if I found out someone I loved dabbled in meth-planting, I might question his or her moral code or something? Then, again, he’s probably just distracted by all those rump pats.
However, the confusion over the identity of the goon does not stop at Raylan. Turns out Monroe is a bit concerned because he’s keeping a ton of gold inside a secret safe in his house and worries that his lover/maid Gloria wants to steal from him. In a truly tender sequence, Monroe proceeds to choke her to the brink of death before smothering her nearly to death with a pillow in order to get to the truth. Ah, the sweet whimsy of #YoungLove! Who says romance is dead?
In the continuing saga of Boyd Crowder, he’s on the hunt for the moron who ripped him off at the end of last episode. And what do you know? First suspect: Cyrus, he of the BB addict skeet shooting***. Faster than you can say, “That’s not what Pop Rocks are for?” he gives up the identity of Candy, the lady of ill-repute he told about the incoming shipment.
***One of the best scenes of this show ever: Wyn Duffy shooting Cyrus with BBs as Boyd interrogates him. I could not stop laughing because, hey, karma. “Ear,” Duffy announces before landing a shot there. I seriously hope this show can continue to find ways to insert BB guns and/or pellets into the upcoming plot lines because, quite frankly, I’m not ready to part ways with Cyrus.
Fun fact if ever vacationing in Harlan: Ava is apparently a human rolodex of local prostitutes, a skill that admittedly does not help her through many cocktail parties. I can relate because I can name all six actors who have played James Bond—and in order, too. Or is it seven actors? Either way, I end up getting a lot of drinks thrown in my face due to my rolodexing skills, so I feel ya, A-dawg! Fortunately for Boyd, there’s only one place Ava can be, what with the impending threat of a murder trial, so he moseys on by the big house and asks his bride-to-be if she has any knowledge of specialists who completely misread the instructions on the Pop Rocks package once upon a time. I’m going to be honest, but Ava comes across as fairly grouchy in this scene. Maybe she hasn’t been getting eight solid hours of shut eye? Whatever the reason, she just wants to have a normal conversation with her future husband: for him to ask how she’s doing, for them to discuss Boyd nearly beating Paxton to death in his own living room, those sorts of things. Communication, folks: it keeps the heart of every relationship beating.**** Still, despite her foul mood, she comes through for Boyd; Carl tracks her down, and it turns out Candy’s working for Cousin Johnny. #AwkwardFamilyReunion
****Worth mentioning: Ava’s lawyer could be the spokesperson for Beats headphones. They really DO encase you in a sonic wall of music until everything else just fades away!
Given her recalcitrant assistance, I’m not sure how much Ava would appreciate Boyd’s clandestine tattoo-sharing session with the sexy Mara. Under the auspices of identifying any distinguishing markings on Boyd’s body so they can mark up a corpse to fake his death and keep a very much alive Paxton off their backs, Mara demands Boyd disrobe. This scene reminds me a great deal of that one from Jaws where they’re all gathered around, drinking and sharing their scars. Well, it would if Brody were a reformed Nazi. Or if Brody wanted to do lots of shirtless hugging with Hooper. But still, very similar all things told. Controversy warning: these two like each other as more than just friends and likely want to go bowling with each other ALL. NIGHT. LONG. Mark my words. Mark it, Dude!
Oh, Dewey Crowe, you magnificent bastard! Seems like Cousin Darryl marathoned a season’s worth of HGTV on his trip to Kentucky because homeslice is very concerned about the curb appeal of Dewey’s brothel. I’m no expert, but adding a few azaleas and a tasteful but inexpensive DIY trellis will probably not increase foot traffic. If you’re serious about this Real Estate Consultant title, you’d best get it together, Darryl. Still, he really thinks Boyd ripped Dewey off when he sold him the place and thinks he owes him one…hundred thousand, that is!
Dewey confronts Boyd, who spins him around and tells him to chase Darryl out of town. Time to step up and be a man, Dewey Crowe! Ever the apple polisher, Dewey follows instructions, and Darryl finds his fancies very much tickled (not a euphemism) by the display of authority from his typically mild-mannered cousin. Unfortunately, it seems like Darryl has not done a great deal of laundry in his time because he did a pretty poor job of explaining the drying process to Messer. Just kidding! Darryl straight up tortured Messer with a dryer until he confessed to skimming off the top in the name of none other than Boyd Crowder. Classic Darryl! Doesn’t look like our favorite Floridian tourist will be leaving Harlan any time soon.
This third episode continues the hot streak that Justified‘s been riding. The overlapping and interwoven plot lines give the overall narrative a head-spinning complexity, and the dialogue remains as fresh and hilarious as ever. Surprises keep getting fired at us one after another, and Justified knows that what keeps it in the upper echelon of the medium’s best is that it keeps them coming.
– Raylan: “Now here you are, all dinging and donging but don’t have the sense to ditch.”
– Boyd: “My colleague is apoplectic at the part you played in the loss of our product. I, on the other hand, understand you must have been an unwitting accomplice because you ain’t stupid enough to think you could rip me off and remain on this side of the god**** planet!”
– Boyd: “Family can be the perfect salve in difficult times.”
– Duffy: “You’re protecting me from a situation you created?”
Raylan: “You could see it that way if you want to dwell on the negatives.”