Justified got rid of the exposition last week in the S4 premiere, which means this week we can get down to the quick and dirty. And by quick and dirty, I mean: hang out with the Truth family.
Let’s bitch it out…This week Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) and the Marshal service make big strides towards cracking open the 30 year case from ‘Hole In The Wall’ – thanks mostly to a reveal by the Truth family, who are…colourful (to say the least). From the moment Milo picks up the fraudulent check and accuses the Marshals of being perverts, you know that these are some backwater hicks. I was particularly overjoyed to see character-actor Beth Grant as the Truth matriarch because she’s always such a delight (and frequently plays oddball characters). The Truths are clearly the kind of family that you cross the street to avoid, but they do provide some useful information: namely the body that dropped out of the sky was indeed Waldo Truth, which means that the man whose body they thought it was (Drew Thompson) remains at large.
The other half of the story concerns the rise to prominence of Preacher Billy (Joseph Mazzello) as a huge thorn in Boyd Crowder’s (Walton Goggins) empire: hookers like Ellen May (Abby Miller) are finding religion and drug sales are down. Not even Sheriff Shelby (Jim Beaver) wants to help – or rather he fails to see the wandering preacher as a problem, questioning whether the new addition might be good for the poor. Boyd sees things a little more cynically and believes the visitor is looking for a pay-out. When he suggests this – in front of a packed house of believers, no less – Billy flips the tables on Boyd and indicates that they will no longer accept donations from the congregation. It would be a masterful move if Boyd hadn’t already zeroed in on Billy’s sister, Cassie (Lindsay Pulsipher, of True Blood), as the real puppetmaster. And with that, I’m willing to bet Boyd’s found Billy’s weak link, though something tells me there’s more to this brother/sister act than we’ve been led to believe.
- I like the visual connection with the two scenes involving kids. Ellen May visits to see Billy and observes a group of kids sitting around the tent. Cassie suggests they babysit local kids, but we learn the truth soon enough: they are sent out around town to dispense the church’s funny money (let’s call it Billy Bucks, shall we?). Judging by how many show up at Boyd’s bar, do you think the preacher threw down the gauntlet at Boyd and his criminal empire on purpose?
- Speaking of criminal empires, hallelujah chorus, Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns) is back! My favourite Justified character returns looking tougher and more severe, killing a henchman for selling Dixie Mafia heroin on Boyd’s turf without batting an eye. This is not the same man we saw tag along with Robert Quarles (Neal McDonough) last season. I fear the silly, charismatic man I knew and loved is gone
- Turns out that inmate Arlo iced last week was a Dixie Mafia guy, which means Arlo (and possibly Boyd, David Meunier’s Johnny and Joelle Carter’s Ava by proxy) is in big trouble with Wynn and the Dixie Mafia. Not good
- Speaking of trouble, in a slightly random B (C?) plotline, Lindsey (Jenn Lyon), Raylan’s bartender squeeze, is married to an angry boxer (Robert Baker). He and Raylan are already off to a prickly start, so the mini-cliffhanger when the guy shows up at the bar as Raylan and Lindsey are macking should produce some fireworks next week
- No Rachel this week, but we do get Tim (Jacob Pitts) and Art (Nick Searcy). (Side Note: What is this, the Polkaroo? All three can never be seen together?) Both Tim and Art are in fine wisecracking form, though Art’s ‘retirement’ scene with a superior indicates just how much he regards Raylan as a problem-child that requires looking after. It’s not a very flattering portrait and Raylan’s flippant attitude in the car during the Truth stake-out indicates that he’s somehow fallen even further than before in Art’s eyes. Also: Art knows Raylan’s doing something illegal on the side with his time off (let the records show that Art is no dummy)
- Finally, I’m placing bets: who wants to bet that Ava kills Ellen May to ensure that she keeps quiet about the pimp murder last season? Is this more or less likely than Boyd’s friend, Colton Rhodes (Ron Eldard) kidnapping, torturing and killing someone else?
- Art (to Tim and Raylan): “We are going to stop for lunch before we go see the Truths in case you shoot one of them and then we won’t get to go.”
- Raylan (to Art, when he asks if Raylan has somewhere else to be): “I got a six o’clock pilates class I’m trying to make.”
- Tim (explaining why Raylan is so tired): “Smart money in the office pool’s on exotic dancers.”
- Mama Truth (reminiscing on a memorable courtship line she used on future-husband Waldo): “This snatch is off-limits.” Classic
- Wynn Duffy (when Boyd says he can trust him): “But I don’t trust the way you just said I could trust you.”
So the mystery of Waldo Truth is becoming clearer, even as the true reason Preacher Billy is in town seems further away. Did you enjoy our time with the Truth family? Are you interested in finding out about Lindsey’s husband? Do you want Boyd and Wynn Duffy to team up? And what is the real deal with Preacher Billy and his sister? Comment away below
Justified airs Tuesdays at 10pm EST on FX