Justified delivers a solid stand-alone with an episode featuring two women going on the lam for very different reasons Plus, more Rachel (Erica Tazel)!
Let’s bitch it out…
While I always prefer the episodes of the series that focus on the central mystery/arc, I will admit that Justified knows how to do these stand-alone episodes better than any other show. In all fairness, this isn’t entirely stand-alone as we’ve known that Randall (Robert Baker) was going to be trouble since the moment he appeared in 4×02 ‘Where’s Waldo’. Although I wouldn’t have championed an entire episode spent tracking down Randall and Lindsey (Jenn Lyons) after they stole all of Raylan’s (Timothy Olyphant) baby money last episode, there are worse ways to spend an hour.
If nothing else it’s fun to see Rachel tag along and continue to gently mock Raylan, even as she’s clearly developing some kind of protege/mentor respect for him. The scene at the party/fight house alone is very amusing, as is the idea that Randall is so keen to spend Raylan’s money on cock fighting (this show excels in showcasing the most random criminal enterprises!). Less exciting is the finale: I enjoy the idea of people being shot with bean bag bullets as much as the next person, but the outcome of Randall and Raylan’s fight is far too predictable, as is the fact that Lindsey finally emerges as a full-blown femme fatale, shooting both men and fleeing the scene after gaining the upper hand.
More memorable is Ava’s (Joelle Carter) internal debate regarding what to do with former prostitute Ellen May (Abby Miller) when the latter comes crawling back looking for work. Ava’s never been afraid to get her hands dirty, but her actions have always been in self-defense or against men. This is an altogether different case and, like any good morality tale, Ava wrestles between her instinct for self-preservation and the death of a (more or less) naive innocent. I was legitimately uncertain which way she would go, although by the time Ava bids Ellen May goodbye and sends her away with Colt (Ron Eldard), it’s clear that Ellen May is not long for this world. It’s a nice twist of fate, then, that the prostitute bolts while Colt steels his nerves with a bump of coke in the gas station bathroom. Now both Colt and Ava are in big trouble!
- Like Hitflix’s Alan Sepinwall, I am a big fan of Navi Rawat as the female bartender who proposes wrestling with Raylan at the house party. I’m always amazed at how memorable even the most subsidiary character is on the show, so I definitely hope she returns down the road
- The sole mention of the 30 year old mystery is a quick glimpse of Sheriff Shelby’s (Jim Beaver) computer that reveals he’s looking into the case, as well. What’s his connection to all this?
- Finally, I’m probably crazy (or I’ve watched too many Scream movies), but I’m not convinced that Preacher Billy (an unseen Joseph Mazzello) is dead. Until I see the body, I’m certain that this is some kind of trick being played by Cassie (Lindsay Pulsipher) to get revenge on Boyd (Walton Goggins)
- Ava (sending Ellen May away): “Next time you give a blowjob because you want to.”
- Raylan (to Lindsay after she shoots him): “I knew you liked me.”
What did you think of Raylan’s pursuit of Lindsey and Randall? Are you happy that Rachel is getting more screentime? Were you surprised Ava ended up deciding to get rid of Ellen May? And – most importantly – are you excited for the return of Jere Burns next week (I am!)
Justified airs Tuesdays at 10pm EST on FX