The search for the body that goes with the amputated foot from last week’s episode dominates this week’s Justified as someone overplays their hand.
Let’s bitch it out…So just to recap for those of us on who were on vacation: last week’s revelation filled episode of Justified revealed a ton about Drew Thompson, the mysterious fugitive who’s been on the lam for thirty years, while also advancing the various plots to take down Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins).
This week more or less continues in that vein, although it’s a surprise that someone comes right out and makes a move instead of opting for subterfuge. That person would be Sheriff Shelby (Jim Beaver), who last week seemed like he would be a useful asset in the quest to take down Boyd. This week, however, I think Shelby makes an unfortunate errors as tips his hand way too early by taking in Boyd for questioning. Don’t get me wrong – I liked that someone finally just acted instead of plotted (Justified can deal in complicated twists at times, so it’s refreshing to see someone do something conventionally “right”). I do, however, think that Shelby should/would know better than this. Like Alan Sepinwall at Hitflix, the conventional approach to taking out your enemies is to plot sneakily, not be so forthright.This error will cost Shelby, as Boyd isn’t likely to forgive and forget anytime soon. At this point it’s just a question of who Boyd will take out first: Shelby or his cousin Johnny (David Meunier), who still plans to kill Boyd after he delivers mystery fugitive Drew Thompson to Wynn Duffy (an unseen Jere Burns).
On the plus side, more Jim Beaver is never a bad thing. He and Timothy Olyphant have a pleasant, relaxed energy in their scenes together (the show excels at throwing together characters and making me wish they had their own show). Although some narrative corners certainly got cut in the hunt to find Josiah Cairn (Gerald McRaney) before he bled to death after losing his foot, this caper reminds me just how well Justified balances its stand-alone procedural cases and its arc/mythology cases. It’s fun to watch pieces of the Drew Thompson case come together, even if he’s beginning to seem like a bit of a MacGuffin. I’ll be very interested to meet the mystery man when it’s all said and done (hit the comments with your suggestions on who they should cast!)
- As much as I love how detailed the backstories are for some characters (including Shleby’s lovely little bit of character development regarding the first time he pulled his gun), Justified can be challenging to review when we don’t even know some characters’ names. Case in point: what’s the name of Boyd’s lawyer (played by Romy Rosemont)? I had to track it down online to figure it out (it’s Sonya, BTW)
- At the same time, it is pretty awesome how even the smallest players on this show tend to return. Case in point: potty-mouth teen liar Roz (Alexandra Kyle) who turned up last week. This week we get the return of random Furry-loving Judge Arnold whom Ava (Joelle Carter) blackmails to get into a fancy swingers party. Fingers crossed that grouchy Native American Teddy returns again
- P.S. There are fancy swingers parties in Harland County??? Guess we’ll find out next week
- Still can’t believe that Boyd and Ava are going to get married. It really is bizarre to think that these two met on either end of a shotgun back at the start of the series. Who would have thunk it?
- I’m personally really interested to see how Colton’s (Ron Eldard) drug-addiction and his role in Ellen May’s (Abby Miller) non-murder will turn out. Considering Boyd’s other problems, having a loose canon like Colton running around beating hookers is bound to complicate things, especially now that Tim (Jacob Pitts) is onto him
- Finally, watching a couple of (typically idiotic) criminals nearly cauterize an amputated leg with a blowtorch is pretty disturbing…or would be had I not seen The Ruins. Break out the bleach for the brain, folks!
- Nick Searcy’s Art (punning about Raylan’s discovery): “He said that the game was afoot…Well I’m sure you’ll put your best foot forward.”
- Tim (to Colton): “Hey Boyd Crowder’s ride.”
- Raylan (to Arlo’s lawyer when she says her client is the dumb one of two dumb criminals): “That doesn’t narrow it down.”
Your turn: was this episode a success for you or did you feel that narratively is wasn’t as well constructed as other S4 episodes (as Noel Murray of AV TV Club suggests). Are you interested in seeing Colton’s fall? Who do you think Boyd will kill first: Shelby or Johnny? And are you excited for Ava’s second marriage to a Crowder? Sound off below
Justified airs Tuesdays at 10pm EST on FX