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Cock Fights, D*ck Swinging And Ten Things We Learned From Last Night's "Justified"

By Joanna Robinson | TV Reviews | January 30, 2013 | Comments ()


  • Raylan needs a haircut. We know Timmy O. likes to grow his hair out in the off-season, but Raylan, my man, this cannot be Marshal-regulation hair. And it leaves you verra vulnerable to hat hair. Think about it.
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  • How much did Bartender Lindsay steal from Raylan's socks 'n boxers drawer? $20,000 aka "a goodly sum."
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  • I don't always pay attention to the cinematography on this show. The writing and the acting usually steal focus. But the blue light that bathed Ellen May, Boyd and Ava in this scene was chilling. It made an already tense scene extra ghoulish and menacing. Well done, everyone.
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  • I hope this isn't the last we've seen of Gina (or her flirtation with Rachel). Everything got all Kalinda from "The Good Wife" for a moment there and I was pleased as punch to watch Raylan get flustered. He's usually the one laying on the charm to get what he wants. This week Rachel got to play that game. Gina, by the by, was played Navi Rawat, who was middling at best on "The OC" and utterly fantastic here.
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  • Sister Cassie's grief and desire for revenge? Delicious. I really hope she stays around to make a whole lot of trouble for Boyd. Two of the "threats" to our protagonists (Randall and Billy) have been tied up in such a neat bow so early this season and it's clear the writers are going for less of a season-long menace. But "Justified" is at its best when two worthy opponents are given room and time to spar and jab at each other.
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  • Given that this episode was essentially one long d*ck-swinging exercise for Raylan, the cockfighting element was delightfully on the nose. And don't think it was lost on Lindsay.
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  • Ava's Pimp Hand may be strong, but her Pimp Hair is stronger. See, Ellen May, that's where you keep you should keep your secrets.
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  • The bean bag rounds made for a delightful final shoot out. But as good as Raylan looked (once again I refer you to the d*ck swinging motif), Lindsay looked better.
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  • This final sequence with Ellen May and Colt was, of course, what elevated this episode from a run-of-the-mill "Raylan tracks down the bad guy and sort of learns a little bit about himself maybe" episode. For me, there was a very strong Snow White and The Huntsman vibe (the fairy tale, not the stupid movie). Abby Miller has been doing fine work for three seasons on the show, but none so fine as tonight. But let's not forget Ron Eldard's contribution. The camera's focus on the tears in his eyes was absolutely chilling. Bottom line? This bird has flown. Sadly, I have trouble giving Ellen May enough credit to think she wised up on her own. The more likely scenario (given that the gas pump was still attached to the truck) is that she's been snatched. Hopefully by Sister Cassie St. Cyr. Either way we can agree that this sequence and the slow, agonizing way it unspooled is television at its finest.
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    Carnage:

  • None. Thanks to the bean bag rounds.

    Deputy Marshal Rachel Brooks and Deputy Marshal Tim Gutterson Line Count

  • Tim=0
  • Rachel=Too Many To Count.
    "You keep waving that little blade in my face I'm going to take it away from you and see who's singing who a little lullaby."

    Potential Yostian Guns
    Yost and his merry band of writers are fond of bringing items and actions from the beginning of the season back around in the finale. (See: Rail Gun, Quarles or Apple Pie, Mags.)

  • Sheriff Shelby's Drew Thompson autopsy report
  • Colt's Drug Problem
  • Boyd's Preacher Relations and his No-Tell Motel

    Favorite Lines:
    "I knew you liked me."
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    The Gist: In his journey this week, Raylan kept encountering mirrors of himself. There is, of course, Rachel. Newly divorced and eager to dig into the side work that Raylan's doing here. Rather than embrace that, Raylan sends her back to Art. He's not looking for a partner nor an opportunity to mold her in his image. In both fight promoter Joe Hoppus and the poor pummeled convenience store clerk, Raylan sees himself as the sap, the mark. It was refreshing to see those grimaces of pain and self-doubt because Raylan has been extra insufferable this season.
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    On the other side of the narrative coin, we have Ava. Graham Yost promised last year that he would be exploring Ava's choices and what it means for her to live in Boyd's world. The transformation truly started with the beating she gave Ellen May last season and came to a head this episode when she had to make an agonizing choice. It's worth noting that Boyd never forced her hand or even pushed her in that direction. In fact, the cleaner solution was his idea. But Ava's smart and poor Ellen May is not.
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    Joelle Carter absolutely delivered this episode (as she always does). And Walton Goggins? Well this one silent look froze my blood solid. Excellent episode, excellent performances.
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