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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 ()


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Things We Learned:

  • 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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  • Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


    • Boothy K

      Walton has surpassed TO as my favourite/eye candy on the show. I love the way he talks and prophecizes...and his crazy hair.

    • Salieri2

      Good Lawd, Abby Miller. Heartbreaking, whether begging Ava to let her come back & work her way up from the bottom--"I'll take the ones nobody wants"--or just feeling the breeze in her fingers, thinking about home.

      I have to admit, I'd never thought Ron Eldard had much subtlety in him, but I've come to treat "Justified" as the actors' showcase of all actors' showcases. Excellent writing, excellent direction, solid production values: here is a knife and a fork my friend, see what you can cut with them.

      When Eldard popped up, that was my cue to wait and see why they thought he was worth casting, and he's just nailed it, every beat, to date. Honest to God, I think the closest thing we've seen to a bad actor on this show was, and it pains me, as a child of the 80s who wears leg warmers unironically in the freezing cold Midwest winters, Michael Ironside. Gah. I hope the return of Theo Tonin doesn't mean we see Sarno again.

    • sean

      I enjoyed this episode...but am overall disappointed by the season so far. Seasons 2 and 3 had two of the best bad guys in TV history. This season doesn't. It just sort of shuffles from moment to moment, none of which impact on each other. I do sometimes wonder if Raylan is needed on his own show. Boyd,Ava and the rest are far more interesting. And most importantly(I know I have said this before) Ellen May has the best teeth of any drug addicted trailer park whore in the world.

    • Rocabarra

      Excellent recap! The tears in Colt's eyes got me too - glad I wasn't the only one.

      As for Ellen May's whereabouts: I'm hoping Cassie and Ellen May are in cahoots. Ellen May is not bright enough to concoct any plans but Cassie seems too smart to be all grieving and no scheming. The guy calmly pumping gas (that runs away at the sight of Colt's gun) would indicate that Ellen May was not taken forcefully (since, as we saw, he probably would've run away.)

      Perhaps Ellen May had told Cassie what happened, and Cassie sent her off to get back in Boyd's and Ava's good graces, but once Ellen May told her of the plan to ship her off, Cassie followed. Girl milked snake venom for years, I don't think she'd shy away from getting her hands dirty.

    • Rocabarra

      Also, I cannot unsee Cassie as Crystal the 'were-panther' from True Blood. Ughhhhh.

    • Semilitterate

      Rawat*, sorry

    • Semilitterate

      Having recently completed the 100 episode run of Numb3rs on Netflix, It was shocking to see Navi Raat ripping off that mid-south drawl with the best of them.More Ravi,please, love her to death.

    • dizzylucy

      I love how incredibly complex and interesting all of the characters on this show are.

      Boyd and Ava deciding to kill Ellen Mae made me sad. I like Boyd so much I wave away a lot of the bad stuff he's done, but that was a hard moment.

      Never expected her to run off / be taken, I was expecting more of a solemn, finite ending to the episode like when Devil got it.

      Poor Raylan, he seems so lost. He knew Lindsay's game, but left the money there anyway, hoping she liked him enough not to do it. Loved Rachel running around with him though.

      I love this show so much.

    • Jerce

      Have I thanked you from the bottom of my heart recently for your EXCELLENT recapping skills? Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Your recaps are EXCELLENT.

      Just one other thing: Raylan does NOT need no haircut. I love the way that stuff swoops and drapes...*sigh*. Hat hair be damned. Damned, I say.

    • JoannaRobinson

      Awww! That's sweeter 'n Mags' Apple Pie!

    • F'mal DeHyde

      I dunno, Ellen May looked alarmed when she heard Colt would be driving her. I think she played them all.

    • Brett

      Certainly cements Boyd as nothing but evil..."It'll be quick...she'll never know." Yeah, that makes killing her totally OK. Hope it bites him soon.

    • Nadine

      See, an hour ago I would have agreed Ellen May isn't smart enough to figure out what that phone call was.

      But that last scene with Ava, where she makes such a damn point of saying out loud 'we killed Delroy' all but forcing to Ava to at least admit knowledge of the crime, I am absolutely convinced now she was recording it.

      Up to pretty much this episode, I have near heard or seen Ellen May as clear and sober as she sounded this entire episode. Her slur was gone, her voice was clear.

      I also fully love the idea Cassie has her and will in some way use her against them, but man. I was so certain I had her card, sweet, dopey little Ellen May. Now, I am really not sure, at all. I'm starting to wonder if I underestimated her.

      But that whole plot? Oh my god. I even accidentally got slightly a tiny bit spoiled for her ending(someone I know likes her only said 'i'm so happy she didn't get what I thought') but I watched it in total silence wondering what might happen.

      Ron Eldard has sort of suddenly become like...good? He's still not actually a good actor, his line readings are weird, but damn if it isn't just sort of working.

      Overall, I loved this episode. I am legitimately sad to see less of Russell, I really wish he could have somehow stuck around but ended up being on the good side. Like, he is genuinely very funny, and fun to watch. But I think the storyline was wrapped up in the exact perfect amount of time, so to drag it out would have ruined all the good work. But I want him to come back, he was great.

      I am sad to see Lindsey go, not just because it means (uugh) Winona is coming back for a while, but because she was everything I wished Winona was, she was like Winona from the pilot, the Winona I really enjoyed.

      Her voice was starting to bother me, though, so again, I'll miss her but it's okay she's gone now.

      I am now convinced CONVINCED that Shelby is linked both to Drew and the whole situation. OH MY GOD WHAT IF DREW IS SHELBY!?????????????????????????????????????????

      Ahem.

      Based on what's been said about Tim's subplot, I am also now wondering if Colt's little...moment right there is what links the two together.

      Like, they're gonna meet in a bar and share war stories or something...yeah.

      I really am struggling to like Ava this season. Joelle Carter is amazing and like...so beautiful it sort of makes my face ache, but I really...I just hate her.

      Great episode though, man I can't wait to get back to Drew, though.

      Tell you what I did wonder(they either haven't clarified or I missed it)?;

      Did the teenagers just happen to break into the house, and that is what made Theo send his thugs, when word came?

      Or did the teens get sent to get the bag by somebody? Theo? Some other bad guy?

    • dizzylucy

      Pretty sure Arlo sent them to get the bag.

    • Bodhi

      Lyndsay's voice was on the verge of making my ears bleed last night.

      It would be AMAZING if Shelby were Drew. AHMAZING.

      I need to find some gifs of Byod walking around in that vest, & pocket watch ensemble, I need to convince my husband that it is dead sexy

    • Nadine

      Also, seriously, we need to come up with ideas to make our menfolks wear these outfits. Naaaow

    • Fabius_Maximus

      We aren't all Olyphant thin, you know. He can wear stuff like that. Most of us other tripods can't.

    • Bodhi

      I think Raylan is the only one who can make that Canadian tuxedo hot, but Boyd's old-timey bad guy wear is wonderful.

    • JoannaRobinson

      This. Right here? The vest and coats. My stars and garters it WORKS.

    • Nadine

      The costuming on this show is god damned incredible. Boyd...makes me think things. Naughty things. But srsly, who ever is dressing these people deserves an award, absolutely EVERYONE looks great.
      Especially the men folks mmmmmmmmmmmmyessssssssssss

    • Nadine

      I need to learn how to make gifs, I think. Because there are soooooooooo may thingsssss

    • Slash

      What I'm thinking is Ellen May has hitched a ride back to "home," which will force Ava to kill her (or watch her be killed). I'd like to think she (Ellen May) is smart enough to see what was gonna happen, but I don't think she is. Or she's just too drug-addled.

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