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The Game's Afoot And 10 Things We Learned From Last Night's Episode Of "Justified"

By Joanna Robinson | TV Reviews | February 6, 2013 | Comments ()


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Things We Learned:

  • It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that if you're a fun character on "Justified," you won't stay in jail for long. Of course, Arlo's not officially out yet but after Boyd's ridiculously short stint and Dickie Bennet's now he's in and now he's out of last year, I'm beginning to doubt the severity of a Kentucky jail sentence. That being said, this threat of Arlo's release gives Raylan excellent motivation to find Drew Thompson and the whole race against the clock aspect provides us with a new level of tension.

  • In an episode brimming with old familiar faces, it was fun to see the return of FBI Agent Jeremy Barkley and US Attorney David Vasquez. Vasquez, especially, is just the kind of recurring background character that "Justified" uses so well to develop unobtrusive, casual world building and continuity.
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  • Ah but, of course, Agent Barkley didn't last long. As someone on Twitter noticed, poor ol' Stephen Tobolowsky bit the bullet awfully close to Groundhog Day. We also met a new member of the Dixie Mafia, Nick Augustin, played by the wonderful Mike O'Malley. I do hope we eventually see the return of Adam Arkin as Tonin himself, but I'm quite happy that this new henchmen is in the picture. Finally, if I were Wynn Duffy, I would just go ahead and get a new Winnebago. Too much bad sh*t has gone down in this one.
    Jere-Burns-in-Justified-Kin.jpg

  • There are few things I love more than a Raylan/Boyd scene (we'll get to that in a minute), but these Duffy/Crowder scenes are a close second. This bit of verbal tennis reminded me an awful lot of Boyd's "carpetbagger" speech from last year. I haven't decided yet whether I loved the way the camera was spinning around these two, but I've decided that it's an implication that the crew was as excited as we were.
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  • Speaking of continuity, we get the return of Patton Oswalt's Constable Bob as well as little Brace Face. And as excited as I was by Mike O'Malley, I was over the moon to see Gerald McRaney (aka "Major Dad" aka Mr. Delta Burke) show up as Brace Face's step-daddy, Josiah Cairn. As someone pointed out to me, this is another in a long line of "Deadwood" reunions, but McRaney is the kind of actor (with a built-in drawl) who damn well belongs in the Holler. Perfect casting.
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  • I don't really love the Johnny Crowder plotline this season. Do we really think he's going to get the drop on Boyd? Do we honestly think this will end any way other than him joining Devil down in that hole? Maybe he'll surprise me. I am glad they gave us an Ava scene this episode so we could see how the Ellen May aftermath with sitting with her. Not too well it would appear. Having her handle all of Ellen May's pathetic little stuffed animals? That was a cruel and beautiful touch.
    Screen Shot 2013-02-06 at 9.02.45 AM.png

  • Hill People! We were promised Hill People this season, and Graham Yost, bless his heart, he Delivered. The back of my brain was itching as to where I had seen Cousin Mary (Bonita Friedericy) before. Of course, under all that dirt, she's the General from "Chuck." I really loved this segment (and not just because that hulking bearded kid from "Sons Of Anarchy" showed up). I'll talk about this more later but the whole "kin test" ties so nicely into the bigger picture of this episode.
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  • Speaking of connections, I loved the mirroring we got with Tim Gutterson and Colton Rhodes. Two sides of the same coin. Beautifully shot and perfectly acted.
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  • My my my, Sheriff Shelby. Well played. Ellen May, little tortured spaniel that she is, is safe for the time being. Shelby's looking for incriminating information on the Crowders and she's got it. I'm so glad the excellent Jim Beaver has a significant role this season.
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    Carnage:

  • Agent Jeremy Barkley (Cause: Nick Augustin's Lack Of Respect For Childhood Nostalgia.)
  • Josiah Cairn's Foot (Cause: That Saw Raylan Was So Convinced Colton Rhodes Would Need.)

    Deputy Marshal Rachel Brooks and Deputy Marshal Tim Gutterson Line Count:

  • Rachel=1
  • Tim=10
    I'm loving what they're finally doing with these two. Not just the increased line count, but the significant character development. Though it was clumsily introduced via exposition early on, Rachel's divorce and Tim's PTSD are absolutely coming into play. That's more characterization than they've had throughout the run of the show and it's about damn time.
    "I dunno, I was probably too young to be blowing the heads off of Taliban. Guess it all evens out."
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    Winona B*tchwatch:
    Alright, Winona's back. And though she was her usual abrasive self, chastising Raylan from the get-go, I think we can all agree that Raylan deserved it. Unequivocally. He's being a major ass and she's carrying a baby, I don't begrudge her that crankiness.
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    Favorite Lines:

  • Boyd: "Whole world's a tree Raylan. I'm just a squirrel trying to get a nut."
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  • Wynn: "Any cats? Do you see any cats?"
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  • Boyd: "What precipitated the change in your weathervane?"
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  • Raylan: "You got a saw? You're gonna need a saw."

    What Do We Know About Drew Thompson?

  • According To Nicky Augustin: He stole $2 million dollars worth of cocaine and shot Theo Tonin in the eye. (Does this look like a man who's been shot in the eye?)
  • According to Josiah Cairn: He busted up his legs and was hiding out with the hill people as they nursed him back to health.
  • According To Cousin Mary: He's in Harlan County. He enjoys bluegrass music. As of ten years ago he was rubbing elbows with the Mayor et. al. The "you're on the wrong hill" comment made me think briefly that he might be on Capitol Hill.
  • According To Logic: He should be about Arlo's age. It would be better for the plot if he were someone we already know.
  • Best Candidates: Sheriff Shelby? (Jim Beaver's 62, the actor who plays Arlo is 73)
    Josiah Cairn? (Gerald McRaney is 65) Personally, my money's on Cairn. Mostly because I want to see much more of McRaney.

    The Gist: The one word title of this episode "Kin" says it all. For the entirety of the series, we've been dealing with Raylan Givens desperately trying to prove he's not his father's son. Winona's pregnancy and his impending fatherhood throws even more light on that struggle. The major tension of the Drew Thompson mystery has become can Raylan keep Arlo in prison. Can he keep that part of himself that he so hates, that is the source of all his anger, locked away? And should he? It's telling that at the beginning of the episode, Raylan says "I figured I'd go back to where it started: Harlan County." And that's where the show will always bring him. Not just because it's so much fun to see him spark and spar with Boyd Crowder, but because that journey of self-discovery and self-confrontation is at the root of this tightly wound hero. And in order to survive this episode, Raylan had to lay claim to the most backwards side of his family. Timothy Olyphant did a brilliant job communicating that palpable relief and sweetness when Mary said to him "I see Frances in you." And then, of course, through a typical Elmore Leonard plot twist, Boyd and Raylan are thrown back together. Their mirrored path (like that of Deputy Tim and Colton) and their reluctant brotherhood is one of the deepest joys of "Justified." (Not to mention the sheer comic relief e.g. Goggins' delivery of "I don't like your plan Raylan" as he's dragged out of the box.) These two men, Givens and Crowder, are still living in the shadows of their fathers and their fathers' misdeeds. Brothers, sons and fathers: kin is at the very root of the "Justified" yarn.
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  • Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


    • " We were promised Hill People this season, and Graham Yost, bless his heart, he Delivered."

      I seen what you done did thar.

    • Rocabarra

      Ditto on loving Boyd's line "I don't like your plan Raylan!" as he was dragged out, haha. Fantastic!

      I think my favourite moment though was when Mary said they could do what they wanted with Boyd, and the pained look on Raylan's face as he said "Wait, wait, wait" - their brotherhood is a reluctant one, but it is nevertheless a brotherhood. By far, the best part of this show is their relationship.

      My vision for when this show ends is a flash-forward to Boyd and Raylan as old men, sparring like old times on a porch somewhere, each of them poised to pull a gun on the other and yet knowing they'd never shoot it.

    • gforcetwo

      I want to go to the there of the Hill People Wearhouse wear Boyd shops for his kick ass Hillbilly Hipster threads.

      Can a man dream of another man's shawl-collared jacket and not be more than 40% gay?

    • JoannaRobinson

      Dude....DUDE that jacket.

    • Boothy K

      LOVE THAT JACKET! And want Goggins babies.

    • Pajiba_Pragmatist

      Can we all agree that Wynn Duffy's forehead is a masterpiece in sillyputty and eyebrows? How does that even happen? It's botox smooth and yet all arched and wrinkly around the eyebrows...

    • dizzylucy

      There's never been an episode that disappointed me, but wow, I loved this one, for all the reasons mentioned here.
      I just really love how deeply the audience can read into the characters, their motivations, the back story, all of it. The relationships, especially the Raylan/Arlo and Raylan/Boyd, are so complex and developed, even with fairly minimal dialogue about it. Thinking back to the pilot, the "we dug coal together" line was so simple, but the episode managed to give us so much about them. There are few shows out there able to do that.

      I've been wondering if it's Shelby for a few episodes now, but after meeting Josiah, I'm wondering about him too - if you're "hiding" and people come around looking for you, what better way to dispose of them than to send them up the hill, where they don't take kindly to strangers? And if that doesn't work and people are closing in, yet you are electronically tethered to one place...would you be willing to do that to escape having to face Tonin? Or did Tonin's guys find him and haul him out of there, minus a foot? Of course, I kind of think they'd have kept the foot, it'd go nicely with the ear he carries around.

    • wsapnin

      This was such a great episode. I even dreamed last night that Raylan Givens was my boyfriend and rescued me from some kind of pickle that I can't quite assemble with any clarity. But then my damned cat woke me up. I was so pissed I willed myself back to the dream..except this time he was Timothy Olyphant and we were just chatting. I wonder how mr.wsapnin will feel about this?

    • jollies

      Gerald McRaney and Timothy Olyphant together again gave me some serious Deadwood deja vu. For a second my mind shifted to George Hearst and Seth Bullock just like is was 2006 all over again.
      Wow. 2006. It's time to watch Deadwood again ...

    • Rocabarra

      I thought you were going to say "some serious Deadwood wood" :D
      You're right, I think it's time to bust out the ol' box set!

    • upstate

      "Livewood"?

    • Nathan Convey

      Every time Tim appears I lean forward a little in my seat. I love all the other characters but there's just something about Tim...

    • The_Ghost_of_Bo_Crowder

      "Kentucky's a lot like like Afghanistan. Full of clans led by men with beards who like shooting at each other."

      Is there a better written show on TV right now?

    • deasiabaldwin

      How was Winona even remotely abrasive or chastising "from the get go"(I know it's just to have something to bitch about for the character) when the first thing out of Raylans mouth was that she was 15 minutes late? I know you hate her, but really?!

    • dizzylucy

      I felt the same way, nothing abrasive about her at all. In fact, I found her very accepting - not happy, maybe, but accepting, of Raylan being late and taking off early. He's not ready to be who she needs him to be, but it seems like she's willing to wait.

    • F'mal DeHyde

      I didn't see her acting bitchy at all, not even a little. She was smiling and pleasant and the one moment where it looked like she was going into bitch mode, we found out the baby moved and she took Raylan's hand to feel it. She was beautiful and charming. Getting tired of the irrational dislike for this character on this site. Stop it.

    • Nadine

      I had the same reaction to her, I really did. Even as I sat there going 'Oh my god Raylan is a DICK' I was rolling my eyes at how she was.

      I think it's as much her body language as whether or not she is in the right. She issometimes, not always, but sometimes played, for me at least, sort of cold and a little uptight. Natalie Zea can throw in these wonderful soft, affectionate moments(the baby kicking and her casual, familiar poking his bruise) but I think other times(ad for parts of that brief scene) she has a stiffness sometimes that, for me, is what sets me on edge with her.

    • Boothy K

      Okay. This actress. I feel her sucking energy out of scenes. She's on the new show The Following with Kevin Bacon and she sucks the energy out of him too. Maybe it's the character, maybe it's the actress, I don't know, but the scenes just feel drained as soon as she shows up...Which is a shame, because she's beautiful and probably very pleasant.

    • Jerce

      Sheriff Shelby is Drew Thompson. Mark my words. Mark 'em, I said.

    • Slash

      That would be kinda awesome.

    • Judge Reardon is Drew Thompson, maybe? There was an implication from Mary that he was some sort of official. I'm not being entirely serious, but it's a fun discussion.

    • protoformX

      I was thinking the other day on the "Who is Drew Thompson?" And thought about Stephen Root's judge (in a thong and holstered pistol under his robe) and how awesome it would be if he was the culprit... especially since Jimmy James was D.B. Cooper on NewsRadio

    • dan vs captain

      yeah i really like this idea, great role for Stephen Root to play too

    • JoannaRobinson

      Stephen Root?! GREAT GUESS!

    • Nadine

      I wondered exactly the same thing AND I WANT IT SO MUCH I CAN'T EVEN HANDLE THE IDEA IT COULD BE THE CASE.

      I am, however, deadly serious in wondering if it's the Hammer.

    • Utopian

      Am I missing something or did Pajiba just completely skip out on the last couple episodes of American Horror Story?

    • JoannaRobinson

      I completely skipped out. I could not even deal with the crazy. Fierce smackings and wackings if you're so inclined.

    • Max

      I can't look at Mike O'Malley and not reminisce fondly of Nickelodeon GUTS

    • Nadine

      oh my god i have SO many feels.

      It would seem that we all screen capped the same achingly beautiful shot of Tim and Rhodes(It is already my desktop) and the more I look at it the more I love it.

      Pitts made comments in interviews back in S1 that he had noticed the ex army technical advisors they work with all have arguably 'immature' hobbies, like reading YA books, comics, playing video games, etc.

      Apparently Pitts also found out some PTSD sufferers regress to a time before their trauma and this was written in to this scene.

      The line about the Taliban was fucking excellent, Raylan's reaction was perfect, '..........'. I wanted that Homer Simpson melding back into the hedgrow gif to pop up somewhere.

      Also excellent was the fact Raylan really did say nothing. He just left to go and do his own shit, which is so consistent. Many, many fan girls (sometimes that includes me, though not always) would have given their own left foot to have had Raylan offer to 'talk about it' and there to be FEELS but the absolute inability to come up with something was perfect.

      Supposedly, next week really begins to ratchet things up, so I, clearly, obviously, I just can not fucking wait.

      The confirmation Drew is in Harlan sent me back to Shelby again, I have to admit. Part of me thinks there is no way they would give Shelby the Ellen May sub plot and ALSO have him turn out to be Drew.

      Part of me thinks if he was Drew, he would have more reason than anyone to know just how sneaky a Crowder can be.
      I think the Bluesgrass festival hint will be a big clue, personally. I don't know HOW but I know it will.

      Wynn Duffy is my favourite, guys. I can't dael with him. I love him SO much. I love that he doesn't so much as blink when FBI agents are executed six inches from his head. I love how he has had the SAME FUCKING GUY for EVER and this dude is just...ultra loyal. He gets threatened, he gets his ass beat, he gets arrested.

      Seriously, is Wynn gay and that dude is as much his lover as his bodyguard? They stand hella close sometimes...

      I personally think Tim Olyphants ooooh minute long almost wordless reaction to the news Arlo might walk was fucking beautiful. He looked like such a scared little kid, just excellent.

      I'm just...I'm breathless, what an excellent episode. I had some issues with season 3, but this entire Drew/Hill People thing, and the slow build with Rachel and especially Gutterson, it's taking me back to the vibe season 2 had, that...folklorey, fates about to clash sort of feeling. Terrible things are going to happen.

      I love it,

    • The captain vs dan dority

      maybe Shelby took Ellen Mae to have some leverage with Boyd when Boyd finds out he is Drew Thompson.

    • Nadine

      Ohh! That works!

      Wait, someone remind me, how did Boyd get to Josiah? Josiah sent him up the hill, but how did he find Josiah in the first place? Did he just get the info on the break in at Raylan's and make the connection with the last name like Raylan did?

    • dan vs captain

      The chick with the braces is his daughter, so I'm sure Boyd put two and two together. Also I doubt there's anyone over 30 Boyd doesn't know in his neck of the woods.

    • Nadine

      True, true

    • The captain vs dan dority

      anyone else feel like boyd got handcuffed to that tree way too easily?

    • jollies

      Totally. When Raylan pulled the "Let's shake on it" bit, I knew the handcuffs were coming out. I just couldn't believe Boyd fell for it. For a moment, that made Boyd the dumbest smart guy on the show.

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