A review of tonight’s “Justified” coming up just as soon as I figure out a way to keep a gun in my undershorts…
“I told you: I have a gift.” -Eve
When I interviewed Graham Yost at the end of last season, he referred to Quarles’ sleeve gun as his “superpower,” and there are certainly moments when “Justified” feels less like a 21st century Western than a Batman spin-off involving a distant Wayne family cousin who favors a big hat and Glock instead of a cowl and Batarang. (Not that this is a bad thing.)
I bring this up because “Truth and Consequences” is a “Justified” episode very much about powers – who has them, who’s just faking, and who may be losing them.
This is an episode where Raylan’s powers in particular are at a low ebb. He gives Lindsey’s ex-husband Randall a similar threat to leave town or else to the one he gave the Miami gangster way back in the pilot (slightly softer, in that his promise this time is for jail rather than a bullet), and at first is surprised to find that it worked. Instead, he returns to his shabby bedroom to find it ransacked, his baby cash all gone, and Lindsey gone with it – either abducted by her obsessed ex or a willing accomplice whom Raylan read as poorly as Randall himself.(*)
(*) I couldn’t instantly recall whether Lindsey owned the bar or was just the manager, and had to get FX to confirm that it’s the latter, which makes it much easier to accept the idea that she hustled Raylan once Randall came back into town; if it was the former, she’d be walking away from a lot.
Meanwhile, though Raylan and Tim are understandably skeptical of Eve Munro’s psychic abilities, she demonstrates at a minimum a Sherlock Holmes-level ability to piece together incredibly subtle physical clues that would tell her Raylan was hanging around in a gym, which gym it was, etc. But given that psychics are one of the areas where Elmore Leonard tends to be a bit open to mystery, I’m inclined to accept that the lady knows of which she speaks. And even if she doesn’t, that was a fun story that simultaneously worked as a standalone and the latest piece to the bigger mystery, which now ties in Theo Tonin. Any excuse to bring Adam Arkin back in front of the camera is fine by me.
Meanwhile, Boyd finally gets the better of Preacher Billy (and his sister) by realizing that Billy’s powers are wholly invented – even though he doesn’t realize that Billy’s ignorant to the whole thing until he’s in mid-demonstration. Boyd’s deduction happens fairly quickly – the doctor mentions that Jimmy’s in surprisingly good shape, considering all the bites, and then the next time we see Boyd, he’s bringing an un-milked snake for Billy to play with – and as a result is more of a distraction in the confrontation scene than I imagine was intended. But Joseph Mazzello’s performance largely made the payoff work, as did the idea that Boyd takes no pleasure out of this. He wanted these people gone because they were interfering with his business, but he’s been gripped by the same religious fervor that fuels Billy, and he can relate to a man who would let a poisonous snake bite him out of an overabundance of faith.
Another good outing. A bit rushed in spots, but overall I’m pleased with how the new season is balancing the big and small stories so far – and that’s without Raylan and Boyd sharing a single frame so far.
Some other thoughts:
* The mission to rehabilitate both Tim and Rachel continues in earnest, as Tim again accompanies Raylan on a case and Jacob Pitts gets to again demonstrate his fine sarcastic rapport with Timothy Olyphant, while we see that Rachel is starting to slowly turn into Raylan – to the point where Art needs to scold her about it, yet she goes to Raylan to talk about her personal life. Not all of it’s working – some of the Rachel stuff either was inserted after the fact, or was introduced in forgettable fashion in previous seasons – but I really do like how both Pitts and Ericz Tazel work with Olyphant. There’s always going to be some clumsiness owing to the fact that it took this long, but at least they’re starting to feel like actual parts of the show, as opposed to just exposition devices.
* If Devil’s plan had worked out, “we probably would have heard something by now.” -Wynn Duffy is the best.
* “Way to go, assholes!” -Or is Art Mullen the best?
* Is this just the first time I’ve noticed the Tombstone poster in Raylan’s bedroom? And any thoughts on why our man would have this, above all other Western posters, on that wall? Something about the movie? That shot of Russell, Kilmer, et al?
* Eve was played by Julia Campbell, who has some FX history as the wife of Jay Karnes (she appeared in “The Shield” finale as a potential Dutch love interest). Campbell’s a bit on the youngish side to have been married to Drew back in in the early ’80s, but probably no worse than the many actresses in their late 30s/early 40s asked to play parents to teenagers, backstory be damned – chronologically, it’s possible, but character-wise not always probable.
What did everybody else think?
Alan Sepinwall may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org