The crazy thing about last night’s episode of Justified is that it started with a main character taking a bullet that seemed to have his name on it for weeks now, which understandably sent everything into a cartwheeling state of disarray, and yet, this morning, all I want to talk about is The Thing that Happened at the end. A man’s insides getting splattered all over an expensive hotel suite thanks to a tiny explosive hidden in a cigarette pack will have that effect on your priorities, I suppose. So let’s talk about that first.
One of the big themes of this season has been Boyd getting things taken away from him. The law took Ava, his cousin took his drugs, the Crowes took his other drugs (or were planning to, at least), the law took those drugs from the Crowes, and last week Ava took herself from him by ending their engagement over a jailhouse phone. Couple all of that with the fact that his exciting business relationship with Wynn Duffy — that he worked so hard to set up last season — was crumbling in spectacular fashion, including direct and indirect threats on his life, and the man was bound to lash out at some point. Now, did I see this coming, specifically?
No. No, I did not. Although maybe I should have. Between the repeated shots of what I referred to in my notes as “Chekhov’s cigarette” and the wild state of affairs on top of his head, Boyd was obviously up to something. And as he said himself, he may not know a lot of things, but he does know how to blow things up. Turns out one of those things is abdomens. A lesson to remember going forward.
As for Art, as I mentioned above, between him only having a short time until retirement, all the celebratory toasts and references to fishing, and his falling out with the show’s main character, he was just about due to suffer some calamitous fate. And once he and Allison had that fun conversation about Raylan that ended with her saying “I like you” (A+ and a rocketship sticker to Nick Searcy for his delivery of “Did he now?”), the clock was clearly ticking. None of that is a complaint, for the record. I just wanted to remind you that I called it. Kind of. I am a very gracious winner.
But anyway, the more important issue at play here is that the shooting of Art is about to kick-off the big Raylan/Daryl confrontation that we’ve been building to since the premiere. Raylan obviously believes Daryl is both (a) the shooter and (b) a scumbag who is basically using a child as a bulletproof vest, and seeing as (a) Art is “the one man who makes a difference” to him (which, aw), and (b) Raylan clearly has a soft spot for kids in general and Kendall specifically, things are setting up nicely for a showdown. If their conversation at the elevator is any indication, it’s gonna be a doozy. Two episodes left. Buckle in.
And now, the highlights:
- We met Mrs. Art last night, and according to Graham Yost in his postmortem at EW, she was played by Nick Searcy’s actual wife. Also, she is one tough lady. Her husband is in the hospital gripping to life with his fingernails, and she’s in the car with Raylan giving him guff and life lessons about being a parent. I like Mrs. Art. Hopeful it doesn’t take a tragedy to bring her back.
- I understand the reasoning for having Raylan do this the right way (or at least as close to “the right way” as Raylan can, which still involves threatening people in elevators, because baby steps), but I was so disappointed when he turned down Tim’s offer to go all scorched Earth after Art got shot. I wanted to see that. I still do. Hashtag True Detective Season Two.
- The Detroit chief flying in to fill-in for Art had kind of a bizarro Beverly Hills Cop feel to it, didn’t it? You know, because it was a no-nonsense chief instead of a renegade cop, and because it was Bumblenuts, Kentucky instead of Southern California? I’m the only one who thought this, aren’t I?
- On that subject, shoutout to Rachel for getting promoted to interim chief. I can’t wait until she tells Raylan no for the first time.
- That’s quite a mouth you’ve got for a lil old country grandma, Ms. Hale.
- Speaking of quotes, so many good ones…
- “Why would I help you besides the fact that you’re an asshole?” “That’s the only reason.”
- “The only explaining I ever did in my life was to my Mama.”
- “Procrastination has never be a part of my nature.”
- “Their asses may be dumb but they’re not dumbasses.”
- “Sh*t’ll kill ya.”
- “I may not know a lot of things but I do know how to blow sh*t up.” (I’m mentioning this twice because I love that Boyd was trying to be modest and self-deprecating moments after committing a spectacular homicide. Boyd Crowder is the greatest.)
- With Jay Leno off the air, Raylan Givens might be TV’s most notable denim aficionado. Discuss.
- NOTE: People will give you ice cream if you murder the Queen of the Prison.
- By my count, following Picker’s death, Wynn Duffy has now had someone’s vital organs blown all over his face three times during the show’s run. (The other two are discussed here.) That’s hard living.
- Speaking of Wynn, my stupid post about Boyd Crowder’s hair got posted on the official Justified Facebook page, and one user posted the following comment under it: “Boyds? What about Wayne Duffies?” What about Wayne Duffies, indeed.
- And speaking of Boyd’s hair, I watched my screener of this episode over the weekend, and I spent pretty much the entire time between then and last night trying to come up with something for the Boyd Crowder Hair Threat Level that would do his actions justice. I settled on OUTLAW PORCUPINE, which is also the name of an Adult Swim show I am willing to write and produce for free.
- MIKE, LOCK THE DOOR.
Okay, that’s it for me. Feel free to add your thoughts below. Thanks as always to Chet for the GIFs, and for his excellent work in documenting the big kaboom moment. Please do not ruin my hotel room.