Boyd Crowder has said lots of things over the five-plus season run of Justified, many of them tucked inside flowing speeches that contain a handful of five-dollar polysyllabic words, but if you want to get straight to his core and see what he’s all about, you could do a lot worse than this sentence from last night: “Never let politics stand in the way of business.” That’s basically his entire philosophy. He was a Nazi when it suited him to be a Nazi, he found Jesus when it suited him to find Jesus, and he has never once — as far as I can remember — passed up the chance to form a profitable or otherwise useful partnership because of personal differences.
We saw it again last night. A short time after Daryl and Jean-Baptiste tried to intimidate him in his own bar, and an even shorter time after Dewey and Danny kidnapped his bartender and roughed him up in a secluded mountain cabin (Johnny’s could really use a guard dog or something), he waltzed right into Audrey’s and proposed they all start working together. His only real soft spot is Ava, and even that relationship is founded in the same set of beliefs, seeing as it started not all that long after she ended her marriage to his brother via shotgun. Different kind of business, I suppose. The man is nothing if not consistent, even when he’s being inconsistent.
Contrast all of that with Raylan, who can’t help but hold the grudges he’s developed over a lifetime of putting his work and personal life in a blender and hitting “Purée.” It’s like they say: Different strokes for different folks. Except maybe replace “strokes” with “reasons to have shot a lot of people.” Doesn’t roll off the tongue quite the same, but it’s definitely more accurate.
And now, the highlights:
- Hot damn, how good was that opening scene? Art drinking alone in the bar, the rain, the directing, the acting, all of it. For a show known for hanging its proverbial cowboy hat on its excellent dialogue, those few minutes managed to sum up the current state of Art and Raylan’s relationship with almost nothing but the sound of knuckle on cheekbone.
- I like to think Art was at the bar for hours prior to that moment — getting dumptrucked on double bourbons — and walked out without paying his tab. I don’t know why I like to think that, but I really do.
- “What, you slip in Art’s shower? Because that’s how he hurt his hand.”
- Awwww. The big dumb Nazi thought he could double-cross Boyd. How cute. It was like watching a baby deer try to walk for the first time. And then getting beaten up by a giant Florida redneck. You may think my analogy just fell apart. I say give Florida a couple weeks.
- “Keep her in tuna and Kool-Aid” is an excellent phrase and I think we should all start using it to signify sudden wealth even in non-literal, non-prison context. “Did the baby stop crying yet?” “Yup. Just gave her her binky.” “That oughta keep her in tuna and Kool-Aid for a few hours.”
- Speaking of Ava-in-prison-related matters, here’s Graham Yost from his EW Post-Mortem on that hair-cutting attack scene, which I now love three or four times more. (See also).
The funniest thing is that the person in the scene who’s actually cutting her hair, and she was actually cutting Joelle’s hair in the scene, is our hair stylist [Maxine Morris]. [Laughs] Apparently when she was first doing it, she was doing it like a hair stylist — like little trims — and they were like, “No, you’ve gotta cut off a chunk of her hair!” “Okay, okay, okay.” Joelle was really back and forth right up until a couple days before. She said the sweetest thing. She said she’d always thought that she might get asked to cut her hair for a role sometime and she’d decided she would only do it if it was something that really mattered to her, and Justified matters to her. We felt it was really game of her to agree to do it. We wanted that kind of reverse Samson thing in that you will see, out of desperation and out of need, a certain growth in her character.
- My favorite moment of the episode, by far, and it’s not even close, was Dewey Crowe explaining that a $1000 above-ground pool between a whorehouse and a trailer was an essential part of “his dream,” and that he’s not giving up on it. I am somehow now rooting for Dewey Crowe, the man, even as I am rooting for all of his cockamamie schemes to fail. I’m so conflicted. Maybe Art can adopt him like Colvin did with Namond on The Wire. I would like that.
- Wendy Crowe has a way of making some of the meanest, most cutting sentences sound sweet enough to rot your teeth. She is now my second favorite Crowe. (Crowe Power Rankings: 1) Dewey. 2) Wendy. 3) Kendall. 4) Danny. 5) Darryl.)
- Shoutout to Carl the Bartender, who really owned his two big scenes last night: the stand-off in the bar, and the bit with Raylan, Rachel, and Danny in the cabin.
- Everything about Raylan and Rachel’s escapade last night — needing to “come up with an excuse” for going down to the basement to count the bullets in inventory because they were afraid people would get to talkin’; her joining him in his revenge mission and taking great pleasure in busting Danny Crowe’s nose; their conversation in the car on the way back home — just confirms what I said a few weeks back: Raylan and Rachel need to cut the bullsh*t and get married. Boyd can do the ceremony. It’ll be Harlan’s social event of the summer.
- Speaking of Rachel (and the actress who plays her, Erica Tazel), please note this quote from Timothy Olyphant about his relationship with Elmore Leonard: “My relationship with Elmore was, we rarely spoke about the show. When we did talk about the show, he just wanted to know what Natalie Zea was like or what Erica Tazel was like. ‘I like her, she’s cool. You should write more for her.’” Elmore, you old dog you.
- On the topic of Raylan’s actual love life, that speech near the end from Allison really summed things up nicely: Raylan’s a firefighter who likes charging into buildings that he set ablaze himself.
- I wish they had stuck with that scene a few seconds longer, after Raylan made his thoughtful face, so Amy Smart could have said “What a Kodak moment. Star U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens wonderin’ who he really is.”
- Boyd’s big Mexican drug deal (Movie Pitch: Boyd’s Big Mexican Drug Deal) is going to hell all around him. He’s fully committed to the cartel and their Korean representative, and Hot Rod just tipped him off — via a callback to Season 2 — that their side of the deal is full of potential potholes. The teasers for the next episode imply this will become an issue. As did this.
Okay, that’s it for me. No new episode next week, as FX is putting the show on hiatus for a week due to the Olympics. Thanks as always to Chet Manley for the GIFs. Please do not send your Nazi sister to forcibly cut my hair off.