This episode was all about the main characters dealing with problems and how to trust even those closest to them, including family.
Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) was having a grand old time in the opulent home of Charles Monroe (Xander Berkeley), a money launderer for the Detroit Mob. He had company: Alison (Amy Smart), who was Loretta McCready's (Kaitlyn Dever) case worker. They weren't discussing work. Givens got interrupted twice, once by his boss, Art Mullen (Nick Searcy), who told him the case against Monroe was falling apart. The second interruption was a in the form of a rather large man named Henry Granger, outside with a baseball bat. Granger wasn't there to intimidate Givens: he may have been part of a plot to rob the Monroe house. It also turned out that Allison had planted evidence that wound up having Granger, who was a meth cook, lose custody of his child. Givens later visited Granger and set him straight and told him to never bother Alison again. Then, luck fell in their lap: Gloria, Monroe's 'maid'/girlfriend, came over and tried to open a hidden safe with bars of gold in it. It turned out the safe had been installed by Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns). So they had Gloria plant the idea that Duffy was the one who stole the money from the safe. Monroe took the bait and tried to kill Duffy, but got shot by Duffy's goon with Givens and Marshal Rachel Brooks (Erica Tazel) present. That problem solved, Givens and Allison picked up where they left off, though the seed of doubt had been planted that she was another in a string of no-good women that Givens was turning a blind eye to.
Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) started off trying to figure out who had stolen his drug shipment in the last episode. Aft first he thought Duffy had double-crossed him. After the bushy-eyebrowed criminal disabused him of that notion, he had a drug dealer, Cyrus (Bill Tangradi) brought in. After Duffy terrorized him by shooting a BB gun at his face repeatedly. Cyrus blurted out that he had told a hooker who had a thing for ... ahem ... pleasuring men with candy like Pop Rocks. (These events with Duffy all took place before the shootout with Monroe at Duffy's bus.) Boyd visited his fiance, Ava Crowder (Joelle Carter), in jail to see if she knew who the hooker was, since she used to be a madam. Ava didn't seem too impressed by his efforts to spring her and they fought about why Ava was there, exactly. She did apparently did give him the name of the hooker, though. Of course, Boyd, being a career criminal, had multiple problems. Lee Paxton (Sam Anderson), the man Boyd had beaten into a coma, was now awake and and wanted the sherriff, Mooney (William Gregory Lee) to kill him. Boyd, wanting to stay on this planet as long as he could, partnered with Paxton's wife, Mara (Karolina Wydra) and got her to get the jump on Mooney. Well, not exactly the jump ... she got a grip on him, if you know what I mean, while Boyd aimed a gun at his back. It looked like Mooney was Team Boyd again ... for now. They were going to have Mooney tell Lee that he had killed Boyd, and Mara was going to show him a picture of a dead man's hand with the same tattoo as Boyd's on it. That was an easy enough job, since Mara ran a funeral parlor and there would be no shortage of bodies. Boyd then brought had the hooker brought in a trunk. He took her cell phone and called a number and said, "Hello, cousin Johnny." It appeared that Johnny Crowder (David Meunier) was the traitor.
Dewey Crowe (Damon Herriman) had problems of his own. His cousin Darryl (Michael Rapaport) was still there, despite his obvious displeasure. Darryl told him that he was being ripped off, since he should have been making more money than he was. He pointed to a hotel that cost half of what Dewey had paid Boyd for this whorehouse. Dewey ran to Boyd to get a refund but the silver-tongued Crowder told him to stand up for himself, which he did. After he chewed out Darryl and told him to hit the road, Darryl, who admired him for his stance, took him to a back room and showed him why he was making less than he should. His employee, Wade Messer (James Le Gros), was skimming on behalf of Boyd. Darryl told Dewey that he needed to kill Messer, since he had stolen from him.
Nobody died in this episode, though it doesn't look good for Messer. Givens also gave Granger quite the bloody nose and Monroe apparently pulled through despite being shot by Duffy's bodyguard, Mikey.
"You wanna tell me why you had Captain Fauxhawk drag me over here?" -- Cyrus to Boyd.
"If you take those headphones off again, I'm going to staple them to your g-----n head!" --Boyd to Ava's lawyer, who wore them during their jailhouse chat so as to not hear their illicit discussions.
State of Boyd/Ava
There are already cracks in the relationship. Ava was very dismissive of Boyd during her jailhouse chat and Boyd and Mara seemed to be very sexually charged the scene when she looked over his chest and arms for a tattoo. It doesn't look like there will be wedding bells.
State of Raylan Givens
Well, there wasn't mention of Mullen looking more into the Nicky Augustine murders, but there was the sense that his boss was going to keep treating him like a child. First, there were the phone calls while Givens was at Monroe's place and then he had Brooks babysit him after the first run-in with Granger. On top of that, nobody seems to believe that Givens has good taste in women and that Allison is not going to be another woman who steals a piece of him, either physically, spiritually or materially (Yes, a woman once absconded with his money).
State of Boyd Crowder
Boyd's in a bad place now, but that's usually the spot where the head of a criminal empire is. Everybody's gunning for him and he's dealing with them as quickly as his facile mind can. It's going to be interesting to see how he takes on Johnny. He seemed to take a step back from that edge of insanity that he had teetered on in the season premiere, but it's a short stumble away.
It’s simultaneously encouraging and frustrating to see an actor you like constantly teetering on the verge of being a household name. Ben Foster, one of the stars of the upcoming action thriller Contraband, is one such talent. He’s found himself in several high profile films and otherwise blockbustery fare, but A-list status seems to elude him. Before you race off to see Contraband this weekend, refresh yourself with some of Foster’s best performances over the last few years.
X-Men 3: The Last Stand
Though reception to the third film in the X-Men franchise from fans was less than warm, Ben Foster turned in an excellent portrayal of one of the source material’s original characters. Foster brought a great deal of weight and pathos to the role of Warren Worthington III, a mutant blessed with (or cursed with depending on your outlook) with a pair of angelic wings sprouting from his back that grant him the ability to fly. It’s no surprise that his heroic moniker was Angel, later Archangel. My only complaint with his role in X-Men 3: The Last Stand is that he kicks the film off with such an emotional resonance and then is given little to do from that point forward. We need more Foster!
3:10 To Yuma
Major studios rarely touch the classic western genre these days; not that they no longer exist of course, by they are by no means as prevalent as they once were. The 2007 remake of 3:10 to Yuma stands as one of my favorite modern westerns. The film follows a downtrodden rancher, who agrees to escort a ruthless, recently-captured outlaw to his scheduled train ride to Yuma, which will deliver him to trial. Along the way, members of the outlaw’s gang do all they can to free their leader. The most frightening of these gang members is the sinister Charlie Prince. Foster plays Prince with an ice-cold disdain for all human life that would allow his character to feel equally at home in a horror film. It gives me goose bumps just recalling his heinous deeds in the film.
Another remake in which Foster found himself was last year’s The Mechanic. Originally a 1972 vehicle for Charles Bronson, the Bronson part in the remake being occupied by Jason Statham, The Mechanic is about a seasoned hit man who takes a young upstart killer under his wing. What was so impressive about The Mechanic was how adeptly Foster held his own against Statham in the action sequences. By now, Statham has become recognized for his action chops, but Foster was still largely a question mark going into The Mechanic. Foster not only proved his action movie mettle, but was also more emotionally compelling than Jan-Michael Vincent who had played his role in the original.
These days, it seems like some of the best science-fiction films that get released do so completely (forgive us) under the radar. Such was definitely the case with 2009’s Pandorum. The film centers on two members of a spaceship’s crew who come out of cryogenic sleep with no memory of their mission and no sign of any other crew. However, they are far from alone. I can’t recommend this film highly enough; it is a fantastic mix of thoughtful sci-fi and blisteringly entertaining action. Foster once again shows his leading man potential as one of the two unfortunate remaining crew members.
Don't get the wrong impression of Foster—he's taken on many a genre project, but he's not just gunning for a spot in major blockbusters. In 2009, Foster teamed with Oren Moverman (writer of I'm Not There) for Moverman's debut film, The Messenger. A solemn, introspective look at a forgotten occupation of war, that of the men and women employed to break news to the families of soldiers killed in action, The Messenger is easily Foster's best work to date. Paired with an animated Woody Harrelson, Foster pulls back on his usual crazy train antics to unleash a quiet, devastating performance.
30 Days of Night
Bookending this list with another comic book adaptation, Ben Foster appeared in 2007’s 30 Days of Night. The film takes place in an Alaskan town at the start of its “dark season;” a period during the winter wherein they experience, you guessed it, 30 days of night. This makes the town a perfect target for a sect of bloodthirsty vampires who are free to hunt the townspeople at will unabated by sunlight. Foster plays an eerie stranger whose mysterious arrival in the town serves as a herald of the gruesome, nightmarish events to come. His words, the foreboding scratches that eek from his lips, are enough to send chills down your spine in this arctic horror bloodbath.
The Crossroads star is preparing to star in Manson Girls, a film focusing on the lives of the convicted murderer's female followers, and she has been given the unique opportunity of choosing between two key parts - serial killer Susan 'Sadie' Atkins and longtime cult member Sandra 'Blue' Good.
Manning admits she's torn between the roles because they're both challenging - but only one is truly Oscar worthy.
She tells WENN, "We haven't filmed it but I'm signed on. I can choose between two roles right now. One of them is Sadie Atkins which is the obvious part because of typecasting. I'm much more sophisticated than I get credit for and I'm much more well read and educated.
"But I've also had the opportunity to play Sandra 'Blue' Good who is still alive and she still follows Manson and she's crazy. She was the most educated of all the women that fell into this cult and she was never part of any of the murders and was pregnant during the early days of the family. She's not a part I would normally get to play but if I want to win an Oscar, which is my intention, I want the part that will stand out and that's Sadie Atkins."
And Manning is determined to draw the attention of Academy voters, with whichever role she chooses, after being snubbed in 2005.
She says, "I feel like I should have been nominated for Hustle & Flow to be honest and a lot of people feel that way, but that's fine and it wasn't my time... I'm one part away from winning an Oscar, if it's the right part, and that could be playing Sadie Atkins."
But there's one aspect of the Manson Girls project she's a little apprehensive about: "There are people who don't like her (Atkins) and what she really did in real life and I don't know if I want to sign up for that potential abuse that could come my way from people that are horrified from the murders she committed of innocent people. So I'm torn between what part do I play. It's a good problem to have!"
Manson is serving a life prison sentence after co-ordinating a killing spree in the late 1960s as the leader of the Manson Family.