There were two storylines going on in this episode: one was with Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) trying to get Loretta McCready (Kaitlyn Dever - returning to the show that gave her a big break) and the other was Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) scraping money together so that he could get his fiancee, Ava Crowder (Joelle Carter), out of jail. Things seemed to play out with more urgency in this episode, given the news that there would only be one more season after this.
The episode opened in Tennessee with a pot dealer being beaten by two of his cohorts (played by Steve Harris and his brother Wood) due to his being shorted on a pickup of dope from two kids in Lexington, Kentucky. "Hot Rod" Dunham (played by Mickey Jones in a very different role than in his Home Improvement days) came and told the two thugs to take care of the situation. After Dunham left, the thugs filled the third with enough lead for a pencil factory.
Lee Paxton (Sam Anderson) was in a coma after being brutally beaten by Boyd. Mooney (William Gregory Lee), a cop who had it out for Boyd, got Paxton's wife, Mara (Karolina Wydra) to say that it was him, but she recanted when she went to Boyd's bar for a visual confirmation ... which alerted the slender criminal that he hadn't finished the job earlier.
Givens, after confiscating items - including a really nice Mercedes - from someone who laundered money for the Detroit mob, went to see McCready in jail after she had been caught selling marijuana to a cop's kid. He left her in the cell to stay overnight and then brushed off her boyfriend, Derrick. As he was leaving the courthoue, he ran into Alison (Amy Smart), McCready's social worker. She flirted heavily with him and then reamed him out for making McCready stay in the cell. Givens, who viewed himself as a big brother figure to McCready, decided he was going to go talk to Derrick and convince him to break up with McCready. Boyd went and talked to Mara and tried to suss out why she hadn't given him up. She said she wanted the money that Boyd had mentioned before so that she could go home. When he said he couldn't get it quickly, she basically insinuated she was blackmailing them.
Givens saw a truck with Tennessee plates outside Derrick's house and found the guys from Dunham's crew beating him up (Gee ... so THEY were the kids who had shorted Dunham's people). Givens intimidated them out of the place and then told him break up with McCready. Outside, he arranged a date with Alison. Slick, playa.
Boyd and Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns) were trying to deal with a possible insurrection among his dealers. Duffy had to field the questions first and one of the dealers was mouthing off at Duffy, which is never a wise thing. Boyd, who showed up late due to his meeting with Mara, assured them that they would get a shipment in a day and a half.
At the Marshals office, Givens talked about Sammy Tonin with Art Mullen (Nick Searcy, who got a lot more screen time this episode than the premiere), He also arranged to be able to stay at the home of the money launderer, given that it was now federal property. Once the meeting was over, Givens found McCready waiting and she told him that her boyfriend had disappeared. Turned out the Tennessee Duo had got their hands on him and were having him dig up the money that he and McCready embezzled. They decided it was going to be his grave. Givens showed up at the nick of time with a shovel to whack Steve Harris' character in the head. Once the situation was in hand, he found out that Derrick was tangled up with Hot Rod.
Mara got pulled over and intimidated at gunpoint by Mooney who said that he was going to arrest her for trying to kill her husband unless she brought Crowder in.
Givens met with Dunham, who had done business with Arlo, Givens' late father. Givens laid it out: the Tennessee people were to not come into Harlan again and they were to leave McCready alone. Dunham tried to put fear in the marshal, but he was having none of it. Givens then drove McCready and Waters to a corner, kicked Waters out and McCready decided to stay with Givens. Givens drove all night and dropped her off at her home but not before finding out she had actually moved the money and played him so that he would investigate everything.
Poor Dewey Crowe (Damon Herriman), he got interrupted again in his possible fun times with his hookers. This time it was his cousin Darryl (Michael Rapaport), who had come to town, and Dewey was none too happy to see him as evidenced by his pained expression when Darryl hugged him.
Alison and Givens were having wine and she told the lawman she wasn't going to jump in bed with him. Givens asked her to go bowling with him.
Paxton woke up with a grunt ... though it wasn't certain if he was cognizant.
Boyd found his shipment had been hit and all the people involved laying around dead on the road. He was impassive and told his men to clean it up. He seemed calm, but he could be very close to unraveling.
"You mean to say you're not crooked? Just incompetent?" -- Dunham to his soon-to-be-doomed drug dealer
"Are you being funny? Because I can't tell anymore." -- Rachel Brooks (Erica Tazel) to Givens
"My general rule is, you keep talking, I put you in the trunk." -- Givens to the Harris brothers
"In other words ... I'll kill four of you before you clear your weapons and I'll take my chances with the other two. And you see this star? That's going to make it legal." -- Givens to Dunham and his crew
David Mitchell's novel Cloud Atlas consists of six stories set in various periods between 1850 and a time far into Earth's post-apocalyptic future. Each segment lives on its own the previous first person account picked up and read by a character in its successor creating connective tissue between each moment in time. The various stories remain intact for Tom Tykwer's (Run Lola Run) Lana Wachowski's and Andy Wachowski's (The Matrix) film adaptation which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival. The massive change comes from the interweaving of the book's parts into one three-hour saga — a move that elevates the material and transforms Cloud Atlas in to a work of epic proportions.
Don't be turned off by the runtime — Cloud Atlas moves at lightning pace as it cuts back and forth between its various threads: an American notary sailing the Pacific; a budding musician tasked with transcribing the hummings of an accomplished 1930's composer; a '70s-era investigatory journalist who uncovers a nefarious plot tied to the local nuclear power plant; a book publisher in 2012 who goes on the run from gangsters only to be incarcerated in a nursing home; Sonmi~451 a clone in Neo Seoul who takes on the oppressive government that enslaves her; and a primitive human from the future who teams with one of the few remaining technologically-advanced Earthlings in order to survive. Dense but so was the unfamiliar world of The Matrix. Cloud Atlas has more moving parts than the Wachowskis' seminal sci-fi flick but with additional ambition to boot. Every second is a sight to behold.
The members of the directing trio are known for their visual prowess but Cloud Atlas is a movie about juxtaposition. The art of editing is normally a seamless one — unless someone is really into the craft the cutting of a film is rarely a post-viewing talking point — but Cloud Atlas turns the editor into one of the cast members an obvious player who ties the film together with brilliant cross-cutting and overlapping dialogue. Timothy Cavendish the elderly publisher could be musing on his need to escape and the film will wander to the events of Sonmi~451 or the tortured music apprentice Robert Frobisher also feeling the impulse to run. The details of each world seep into one another but the real joy comes from watching each carefully selected scene fall into place. You never feel lost in Cloud Atlas even when Tykwer and the Wachowskis have infused three action sequences — a gritty car chase in the '70s a kinetic chase through Neo Seoul and a foot race through the forests of future millennia — into one extended set piece. This is a unified film with distinct parts echoing the themes of human interconnectivity.
The biggest treat is watching Cloud Atlas' ensemble tackle the diverse array of characters sprinkled into the stories. No film in recent memory has afforded a cast this type of opportunity yet another form of juxtaposition that wows. Within a few seconds Tom Hanks will go from near-neanderthal to British gangster to wily 19th century doctor. Halle Berry Hugh Grant Jim Sturgess Jim Broadbent Ben Whishaw Hugo Weaving and Susan Sarandon play the same game taking on roles of different sexes races and the like. (Weaving as an evil nurse returning to his Priscilla Queen of the Desert cross-dressing roots is mind-blowing.) The cast's dedication to inhabiting their roles on every level helps us quickly understand the worlds. We know it's Halle Berry behind the fair skinned wife of the lunatic composer but she's never playing Halle Berry. Even when the actors are playing variations on themselves they're glowing with the film's overall epic feel. Jim Broadbent's wickedly funny modern segment a Tykwer creation that packs a particularly German sense of humor is on a smaller scale than the rest of the film but the actor never dials it down. Every story character and scene in Cloud Atlas commits to a style. That diversity keeps the swirling maelstrom of a movie in check.
Cloud Atlas poses big questions without losing track of its human element the characters at the heart of each story. A slower moment or two may have helped the Wachowskis' and Tykwer's film to hit a powerful emotional chord but the finished product still proves mainstream movies can ask questions while laying over explosive action scenes. This year there won't be a bigger movie in terms of scope in terms of ideas and in terms of heart than Cloud Atlas.
Santa delivered the goods at the box office this weekend as Santa Clause 2 arrived to a gift-wrapped $29 million.
The Ring remained in the winners circle with $18.5 million, with no percentage drop at all from last weekend.
I Spy kicked off in third place to a disappointing $14 million.
Jackass: The Movie was still laughing in fourth place with $13.1 million.
Ghost Ship sailed into fifth place, down 43 percent with $6.6 million.
Also helping to boost this weekend's totals was Twentieth Century Fox's IMAX release of Star Wars: Episode II--Attack of the Clones with an out of this world $1.5 million. (For details, see OTHER OPENINGS below).
Key films were down about 18 percent from last year -- $114.6 million versus $139.9 million.
There also was record setting news on the home entertainment front as Sony Pictures Entertainment announced its DVD and videocassette release of Spider-Man had sold a projected 11 million combined units this weekend. Sony ESTIMATED Spider-Man will do a record setting $190 million in retail revenue in North America its first three days in the marketplace. (For details, see the related news story here.)
THE TOP TEN
Buena Vista/Disney's G rated comedy sequel Santa Clause 2 opened to a chart topping ESTIMATED $29.0 million at 3,350 theaters ($8,662 per theater).
Santa's average per theater was the highest for any film playing in wide release this weekend.
Directed by Michael Lembeck, it stars Tim Allen.
The original Santa Clause opened the weekend of Nov. 11-13, 1994 in second place to $19.3 million at 2,183 theaters ($8,851 per theater). It went on to gross $144.6 million in domestic theaters.
"It was one of those films that the theater manager grapevine had told us weeks and weeks ago that this was going to be a big hit," Buena Vista Distribution president Chuck Viane said Sunday morning about the sequel. "Inside the operations of all the theater chains, they knew it and they were prepared. We had great showtimes, multiple screens, more seats than you could imagine and it was a nice ride."
Asked about starting the holiday season as early as Nov. 1, Viane explained, "I think it's much like the summer season -- November being such a prolific grossing month that you can use any part of it to launch a movie. And for something like ours we had a movie that had great anticipation behind it. (The film) lived up to what the audience was looking for. The CinemaScores were all A (grades)and in our own college tracking we scored a 90. The original scored an 89.
"So people came in with some pretty high expectation and (Michael Lembeck) made a film that people loved. I think this is one of those roles Tim could do forever if he wanted to because the audience has a love affair with Tim in this love. He delivers. He makes you believe he's Santa Claus. But the nice part is, you can expand the (holiday) season much like early May is now the launch of summer. We believe that this (early November date) is just a logical launching pad for films for the holiday."
Asked about the eight year period between the original and the sequel, Viane replied, "The movie is a perennial bring-back every Christmas. People fall in love and watch it on TV or on their DVDs or whatever. All we did was bring what they were looking for (into theaters) and with a very smart and warm story, wonderfully delivered. These are the kind of weekends you look forward to."
Where is Santa 2 heading? "With all of the exit (poll data), I'm thinking this is another one of those $100 million-plus movies," Viane said. "Obviously, we're off to such a terrific start. In my wildest dreams I never thought we'd be number one by over $10 million. And who would have ever 'thunk' that we could have got to the point of doubling the gross of the film we went head and head with? These things all suggest we're going to be around. We have two weeks clear in the marketplace and I think we'll be in very, very good shape before we take on the head-on competition with Harry Potter (and the Chamber of Secrets). I think we will weather that (when it opens Nov. 15).
"We will play very well through the Thanksgiving holiday. As people get closer and closer to the holiday, I think we're going to get some return visits. I'm pretty comfortable that all that will happen. It's always (interesting) when you listen to people walking out of a theater. So many of them said, 'Gee, I can't wait to see this again before the holidays.' It's a true testament to how well the movie's playing."
DreamWorks' PG-13 rated horror thriller The Ring held on to second place in its third week with a solid ESTIMATED $18.5 million (-0%) at 2,808 theaters (+174 theaters; $6,585 per theater). Its cume is approximately $64.9 million.
Directed by Gore Verbinski, it stars Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson and Brian Cox.
"Last weekend was up 23 percent from the first weekend, so it's pretty amazing right now the way it's playing (with no drop in the second weekend)," DreamWorks distribution head Jim Tharp said Sunday morning.
What accounts for the great legs? "It has to be word of mouth," Tharp replied. "The sneaks -- we had 400 of them (the weekend before opening) -- were 60-70 percent capacity. So it didn't sell out for those. Even the opening Friday night, we didn't sell out. But since then the movie's been playing fantastically. It's all word of mouth."
Columbia's opening of its PG-13 rated comedy I Spy finished third with a quiet ESTIMATED $14.0 million at 3,182 theaters ($4,400 per theater).
Directed by Betty Thomas, it stars Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson.
Paramount and MTV Films' R rated comedy Jackass: The Movie tumbled three slots to fourth place in its second week, holding better than expected with an ESTIMATED $13.1 million (-42%) at 2,530 theaters (+21 theaters; $5,178 per theater). Its cume is approximately $42.5 million.
Directed by Jeff Tremaine, it stars Johnny Knoxville.
Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow's R rated horror film Ghost Ship dropped anchor in fifth place, down two rungs in its second week with a slow ESTIMATED $6.57 million (-43%) at 2,787 theaters ($2,357 per theater). Its cume is approximately $21.3 million.
Directed by Steve Beck, it stars Julianna Margulies.
IFC Films' release of Gold Circle Films and HBO's PG rated romantic comedy blockbuster My Big Fat Greek Wedding slid one slot to sixth place in its 29th week, still showing great legs with an ESTIMATED $5.62 million (-9%) at 1,977 theaters (+10 theaters; $2,843 per theater). Its cume is approximately $185.2 million, heading for more than $200 million in domestic theaters.
Directed by Joel Zwick, it stars Nia Vardalos and John Corbett.
Buena Vista/Touchstone's PG-13 rated romantic comedy Sweet Home Alabama dropped three notches to seventh place in its sixth week with a still sweet ESTIMATED $4.6 million (-29%) at 2,441 theaters (-741 theaters; $1,905 per theater). Its cume is approximately $113.5 million, heading for $125 million in domestic theaters.
Directed by Andy Tennant, it stars Reese Witherspoon.
Revolution Studios and Columbia's R rated romantic comedy drama Punch-Drunk Love went wide in its fourth week, placing eighth with an okay ESTIMATED $4.2 million at 1,252 theaters (+771 theaters; $3,355 per theater). Its cume is approximately $11.1 million.
Written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, it stars Adam Sandler and Emily Watson.
Universal and Dino De Laurentiis's R rated thriller Red Dragon, presented in association with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, fell three limbs to ninth place in its fifth week with an uneventful ESTIMATED $2.66 million (-43%) at 1,956 theaters (-930 theaters; $1,360 per theater). Its cume is approximately $89.0 million, heading for $100 million.
Directed by Brett Ratner, it stars Anthony Hopkins, Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes, Harvey Keitel, Emily Watson, Mary-Louise Parker and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Rounding out the Top Ten was Fox Searchlight Pictures' PG-13 rated urban appeal romantic comedy Brown Sugar, which was ninth last week, with a less tasty ESTIMATED $1.7 million (-39%) at 855 theaters (-291 theaters; $1,988 per theater). Its cume is approximately $24.6 million.
Directed by Rick Famuyiwa, it stars Taye Diggs and Sanaa Lathan.
This weekend also saw the arrival of Twentieth Century Fox and Lucasfilm's blockbuster Star Wars: Episode II -- Attack of the Clones in a special IMAX release to a sensational ESTIMATED $1.45 million at 58 theaters ($25,000 per theater). Its cume is approximately $303.6 million.
"We're playing at 32 institutions and in 26 commercial theaters," Fox distribution president Bruce Snyder said Sunday morning. "They did better than I thought. There were lots of $20,000 Saturdays out there on this. It's fantastic!"
Lions Gate Films' R rated thriller The Weight of Water arrived to a soggy ESTIMATED $50,000 at 27 theaters ($1,865 per theater).
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, it stars Elizabeth Hurley, Catherine McCormack, Sean Penn and Sarah Polley.
There were no national sneak previews this weekend.
On the expansion front this weekend saw United Artists' R rated satiric documentary Bowling for Columbine released via MGM widen in its third week with a still impressive ESTIMATED $1.65 million at 162 theaters (+51 theaters; $10,185 per theater). Its cume is approximately $4.6 million.
Written, produced and directed by Michael Moore, it won the Special Jury Prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival.
Miramax's R rated drama Frida went wider in its second week with a promising ESTIMATED $1.02 million at 47 theaters (+42 theaters; $21,595 per theater). Its cume is approximately $1.3 million.
Directed by Julie Taymor, it stars Salma Hayek.
Miramax's Comedian expanded in its fourth week with a chilly ESTIMATED $0.72 million at 225 theaters (+195 theaters; $3,317 per theater). Its cume is approximately $1.2 million.
Directed by Christian Charles, it stars Jerry Seinfeld.
Miramax's Dimension Films label went wider with its R rated urban appeal action drama Paid in Full with a dull ESTIMATED $0.63 million at 273 theaters (+5 theaters; $2,289 per theater). Its cume is approximately $2.3 million.
Directed by Charles Stone III, it stars Mekhi Phifer, Wood Harris and Cam'ron.
HBO Films and Newmarket Films' PG-13 rated comedy drama Real Women Have Curves added theaters in its third week with a quiet ESTIMATED $0.48 million at 124 theaters (+16 theaters; $3,802 per theater). Its cume is approximately $1.2 million.
Directed by Patricia Cardoso, it stars America Ferrera, Lupe Ontiveros and George Lopez.
Artisan Entertainment's R rated comedy Roger Dodger widened in its second week with a hopeful ESTIMATED $0.16 million at 25 theaters (+21 theaters; $6,311 per theater). Its cume is approximately $0.2 million.
United Artists R rated drama All or Nothing expanded via MGM in its second week with an uneventful ESTIMATED $43,000 at 16 theaters (+9 theaters; $2,714 per theater). Its cume is approximately $80,000.
Written and directed by Mike Leigh, it stars Timothy Spall.
Key films -- those grossing more than $500,000 -- took in approximately $114.62 million for the weekend, down about 18.05 percent from last year when they totaled $139.86 million.
Key films were up about 15.54 percent from the previous weekend this year when they totaled $99.2 million.
Last year, Buena Vista/Disney's opening week of Monsters, Inc. was first with $62.58 million at 3,237 theaters ($19,332 per theater); and Sony's opening week of The One was second with $19.11 million at 2,894 theaters ($6,604 per theater). The top two films one year ago grossed $81.7 million. This year, the top two films grossed an ESTIMATED $47.5 million.