S3E5: The episodes that keep Raylan and Boyd away from one another are, in my opinion, almost a waste of Justified’s time. The real meat of the show is heavily reliant on this pair’s relationship. Boyd exists in Raylan, and Raylan in Boyd, and neither man is prepared to understand or appropriately handle this. Otherwise, this week’s episode manages a few interesting turns, including a subtle examination of Raylan and Winona’s relationship, and an interesting turn between Boyd and one Mr. Quarles.
“Once you make up your mind to kill a man, there ain’t nothing left to talk about.” – Boyd
Arlo pushes coldly as Boyd buries Devil—a longtime friend of the Crowder family. Boyd may be a seedy criminal, but he’s not a man without a few morals, albeit misguided ones. Boyd feels badly about killing Devil, and about burying him. But his life worth is reinstated, at least in part, by some sensitivity and support from Ava—who is at once his muse and his Lady Macbeth (depending, I guess, on how you feel about Boyd as a whole).
Boyd meets with Quarles after having a violent run-in with one of his underlings, but Quarles’ intentions are hardly vengeful. He’s interested in forging a business relationship with Boyd. The proud and greedy Crowder, however, is closed off to the idea—topping the issue off with a literary threat to the imposing Mr. Quarles. Enmity is forged.
“Your kidneys will do just fine without you. Unfortunately, you won’t last without them.” – Lance
In a particularly horrid Justified storyline, the diabolical penitentiary physician has cut out hostage Dewey Crowe’s kidneys—bathtub style—and is holding them for ransom until Dewey can steal and pay him twenty grand (or before Dewey dies from the whole lack-of-kidney thing…apparently, there’s a grace period).
“I’m done pretending that I could ever feel about anyone else the way I feel about you.” – Winona
Raylan and Rachel are on the case. One of the former’s earliest stops in the investigation is to the hospital room of the parole officer who Raylan ran over just last week, earning some information via some old-fashioned morphine denial. Raylan also has a contentious nurse, Leila, to deal with—one who shows some subtle liking to the ranger. Could his perfect relationship with Winona be in danger?
“Dewey ain’t the ‘get the drop on him’ type.” – Raylan Dewey pulls a gun on a pious convenience store owner, but gets himself into even more trouble when the man grabs his own firearm, blasting until Dewey is trapped in the back room…still without those kidneys many of us are pretty much reliant on to live.
Raylan is called in to talk Dewey out of the backroom—which he does, coming to the realization that Dewey’s kidneys were never actually removed, and that Lance had only scared Dewey into stealing the money for him.
“Have you been stealing kidneys in hotel rooms?” – Raylan
“If I said ‘no,’ would you believe me?” – Leila
More important (depending on who you ask) than Leila’s interest in Raylan is her involvement in the case. Raylan finds out that she works for the transplant center, pitting her as a suspected contributor to Lance’s criminal activity. The sexual tension heightens when Raylan interrogates his suspect—the opening of the episode shows Raylan coming home late to Winona, who professes her undying, unparalleled love for Raylan. Naturally, when an episode opens with an affirmation like this, there’s either something really sweet in store—a proposal, a birth, a life-saving—or something pretty bleak (which is more along the lines of Justified’s M.O.)—like a big fight, an infidelity, a death.
“I can’t believe you shot me.” – Leila
“I can’t believe it either.” – Raylan
But we’re in for a few turns. Lance knocks Raylan unconscious with an injection while he is speaking to Leila. But then, Leila shoots Lance…and then Raylan shoots Leila. Now, Raylan has shot a whole mess of people before—but this is his first woman. It seems to weigh heavy on him.
“That dream will get you killed quicker than a bullet.” – Limehouse
Limehouse is holding onto some of Mags Bennet’s money, unbeknownst to Dickie. Also in Limehouse news this week, the intimidating new baddie seems to be up to something in the realm of Boyd and Quarles.
The episode closes with Raylan coming home to an empty house, reading quite solemnly an unseen note from Winona. Obviously, she’s not as comfortable with his livelihood as previously expressed.
What did you think of this week’s episode? Do you think Raylan will ever really give up “the life?” Are troubles brewing for him and Winona? Let us know in the comments section, or on Twitter (@MichaelArbeiter).
S6E1: I was really hard on 30 Rock last season, but I take it all back. Maybe it’s just that whole distance makes the heart grow fonder concept, but I’m overjoyed that TGS and crew are back. I’ve accepted that it’s not the same show we fell in love with in Season One or even Season Three, but it seems that with this sweet Season Six premiere, 30 Rock may have found its maturing series niche. Just maybe.
“She’s like a little human tumbler of scotch.” –Jack
Yes, I’m sure I used the right word when I called this episode sweet. It gets there, I promise. But first, it starts with evil comments so terrible they actually made me uncomfortable – and not the good Tracy’s-waving-a-lightsaber-on-the-Manhattan-Bridge-naked sort of uncomfortable. Jenna is the Simon to D-fwan and John McEnroe’s Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul on NBC’s latest singing competition, America’s Kidz Got Singing. For once, Jenna is actually famous (enough to show up first when she Googles her own name), but it comes at a cost: Jenna is so mean that the most well-known derogatory terms for awful women are not sufficient to describe her. Her gig is making 6-year-olds cry. Jack is fine with this because it’s raking in money, but then his new fatherly affliction sets in. He witnesses Jenna berating a little girl named Liddy and he decides to change the show so Jenna is nice.
Well, that won’t work, because Americans need a mean guy. So Jenna gets to be mean, but Jack is still debating pulling the plug to protect the children – especially the adorable little girl bawling her eyes out in a fluffy pink dress. I love that Jack “calls a meeting” with Liddy to discuss the series - and hearing him say that he knows she needs to read her books with “Sleepy Bear” was such a perfectly adorably, hilarious moment. It’s just so Jack. Of course, it’s also so Jack that Liddy says her first word, “mommy,” but he’s Jack so he thinks she says “money” and he decides to keep the show. I really enjoy that they decided to go full force into the Jack as a father storyline instead of inserting some storyline about Jack sending her to an island only rich babies can find so he can date a character played by Scarlet Johansson.
“Reverend Gary says Super Gay horses are the sure sign of the apocalypse.” –Kenneth
The show missed quite a few curent while it was on hiatus, so to make up for lost time, we find Kenneth awaiting the rapture. It’s pretty clear the writers had these jokes pent up for ages because they come flying out of Kenneth’s mouth. Frank, Lutz, and Two-fer decide to egg Kenneth on which of course only increases the number of one-liners. Pete, however, is concerned about Kenneth when he notices that he’s spending what he thinks is his last day on Earth doing his “dream chores” like scraping banana stickers off the ceiling. He tries to encourage Kenneth to do something like get on a plane for the first time or watch the sunrise or see the ocean – because Kenneth is not an actual human being. Kenneth continues checking off his list – including “cheer Miss Lemon up,” aww - until the time of the rapture comes and goes and nothing happens. Just then, Pete finds Kenneth and Lutz descends dressed as the devil while Frank and Two-fer hang out in the dumpster dressed as Santa and Jesus – which is a pretty hilarious image. From there, Pete takes Kenneth out to see his first sunrise over the ocean at Coney Island. And while the sun does its thing, we see the five of them standing on the beach like the Nathan’s Hot Dogs Presents the Coney Island production of Ocean’s 11 gang, making for a ridiculous, laugh-worthy, and touching little moment.
“Did we switch brains? Why am I not feeling your boobs?” –Tracy
Meanwhile, Liz is acting like a new person. She’s happy, she’s exuberant, she doesn’t care about work, she’s dancing down the sidewalk and showing Jack her bra? How? That’s the question on everyone’s mind. I love that her explanation at first was that she read a quote from a tampon box with that typical “dance like no one’s watching” bit. But when she tells Tracy she’s not going to babysit him anymore, he suspects that something else is going on. When he rules out the possibility that they switched brains, he starts following her and going through her trash and it seems for a moment that she’s buying pills from a drug dealer near Penn Station – those cartoon birds certainly didn’t egg that assumption on. His rational Tracy reaction: Liz Lemon is a crack whore.
Jack, proving that he knows Lemon better than she knows herself, figures out what she’s really up to. The medication she’s taking is for joint pain, she had a jazz dance scholarship and she was spotted near Penn Station: she’s a middle aged cheerleader for New York’s WNBA team. It’s a ridiculous scene (made more bearable by Tracy saying "Oh God, someone's grapevining!"), but then again, so is Liz being this happy. Jack seems pleased to have figured her out, even down to the movie he drops her off to watch at the closest Loews. But in the final seconds, we see he gets one thing wrong: she isn't seeing it alone. Old LL gives a young, James Marsden-shaped man a very passionate kiss before they walk into the theater together.
Now, why did I like this schmaltzy little ending? Because now that the series has lost some of its punch and incredible pace, the things that really bring it home are the one-liners and the relationships between characters like Kenneth and Pete, and especially Liz and Jack. These relationships are what allow for more comedy to build, but we’ve also come to know and love these fictional people. Seeing the beach scene with Kenneth or Jack’s adoring facial expressions when looking at Liddy or Liz’s uncannily happy grin when she meets her new boyfriend have to make you smile at least a little – or at least in anticipation of all the ridiculous things that are going to inevitably (and hilariously) screw up all these relationships.
Did you like the season premiere? Or are you done with 30 Rock? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter! @KelseaStahler
Top Story: Law Wants Penn To Win Oscar
Jude Law, nominated for best actor for his portrayal of Confederate soldier Inman in Cold Mountain, wants Sean Penn to win the statuette instead of him, The Associated Press reports. "I've always loved Sean Penn's work. He's someone I've respected and looked up to and admired for years and years and years, and I think it should be his year," Law told reporters at the Berlin International Film Festival Wednesday. Penn earned his fourth Oscar nomination for his role as a bereaved father in Clint Eastwood's critically acclaimed tragedy, Mystic River. He has never appeared at an Academy Awards show, but says he plans to this year. Law is in Berlin promoting Cold Mountain which opened the festival, but is not in competition. This is Law's second Oscar nomination, having been nominated in the best supporting actor category in 2000 for his role as the roguish Dickie Greenleaf in The Talented Mr. Ripley. He is expected to be in attendance at this year's ceremony later this month.
Garfunkel Pleads Guilty in Marijuana Case
In a reversal of his original plea, Art Garfunkel has pleaded guilty to marijuana possession, Reuters reports. Garfunkel, who comprised one half of the popular '60s duo Simon and Garfunkel, was charged with marijuana possession after his limo was pulled over for speeding January 17th in Hurley, New York, and 6 grams of marijuana were found in the singer's jacket pocket. His driver received a ticket and Garfunkel was given the choice of contesting the marijuana charge or paying a $100 fine. Initially Garfunkel wished to plead "not guilty" and a hearing was set for Feb. 11. His lawyer then changed Garfunkel's plea and paid the fine a week early. Garfunkel did not appear in court.
Master Takes Command at British Critics' Awards
Peter Weir's seafaring epic Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World took top honors at this year's London Film Critics' Circle awards, winning three awards and completely routing favorite The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Reuters reports. The Russell Crowe starrer took best picture, best British actor (Paul Bettany), and best screenwriting (John Collee and Peter Weir) awards at the annual ceremony held by British film critics who write for newspapers throughout England. Best director (Clint Eastwood) and actor (Sean Penn) awards went to Mystic River with the best actress award going to Julianne Moore for Far From Heaven.
German Director Decries "Primitive" Reception of Film at Berlin Fest
Director Romuald Karmakar expressed his displeasure with the less-than-ideal reaction to his film Nightsongs at the Berlin Film Festival yesterday, Reuters reports. The film, a tragedy based on a play by Norwegian playwright Jon Fosse, suffered many audience walkouts during the screening and many in the audience laughed during the conclusion of the gloomy love story about two lovers who are about to run off together when the woman's husband kills himself by jumping out a window. "It's getting too primitive here and I'm sick and tired of it," Karmakar said of the audience's reaction, "How far have we fallen?" He went on to explain, "It's a love story, just without a happy ending. You find that everywhere but it's underrepresented in movies. Reality is full of problems. We have four million unemployed in Germany."
Majority of Americans Believe Jackson Reveal Intentional
Janet Jackson intended to reveal her breast during the Super Bowl halftime show as a publicity stunt, a poll conducted by Billboard.com suggests. Of the 8,307 polled, 65 percent believed right from the get-go that Jackson fully intended Justin Timberlake to rip off her bustier cup and show her naked breast to the world, while 35 percent believe that the full exposure was unintentional. Both Jackson and Timberlake have since apologized for the incident, though they have repeatedly said the breast fallout was due to a "wardrobe malfunction." The Federal Communications Commission is investigating the incident, so as to punish the guilty and protect the nation's fragile eyes.
Aguilera, Elliott To Pitch Viva Glam
Makeup addict Christina Aguilera, along with Missy Elliott, Linda Evangelista, Chloe Sevigny and Boy George, will pitch Viva Glam, a makeup line that funds HIV/AIDS programs. All proceeds from the MAC-owned Viva Glam V Lipgloss and Lipstick will go to care of people afflicted with AIDS as well as awareness and prevention programs. Since the Viva Glam collection debuted in 1994, over $32 million has been raised from sales of the lip products. MAC president John Demsey said the most recent collection of models were chosen because they represent the many faces of AIDS victims, who are "all ages, all races, all sexes". The lipgloss and lipstick will be available starting next month.
Yao Ming Top Chinese Celebrity
According to Forbes magazine's Chinese edition, Houston Rockets star Yao Ming is the top Chinese celebrity of the year, AP reports. The magazine based its list on the celebrity's exposure in the media and their income for the year. Ming earned $14.6 million last year, placing him second to action star Jet Li, who earned $17 million, but ranked 10th overall.