Verdict after two episodes of Season 4 of Justified: I am officially enjoying this season more than the last. Why? We have two separate but equally engaging plot lines involving both of our leads, a very intriguing mystery, and one little thread — mainly, Arlo Givens — potentially tying the two together. Tonight's episode found both Raylan and Boyd chasing their clues from last week (a driver's license and fake currency, respectively), and Boyd trying desperately, as usual, to maintain hold of Harlan county's slippery drug business.
If you recall, last week opened with a flashback to a man falling from the sky — or, to be more specific, falling from the sky with enough cocaine to satiate the Lohan family for about a week. According to Art, this was the legendary day that cocaine came to Harlan county. The interesting part is that, for three-ish decades, everyone has known the dead body CARRYING the cocaine to be the body of one Drew Thompson. But oh, so much an ass-cheek injury can change!
But let's back up: Arlo killing the man who overheard his prison conversation about Waldo Truth alerted Raylan to the fact that this case was probably much more important than he initially thought. "On a scale of one to a shitload, how much do you have to tell me right now?" Art wondered. Well, a lot. The goon squad (Raylan, Art, and Tim) dug up the files on Truth's family, and went on a fun group adventure to find the (GET IT?) truth.
Now, time out — I'm really happy that they're sending these three out together, because there was some great comedy in the pairing. (Tim suggesting that Raylan was working as an exotic dancer — when he was really just tired because he's been fooling around with a barkeep — stands out, as does his quip about the Truth kid stealing Raylan's overused countdown bit.) We're used to seeing Raylan alone, or Raylan with Boyd, and I'm fine with that — but having Tim and Rachel as full-time characters has always seemed silly to me, given how underused they are. Of course, Rachel wasn't invited on this particular adventure, but I really hope to see more of Raylan with his quasi-buddies, as it's hilarious when they make fun of him, and it lightens the often heavy load of the show. Plus, Tim Olyphant is funny! Okay, time in.
Naturally, this being Justified, the Truth family were a bunch of rednecks with guns and rap sheets longer than Infinite Jest. But the meeting with them brought forth two essential truths: One, that it wasn't Drew Thompson's body that fell way back when — it was Waldo Truth's. Drew Thompson was the man that hired him, and Truth's wife had found a replacement husband to pose as Waldo for the last couple of decades — one that she likes enough to not stab in the ass. Two, that they're most likely being paid by someone to hide the (this is getting annoying) truth. First, because the youngest Truth kid pulled a mysterious envelope from their mailbox, second, because clearly someone must be bankrolling this fake marriage to keep the wifey from speaking. (Even though she hated him, wouldn't his death bring about some insurance money, or something?)
So, the squad has a lot of mystery solvin' to do. But one piece of the puzzle may have landed right on Raylan's doorstep: Earlier in the episode, we saw a bunch of rich dudes hosting a fight club in their backyard (the house looked a lot like the one in the flashback, but we'll see). One of the fighters — a Hulk-like beasty figure, not to be reckoned with — was not happy with his share of the winnings. Could this rich people fight club be somehow related to Drew Thompson, you ask? Well, I have truthfully no idea, but the Hulk-like beasty man is definitely going to fit in somewhere. At the end of the episode, he showed up at the bar and revealed himself to be the husband of the woman Raylan has been — how do I say this like a lady? — banging.
Speaking of being a lady: Ava didn't want Ellen May going to that Snake Church no mo. It was bad for business. And even though Johnny insisted that the Church was their main problem, Boyd didn't agree until a choir full of creepy singing children showed up to their bar, singing about salvation. Subtle, Timmy from Jurassic Park! So Boyd headed over to Sheriff Shelby, who — EXPOSITION — let us know that Timmy (whose name on this show is Billy) and his sister Cassie have been to five cities in three years, saving the slutty, the sick and the stoned from eternal damnation. According to Shelby, they have no arrest record and were probably just there to help. But like, come on.
So to Church Boyd went, and I'm thrilled as an alliteration enthusiast to say that he and Billy traded Bible barbs. Boyd used various lines of scripture to accuse Billy of being a false prophet exploiting the meek for their money, thus preventing them from inheriting the earth. So Billy, quite awesomely and convincingly, told the tent congregation that he would no longer accept payment of any kind. Boyd, you may have met your match.
Boyd, realizing that he had a real problem on his hands, sought out Wynn Duffy — he had leverage against the known weasel, as a heroin dealer that Boyd had earlier encountered "in his backyard" was from Frankfort, Dixie Mafia territory. Wynn was all "WTF do I care" and shot the dealer, dramatically refusing Boyd's offer at a heroin/oxy partnership. Aw, shucks. But then Wynn asked the golden question: Why did your boy Arlo murder a Dixie Mafia member in prison? Now, this was the first that Boyd had heard of any such murder. And do you reckon he'll do some pokin' around, thus getting somehow involved in Raylan's half of the season? I do!
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[PHOTO CREDIT: Prashant Gupta/FX]