If you were counting on an intense, whirlwind episode to bring us straight into Act 2 after last week’s side adventure, then you’re a genius and should be doing my job. Just kidding, I have to pay rent and want to buy a new TV stand. But not only did Boyd and Raylan finally unite (unwillingly) during a fight to locate a common enemy, but Arlo received a shot to get out of prison, Colton screwed up royally by hiding Ellen May’s escape from Boyd, and Shelby was revealed to have kidnapped Ellen May in an attempt to bring down Mistah Crowder. Oh, and there’s also the fact that Wynn Duffy is fully back in the game, planning to use Boyd to find Drew Thompson, at which point he’ll double-cross and murder him to please Johnny (we think). (Aside: All of this going off without a hitch is extremely unlikely.)
Two weeks ago we saw an FBI Agent kill himself over the information he had on the Drew Thompson/Theo Tonin ordeal, and now the powers that be have decided to hand the case over to the marshal service in the FBI’s stupid stead. They’ve also decided that Arlo (whose facial acting was magnificent during his few scenes in this episode), should be released if can lead them to Thompson. Guess who wasn’t a fan of that idea?
So Raylan had 24 hours to find Drew Thompson before Arlo got his turn, but since this is Justified, he wasn’t the only one on the case. FBI Agent Barkley (Stephen Tobolowsky) was revealed to be a traitorous bastard working with the Detroit mafia, who sent one of Tonin’s top henchmen — Nickelodeon GUTS alum Mike O’Malley, natch — to have a polite conversation with Barkley on why, as an FBI honcho, he had let the fact that Thompson was still alive slip through his fingers for decades. Just kidding! He shot him in the head, and hired Wynn Duffy — the guy you hire whenever you want anything illegal done, ever — to find Thompson, via his redneck friends like one Boyd Crowder.
Raylan got his first clue on Thompson’s whereabouts from an unlikely source: the troubled, slutty teenage girl from the premiere. Patton Oswalt made a brief but very welcome return as Constable Bob Sweeney, who had picked up said girl for doing… something illegal, who knows. Whatever it was, she offered him a blow job to get out of it, which he DID NOT ACCEPT, thank you very much. (Was it integrity, or her cheap orthodontic work that held him back? Let’s discuss, kiddos.) She led Raylan to her stepdad, who had been using her to do his Drew Thompson huntin’ bidding. Stepdad, who was chained to his house due to a police-activated police anklet, led Raylan to something called “The Hill People.”
A little bit of exposition on The Hill People: they have accomplished the nearly impossible feat of being the trashiest people ever featured on this show. We know nothing about them, other than the fact that they live in shacks on a hill and kill visitors with shotguns. They also seem to enjoy never washing their hair ever, but they aren’t big on dentistry. Oh, and one of them is related to Raylan. I mean, of course.
Anywho, when Raylan headed up the hill to find Thompson — who was taken there back in the day with all of his cocaine — he did not receive the warmest welcome. Drew had been hidden by Arlo and Bo Crowder in exchange for said cocaine back in the day, but he wasn’t there now — only a tied up Boyd, who had found the same information slightly before Raylan, via Wynn Duffy/Mike O’Malley’s very full pockets. Both men were nearly killed, until Raylan’s Hill connections and smooth tongue got him off the hook. He even saved Boyd and got another lead on Thompson — who was somewhere in Harlan county — but then he cuffed Boyd to a tree, so. No love lost there.
So Boyd reported the info they’d received back to Duffy, and demanded half of the heroin trade in Harlan. Movin’ on up! Johnny, of course, was disturbed to hear this, but Wynn promised the OTHER Crowder that he’d dispose of Boyd once he located Thompson — if, of course, he got there before Raylan. TBD.
Unfortunately for Boyd, Duffy may not be his biggest problem: as it turns out, it was Shelby who kidnapped Ellen May, in an attempt to garner incriminating information (the murder of Delroy being the number one option on the table) on Boyd and his criminal enterprise. Colton spent the whole episode lying to his boss/friend, running around town trying to find Ellen May before Boyd or Ava could find out, but his search led him absolutely nowhere. Colton seems like a loose cannon, so wherever this is going cannot be good.
Oh, and did I mention that Winona came back? No, I did not — because her return was so ridiculously uneventful that I don’t know why they included it at all. Here’s how it went down: Raylan shows up early to sonogram. Winona enters lobby, lets Raylan feel kicking baby. Cute. Winona asks why Raylan did not respond to her text about the changed appointment time. He did not, meaning Raylan was actually way LATE to sonogram, as he did not know about changed appointment time. Raylan did not stay for sonogram, and instead headed straight to work. Great guest spot, Natalie Zea. Collect that paycheck and run back to your big fancy Fox show, K?
The episode ended with Raylan returning to stepdaddy’s house to ask why he sent him on a death hunt to the Hill People. The first thing he saw was the green light beeping from the ankle bracelet… strange. How’d he get that off? Well, either he sawed off his own foot, or someone did it for him.
So, there you have it! Act 2 starts with a bang. Raylan needs Drew Thompson for baby-daddy money, and so Arlo the cop-killer won’t go free. Boyd needs Drew Thompson for heroin business. The Detroit mafia needs Drew Thompson so that they can murder him. Colton needs Ellen May so Boyd won’t kill him. Shelby needs Ellen May to nail Boyd, since he sort of hates him. And Winona needs something else to do.
Follow Shaunna on Twitter @HWShaunna
[PHOTO CREDIT: Prashant Gupta/FX]