‘Justified’ Recap: Thick as Mud

JustifiedS3E5: 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).