January 31, 2013 by Susan Miller
This week on Justified, Billy died (whaaaa?), Randall stole Raylan’s money to buy chickens (whaaaaa?), Ellen Mae got wise or got kidnapped, and Sheriff Shelby provided our only clue to the season long mystery of Waldo/Drew. A good time was had by all, especially those not on the receiving end of that bean bag shotgun.
So what happened to Ellen Mae?
Steven: There is some speculation out there – and I must admit I’ve had my thoughts – that Ellen Mae is too incompetent to have caught on to Colton and get the heck out of dodge. People are saying Cassie or Johnny Crowder are trying to get leverage over Boyd and Ava. While this makes sense, I’m going to give Ellen May the benefit of the doubt. Is it so unrealistic to believe that while filling up the truck, all of the pieces might have fallen into place? Okay, that’s probably giving her too much benefit. However, I could easily see Ellen May intercepting a phone call or text message meant for Colton. Neither Ava nor Boyd have been too terribly careful with the way they communicate. (They’re nothing like the Barksdale crew.) This would allow for the return of Dickie, as Ellen May seeks refuge in the arms of a limpy man. Now, I know that Dickie and Dewey aren’t supposed to be featured in this season, but this would be a great reason to come on set – if only for an afternoon. Ooh, and maybe it could also be the first time we leave Kentucky this season. Wait, I just realized they’re both in jail… That’s kind of a plot killer, isn’t it? Well, unless you’re Arlo/Drew Thompson. Yeah, I’m still betting it’s him.
Susan: The whole business with Ellen Mae reminded me so much of poor Adriana on The Sopranos, that I have to admit that I was a little bit distracted. I think ultimately she figured it out and got out of there. However, there are three things that concern me about that theory. 1. Who knocked on the bathroom door while Colton was busy snorting up some courage? Why include that if it doesn’t matter? 2. If she ran away, why did she go on foot instead of taking the car with her? 3. Are we really supposed to believe that she’s smart enough to pull any of that off? It’s all very problematic. I’m excited and nervous to see what happens next. Don’t let me down, Yost! You’ve got Elmore’s reputation to uphold. (Crazy dream scenario – Constable Bob has a long family connection with Ellen Mae and has been secretly tracking the Crowder operation. Somehow, he knew she was in trouble and followed them to the rest stop so that he could whisk her off to safety. Come back, Constable!)
What does Shelby plan to do about Drew Thompson?
Steven: As Susu pointed out about Sheriff Shelby, he’s checking into the mystery himself. Now in the hard-boiled detective novel, this first spore would quickly germinate into a full on investigation in which Shelby goes from clue to clue Raylan-style until he uncovers the whole damn Harlan conspiracy that this mystery suggests. On the other hand, we know that he’s in Boyd Crowder’s pocket. Maybe he was just trying to clear Cassie, show that she doesn’t really know anything worth killing her for, but maybe he is doing Boyd’s business because it’s what Boyd wants. This second case would be good and bad. It would be bad because it would mean that yet another goodly-ish person has been brought to the dark-side by unconverted Boyd Crowder. On the plus side of the equation, because Boyd would most likely be aiming at a cover-up, he would be instructing Shelby about which details to redact from an autopsy, etc. Therefore, we would be much closer to figuring out what the mystery is exactly. If Shelby is a good person trying to uncover the mystery himself, he’s much less likely to uncover anything Raylan can’t, and much more likely to get shot/blown up in the meantime. Remember, “Fire in the hole!” I miss fire-in-the-hole Boyd…
Susan: I find it very intriguing that Shelby was looking up Drew Thompson’s autopsy, since we haven’t heard anyone in Harlan directly mention or discuss this whole Waldo Truth/Drew Thompson business. The rest of the Truth family were in Versailles, which is not Harlan County, and I can’t think of any reason that Boyd would know about it, unless he went and talked to Arlo in an off camera scene that was never mentioned. The best I can figure is that Wynn Duffy has paid a visit to Sheriff Shelby and may have him working both ways. It was, after all, the Dixie mafia who kidnapped Drew’s widow and tried to get information out of her, and we know that somehow, Duffy has been getting Dixie drugs into Harlan. That’s got to come with someone’s permission, and Shelby seems very eager to get Boyd out of his pocket. Even when he interrogates Cassie for Boyd’s benefit, he has no problem saying that Boyd is “unfettered by conscience.” That’s not exactly the rhetoric of a loyal soldier.
Season long question: What’s Arlo’s secret?
Steven: Arlo is Waldo is Drew. First damning fact, Arlo is Waldo, backwards. Plus, you know, rearranged. Plus, you have to take out a “w” and a “d” and add an “r.” But really, shouldn’t they be anagrams? Anyway, when I have more than a two second shot of Shelby’s computer and a van full of chickens to go on, I’ll wager my next guess.
Susan: Oh man. There was pretty much zero movement on this front this week, save for the quick computer search. You’d think that would give me time to formulate my thoughts and wrap my head around this whole mystery business, but it turns out I’m even more lost when Art isn’t breaking it all down for me. So, uh, this week, uh, maybe Miami will get involved again this season? It’s been awhile, and Randall did do time in Florida… could that be a coincidence? I’ve got nothing.
The whole managing fighters = managing cockfighting story line is a perfect example of why I love this show. After all the snake biting violence of last week, the chickens were the perfect follow-up. And then the bean bag shotgun and the return of Raylan’s terrible fist fighting skills! Whoo boy. One delightful surprise after another.
They’re doing it again, with the Raylan and the Rachel and the familiarity. Why was she at his bar in the first place? I’ve never seen any of the other Marshalls there. It’s not like a regular hang-out. She had to go there because she knew he’d be there and she knew he lived upstairs. If they try to make this a love story, it will undo all the good work they’ve done with her and Tim so far this season. Resist! Fight the easy plot!
It’s weird, but somehow they’ve made Boyd and Ava look like a real, functional, healthy relationship. They discuss the business together, they seek advice from each other, they listen and support and trust each other. How is it that they are more functional than Raylan and Wynona ever were? That must be the power of Boyd at work.
So, kind of odd that Billy just dies off-screen like that. And now the church is just done? All that set up for three episodes and then – poof!? I’m not sure how I feel about that. I like that he died by reptile, but I would’ve preferred a more … prehistoric … end for the former dino lover.