February 28, 2013 by Susan Miller
Whoops. We missed a couple. I think Graham Yost knew we needed something big to get our butts in gear, because “Outlaw” was a doozy. We’re working on switching up the format of our recaps in the future, but for now, I just want to talk about my favorite things from this week’s episode.
1. Boyd wants a Dairy Queen franchise. Proving once again that Boyd is much smarter than the average outlaw, he sets Theo Tonin’s killing machine to the task of killing the Clover Hill gang that he was supposed to kill. Then he convinces him that it’s better to be on his side than Wynn’s, since he’s the one who out-clevered Wynn. With Theo’s help, the big wigs in Clover Hill suddenly have no pull with the law and have to give up their ill-gotten gains plus a Dairy Queen franchise to the enterprising Boyd. Sidenote: I think it’s about time for a Justified parody at the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting. I’d imagine Boyd and Warren would have plenty to talk about.
2. Kill the dead weight. One of the first things I remember Dad saying about Elmore Leonard is that he was not afraid to kill off characters the moment they lost their purpose. Justified follows in his footsteps and kills all the distractions that have built up this season. Drug dealer and Tim’s friend? Killed by Colt. Arlo and his poisonous words? Killed by the ex-Harlan sheriff. Boyd’s Clover Hill problems? Killed by Theo’s terminator. Theo’s terminator? Killed by Raylan on instinct. And boy what a scene that was. Right in front of Boyd and Ava, in the midst of guest list talk and engagement news. I love it when Raylan surprises Boyd. It’s always so earned and welcome.
3. The grief of Raylan. A grieving Raylan is the best Raylan. He gets sad, he gets drunk, he holds it all in and then it boils up and out of him with bullets and punches and a series of horrible decisions. I can’t wait. Timothy Olyphant can shoulder anything they throw at the character, mostly because they don’t burden him with melodramatic dialogue. It’s all in the eyes and the body language and the long camera angles and it’s about to get real good. (Emmy alert!)
4. The return of the Marshalls office. Art is about to have his hands full with a grieving, loose cannon Raylan. Tim is going to take a personal interest in his friend’s murder, which means more scenes between him and Colt. And Rachel, well, she’ll probably have more to do too, since everyone else will be preoccupied with Harlan created catastrophes. The season is building to something big and it will finally give everyone something interesting to do.
5. Drew Thompson revealed? By the end of the episode, I was 97% sure that Shelby = Drew. Shelby has all that talk about pretending to be someone, about his wife who left him, and his curiosity about the widow Raylan mentioned. Add to that the fact that he was doing a search on Drew Thompson when he never should’ve known about him and we have all signs pointed directly to Shelby. Which could also be exactly what the writers want us to think. I’ll be satisfied either way, but I still want some horror movie style explanations before the end. Bonus points if they’re delivered by Art.
Lots of movement this week and terrific performances by Raylan and Boyd. With Theo’s promise that favors now turn into debts later, it looks like we’re shaping up for a good old fashioned lawman vs. outlaw showdown at the end of this season. Can both men continue to walk the paths they’ve chosen in Harlan? Seems like time may be just about up for one Boyd Crowder. I fear Elmore Leonard may agree.