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Justified “The Spoil” 

Photo Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX

Well, since Raylan never has enough on his hands when it comes to women, last week had him in close quarters with Boyd’s new bosslady, Carol, on a protection detail (that she personally requested) for her trip to Harlan to pitch the mine to the townsfolk. That’s received about as well as you think it would be, with Mags leading the charge that Harlan has its own way and thanks, but no, and then she invites everybody to the mother of all shindigs (the “whoop-de-do” in the trailer that seemed to be a retort of some kind but was actually a name for the hoedown).

Elsewhere on the protection front, Boyd is running point to get folks whose land the mine needs to sign it over to them instead of Mags. This involves sending Dickie and Coover on their way, and ventilating some poor unseen creature named Charlie, who’s been carted around in a burlap bag. We don’t revisit Winona at all, and the rest of the Marshals sit the episode out. Ava and Officer Hottie are in the church for the meeting but get no discernible dialogue (boo!).

When Raylan and Carol first hit town, they stop by the Bennett store so Carol can talk to Mags before the meeting, and Coover insitigates a a pretty swinging throwdown with Raylan, who unlaws himself by pocketing his badge before he throws his first punch, and which nets the pair their share of bumps and bruises until they’re broken up from their melee on the floor.

The dynamic for Raylan and Carol is fairly smoking. She’s about as ballsy as he is laid back. When he arrives at her hotel room later to pick her up for the meeting, she opens the door in her robe. She starts asking him about the fight at the store, and the Bennetts in general, and he backfills for her (and us) that he gave Dickie his limp during a baseball game that went sideways. She casually wanders back in with her robe open, giving him a pretty clear view of her dainties, from which he averts his gaze, and then wanders back off to finish getting dressed, with the door open, so we see her pulling on her clothes behind him while he keeps talking to the room without looking down the hall at her. It was a really cool way to block the scene.

The meeting about the mine is fairly orderly as Carol makes her case that yes, the mines are difficult and dirty but the pay trumps all that (at least I think that was the pitch). Mags has her say, and then gunfire disburses the crowd, but that turns out to be an errant firework, which Carol or Mags may have planted for added effect.

We also get Boyd offering his services in the protection detail at the actual meeting, where Raylan essentially tells him to step in front of a bullet should one make its way toward Carol. And that’s about the gist of the episode. Short and sweet and a setup for the shenanigans set to transpire at the Bennett Bash. I’m digging Rebecca Creskoff as Carol. She had a significant arc on HBO’s Hung, but that wasn’t an appointment show for me. Lucky, lucky gal getting to dance with all the pretty!

Only five episodes left this season!

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