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Guest Star Goodness

Guest Star Goodness: Pruitt Taylor Vince and James LeGros in Justified “Harlan Roulette” 

Photo Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX

Y’all know I am intensely loyal when I like somebody. Although Pruitt Taylor Vince has been around forever and a half, and creeped the ever living out of me way back there when he kidnapped Scully, I came to adore him because of an arc he did on USA’s short-lived (but awesome) Touching Evil, where was downright amazing opposite the equally brilliant Jeffrey Donovan.

I’m always happy to see him pop up on my TV and was delighted to have him come and play on Justified, even if we only got him for a single episode. Deadwood viewers will recall that Vince played Mose on that series.

Here, he was Fogle, a pawn shop owner who was both menacing (roulette with a drug addict can never end well) and a good old boy. I loved the two scenes with Fogle and Raylan—first in the pawn shop where Raylan sort of Columbo’s his way around to realizing Fogle is who he needs to be speaking with, and second, in Messer’s front yard when Fogle stops in the middle of their pissing match to ask Raylan where he’s thinking of buying a house.

I loved the way he flitted back and forth between deadly and casual, but was almost panicky on the phone with Duffy, even though he didn’t show that side of himself to Raylan or his employees. It was great to see him get to play so many shades of a character in 47 minutes. So good!

Photo Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX

Another guester this week was James LeGros, who is a longtime crush for me–back to a goofy, silly, dark movie he did with Jennifer Beals back in 1991 called Blood and Concrete (the same year he also popped up in Point Break). He’s always interesting, and I love him as the dimwitted Messer, who we last saw in season two.

He had some gold-medal gems in “Harlan Roulette”—from telling Raylan he was probably just going to shoot himself when Raylan confronted him about why he had a gun, and then struggling to find (and dial) 911 on the phone while handcuffed and stoned, I was just on the floor. I love that he plays Messer as someone who just can’t get his sh-t together and is supremely aware of that fact. He also knows that Raylan still owes him an ass-kicking for setting him up for Dickie’s “hey, batter” routine last season.

I’m so glad Messer survived the episode when everybody else he had dealings with this week didn’t. He’s a welcome addition in what is quickly becoming a heavily-populated third season.

 

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