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Justified Conversations: “The Kids Aren’t All Right” Until Raylan Intervenes 

Photo Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX
Photo Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX

The Florida Crowes invade Dewey’s nest, Lee Paxton lives, Boyd’s shipment of drugs is ambushed, Mara wants to get paid and leave town, and Raylan protects his own. There is a lot going down in this excellent episode.

Even though Boyd has almost nothing under control, he’s doing a very good job of convincing Ava otherwise. He thinks he killed Paxton so Ava’s worried his damning testimony will go unchallenged in court. When Mooney shows up with Mara in tow, things look very bad for Boyd. She told Mooney that Boyd was responsible for the attack on her husband but when she has Boyd right in front of her, she recants. She wants the $300K Boyd was going to pay her husband. Harlan doesn’t agree with her and she wants the hell out of dodge. The only problem? Mooney thinks she made him look like a fool and he threatens her at gunpoint. He’ll get her to rat Boyd out one way or another.

Raylan gets a call from Lexington PD as he, Rachel and Tim are taking a detroit money man into custody. Raylan “borrows” his Mercedes and discovers Loretta in a cell in Lexington. Turns out she’s been selling weed to a cop’s kid and she thought throwing Raylan’s name around would get her out. He’s happy to let her stew in jail for a bit, think about her life choices and where they’re getting her. When Raylan goes to talk to Loretta’s boyfriend Derrick he meets Jay and Roscoe. They work for Hot Rod Dunham and later Raylan has to stop them from killing Derrick. Raylan decides it’s time for a little chat with Hot Rod and his guys.

Hot Rod: Look at this motley crew.
Raylan: I don’t suppose you boys are unarmed?
Hot Rod: You know I get a call from a Givens at this late hour, I get nervous.
Raylan: A Givens, huh? I guess that means you knew Arlo.
Hot Rod: Oh, I knew him well. We did plenty of business over the years.
Raylan: Good for you. Now you wanna hear the deal or want to talk about my family?
Hot Rod: Oh. Is that what we’re doing here? Dealing?
Raylan: First off, whatever transpired between you and those kids gets squashed. No vendetta. No debt. You tell me it’s over and it stays that way.
Hot Rod: Would you prefer that I respond point-by-point or should I wait ’til the end?
Raylan: You can wait ’til the end.
Hot Rod: Ok.
Raylan: Second, no one in your organization steps foot in Kentucky again. You keep to Memphis and you leave me and mine out of it.
Hot Rod: Anything else?
Raylan: No. That’s it.

Let’s examine this for a moment. Raylan has just declared Loretta one of “his.” So no matter how much he’s quaking in his boots about being a father to his own little girl, he is more than willing to step up and be a father figure to Loretta. Or an authority figure. Or just someone she can count on her in life. This is a huge step. I feel like Raylan’s making some progress in his emotional maturity. It’s not like Raylan was ever going to let Loretta fend for herself. Sure, he left her in jail so she could learn a lesson. But once she’s genuinely in trouble and genuinely being threatened, some latent instinct of his seems to kick in. Maybe it’s not a paternal instinct, but he still feels the need to do right by her Maybe he doesn’t like this Memphis man, this interloper in his town. Hot Rod isn’t from around these parts and he’d best remember that.

Hot Rod: You see the problem is I entered into business with these kids and they pulled slick one on me. I can’t let that slide and furthermore, I shouldn’t have to.
Raylan: You get in the weed business with teenagers and it’s their fault when things go wrong? You the type of fella that walks under a flock of birds and is surprised when he ends up with sh*t on his face?
Hot Rod: Just ’cause I knew your daddy don’t think I won’t have you killed right now. See Arlo knew when to walk away. Did you learn nothing from him?
Raylan: Oh I learned a bit. When I was a boy Arlo had this scam stealing mining equipment, shipping it south, trading it for cocaine. A couple of company men got wind of who was ripping them off and they went after Arlo and his crew. They shot up a couple spots including our house. They killed Caspar Johns. Wasn’t with the crew, was just living with us at the time and then this other fellow that Arlo had been  running with since high school. You get what I’m saying? Even before I went to Glencoe and trained to be a dead shot I seen people kill one another and I learned to be ready in case they came after me to do me harm. In other words I’ll kill four of you before you even clear your weapons and I’ll take my chances with the other two. And you see this star? That’s gonna make it legal. Now do we have an understanding here?

I like it when Raylan gets his back up. I like it when he reads someone the riot act. He doesn’t take threats lightly, especially when he feels like someone under his care or protection has been threatened. I would think anyone who’s ever had a conversation or any interaction with Raylan knows by now that they really shouldn’t bring Arlo into it. It shortens his temper even further. But mostly I like it when Raylan doesn’t back down and won’t be intimidated. He’s sure of his skills and he always likes his chances. Basically, if you’re going to threaten Raylan you’d better be 100% certain you’ve got the upper hand and even then, you probably don’t. Is this going to cause problems later? I can’t see how it won’t. But for now the kids are safe and Hot Rod might stay in Memphis for a while.

Some great lines:

Rachel: “Are you being funny because I can’t tell anymore.”

Boyd: “Do you get paid to tell me sh*t I already know?”

Raylan: “Derrick I’ve got a loaded gun. Get outta my car.”

Dewey: “Unless Hilter has risen from the grave and is in my whorehouse right now, go away right now Messer.”

Other interesting tidbits: 

  • Dewey isn’t pleased to see Darryl. I can’t wait for Darryl to start making trouble in Harlan.
  • Raylan’s living in the seized house and having dinner with Amy Smart‘s Alison. At least she knows his history  – or baggage is probably more accurate – going on. It won’t save her from his charm, but at least she was warned.
  • Sammy Tonin called Raylan 24 hours before he turned up dead. That piques Art’s interest enough that he calls a buddy at the Marshal’s office in Lexington to poke around on the whereabouts of Nicky Augustine on the night of Sammy’s death. That won’t end well for Raylan.

Justified airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on FX.

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