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Moment of Goodness

Confronting Ghosts, Justified “Dark as a Dungeon” 

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

Over the course of Justified‘s run, Raylan has been plain about his feelings that Arlo was a son of a bitch, and since his death, he’s been happy the world is relieved of him. As he works his way through Arlo’s home, dispensing with memories left and right, it’s clear that his anger has jumped a step to just flat out not giving a sh-t anymore about his daddy. He’s not angry or sad. He’s just over it and ready to put Harlan in the rear view mirror.

I was fascinated and cringey watching Raylan clear out the house–flushing drugs and bagging clothes, and then he gets to a lock box full of letters and pictures from Arlo’s stint overseas during Vietnam. Raylan cuts off the lock and sifts through the contents, and I thought he might take a minute to actually read through them and find some inkling of redemption, but Justified isn’t that show. Instead, he carries the footlocker into the yard, empties bourbon into it, and then flicks his lighter and drops it in, torching all of it in one fell swoop. He even drops in Arlo’s dog tags, but not before he retrieves a key that shares their chain.

When it comes time to dig up his parents’ graves in the yard, Raylan directs his mama to be reburied in town, but tells the man taking care of things that he can do with  Arlo what he likes. When the man is appropriately bewildered, he suggests potter’s field.

Raylan goes exploring with that key out in the pitch black of the night, and finds out that it opens his daddy’s hidey hole–a hut in the woods that terrified him as a child when he pondered all of the horrible, terrible things that might be locked inside.  Turns out there were none. But Arlo’s ghost (literally–Raymond J. Barry) pops in just the same and Raylan tells him that he always feared the hut’s contents, and he sees now that it’s empty. Arlo says it wasn’t ever anything scary–it was just his place of solace in the world. Raylan locks it up and heads back to the house.

The next morning, he changes his mind about his parents’ remains and decides to leave them where they lie underneath the dirt, but he wipes away the grave markers, which include his own, waiting for the date of his death. An omen?

Only five episodes left to find out. I like the way they’re working folks into these last episodes. I never expected Raylan to actually see his daddy, and it was probably the quietest exchange they’d ever had. I was happy for Timothy Olyphant and Barry to get that last moment together. I have no clue where we’re going, but I’m very curious about how they’re going to wrap it all up, and who will be left standing. I need Olyphant to book his next gig now.

Justified airs Tuesday nights at 10/9c on FX.

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