After watching the last few weeks of Justified, including last night’s episode, “Blind Spot,” it is hard not to wonder what the heck happened with the second and third episodes.
The idea that episodes two and three were duds is nothing new for those who have read my reviews before. What is becoming clear, however, is the long term story that the writers obviously fleshed out for this season and how the second and third episodes had absolutely nothing to do with... well, anything.
Not every episode this season has been as engaging on so many levels as “Blind Spot” was last night. We were given our largest helping yet of the Crowders vs. Ava, but with the twist that the first 40 minutes of the show was actually the Miami hotel vs. Raylan. Mix in the side story line about our wayward sheriff, Hunter Mosley and we have our most interesting episode of the season.
What did either “Riverbrook” or “Fixer” bring to the table for the show? Neither discussed the Crowder’s, Ava, Raylan’s father or the Miami cartel. Worse than anything, perhaps, both episodes had terrible story lines that were not worth watching. It is hard not to wonder if Justified lost a number of viewers after a solid series premiere because of those two weak episodes.
Ok, enough about the beginning of the series. Justified has been much better since the fourth episode and last night was definitely the most entertaining. For weeks now we’ve been building up to Bo Crowder’s release from prison and its impact on Ava’s safety, but were thrown a curveball with Boyd Crowder’s creepy reveal that perhaps it is Raylan who is in far more danger than Ava.
Walton Goggins continues to do a phenomenal job playing Boyd Crowder. His snarky, half-knowing, half-innocent conversations with Raylan have been tremendous ever since he was shot and put in jail. It is hard to tell if Boyd is truly a religious stalwart now (seems unlikely) or just another sneaky con man hiding behind the façade of religious conversion.Certainly Raylan is not buying Boyd’s act and perhaps that should tell us something. After all, Raylan has known Boyd for quite some time and likely has a beat on Boyd’s acting. One thing that struck me as a small hint that Boyd knows more than he’s letting on is how easily he suspected that someone was after Raylan and not Ava.
On one hand, if Boyd knows for certain that it was not him or his kin who put a hit out on Ava, his mind has to immediately wander to 1) who did put a hit on Ava or more generally 2) why is someone shooting at Ava and/or Raylan. The answer to #1 seems unlikely to be anyone but his kin, so #2 must be the solution.
But, does Boyd know that the cartel is after Raylan? It’s certainly something reasonable to suspect, even for Boyd, who knows that Raylan shot Buckley in Miami. Yet, it’s also reasonable to believe that Boyd heard something more concrete in jail. We’re often led to believe that rumors spread like wild fire in prison (Boyd’s home, as he sarcastically points out to Raylan) so to suggest Boyd knew more than he’s letting on is not unreasonable.
What seems even more likely is that Boyd knew about Mosley’s involvement in the plan to take out Raylan because of how quickly Raylan accused Mosley after his meeting with Boyd. We’re not shown any dialogue between the two old friends where Boyd flat out says to Raylan that Mosley’s on the wrong side, likely in an attempt to further build up Raylan’s heroic persona by insinuating that he figured it out on his own. This distracts us from the more likely scenario that Boyd told Raylan what he needed to know.
Not convinced? The ending scene with fellow prisoners accosting Boyd for spending too much time talking to Raylan was not just a scene to introduce Bo. They don’t accuse Boyd of being a snitch for no reason. What would Boyd be snitching about if not Mosley coming after Raylan? It seems likely that Boyd was not the only inmate who knew of Mosley and the cartel.
My grand theory for Justified right now is that possibly the Crowders and definitely Boyd are angling for a Jack Nicholson in The Departed relationship with the authorities. For those who do not remember (this is not a spoiler alert, the movie came out four years ago), Nicholson’s character was wanted by local authorities, but federally was a protected informant. The feds were using Nicholson to help catch crooked cops.
With Raylan’s life in jeopardy, perhaps the Marshals office will leverage Boyd’s shady background into obtaining information on the cartel. In exchange, Boyd gets a shorter sentence. Eh? No? Maybe?
It’s certainly a shot in the dark (no pun intended), but why not? It’d be pretty cool, right? What are your theories on where Justified is going? We want to hear from you.