Carla Gugino stopped by Justified this week, while Art Mullen took to the streets for a change. We also - shudder! - were introduced to Ellstin Limehouse.
Which moments stood out on "Cut Ties?" What proposition should Raylan maybe have considered? Our Round Table team of Matt Richenthal, Jim Garner, Dan Forcella and special guest Tiffany Vogt (of TV Addict) are here to breakdown the latest episode of this FX stalwart...
What was your favorite scene from the episode?
Matt: Everything involving Art. On other shows of this nature, viewers would despise the boss that gives the protagonist a hard time. But there's something fair and a jovial about Art that makes him a favorite, and this episode proved he's a serious bad ass to boot when need be.
Jim: As morbid as it sounds, I really enjoyed the no-nonsense approach to the shoot-out. Rachel only needed a Stetson hat to been more like Raylan as she shot the hitman that was coming into the attic. Between Art's threats to Poe and Rachel's steady hands, I think Raylan is starting to rub off a little on his co-workers.
Dan: I have to go with Boyd getting released from prison and meeting up with Ava. When he is happy, nobody exudes joy better than Boyd Crowder.
Tiffany: It’s a tie: loved both when Rachel blew the villain away as he climbed into the attic; and when Art punched out Powe after he figured out that Powe was the one selling out witnesses. Great to see that Raylan is not the only one dispensing with frontier justice when it is necessary and justified. Though the appearance of Carla Gugino as Karen Goodall was pretty awesome, too.
What would Boyd's plan have been if Raylan hadn't put Dickie in isolation?
Matt: A recruiting pitch to play on the prison softball team together, obviously.
Jim: It looked like Boyd was going to plop down next to Dickie in the dining hall. But leave it to Justified to take all of our assumptions that Boyd just wanted to kill Dickie and turn them on their ear with him actually wanting information. Now I'm really confused if Raylan has been helping Boyd or if Boyd has just been using Raylan's actions to his benefit.
Dan: I have no idea. He might have just sat down to talk to him, but without the benefit of being in isolation, would he have been able to put the same kind of fear into Dickie? I'm not sure. Ironically, Raylan's initiative to stop Boyd's plan might have been exactly the thing he needed.
Tiffany: It didn’t matter where Dickie hid, Boyd was certainly going to corner Dickie and make him talk – and it was going to be the same play each time: Dickie’s life for Mags’ money. Plus, without a gun, Dickie just isn’t as scary as Boyd and Boyd had every right to get back at Dickie for shooting Ava last season.
Should Raylan have gone away with Karen when prompted?
Matt: And leave Winona alone to raise Jiffy Pop?!? Of course not.
Jim: While I, the humble TV critic, would jump at the chance to jet off to Miami with the incredibly attractive Deputy Director, I was happy that the offer nudged Raylan closer to Winona instead of leading to a rift.
Dan: I completely agree with Jim. The idea of going away with Karen sounded tempting, but I am really starting to enjoy the Raylan/Winona dynamic, and I'm glad Karen's appearance brought them closer together. Their snappy dialogue really adds another dimension to Justified.
Tiffany: That’s to be decided. There’s still too much we do not know about their past relationship.
Limehouse the butcher: scarier than Quarles?
Matt: Oh yes. It's all about the anticipation. You don't see the bullet coming with Quarles, but you'd be constantly reminded of Limehouse's torturous ways every time you looked at one of your co-workers. This is a man who clearly takes pleasure in pain, while Quarles just wants to get a job done and if you're in the way, eh, so be it. Bang, bang. I'd be more afraid of the slow (literal) burn than the gunshot in the back of my head.
Jim: Not at all. Limehouse may have very strict expectations, but as long as you meet them, you know where you stand. Quarles sets double standards, back stabs and has a chaotic element about him. If I had to pick one to work for, I would take Limehouse all the way.
Dan: But what if you don't know Quarles is such a back-stabber? He seems nicer on the outside, right? There is just something about Limehouse that makes me want to run for the hills. That speech he gave to his employee was chilling, and I was afraid while watching in the comforts of my own home. I can't imagine being the one having to choose between option one and option two.
Tiffany: Absolutely. Quarles just wants to clean up the mess and make things more efficient and profitable again. But Limehouse has a reputation to uphold and he cannot have people unafraid of him – he rules through the threat of violence boiling under the surface, whereas Quarles doesn’t care if people fear him, only if they do their job. Quarles is about efficiency and Limehouse is about legacy.
Which Limehouse option would you have chosen: the burned hand/immediate squareness; or safe hand/possibility of something even worse if you screwed up again?
Matt: The second option. It's not as though the first precludes you from future punishment anyway. Who's to say that having your hand burned means your next screw up still won't result in death, if the action so warrants? Or another burned limb at least? Might as well remain as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
Jim: I suspect that Limehouse respects those who are willing to take the pain of being square (did you notice his right hand man had a burn
mark?). My sense of honor would have had me picking option one, knowing it wouldn't kill me.
Dan: I don't do so well with the whole pain thing, so I would have chosen option two - and then gotten out of Harlan as quickly as I could. Sure, my next mistake would likely be my last, but Limehouse doesn't seem like the kind of guy who is going to chase you down if you move across the country to get away from him. Option two!
Tiffany: I’d definitely chose the “safe hand” route. I’m a big fan of second chances and letting people have an opportunity to prove themselves, so long as their infraction is minor and only needs a reminder. If the violation is more severe, then immediate punishment may be deserved.