Since the back half of Justified Season 1, I have stated that this show merges self-contained episodic story lines with long running seasonal arc better than any other. I never thought that I'd say this, but through three episodes of season four, the FX drama may be doing it more impressively than ever before.
Not only have the stand alone stories been entertaining, but they have all been linked together seemingly more so than in the past. In the Season 4 premiere, Raylan was making some extra cash when he found the bag and started to inquire about Waldo Truth. In last week's "Where's Waldo?" the Marshals went after truth and subsequently learned about Drew Thompson.
Now, in "Truth and Consequences," they went after Thompson for a majority of the hour.
Everything is pulled together so nicely, but because each hour has its own feel, is its own entity, you never finish an episode disappointed in what you just witnessed, and sometimes you even get what Art Mullen might call a "television-stiffy."
In Raylan's duo of adventures, "Truth" treated us to a number of things Justified does so well. There were plenty of hilarious quips (Rachel referring to Raylan as Wyatt Earp), there were surprises (the FBI agent shooting himself in the head), and there were certainly dramatic tough guy moments (Raylan telling Randall to get out of town).
The best of the night, though, had to be when Eve read Raylan like a book, explaining that he was going to meet someone dangerous later. Tim getting all curious about Lindsay having a husband, and Raylan responding by letting them both know that "show time is at 6:00 p.m." had me in stitches.
Unfortunately, the happy fun time for our favorite cowboy came to an end when the episode did. Unlike me, many viewers didn't like Raylan and Lindsay together, so perhaps some were secretly happy to see his place ransacked. What exactly happened, I'm not sure of, but I certainly felt bad for the guy. How could you not?
Meanwhile, on the other side of town, Boyd was getting himself into a whole bunch of trouble... some knowingly and some maybe unaware of. I say maybe, because there is definitely a chance Boyd knows what his cousin is up to. And like Wynn might think, there is also a chance that Boyd indeed sent Johnny there. My gut says that Johnny's there looking out for number one, but what's your best guess?
In regards to the snakes, we all knew they would play a major part at some point, but this quickly? That scene when they got all up on Jimmy was pretty crazy. Watching him and Colton fire guns like you read about to get the snakes off of his face was painful to watch, but also just exciting to see.
Also exciting was every single time Boyd opened his mouth. Walton Goggins is just fantastic. The man does so much with a whisper, as was put on display in his very first conversation with Cassie. Somehow he turned it into a loud whisper, which made "we misjudged each other" that much more chilling.
It was his final take down of Preacher Billy that was probably the best moment of the night though. Watching that man pick up the snake, knowing his sister told him not to, but wanting to believe that he'd be okay, was a thing of beauty. Seeing him get bitten, well that just put a smile to my face, and interestingly enough put restraint on Boyd's.
With the future of the church in jeopardy, Johnny going behind Boyd's back to talk to Duffy, Raylan's lady friend in the wind, and the new information that Drew Thompson witnessed Theo Tonin murder a government informant, it only feels like Justified is going to get better as this fourth season moves along.
What did you think of "Truth and Consequences?" What were your favorite moments? What didn't you like about it? Check out our Justified quotes page to relive some of the funnier moments, and then sound off in the comments.
Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.