Judge Michael Reardon has been bitten by a copperhead snake placed into his bed and the US Marshal’s service is convinced that one of the criminals Reardon previously sentenced is behind the snake placement. Suspecting that the culprit will make additional attempts on Reardon, Chief Mullen wants round-the-clock protections for Reardon and assigns Raylan to the night shift.
Raylan meets up with Reardon and on the way back to Reardon’s place his car, driving in front of Raylan, careens off the road in to a ditch. Raylan is able to pull Reardon out of the car unhurt, but the judge is unconscious. The police arrive and determine that there was a malfunction of Reardon’s car’s exhaust system which resulted in the carbon monoxide being pumped back into his car.
Having recovered from his earlier incident in his car, Judge Reardon is up for a visit to the local strip joint. Raylan is required to go with him and in the club notices a suspicious character eyeing Reardon – something unusual for a male to be doing in a strip club. When the suspect ducks into the bathroom, Raylan and Reardon corner the man, but Reardon does not recognize the man who was paying too much attention to him.
Back at the US Marshal’s office, Raylan identifies the man at the bar as Virgil Corum, someone Reardon put away for 15 years who is out after eight years and on probation. Reardon explains to Raylan that he’s harsh about his punishments after letting the wrong guy off the hook, but is undaunted by Corum and heads back to the strip club.
Forced to follow Reardon back to the strip club, Raylan attempts to clear a bathroom before Reardon heads in to use the toilet. When he returns, Reardon is no where to be found. Checking out back, Raylan steps into a scene where Virgil has Reardon at gun point and is demanding an explanation for why Reardon was so harsh.
Before any explanation is given, Reardon draws a gun and shoots Corum. In the end, it turns out Corum was frustrated that his crime cost his ex-wife and son a nice life and was attempting to get shot and killed so his ex-wife could collect his life insurance.
While not protecting Reardon at night, Raylan is spending his days tracking down someone who can help him bring Boyd Crowder back to jail. He’s dead set on Pastor Israel Fandi who had the rocket launcher fired at him by Boyd when his church was destroyed. Despite Fandi’s initial reluctance to ID Boyd both at the station and then after Boyd’s release, Raylan is able to strong arm Fandi into IDing Boyd. The only trouble for Raylan is that Fandi truly didn’t see Boyd and doesn’t know what he looks like.
Boyd Crowder, for his part, is doing everything he can to give Raylan the ammunition to put him back in jail. Although no one is buying his crusade to start his own church and eradicate the methamphetamine problem in Harlan, Boyd seems serious about it when he blows up a trailer where meth is being produced. The problem for Boyd is that he did not drag out everyone in the trailer before blowing it up. Beyond even what Boyd knew, the man he killed was a CI for the police, so it has their attention.