If this episode taught me anything, it’s that I would watch Justified even if it was just Raylan, Tim, and Art on one stakeout after another. Bonus points if an episode involves Raylan having sex, which this one did. Like this hour, let’s start there.
Once again, it worries me that Raylan keeps his cash in his underwear drawer and leaves Lindsey alone in his place. Perhaps he figures if he exhausts her with sex that’s “getting good,” she won’t have the energy to snoop or steal. (Of course, other than the money, all he has in there is a Tombstone poster.) He went downstairs to handle the bar delivery and flex his triceps. A man walked right in and helped himself to a beer, even though Raylan told him they were closed. It was clear from the moment he asked Raylan whether he was doing a favor for the blonde or the brunette that he knew Lindsey. Raylan kept it cool, and the man left, but not before asking Raylan whether he thought he could make him leave. Raylan didn’t know, and neither did I. This guy is big like the late Coover Bennett, with seemingly more brains, and Raylan probably wasn’t carrying. The guy bumped into Raylan and tossed a chair on his way out. Raylan looked more confused than worried.
Ava was also handling deliveries at Boyd’s bar. Her visitor was Ellen May, who came to tell Ava she missed her previous night’s shift because she found God. “I saved your soul, remember? Not God or Jesus Christ. Me and my shotgun,” Ava said. That’s why Ellen May wanted to return the favor and encourage Ava to change her ways and seek God’s forgiveness. “You’re a whore, Ellen May. And if that ain’t enough, you and me, we killed a man. We dumped his body down a mineshaft without ceremony. There ain’t no salvation for people like us,” Ava said. Ouch. I didn’t like that Johnny overheard that part of the conversation. If he didn’t already know all that, it’s new information he could use against Ava and Boyd. Ava told Ellen May if she didn’t return to work that night, she’d never step foot in that bar again.
From someone being forced to work, we cut to someone being forced to retire. U.S. Marshals have mandatory retirement at age 57, and Art, we learned, recently turned 56. Before you get worried, showrunner Graham Yost told EW in our weekly postmortem that there won’t be a retirement party for Art anytime soon because the Justified timeline is so tight. The whole series to date has probably taken place over six months or at most a year. Art told a colleague from the Bowling Green office interested in the position what he’d be getting himself into: Tim, we learned, is more trigger happy than Raylan and probably has PTSD and a drinking problem. Rachel, who Art always assumed would take over for him, recently left the husband none of us knew she had and may be emotionally unstable. And Raylan, well, we all know what a handful he is. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out, Patrick!
Art told Raylan about the inmate Arlo had killed, a Dixie Mafia thug named Sam Porter, and Raylan recognized him as being in the room when he’d shown Arlo the Panamanian diplomatic bag from the wall in Arlo’s house. “Raylan, on a scale of one to a sh–load, how much do you need to tell me right now?” Art asked. Since Arlo wasn’t going to tell them why he hid the bag and killed a man just for looking at it, they decided to find Waldo Truth. Again with the symmetry in Raylan’s and Boyd’s story lines, we had a quick cut to Boyd arguing with Johnny about their mystery – the dwindling Oxy sales. Johnny still thinks the church is solely to blame and wanted to check it out (Ava agreed), but Boyd isn’t buying it and said he hates churches (which is what happens when your father has all your disciples killed).
And then we were back to Art, Raylan, and Tim briefing themselves on the Truth family and packing their weapons. The boys wanted to know why papa wanted to go on this particular assignment, and Art had three reasons: the best barbecue he ever had was in Versailles, Kentucky (“We are gonna stop for lunch before we get to the Truths incase you shoot one of them, then we won’t get to go afterward,” he told Raylan), the mystery bag had given him a bit of a “Marshal stiffy” (“That’s a nice image,” Tim deadpanned), and he wanted to nab the federal fugitive who’d been collecting a disability check for 30 years.
NEXT: The preacher and the pervies