U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, played by Timothy Olyphant, isn’t afraid to shake things up in the name of the law, locking up criminals and taking his job to the next level in the FX series Justified.
Spoiler alert! Justified’s Joelle Carter, who plays Ava Crowder, took some time to talk to EW about the third episode of the season and how her character is finally taking control of her future. If you haven’t already watched this week’s tense episode, “Noblesse Oblige,” then you might want to stop reading…
After last week’s high stakes premiere—which saw Boyd rob a bank and Raylan struggle to keep up with every move of his nemesis—”Cash Game” puts more of this season’s primary pieces into place. It’s a classic episode of Justified, emblematic of everything this show can do when it’s at the top of its game. It not only deepens the larger narrative arc that will dominate the season (the game of cat and mouse between Raylan and Boyd, and Ava’s role in it all) but also gives us an isolated storyline (Boyd’s attempted blackmail) to latch on to.
The fifth season of Justified was surprisingly inconsistent, an issue with storytelling that the show had never really dealt with before. There were so many storylines to focus on from one episode to the next that the larger arc of the season, and of the show more generally, often got lost in the mix.
Are there Team Raylan and Team Boyd T-shirts and mugs? Because after this episode, the battle lines have officially been drawn (again). Though this being Justified, we suspect they’ll curve (again).
“I’m thinkin’ you should have seen this coming.” Those are the first words spoken in this hour, by Rachel regarding Lindsey having run off with Raylan’s money. She’s right, of course, but what’s fun about this episode – besides Raylan’s ultimate showdown with Randall and Lindsey when he found them – is how it ended. We thought we knew exactly what was going to happen to Ellen May after Colton got the call from Ava to kill her instead of taking her to the bus station.
You could tell from the slithering soundtrack that started this episode, when Boyd went to negotiate with Cassie at the Last Chance Holiness Church, that snakes would play a pivotal role this hour. Then again, the rattler that killed Billy wasn’t the only snake in this episode. Lindsey is just a lot prettier.
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.
If the season 4 premiere felt a bit different to you, it was supposed to. The writers are trying something new this year: There’s not a “big bad” (RIP, Mags and, presumably, Quarles), there’s a big mystery. They’re also giving Raylan and Boyd very separate story lines, at least at the start. Since Raylan has to keep his moonlighting a secret because bounty hunters aren’t allowed in Kentucky and Marshals aren’t allowed side jobs, that means his colleagues were nowhere to be seen this episode – after Rachel appeared just long enough for Raylan to make a Big Lebowski reference.
Who deserves to win Lennox. About the only Grammy category left uninstituted is Best Divorce Album. Sans that, Lennox’s ”Bare” gets our vote here.
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