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Season One, Episode Eight
Raylan Givens is being investigated by the US District Attorney’s office in relation to his shooting of Boyd Crowder among other things. It seems that Raylan’s dalliances with Ava are causing a little problem as far as this case and the shooting are concerned. Also not to complicate things, a lifer convict takes hostages in the US Marshall’s office in Lexington and it falls upon Raylan to deal with the situation.
This was an uneven episode with some interesting consequences for Raylan long term. Can he stay out of trouble long enough to get out from under this rock? Can he resist Ava for a while until things have blown over? (I doubt it!) Also, for some reason I found myself craving a little spicy fried chicken by the end of the episode.
We had a number of smaller side scenes in this episode with some importance. M.C. Gainey as the elder Bo Crowder gets released from prison partly because of Raylan’s nailing of the Harlan County Sheriff in the previous episode. It seems that all cases that he was involved in are being looked at and in some cases prisoners are being released if their sentences are almost up. The scene in the diner with Bo, Ava, and finally Raylan is probably a sign of things to come.
Boyd and Raylan’s relationship seems to continue despite warnings and threats. One has to wonder if these two really almost like each other. Walton Coggins is extremely likable as Boyd Crowder. This may be a supporting role Emmy if people really pay attention.
The real emphasis in this episode though is the standoff in the Marshall’s office and the interview with the Assistant District Attorney which happen to almost coincide with each other. Character actor W. Earl Brown plays Cal Wallace the five life time sentenced criminal who is being sent to what they call a Super Max prison facility. It seems that good ole boy Cal is a menace to everyone around him. Have you ever heard the story of the dog that the boys kept poking with a stick through a fence only to have the dog finally get out of the yard and get a little retribution? This situation is very similar. It seems that the guards who have been with Cal like to play little games with him and this creates almost a sympathetic nature to this man who is truly a brutal individual. Think about him describing how he beat the man and his brains coming out his nose! In this case it’s Raylan who ends up being in charge and he is committed to trying to find a peaceful solution. He tries to use psychology to understand and diffuse the situation and bring it to a non-violent ending. He understands that one way or another saving face is important to a man like Cal who has nothing to lose after all. He is never going to see the light of day and be free again.
The quick interview and the direction it went in were swift and brutal. We are led to believe certain things and everything is turned upside down by a very sympathetic Assistant DA played by Rick Gomez. After all of that and the deep consequences involved Raylan immediately avoids the advice of the Attorney and his friend the Chief Deputy US Marshall.
An enjoyable episode of Justified, but in a way this story really was a standalone plot within the structure of a serialized show. We are left with more questions than the ones that get answered. What will Raylan do next? I guess that’s why we check in every week to see what happens. It’s been three weeks since Raylan shot anyone as well. You know that’s got to end soon. Thanks for reading…Jeffery Yarter