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Like the second and third seasons of Justified, I was completely off the ball in predicting when the season would ramp up the intensity and different plots would start to tie together. After a promising start then two not-so-fantastic treks that went through short side stories, the wheels of season four have started revving up and will hopefully keep rolling like prior seasons.
While the previous episodes have tip-toed around why Drew Thompson was such a pristine diamond of a case to solve, it was here in Kin where everyone was chomping at the bit to find him. Our A-team of marshals have just gotten the rights to sniff out the case—even over the F.B.I’s chinny chin chins—albeit at a heavy cost. It was a great scene between loathed father-and-son as Raylan sneered at Arlo’s look of victory as he seemed to get a "get out of jail free card" for revealing to the law that he knows how they can find Thompson.
And it’s here where we reach the best part of the episode; Raylan’s hillbilly adventure dealing with the mountain clan. Since we're so early in the season, of course Drew was nowhere to be found; but none of that matters because we have (drumroll please)... Boyd trapped right alongside Raylan by the group of Deliverance-esque weirdos. As if that wasn’t great enough the whole affair had the two go at each other like an old married couple. Also, the fact that Boyd got strung up for the exact same reason as Raylan (except Josiah supposedly liked him better) was pure gold. No, scratch that. Watching Boyd and Raylan shake hands in agreement to their “race to find Drew Thompson first” after escaping with our good marshal, then handcuffing poor Crowder to a tree made me fall in love with this show all over again.
But aside from being stuck to a tree for a bit, Boyd got into the main story arc with some heavy caveats. While we would have expected Boyd to accept Wynn Duffy’s deal for a partnership, it’s doubtful that even he knows that Duffy is under the thumb of the ruthless Tonin mafia. And because the leader of said Mafioso has a bone to pick with Mr. Thompson, this case is now much more than the dangers of what the founder of Harlan county cocaine can possibly handle.
Speaking of Duffy, I’m not sure what to think about what Johnny was doing in his quest to kill Boyd with Wynn’s approval here. He's really just continuing to come off as a desperate fool in his coup d’etat plans. Doesn't he know that Boyd is going to kill him... is he just doing this for the giggles?
Colt has had a torturous adventure in trying to finish off what he started in killing Ellen May. I never really brought him up before because I wasn’t sure what to think of him: whether he was unlikeable for the sake of being a future bad guy, or just unlikeable for being…unlikeable. I'm still not sure, but I did like the scene where Colt talked to Tim, the two military veterans just talked shop as kindred spirits. It was great because it was the first time when Colt had a sense of belonging in the season; something he could use right now as it turns out the sheriff has been holding onto Ellen May for her sweet knowledge to drive Boyd back to prison.
I only worry that all this focus on finding Drew Thompson will end up having him just be found sooner than it probably should be, but from the previews, we still have some time before the crux of this year in Justified will come to fruition. Because if the chase continues to be as good as it was here, then we can only hope the capture will be all the more sweet.