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You know, it’s been awhile since I was firmly reminded of the fact that snakes freak me out. I mean, the limbless reptile has always made me unhinged, but I rarely see a thing like a guy getting massacred by a room full of the poisonous variety like a Looney Tunes character surrounded by mouse traps. Well, that, and seeing that poor lackey of Boyd in the aftermath, foaming at the mouth with a friggin’ snake head piercing his cheek! It certainly made me glad that guy was rarely seen and not worth remembering his name; if it were Boyd or Raylan…all I can say is TV show fan rage would commence.
That was the crux of Boyd’s storyline this week: having to deal with an injured subordinate after a failed spy mission on the church. This episode was clearly more focused on Raylan’s life--which I’ll get to in a minute—and until the last third of the episode, it seemed like our favorite Crowder was going to be on the backburner this week.
But that was most definitely not the case. Apparently a light bulb appeared over Boyd’s head and he realized the siblings at the head of the cult had a trick to handling the rattlers with ease: their fangs were held down. Therefore, Crowder presented a dangerous snake he found on his own, leading the sister at the head of the whole charade to sweat bullets. But the interesting part was Billy had no idea; he really did think God was doing him a solid with the pacifist snakes. And while it was dripping too much in the fiction zone when Billy denied the revelation and decided to handle the snake and geot bitten anyway, that whole scene of waiting until the deed was done was downright creepy, thanks to that horrifying start to the episode. Still, it’s disappointing that the church cult is likely now dead after just three episodes. Guess we’ll have to see what conflict Boyd will confront next week…
Thankfully, the mystery of “Drew” and the dead parachute guy who “brought cocaine to Harlan County” went very strong this week for Raylan and his Marshal buddies when they found a leak of Drew’s ex-wife. The Justified story thread of Raylan tracking down someone, that someone escaping at the soonest opportunity, and Raylan having to find and save-or-kill them is hardly original at this point, but this episode proved that the formula still works and leaves the audience begging for more. I liked how the ex-wife was a back-talking psychic, and that her being kidnapped by a nefarious group made this Drew character all the more interesting. However, the inclusion of the threated FBI agent was a misguided one. The fact that the ex-wife was kidnapped and treated so terribly already gave us the hint that Drew’s buddies/enemies were not ones to be messed with, so we really didn’t need an agent who kept the ex-wife’s location a secret for the sake of his family. And watching the agent shoot himself after spilling the beans to Raylan so suddenly and never brought up again in the episode solidified its addition being very slap-dash.
While that moment did bring down the quality of the episode’s main story, the saving grace at the very end was, to my surprise, where Raylan storyline with his girlfriend went. Last week I mentioned how the romance between him and Lindsey felt like filler as Givens would eventually have a child to want to support. But the very instant we see the episode end with Raylan’s room trashed by the backstabbing girlfriend, Lindsey became a character worth taking notice of. The writers were very clever by making Lindsey and her ex-husband being former criminals so there was the possibility that Raylan was just going to turn in the brawler spouse for a fat bounty and brownie points with the bar maid, but it turns out that Lindsey herself will be a bounty to catch. So while this episode overall was merely good, the cliffhanger will probably lead somewhere great.