Sunday, April 3, 2011

What I’m Watching: Justified

Justified: Season 2, Episode 8 “The Spoil” (B+)

If ever there was a show that was successful at bringing together its many plotlines and threads, this is it. From the Bennett brothers beating up Boyd to Raylan getting assigned Carol protection detail to Carol speaking directly to Helen and Arlo with Raylan in tow for business reasons, this show has created a marvelous complicated web of characters that doesn’t take too much time to untangle yet still manages to delight and enthrall. Along those same lines, I like how Raylan tried to take himself out of the equation by explaining to Carol and Doyle how he wasn’t involved in their business and putting them both down in the process. Moody, hung over Raylan and Carol were a fun pair, and my favorite exchange was “are you familiar with the hands-free law?” / “will you just pipe down?” The meeting was much more intense than I might have expected, with Mags singling Reggie and turning the town against Carol, but the scene at the Bennett store was even crazier. Mags’ comment that Carol is “much prettier in person than you are in the papers” was certainly cruel, and I did not expect Coover to actually lay his hands on Raylan and start beating on him until his mother had to hit him with a shovel to stop him. Things are getting tense in Harlan, and even the Givens family home isn’t safe. I liked the way Raylan instructed his father: “if anyone comes through that door, you shoot ‘em. Unless it’s me.” There’s also the threat of Art knowing about Winona’s actions brewing, this episode limited to an amusing batting cage confrontation and sure to return full force in future episodes.

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