Review: 'Justified' - 'The Spoil': Whoop-de-doo!
A review of tonight's "Justified" coming up just as soon as I need you to put on a dress...
"Far as I'm concerned, y'all deserve each other." -Raylan
Playtime's over. It's been fun to this point in the season, but now is when stuff starts getting real.
And what made "The Spoil" especially strong was how it managed to take recent events that seemed minor from an arc standpoint and give them equal weight with what's happening in Harlan. Raylan is pretty sure Art knows what he did with the stolen money, and since Raylan's hunches tend to be right, then Art knows. So Raylan goes through all the other business of the episode with that cloud hanging over his head. As viewers of the TV adventures of Raylan Givens, we know he's not going to get transferred, or drummed out of the service, or incarcerated, but he doesn't know that, and that sense of fatalism informs everything Raylan does throughout the episode, including him getting his ass good and thoroughly kicked by Coover.
This is roughly the point in season one when we got "Hatless." We know that Raylan isn't infallible, particularly when he's drunk or hungover, but it's still kind of shocking to see him catch a beating like that - and from a character like Coover, who to this point has mostly been comic relief. He's been such a clown that we forget just how big Brad Henke is, and how convincingly he could lay a hurting on our man - particularly when our man is both physically impaired and suffering a crisis of confidence.
And now that it looks like we'll be spending most of the rest of the season inside the Harlan County line, it's important that we understand just how dangerous the Bennetts are. Mags is the evil mastermind, and Doyle has the power of his badge, but Dickie is fearless and devious himself, and if Coover's dumb, he's also big and strong and won't quit. And we got to see all their powers on full display in "The Spoil," with Mags' speech about the evils of mountaintop removal mining(*) just as impressive in its own right as Coover's wrasslin' skills.
(*) One drawback to an otherwise fantastic scene that wonderfully showcased Margo Martindale was how much the subject matter kept reminding me of my unfortunate decision to read Jonathan Franzen's "Freedom" - and, particularly, to keep reading and reading as he went on at length about the pros and (mostly) cons of mountaintop removal. God, I hated that book.
Just as important was simply putting most of the major players - Raylan, Boyd, Ava, the Bennetts, Arlo and Helen, and troublemaking Carol(**) - all in the same territory, and even briefly in the same room. We don't know exactly what Mags' plans for all that land is, but we know that she's opposed to Carol, that Boyd and Raylan are somehow both protecting Carol, and now that the Bennetts even have something of a personal vendetta against Ava, who makes the mistake of killing Coover's favorite critter instead of simply shooting Coover himself. (And we know from the fate of Bowman Crowder that Ava doesn't necessarily flinch at killing people.)
(**) It's clear that Carol has eyes for Raylan, though it may just be that Rebecca Creskoff is an inherently flirtatious performer. But anyone want to set odds on whether Raylan gives into a self-destructive impulse and sleeps with her, wrecking the new thing with Winona in the process?
So we had that great town hall meeting scene, and a fine little action set piece a Aunt Helen's house, in which we found out that there are circumstances under which Raylan will actually let Arlo watch his back. (And his decision to cut the anklet to alert a rescue party was a good bit of thinking from our clever Marshal.)
The question is whether he'll again allow Boyd to have his back, or whether he'll let himself have Boyd's back when things with the Bennetts inevitably get ugly.
But all the players are on the board together now, and we know most of the battles - even getting confirmation that it was Raylan who hobbled Dickie, and why - and that was a damned entertaining hour of "Justified."
What did everybody else think?
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
Let Streaming Genie help you.