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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Justified - Harlan Roulette

Is it just us, or is season three getting a little complicated, what with all the new baddies and their plots? Boyd has his doings and Neal has his own, complete with a slew of underlings for Raylan to investigate and shoot arrest. We thought we’d start recapping Justified more in case any of ya’ll are getting lost in all the clever dialogue and Western-style action.

This week, we got a temporary criminal antagonist in the form of Fogle, owner of a pawn shop and drug trafficker. The pawn shop is a cover for illegal goods. Fogle employed Wade Messer who is still on the run from Raylan. Fogle only employs complete idiots. One of his underlings, JT, messed up, so Fogle had JT play Russian roulette in order to acquire a bottle of oxy. The junkie played, but he ended up dead anyway, after Fogle toyed with him a bit.

Bam! No more incompetence! That did get one of us wondering if Fogle could be charged with accessory to murder or something if he HAD put a bullet in the gun on the first place and if JT had been dumb enough to shoot himself for drugs. At least Ern has a question for a law professor if she decides she cares by tomorrow… Anyway, that’s an intro to Fogle. He has a charming personality (sarcasm), and it’s pretty funny.

When Raylan looks into Fogle, he gets on Fogle’s radar. Raylan deduces that the pawn shop is a cover for dealing drugs and tells Fogle his suspicions. Fogle calls Neal McDonough, mobster. Neal wants to make Harlan into some sort of oxy hub by setting up a fake medical business where addicts will get their prescriptions filled halfway and the other half will be shipped back to be sold. Neal explains this to his own underling, Wynn. Neal is using a house for his evil plan and he takes the owner and ties him to a bed. Neal goes into the bedroom with the homeowner and shuts the door. Wynn looks concerned, but we don’t find out what happened to the homeowner.

When Neal hears about Fogle’s problem with Raylan, it takes him a while to remember who Raylan is. Then he says, “Oh, the hat.” Hahaha. Neal then advises Fogle to take care of Raylan. Fogle orders Wade to kill Raylan, who easily outsmarts Wade. Fogle has to show up to take care of things himself and brings another incompetent druggie underline. Raylan plays the two, hilariously, and they end up shooting each other. We’ll miss Fogle, though we knew him briefly. Before he gets shot, Fogle tells Raylan a little about Wynn. Wynn is a stupid name.

Raylan crashes Wynn’s motor home where Neal is also present. Raylan punches Wynn in the face and drops a bullet on him, as a message. Raylan sees Neal and takes a picture of him with his phone so that he can investigate this new face and probable Big Bad of the season. Neal smiles for the camera, and it’s a creepy, belligerent smile. Neal is not scared. Just what Raylan needs is another drug-running enemy. This one wears a suit and seems to exude power.

And now for our main secondary character, Boyd. Some people were annoyed with Boyd’s character for giving religious people a bad name. We think that arc was realistic and disagree that it was offensive. Lots of people take on religion when it's convenient, socially beneficial, or when it contributes to their comfort. Boyd really thought he had changed and found God. Part of him was just using the whole thing to look good and to get power over others, but there was a part of him that thought religion could make his life better. Sadly, Boyd was using faith as a means to an end (like Santorum and Perry). Unless faith is the end in itself, it’s not going to be powerful enough to last when the going gets rough and you don’t get what you want. When trouble came to Boyd’s door and his followers were killed, he left his religious prophet gig. Boyd's into the prosperity gospel only. Now, he is full-on back into crime, in service of the almighty dollar. 

Boyd has always been funny and entertaining. He is still working with Arlo, who has always been a disappointment to us. He should have been what Neal is: a powerful criminal to be reckoned with. The Darth Vadar to Raylan’s Luke. But alas, he is pathetic. Ava gets Boyd a meeting with Limehouse. Boyd plans to kill Dickie so that he can get Mags’ weed money and he wants Limehouse’s help. Limehouse offers Boyd help with his weed situation. Limehouse’s men came to pick up the ruined weed. Boyd considers refusing Limehouse’s money, but he takes it in the end. Boyd takes the Harlan bar as his headquarters, ejecting the bar’s owner.

A character asks which Boyd he is dealing with. The racist one? The religious one? This new wanna-be crime boss Boyd? Boyd says that he contains multitudes. Boyd isn’t a simple character and even Boyd knows it. He has also decided that he wants nothing to do with prostitution when he builds his criminal empire. Good going, Boyd!

It seems like the religion thing killed off the racist Nazi thing, which is progress. It forced him to admit that it was stupid, he didn’t really believe it, and that he probably had never even met a Jewish person. Boyd has been alive this long. He may make himself into the mob boss of Harlan for Raylan to shoot in the series finale. Who knows? Dickie is still in prison and a corrupt guard wants the Mags money as well. Dickie might get released early so that he can join the rest of these motley villains/buffoons in entertaining us and complicating this show.

Episode grade: B+

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