Jody, the fugitive Raylan grabbed on the side in the season premiere, actually escaped and killed Sharon (the bondsperson he slept with in Florida) and her partner by getting a drug dealer friend of his to pop one of their tires. Seeing Jody kill these people was really brutal and horrifying especially strangling the guy who was changing the tire while Sharon peed in the woods. She manages to shoot him in the shoulder but he had the drop on her so she gets a fatal gunshot to the neck. Jump six days forward (thought this season had spanned much longer than it has) and Raylan gets a call that Sharon and her partner's bodies have been found and Jody is missing. Art wants him to go to jail to visit Arlo and threaten that his deal is running out of time unless he points them to Drew Thompson But Raylan is a little distracted. Johnny tells his girlfriend that he doesn't believe Max (the guy Colt and he beat the piss out of last week) was the one who beat on her and he infers that it was Colt. Johnny is told about Colt asking after Ellen May and Johnny figures he didn't truly kill her after all. Johnny infers in a veiled threat to Colt that he knows asking if he ever sees her face in his dreams to which Colt says no. Boyd and Ava visit Napier's swingers party and I finally understand why they went there is to find Drew Thompson. While Ava fights off the advances of several men Boyd cozies up to real estate moguls and other high powered white collars who want him to do the same thing he did to stop Black Pike's deal with Mags Bennett in a nice call back to Season 2. They wish for Boyd to kill Frank, a mining representative (in order to run his operation into the ground and get emergency funds from the federal government) also at the party and Boyd wonders what will happen if he refuses. They say that he only is in operation because they allow him to be and that his father was also their dog too which doesn't seem to sit well with Boyd who will surely defy them in one way or another. Although they didn't find Drew Thompson there they seem to be getting further along. Jody, laying low at Kenny's for six days (the tire popper and drug dealer) wishes to get a stash of cash he left in his baby mama's house. He goes there to get it but Raylan is already there looking to protect the sister of Jody's baby mama. Jody breaks into baby mama's sister's house, after Raylan flirts with her in the car and she seems interested in him and vice versa, and threatens to cut her if she doesn't tell him the code to the home of his baby mama's house which he has some trouble grasping. Raylan, rather realistically recognizes Kenny's car license plate from where he had been previously collecting the girl. He heads back to the apartment and holds Jody (who has a knife trained on the girl) at gunpoint but the girl manages to hit Jody with a vase and he escapes out of a window. Off of the license plate recognition Raylan tracks down Kenny's house and he plays Raylan a movie made by him and Jody that says that Jody will kill Raylan and get the drop on him, making him look over his shoulder. I really like the touch that Kenny (from Mad Men) is a filmmaker and keeps telling us of the fact throughout the whole episode much like the magician in season 2 when the convict escaped his halfway house and he wanted to get out of the game. These eccentric additives are what makes Justified an interesting character study. Jody happens to be in the bar where Raylan lives and he pulls the fire alarm so that they can be alone. Jody doesn't think he'll shoot and when he goes for his gun Raylan puts four rounds into him and calmly sighs and picks up his phone to call it in. This sequence was done perfectly, Raylan following through on his threat instead of "counting to one" and just how used to shooting down people he is. Art's thing about having Raylan investigated so many times he's on speed dial is going to maybe come into play next week a little. The nod at Agent Barkley not having shown up for work and Raylan coyly referring to him as "J. Edgar Barkley" was amusing. But it was nice to have another Raylan centric episode and his scene with Arlo was one of their best interactions in the whole series both of them getting straight to the point. Raylan says Boyd will find Drew first and if not then the Sheriff he put away, who knows who Drew is, will help them and Arlo's deal will be off the table. I'm ok with Arlo no getting released, he killed a cop and killed another inmate in cold blood and so there's not a lot of me that wants to see him released. But I do like that Raylan telling him Boyd, who was like a second son of him, was looking for Drew for the Dixie Mafia really seemed to ruffle his feathers. Raylan's line about the take out menus and how not to lie being, "one of the things he never learned" from Arlo along with "you always looked like a statue when something bad was held in" point to the tragic relationship the two have had during their lives and how very opposite they truly are. This was a very solid solo Raylan adventure and a lot of promise is moving forward as we move into phase second half with the shift into mid-season territory where it's easy to get bogged down in hanging plot threads but Justified has never really had a problem with that before.
I admit I was a little disappointed in the way the the ''showdown at high noon'' played out. It seemed overly built-up. Rachel's booty was nowhere to be found , which gives me even more disappointment, and I didn't like Raylan being cruel to Arlo in the end. Arlo deserves a win.
Ava was lookin fine as always, I hope this current path with her and boyd branches into something interesting. I'm glad that annoying ass fugitive was killed because that promises something fresher for the rest of the season.
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