(original here: http://www.tv.com/justified-mo-money-mo-problems/story/25444.html)
Alfred Hitchcock, the master of suspense, was unbelievably skilled at creating tension on the screen through sideways glances, precise information leaks, and heart-stopping near misses. And I'll be damned if last night's episode of Justified, "Save My Love," wasn't an homage to to the teeth-grinding suspense of Hitchcock's Notorious.
For all intents and purposes, "Save My Love" was the second part of a filler episode, and, to quote Community's Abed, a "bottle episode" with the bulk of the action taking place inside Raylan's workplace. I'd thought Winona's money problems were fixed with last week's episode (at least, until I saw the previews for last night's episode), and I was understandably skeptical of detouring further away from the season's main arc. But the episode made the scenic route worth it, thanks to crafty writing and spot-on pacing.
Winona and Raylan's predicament of trying to replace a bag of bank-robbery money that had gone unclaimed for two decades sucked me in, because only three people knew what was going on: Raylan, Winona, and the audience. Their problem became our problem, and every external force that rerouted their path toward getting away with it stuck a dagger in our guts. It was an hour of wonderfully frustrating circumstances, and the speedy pacing only amplified the tension.
And all the while there was Winona's tan leather bag, brimming with stacks of smirking Benjamin Franklins, mocking us at every turn. Just sitting there. Like a bag. But it was anything but a bag. It's always fantastic when an inanimate object becomes a central character in a show or film, and halfway through the episode I wanted to punch that bag in its non-existent face or roughly pull its zipper back and forth until it caught on something and got stuck. Take that, bag! That satchel represented more than just a place to stash old receipts and gum, it was the symbol of Winona's incredibly poor judgment (at least she admitted it) and both her and Raylan's questionable future.
As far as we know, Raylan and Winona got away with it in the end by stashing the evidence in a new locker to give the appearance that it was misplaced, and in the last shot of the bag, now empty, deflated, and carelessly tucked under Winona's arm, it looked absolutely defeated, didn't it? You lose, BAG! While that crime may be under the rug, it appears that Art-who ain't no dummy-at least has an inkling that something shady went down in the basement and that Raylan may not be the upstanding gentleman he appears to be. Sigh... the things we do for our ex-wives who we're currently sleeping with.
Good old Boyd found himself a new job, though I'm not sure he accepted it as much as it ensnared him. He's running security for an executive-Carol-of the coal company he works for, and of course there's something in store for him that's not in the job description. Carol struck me as iffy when we first met her, but I think she's going to grow on me. Not that I trust her enough to let her borrow my sweatshirt or anything like that. She's after the Bennetts, but why? Is she somehow connected to the Dixie Mafia?
This was the second consecutive Bennett-free episode, but the quality of the last two episodes has been so great, I've hardly missed that crazy family. It looks like they come back in a big way next week though, so make sure you're belts are buckled.