Raylan keeps giving his old man second chances and keeps getting fooled every time. I don’t know about you, dear reader, but Arlo sure had me going too in “Fathers and Sons,” making his scene with Bo in the bar a fucking hoot and a half. That said, Raylan (as Boyd might say) ought not cast the first stone seeing as he did some deceiving of his own, fucking his ever-so direct ex-wife (who takes off her wedding ring before the act, causing me to make vague connections to the “time out” scene in Leonard’s Out of Sight) behind Ava’s back (Timothy Olyphant’s line-reading of “Shit” when Ava confronts him about the affair was the best laugh of the night).
But I’m getting ahead of myself here. As the title, you know, more than fucking suggests, “Fathers and Sons” was primarily interested in comparing the relationships of our two sets of daddies and their boys. Bo has arranged for a massive shipment of ephedrine to be hauled up from Miami so his guy can cook meth with it in a huge facility his gang has just acquired. He later goes to church and watches Boyd witness, seeming to finally accept that yes, his son is indeed a no-bullshit jesus freak. They talk after the service and make their positions clear: Bo intends to cook in Harlan and Boyd intends to keep meth outta Harlan. Bo also assures Boyd that he will be regret fucking with his old man, blood or not, if he tries to get in his way. Boyd then indeed gets in the way, blowing up Bo’s whole shipment with his “kodiak bear.” Does Boyd not believe his old man has it in him to hurt him or is he really that blinded by the light to think that Bo won’t fuck him up biblically?
Raylan certainly underestimated Arlo’s capacity for bitch moves when he gave him 20k and slapped a wire on him to help build a RICO case against Bo. When Arlo first came to Raylan at the beginning of the episode (Raylan’s reaction to it dawning on Arlo that he’d be a snitch was fucking priceless) negotiations end in shouts and “go on, gits.” When Raylan has a chance to watch Arlo defuse a possibly fatal situation involving a disgruntled soldier in a tactful way, he starts to think that maybe his old man could pull this off. Of course, the story Arlo tells the soldier is a lie, as is apparently damn near everything the man ever says. Arlo wears the wire and sees Bo, only to write him messages on paper and agree to see him the next day sans wire. I don’t know what kind of plan Arlo has up his sleeve, but he’s a crafty son of a bitch and I doubt it will disappoint.
Take note that the relationship between Bo and Boyd, two convicted felons, is arguably a better one than Raylan and Arlo’s. After all, Bo and Boyd have been up front with their intentions all along, stating directly what their positions are and acting accordingly. Arlo and Raylan’s relationship is based on power struggles, decades old resentment, and lies – just saying.
Bo further shows himself to be at the center of all things Harlan with his harassment of Ava, letting his boys hang out and watch their DVDs in her house, seeing how it belonged to Beaumont after all. After she catches Raylan putting it to Winona, she asks Raylan’s stepmom for a gun, intending to show Bo that she’s not scared. Besides, she reasons, if he wanted her dead she’d be that way already. When she confronts him, sawed-off leveled on him the whole time, he says that no, he ain’t about to kill her, but he does want her out of Kentucky. Seeing how Raylan betrayed her, a move might do her some good, but she tells him that she’s not going anywhere, fuck you very much.
So next week’s the end of the season, justifans, and we’ve got three rock fucking solid storylines to wrap up or, more likely, cliffhanger the shit out of. Will Bo kill his only living son? What the hell is Arlo up to, anyhow? And will Bo even have time to worry about Ava with all the other shit on his plate? I’m just as anxious to know the outcome as you no doubt fucking are.