Justified – “The Life Inside” – review

Looks like they fooled the shit outta me, dear reader.  Last week I was talking out my ass about Boyd maybe being an activist or some kind of labor union troublemaker when it came to his brief scene in the mines.  I apparently trust Boyd just as much as Raylan does, seeing how we both don’t buy the idea of Boyd holding down a straight job as a miner.  Thing is, I think we’re learning that the only thing Boyd was ever faking was his being a racist.  I think Boyd wants to give mining an honest shot, hit the third shift bar after work and pound a few before going home to a good woman like Ava.  I also think he’s too confused and, as the scene of him crawling to Ava all beat up shows, temperamental to be very effective at a straight life right now.  Ava still seems kind of wary of his affection and need at the moment as well.  Well, it’s only fair, seeing how the guy tried to kill her and all.  But then again, she did kill his brother…

While we’re on the subject of relationships, how about that Gary showing some sand to Raylan, assuring him that he’ll get Winona back soon enough?  His lame confrontations just made him look kind of pathetic but we know he’s not exactly on the up and up from last season and could have something shady up his sleeve.  Hell, Raylan could blow it with Winona all by himself, seeing how, as Winona pointed out, he still lives in a motel and isn’t much up for discussing whether their fucking is gonna lead to an actual relationship or not.  There was definitely some feeling in the way he touched her belly and talked kids at the end of the episode, though.

Speaking of kids (man, I’m fucking rocking the transitions in this write-up) we got to see the Bennett boys, Coover and Dickie dispose of Walt’s body, but not before Coover secretly snatches the corpse’s watch.  Seeing how Coover seems about half retarded, I’d wager that Loretta might spot it in his posession sometime soon.  Loretta seems pretty sharp and I wonder how much of Mags’ story about sneaking her old man out of the county to do some business for them she actually believes and how long Mags will be able to keep up the charade.  That said, Mags seems very creepily attached to the girl and Loretta, having recently lost a mother, is probably looking for any mother figure she can find.  It’s possible could find herself under Mags’ charm even more so than she already is.

Speaking of parents (okay, now I’m just milking it) we got a quick glimpse of Arlo in this episode, saw that he’s on house arrest but forced to sleep in a trailer next to the house.  Turns out Arlo’s still keeping mum about the twenty grand that went missing from last season’s finale and Raylan ain’t about to waste his time trying to get the truth out of the old bastard.  But while he’s ambivalent about the missing money, he’s adamant on the subject of Mags Bennett: Raylan is to leave her the hell alone.  What kind of dealings Arlo has with them yet we can’t know, but twenty grand could probably buy Arlo some small part in their little clan.

The disposable story arc of the episode was very good this week, giving us a tight little mystery about a pregnant woman escaping on Tim Gutterson and Raylan’s watch.  The bad guy was particularly badass, talking about lying down on the railroad tracks and letting it pass an inch from his nose without blinking, then drawing down on Raylan and Tim.  The hilariously anti-climactic way in which he was killed, with Raylan explaining “the apricot” then sniper Tim giving a deadly demonstration, was classic.  Again, like last week with Rachel, Raylan has the lines while his partner has the gun.  He doesn’t need any more bodies on his record for now – he’s in enough trouble as it is.

Particularly liked the scene where Tim and Raylan confronted the prison guard while his wife was present.  The way the guard tried to play dumb and how his horrified wife got him to confess for the sake of the pregnant woman’s life – fucking beautifully done.  I like how assured the writing is that they can make even the smallest, throwaway characters more than just a sketch with just a few lines.  The scene is actually kind of heartbreaking and complex, the guard sort of realizing that this is not who he is and he can’t lawyer up with a woman’s life on the line, especially not with whatever respect his wife will ever have for him again on the line as well.

So we’ve caught up with just about every character from last season at this point, if only briefly.  Looks like we’re in for more testing of Boyd’s true nature at home and at work, more wily Arlo shennanigans, and a love triangle between Winona, Gary and Raylan in the coming weeks, and that’s not even counting on whatever is gonna explode in the Bennett household now that Coover has Loretta’s dad’s watch.  Speaking of explosions (there’s those weak-ass transitions again), would it be tacky and lazy of me to end this post just saying (sigh) “FIRE IN THE HOLE!?”

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Nerd of Noir

I love crime/noir fiction, comics and movies. I think my opinions are web-worthy. Then again, what asshole doesn't think that their opinions deserve a blog?

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About Nerd of Noir

I love crime/noir fiction, comics and movies. I think my opinions are web-worthy. Then again, what asshole doesn't think that their opinions deserve a blog?

4 Replies to “Justified – “The Life Inside” – review”

  1. Great recap. re: Boyd, he has always been in love (or lust) with Ava. I think he is far more complex a character than Raylan (though Winona *cough* bitch *cough* said he wasn’t a simple man.) The chemistry between Boyd and Raylan is fantastic, and I can’t wait to see them on the screen together more. I just blogged about the show at murderati.com yesterday 🙂

    Boyd is up to something–but whether it’s criminal or not (okay, it’s criminal–but whether it’s evil or not) is up in the air. I can see him doing something like last season in blowing up the truck full of drugs. But the wild card is the fact that he lost everyone–his brother, his father, the men who followed him like lapdogs. He’s alone for the first time. I don’t remember him drinking as much in season one–in fact, I don’t recall him being drunk. Something is definitely up.

    Oh, and one more thing. Winona? Yuck. If the series wants to expand to a broader audience (Elmore Leonard said on his blog that 2/3rds viewers are men) get rid of her. I know, they probably can’t. But she cheated on Raylan with GARY! Really? If it was Tim the sniper, at least she’d have some taste and consistency. And while Ava has grown on me, and I wouldn’t be upset if Raylan was with her, I think they should introduce a new female interest for him. Someone who has career and is book smart like Winona, but street smart like Ava. Like a new US Attorney or the local D.A. or an undercover female cop. But that would have to be season three . . .

    I’ll shut up now 🙂

  2. I liked the “case of the week” more than the arc story. Seeing children exposed to the likes of Mags and her family just makes me too nervous. Can’t understand why social services didn’t step in but I guess those days are long gone in Kentucky.