Justified – “Cottonmouth” – review

March 10, 2011
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Jesus, so I guess Coover and and Dickie’s fear of their momma was fairly, um, justified then, huh?  After going behind her back for the umpteenth time and stupidly forging the late Walt’s checks, nudging Raylan Givens’ nose even further up their ass, Mags brings the fucking hammer down in the literal sense, right onto Coover’s fingers.  Yeah, we still don’t know what the Bennett crew’s big plans are but we do have further insight into their characters, mainly Mags’ willingness to control her boys with violence and Coover’s admission that his mom never trusted him or Dickie enough to watch over the store before. (With good reason, apparently.)

Raylan’s peek into the check forgeries gave him a chance to touch base with a few characters that needed some good base touching. (That sounds both dirty and completely asinine – the balance I keep striving for!)  Arlo breaks his tether to bring Raylan six thousand dollars of the twenty he scuttled away with in hopes of being let loose.  When Raylan says he’ll let him loose for fourteen grand worth of information, all he can give up is a dead Crowder boy (Ava’s ex), not nearly enough for him to legitimately go free.  Where Arlo will figure into this season’s storyline has yet to really be all that clear but I’m always glad when he makes a cantankerous appearance.

At the end of tonght’s episode, once he’d figured out that her father was most likely dead, Raylan paid a visit to Loretta and gave her a phone, told her to call him if she’s ever in danger.  Raylan, interestingly, did not tell her that he suspects her old man might be dead, but as was discussed, he can’t get her out of that situation at the moment so no need to make her fear for her life, I guess.  I think Loretta’s going to figure it out on her own, probably from Coover’s taking the watch off Walt’s body.  Her character seems too sharp to not know what happened already, much less in the near future.

Raylan also dropped in on Dewey in jail, the guards hilariously rousting him out of bed with masks shouting about TB. (“Feel my forehead!”)  Turns out Dewey doesn’t really know much more than what Raylan already knows about the Bennetts but has struck up a friendship with the “known pederast” Jimmy Earl Dean from the season premiere, a character whose name got bandied about a fair amount in this episode.  Leads me to believe we’re not yet done with Dean or Dewey’s storyline yet…

But if you watched the episode you know the Nerd is just teasing out Raylan’s most interesting catching up session, that being his one with Boyd.  Raylan swings by to ask Boyd about his dead brother’s forgery contacts right as Boyd and his armed robbery pals are heading out the door to do some armed robbin’ of the mine payroll.  At that point Boyd already knew he was going to be betrayed by the crew and killed, yet he doesn’t give Raylan so much as a wink, just helps him with his investigation and sends him on his way.

Boyd’s story in this episode was fucking fantastic, filled with great, pulpy ideas (all the cell phone shit was really clever) and ending on a major cliffhanger.  After killing all those involved and letting the payroll guy live, Boyd brings fifteen to twenty grand to Ava to help keep the bank away from her house then asks her a favor (which they then cut away from) while the cops are arriving to take him away.  What he’s got up his sleeve I have no fucking idea, but he does finally accept his inherently criminal nature in that scene so…yeah, I got no idea where his storyline is going.

Lots more teasing shit out this episode to be sure (what are the Bennetts up to, when will Loretta find out, etc.) but we did nicely wrap up the question of whether or not Boyd can hold a straight job and life.  (Turns out: absolutely not!)  Thing is, the episode leaves us with an even more intriguing mystery to Boyd’s character, namely what is it Boyd told Ava and how is he gonna get outta jail this time?

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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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5 Responses to Justified – “Cottonmouth” – review

  1. Jack on March 10, 2011 at 2:24 am

    I loved Raylan being labeled a “hillbilly whisperer.”

  2. Patti Abbott on March 11, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Best episode of the season so far. Not a minute without tension.

  3. John Kenyon on March 11, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Justified does a nice job balancing self-contained stories with plot points that stretch over the course of the season (and beyond), and this episode was jam-packed with the latter, entertaining scenes that are laying the groundwork for stories that will weave through the rest of the year. Top-notch. And Boyd’s growing complexity continues to make him just about the best character on television.

  4. Gary Ponzo on March 11, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    I’m still not convinced Boyd is going back to a life of crime. At every opportunity he’s thwarted the chance to return. His deep introspective demeanor is wonderful to watch because he’s so hard to read. Great show.

  5. Patti Abbott on March 11, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    Yes, I agree, John. Boyd can steal the scene from Raylan. And that’s saying something. Covered with dust, glasses, hair askew, he is riveting.