Justified – “Brother’s Keeper” – review

justifiedSo apparently when it rains it fucking pours on Justified this season. After weeks of my speculating when the watch Coover took off the late Walt would surface, here we get it’s first mention since the event and the wrapping up of the whole Loretta storyline, all in the same episode. Then there’s the whole reveal of Mags’ plan finally going down and now Boyd’s got some kinda crafty shit in the works and – okay, the Nerd’s getting ahead of himself. Let’s recap a bit, shall we?


The writers let us know up front during the cold open that “Brother’s Keeper” was going to have some shit go down with the Bennett siblings (and unwitting step-sibling Loretta), what with Mags pouring the love and affection all over Loretta and cussing Coover behind his back. They even give us a glimpse of the neglected little boy within Coover with the painful shot of him over-hearing his mother’s contempt for him. To get in a partying mood, he does a bump off his cast and puts on his new watch – like the dumbass he is – to look spiffy. Naturally, Loretta spies it on his wrist and immediately runs off and shreds the clothes Mags had given her.

When she goes over to Coover’s with a formaldehyde-dipped blunt and waits for him to pass out, she soon confirms from the inscription that the watch is indeed her father’s. Then we get into hokey TV territory as she calls Raylan from the room she found it in (where a similarly passed-out Dickie lies), thus ensuring that she’ll be caught in the act and give us a suspense scene instead of a few weeks of investigation or something else more plausible.

Some Cain and Abel business takes place between Coover and Dickie, with the two of them fighting over how to handle the situation, with Dickie even calming down his brother for a minute before then stupidly taunting Coover about his jealousy over Mags’ love for Loretta. I gotta admit, I was super bummed for the brief minute I thought Dickie was actually dead, Jeremy Davies’ bizarre presence always enlivening whatever he’s in. But some bongwater (hilarious) perked him up enough for Raylan to torture a confession regarding where his brother went with Loretta, Raylan stomping on the bad knee he gifted Dickie with twenty years previous to bring it out of him. Whether Dickie’s ratting out the family will come up again I can’t know, but like Dickie said, Mags knows everything.

In keeping with the fraternal theme of the episode, let’s talk about Dickie for a second here. The scene where Raylan kept him from going into the house where the grown-ups were talking business was rather interesting, with Raylan assuring him that if his mother wanted him in there, he’d be there. Dickie even said to Raylan that he was clearly the heir apparent, a delusion that I’d have thought Dickie too clever for. Obviously Doyle is the true non-fuck-up of the family – he’s Sheriff for fuck’s sake. But instead of be pissy about it, we see Dickie whooping it up on the porch while Mags sings a song a few scenes later. Naturally, his realization of his place in the family ranking probably had a hand in his vicious teasing of Coover and therefore also his brush with death. I’m interested to see where else Dickie’s being rejected by his mother leads to in the rest of the season.

So back to what I was saying, Raylan naturally saves the day, even saves Loretta the trouble of having to kill Coover herself when she had the chance. Then she’s sent to CPS and, I’m assuming, it’s goodbye forever for Loretta’s storyline. I would think that there won’t be much of an investigation into Walt’s murder, the Marshals (and the writers) most likely content to just pin the murder on Coover and be done with it, but we’ll see. Mags and Doyle come upon the crime scene in the end and Raylan assures her that no, Mags cannot say goodbye to Loretta and for a second we get a look at some genuine humanity within her, some true sadness at losing her chance at having a daughter, before her face goes cold with evil resolve.

And Mags had been having a pretty good time of it before this scene in “Brother’s Keeper.” She took a meeting at the whoop-te-do with Carol Johnson and Boyd, wherein it was revealed that all her land is on the only feasible spot for a roadway capable of sustaining coal trucks once they start mining. So she gets Carol Johnson, who was completely unaware of this even as a possibility for whatever reason, to go to her bosses with a massive sum up front and a legacy stake in the mine no matter who owns it. Not a bad deal.

Boyd, however, has made himself a part of this thing as well. He tells Carol and Mags that he himself has been entrusted with Arlo Givens’ property to do with as he sees fit and they both seem to believe him. How he’s going to pull off whatever scheme he’s got going on I dunno but, judging from his kick-ass dance with Ava, he seems pretty sure it’ll all work out.

So going into next week it looks like Raylan himself is probably in danger of reprisals from the Bennett family at the very least. Also, it remains to be seen what Boyd is planning, hence switching it from “What is Mags’ master plan” to “What is Boyd’s master plan.” What do you guys think? Is that it for Carol Johnson (who Raylan decidedly did not take up on her countless offers of fornication) on the show or will she be back? Think Ma will try to get Loretta back or is she just gone from the show? Think Dickie’s betrayal will come up or that any of the Bennetts other than Coover will be pinned for Walt’s murder? The Nerd’s outta ideas and outta gas so he’s gonna shut ‘er down till next week. Be well, Justifans

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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?

2 Replies to “Justified – “Brother’s Keeper” – review”

  1. Impossible to predict where this will go. And that’s what makes it the best show on TV. Have to love FX for showing it but hate them for the last two cancellations: Terriers and Lights Out.