Last year’s season of Justified is clearly gonna be tough to top. The Bennett clan cast a tall shadow that the new and returning villains of the show are gonna have to to work real hard to even getting close to upstaging. Hell, Boyd’s crew thought they could slip right into control of Harlan county, take all their money and weed and sell it for at least a hundred-some grand. But they botch it, take too long getting the weed to the Memphis boys and it goes to shit, has mold all over it.
But then again, Boyd doesn’t seem too interested in the business at the moment, instead wanting to get revenge on Dickie for shooting Ava, gets himself in a fight with Raylan at the Marshal’s office in order to go inside. The final moment of the episode, with Dickie talking to Dewey and watching with dread as Boyd comes strolling into the joint was fucking hilarious. For now it looks like Ava can keep Arlo and Devil in line with little enough effort while Boyd’s locked up, but how much power they will be able to gain in Harlan remains to be seen.
But more interesting in the bad guy column is Neal McDonough’s mysterious Detroit white collar-looking fixer. He comes down and hassles shady developer (and Wynn Duffy’s boss) Arnett about owing the Detroit boys some money. This leads to Arnett enlisting an ice-pick-carrying, stupid-ass hat-wearing gunfighting wannabe played by the douche who plays Quinn on Dexter (you know, that show where literally every character but Dexter himself could be killed off and no viewer would send email one to Showtime?) to rip off a watch dealer, killing the pizza boy and the guy in the process.
The fact that douche-hat ice-pick stupidly turned off the guy’s security system leads Tim Guterson to Wynn Duffy, owner of the security company, and Tim Guterson brings Raylan into the case to help with Duffy, despite Raylan being stuck on desk duty following being shot last season finale. (Love Art explaining lamely to Winona that it missed all his organs miraculously. How ballsy would it be if Raylan had to have a colostomy bag from here on out on the show?)
So Raylan’s reluctantly on the case, getting too little info from Wynn (so excited Jere Burns is back so soon!) and too much from Arnett’s secretary, knowing both instances are super fucking suspect. Turns out Neal McDonough (the blond dude with the distinctively blue eyes from Band of Brothers, Minority Report and some decidedly less good TV and movies) has been behind it all, deciding that Arnett isn’t worth the trouble, kills him and his secretary (Taxi Driver spring-loaded gun-style!) and makes Wynn Duffy his go-to guy.
Though Raylan tries to stay out of the whole case, douche-hat comes gunning for him based on revenge for Raylan’s very first killing of the show on the Miami rooftop of Tommy Bucks. (That was way overly coincidental, I thought, though it lead to a cool scene.) They play douche-hat’s favorite game, and Raylan schools him at it masterfully. (Look out for that tablecloth, douche-hat!) Though Raylan and Winona seemed to be getting along now that he was wounded and on desk duty, her being in the line of fire once again might turn the screws on their relationship next week.
All in all a pretty strong episode. Had a one-off plot and a one-off bad guy (setting a tone different from last year’s where Raylan barely got to use his gun) but introduced a new main villain in McDonough and brought back into play an old favorite in Wynn Duffy, not to mention a establishing some pretty interesting stuff for Ava, Arlo, Devil and Boyd to do. In other words shit was fairly serialized for this early in the season and you know that’s what the Nerd wants to see. What’d you all think? Figure Dickie’ll get killed early or will we get to see him for a few more episodes? What do you think Neal McDonough’s big plans for Duffy and Lexington as a whole will be? This episode kill-y enough for you?