The throwaway story dominated a whole lot more than the serialized elements this week, but what was there was pretty choice. Hell, I even really liked the disposable plot this week quite a bit, would’ve liked to have seen more time to devoted to it, honestly. The idea that the scumbag guy Powe in witness protection (played by Frank John Hughes who played Walden Belfiore in The Sopranos, the guy who shot Phil Leotardo at the gas station the final episode) would buy his way back into the mob by selling out fellow witnesses he found by following his Federal contact is very cool to me, something that would make a helluva movie or novel. Thing is, the writers of this show are able to tell that story in ten minutes and move on, even tell it visually quite well, thanks to Nick Searcy’s always stellar work as Art.
Art got quite a bit to do this week, the heavy detecting work left to him instead of Raylan while he takes care of Powe and later learns Powe is the murderer. He disarms Powe like a champ then does some very iffy shit to get him to tell him which wit sec person is gonna get hit. He socks him a few times then fires the guy’s gun into the wall and claims he’ll kill him, make it look like self-defense. At the beginning of the episode we saw Art talking Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson with Agent Nichols who dies soon after at Powe’s hands. To get justice for Nichols, Art is more than willing to tap into the ways of the old folk hero lawmen, apparently.
Rachel gets to shoot a guy in the head in the final showdown while protecting the witness and her baby but otherwise we don’t get much else out of her, sadly, but at least she got something – Gutterson is out of state on assignment. Raylan pals around with sexy old flame Karen Goodall all episode, a character played by Carla Gugino, which lets savvy Leonard fans know that she’s essentially Karen Sisco from the show called, naturally, Karen Sisco (such a forgettable and uninformative title might have been their first mistake!), on ABC a good goddamn while back. (Remember when they briefly ran Maximum Bob, my least favorite Leonard novel, with Beau Bridges on ABC as well?) Shame that FX couldn’t get the rights to the character so that both show worlds could be inter-linked properly like the world of Elmore Leonard’s novels, but what are you gonna do?
Anyway, Karen Sisco’s handling of the mobsters at the hotel was pretty badass and it looks like she’ll be on hand this season to make things uncomfortable between Raylan and Winona, just like in the first season when Winona made things weird Raylan and Ava. And speaking of the happy couple, I was talking last week about Winona most likely being up Raylan’s ass this week after his job, which he had discussed leaving last season, endangered her life and the life of their unborn kid, but then they’re being all lovey-dovey and talking about buying a house together this week instead. Fair enough, I guess.
On the subject of relationships, loved Raylan trying to foil Boyd’s plans to get at Dickie Bennett, visiting him in jail and telling him he’s dropping the charges, wanting to talk woman troubles and Boyd pointing out that he’s no expert on the subject, as he’s currently sleeping with the woman who murdered his brother! (Took me a while to reach that segue!) But the charges aren’t dropped fast enough and Boyd’s able to get to Dickie, but turns out it’s not to kill him but to find out where the Bennett family money is. The money is in the hands of some dude named Limehouse who, from the extremely kick-ass pig carving scene we’re given with him at the end of the episode, looks like our other big villain of the season. And with Raylan being charged to look into Arnett’s disappearance, hopefully he’ll bump heads with our Travis-Bickle-style-spring-loaded-gun carrying big villain from Detroit toot-fucking-sweet.
I dunno about you, dear reader, but I’m liking the way shit’s shaping up so far. Detroit guy and Limehouse are both mysterious and super-evil and Boyd’s had a lot of cool shit to do so far, so I’m not missing the Bennetts nearly as much as I thought I would. That said, I wouldn’t mind a few more excuses to see Dickie be shifty and cowardly some more this season…