“When the Guns Come Out” is the first misstep for me this season. Not a bad episode by any means, just not as strong as what’s come before it. The main arc of the episode with Delroy the pimp (the ever-awesome William Mapother from In The Bedroom and, more recently, Another Earth) smacking around one of his whores who witnessed a shootout at one of Boyd’s oxy clinics, just didn’t fully satisfy me. Hopefully this is just because, as we’re at the half-way point of the season, we’re now getting into the completely serialized stretched of season three, that maybe Delroy the pimp will pay off in a more interesting way later on. But as it is now, with Raylan just sort of making sense of what happened and then popping Delroy in the nose a few times – just kinda who-gives-a-shit type-stuff.
But I also had a problem with the way some other shit in “When the Guns Come Out” played out. Maybe the Nerd missed something, but the way they revealed that Limehouse’s lieutenant was behind making it look like Quarles ripped off Boyd’s oxy was kinda weak. Limehouse just figures it out and assures the guy that if this makes their operation go tits up in any way, it’s coming back on them. I wanted to know more about just what the lieutenant did to orchestrate such a chess move, not just be told that it happened as a twist. Now, granted, that revelation leads to some more good shit from Limehouse about how it’s in the best interest of Noble’s Holler not to make waves lest they upset the white folks of Harlan, but still.
And for now it doesn’t seem that they’ve upset anything. Quarles is more bemused by the fact that it looks like they ripped off Boyd than anything else “Holy shit that’s awesome!”), is aloof and ready for whatever Boyd wants to throw at him for the wrong reasons. (Also, he’s apparently ready to abuse a naked guy tied to a bed, apparently…) The turn of events also further reveals that Boyd is being extra careful in the face of everyone around him calling for Quarles’ blood. He’s reticent to bust out the guns before he’s absolutely sure he knows what’s going on. Instead, he gets Ava and Raylan to go fishing around for him and then Raylan shuts down the new clinic Quarles just set up, killing one guy and throwing the other out of a moving trailer.
But what really didn’t sit right with me was the whole thing about throwing suspicion on Winona’s disappearance, making it look like she took the evidence money once again. They make it seem like Winona took the money and high-tailed it to Costa Rica when instead she just went to her sister’s outside of Louisville. Turns out the evidence locker guy was the one who set up Winona and took off for Mexico all along, a little button at the end of the episode showing him in a Tommy Bahama shirt and a sporty red car being hassled by Federales, though not arrested, happy as a clam. That was a little too cute for the Nerd, and hopefully that marks the end of bringing up the evidence locker shit.
Though I kind of see why they introduced it. Maybe it’s just because I think Natalie Zea is about the best-looking woman on television, but I’ve forgiven Winona’s craziness streak of last year. She’s been playing it cool for a while now, despite many of the fans out there really hating on her, wishing Raylan was with Ava, etc. By bringing up the evidence locker thing again and bringing up many viewer’s prejudices against her, we get a moment to think of her as a crazy bitch again before realizing that no, she’s perfectly rational: Raylan lives a dangerous life and he won’t change that for her. She’ll have the baby and they’ll work it out from there, but they can’t be together, done and done. So while the wrap up was kind of lame, the trick of it was pretty clever. Now get off Winona’s back, everyone. Just let her be hot *and* sensible.
Basically, “When the Guns Come Out” had some cool stuff arise from some less than stellar plot points. The hooker seeing the opening gunfight lead to the introduction of a classically skeezy William Mapother character that will hopefully get more to do later on. The oxy heist was kind of lame but we got some nice insight to both sides of the dispute in seeing how they handled the situation. The “how did that happen?” reveal of Limehouse’s lieutenant putting together the whole thing lead to another great Limehouse speech. But of all that happened, my main question is, what the fuck is going on with Arlo? Dementia? And is he gonna start fucking up Boyd’s operation in some way and force Boyd’s hand?