Justified – “Where’s Waldo?” – review

thumbs_Justified-Season-4-Promo-Poster-2We’re week two into the fourth season of Justified and already the writers have completely ditched standalone “case-of-the-week” storylines.  Yes, there were no random fugitives to hunt down at all this week, just straight-ahead serialized storytelling, and you better believe I’m all for that.  But then again, with all the shit that happens in “Where’s Waldo?” there was likely no room for anything extraneous to go down in the episode.

So we’ve got Raylan hearing from a-soon-to-be-retired Art (who doesn’t have a clear successor in the department at the moment) that his old man stabbed a guy in prison, Raylan then noticing that the victim was the trusty that was hanging around when he and Arlo last spoke.  This leads to Raylan figuring the Panamanian diplomat’s bag and the Waldo Truth driver’s license had something to do with it and reluctantly bouncing the idea off of Art.  The Truth lead gives Art a “Marshal stiffie” as it goes back to a thirty year old case and the rap sheets on Truth’s family brings Tim into the fold as well.

The three of them find the house, meet a bunch of crazy, heavily armed criminal-types (including legendary character actress Beth Grant finally getting a role on the show, something I figured was inevitable since episode one) and find (after some hilariously bad attempted dupery) that Waldo’s been missing for, say it with me, thirty years.  Art figures out that pilot Drew Thompson, who we supposedly met in the very first scene of the season, was actually Waldo Truth, making next week’s question for the Marshal’s office “Where’s Drew?”

On the Crowder and company end of shit we’ve got Ella Mae trying to leave Ava for the loving arms of the lord (in the form of Preacher Billy) with Ava telling Ella Mae who her real savior is.  This and some further complaints from Johnny make Boyd go visit Sheriff Shelby and find out some dirt on Billy and his sister Cassie (I wish they’d have cast Ariana Richards, Mazzello’s sister in Jurassic Park, in this role), with Shelby giving him a bit of a hard time before giving it up.  This was a surprising scene because, as we know, Shelby got elected thanks to Boyd’s efforts yet now Shelby’s too good for him?  That Shelby would be so falsely moral and that Boyd wouldn’t put him in his place over that shit was curious to me.

Anyway, Boyd learns that the St. Cyrs have set up shop in a number of shit hole towns over the last few years before ending up in Boyd’s territory, leading Boyd to believe that maybe their scam is to come into a town, replace vice with religion, then leave only once they’ve been paid off by the local crime syndicate.  Armed with this knowledge he goes to confront Billy during services, going toe to toe with the man of God in a classic Goggins scene.  In the end Billy calls his bluff, swearing to his congregation that he will accept no more money from his flock – some very nice improvising on his part.  But though Boyd may have lost the preach-battle, he learned from the look she gave him that Cassie (is it just me or does Lindsay Pulsipher kinda look like the little girl from Mary Poppins all-growed-up?) is the one running the show in the Last Chance Holiness tent.  Now if he could just figure out what she’s trying to pull…

But that’s not all Boyd’s been dealing with lately.  Colt found a dude dealing heroin in their turf (his explanatory monologue on how he spotted the guy was pretty rad), the guy apparently a boy from up Frankfort way, the territory of a one Wynn “king of smarm” Duffy.  Duffy comes down and says that he has no idea what this random-ass guy was doing down in Harlan, apologizes to Boyd.  Boyd assures him that that wasn’t his intention at all, to call him on the mat.  No, he was hoping to form a partnership, fifty-fifty split, of selling heroin in Harlan.  Duffy shoots that idea down and when Boyd threatens to shoot his trespassing man, Duffy saves him the trouble.  (Again, fucking awesome.)  As he’s leaving Duffy asks Boyd if he has any idea why Arlo would kill a Dixie Mafia soldier in the joint, bringing Boyd once again into Raylan’s orbit.

But was that all we’ll see of Duffy for a while?  Was he just there connect Boyd to the Panama bag mystery?  Will Duffy’s own digging around the murder bring him after Raylan or Boyd in some way?  And here’s a theory for you: So last week I was wondering what Boyd was hoping to bring Colton in on, but after hearing Colton’s Afghani heroin story and seeing how eager Boyd was to get into bed with Duffy over the stuff, I’m wondering if he’s not looking to use Colton for some sort of heroin smuggling operation.  Just a thought.

And we haven’t even discussed Randall, Lindsey the bartender’s (and Raylan’s insatiable fuck-buddy) husband.  I figured from the guy’s first scene that he was at least an ex of Lindsey’s, making the episode’s decision to end on the husband reveal kind of flat, but the guy has potential as a character.  He apparently does backyard MMA for cash and is looking to buy something off the shady motherfuckers running the fight that stiffed him.  How they’re gonna make this aspect of the show all that interesting remains a mystery, but I’ve got faith in the writers that they’ll do more than just make Randall an asshole that Raylan has to take down in some clever, snappy way.  After seeing Randall throw down, there’s no way Raylan could take him down in a fair fight, making their initial confrontation very interesting.  It might not have just been Raylan being the bigger man in that situation: he might’ve really been able to tell that there was no way he’d win the fight.

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Spinetingler Staff

Spinetingler's Fiction Editor is a former newspaper reporter and author of five crime novels from Down and Out Books. His short fiction has been published on the web at BEAT TO A PULP, A TWIST OF NOIR and THE BIG ADIOS.

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About Spinetingler Staff

Spinetingler's Fiction Editor is a former newspaper reporter and author of five crime novels from Down and Out Books. His short fiction has been published on the web at BEAT TO A PULP, A TWIST OF NOIR and THE BIG ADIOS.

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