Recapping this episode of Justified feels a bit like trying to fit the pieces of a broken window back together. A lot happened: big things and OMG! things were bracketed by small things that may or may not turn out to be big things. Fasten your seatbelts, folks, it’s going to be a bumpy night!
In case you’ve forgotten, everyone and their brother is looking for Drew Thompson. Boyd is doing what Boyd does: he breaks into the houses of likely prospects and forces them to prove their identity under threat of violence. Raylan is doing what Raylan does: marshal work with a little bit of his own threatening thrown in for spice. At Josiah’s farm the next morning, Raylan finds the imprint of Roz’s protective boot in a pool of blood and realizes the teenager was there when her stepfather was losing a foot. His first stop in search of the girl is a visit to the boyfriend we met in episode one, who doesn’t seem all that happy when he tells Raylan that he’s now the “ex” boyfriend. Raylan is one smart-ass remark away from beating Roz’s whereabouts out of the kid when Shelby shows up. He takes one look at the drawing the kid was using for target practice and knows where Roz might be. Without much other choice, Raylan goes with him.
Where they end up is the trailer of a Native American named Teddy. Raylan sweet talks his way in (threats, knives and intimidation were involved) and sure enough, there’s Roz who admits to being there when two thugs showed up at Josiah’s house. He made her hide so she didn’t get a good look at the men but she did hear them call her stepfather “Drew Thompson.” Wait”¦ what?” Josiah is Drew Thompson? Surely not”¦
Partnered up now like Batman and Robin (although your guess is as good as mine as to who’s who), Shelby and Raylan continue looking for Josiah/Drew. If there was any doubt about the size of what Shelby’s packing, he proves how big his balls are when he shows up at Boyd’s bar and arrests him without a pretty please. Boyd is none too happy to see Raylan at the sheriff’s office and even less happy to be asked if he was involved in cutting off Josiah/Drew’s foot, since he’d spent the night before on a mountaintop hill handcuffed to a tree, thanks to Raylan. When Boyd’s lawyer also turns out to be Arlo’s lawyer and she also happens to be avoiding calls about Arlo’s part in the “Where’s Drew Thompson” plea bargain, Raylan puts two and two together and ends up with some number that has him and Shelby pulling up outside her house just as members of Theo Tonin’s gang drive by. Sure enough, she hired the thugs who cut off Josiah/Drew’s foot and kidnapped him and he is, in fact, right that very minute trying to bleed to death in her garage. He’s also not Josiah/Drew, he’s just Josiah. He sent Raylan and Boyd into the hills to die so he himself could search for Drew Thompson, with the help of a former Harlan County sheriff named Hunter, who tried to kill Raylan in the first season. You know what this means, right? Take notes when you watch Justified – people always come back.
Boyd, if you’ll remember, has his own methods of looking for Drew Thompson but when they don’t work so well, Ava comes up with an idea of her own: since Thompson has apparently changed his identity and is hiding in plain sight among the wealthy of Harlan County, she suggests she and Boyd try to infiltrate that circle socially. And by infiltrate socially I mean get invited to the swingers party they all regularly attend. That’s right, people”¦ former-Sheriff Napier, he of the toothbrush mustache and the bad toupee, hosts swinger parties and if that didn’t make you just throw up in your mouth a little, then you are a sick sick person (and you should come sit by me! I’ve saved you a place). Ava scores an invitation for both herself and Boyd by subtly threatening to reveal the plush, furry secrets of the county’s Chief Executive (the one Ellen May shot when his wolf costume turned out to be a little too real for her drug-addled brain).
Speaking of Ellen May, Ava is not dealing very well with being the cause of her death (or so she thinks). It’s one thing to kill an abusive husband or an abusive pimp, and she didn’t much care that Boyd murdered Devil, either, but Ellen May haunts her. She takes her worries to Boyd and what does he do? HE FUCKING PROPOSES. You heard me! In the middle of the night, in that piece-of-shit old pickup truck, the two of them drive out to look over the lights of the town below and Boyd. Fucking. Crowder. gets down on one knee and delivers the most romantic wedding proposal of all time, over a diamond ring and a metal lockbox of stolen cash. He’s so nervous he even tries to put the ring on the wrong hand! Boyd. Fucking. Crowder. Don’t even. I mean, seriously.
As much as I would like to end this recap with that moment, a couple of other threads need to be highlighted.
First, Colton is losing his shit, both because he’s deep into heroin and because he’s still desperately trying to find Ellen May before Boyd discovers she’s still alive. His search for heroin takes him to a VA clinic (he runs into Tim Gutterson – more on that in a minute) where he threatens some poor guy just trying to take a piss into helping him find a dealer so he can score more. Looking for Ellen May, he beats up another of Ava’s whores. This one, though, happens to be a favorite of Johnny’s and when he sees her bruises he browbeats her until, afraid of Colton, she blames another of her johns. Johnny takes Colton to pay him a visit and the poor guy ends up getting his ass kicked for something he didn’t do by the guy who actually did it.
Tim Gutterson is at the VA clinic answering the call of an old army buddy who is dealing with his own drug problems. The friend swears he’s clean, though, and just wants Tim’s help paying off a debt from his drug days. The two of them visit the dealer, who isn’t happy that Tim’s friend can’t repay everything he owes but when things get a bit hot, Tim’s hand on his gun is every bit as fast as Raylan’s and woah”¦ Gutterson looked lethal. Art hinted in the first episode of the season that Tim had a short fuse and this scene was so hot, I kinda want to see it go off. Don’t judge me.
P.S. Boyd. Fucking. Crowder.
And I quote: “That’s what assholes do, Raylan. They get old and die from being assholes.”
Usually I’d put Raylan here but I’m feeling the urge to show Tim a little love.