I’m pretty sure the only reason this episode wasn’t called “Shit Gets Real” is that FX isn’t HBO and there are some things they can’t do. But make no mistake, folks – shit did indeed get real.
After Arlo announces his decision not to help Raylan in the search for Drew Thompson (I believe his exact words were,”Eat shit”), Raylan has a talk with ex-Sheriff Hunter, who traded his lawman’s uniform for a Tennessee orange prison jumpsuit. (Yes, that was a shot at the Vols. Go Big Blue!). Hunter isn’t any more enthusiastic about helping Raylan than Arlo was and never quite jumps at the offer to trade information on the lost fugitive in exchange for a cell at Club Fed. Instead, he takes the opportunity to jump Arlo. With the aid of a corrupt prison guard, Hunter has the old man brought down to the prison barbershop for an unscheduled trim. Arlo pretends to be drugged and unresponsive but when Hunter turns his back, Arlo jumps up and crashes a jar of blue sterile fluid over the former sheriff’s head. Amid the ruckus that follows, Arlo clubs the prison guard to death then beats the crap out of Hunter before taking a pair of scissors in the chest. Ouch.
Raylan isn’t aware of the fight at the prison since he’s sitting with Eve, Drew Thompson’s pseudo-psychic-not-really-widow widow while she looks through DMV photos and checks off those she thinks might be Drew, a task made more difficult, she says, because in 30 years, people change a lot. This is a fact anyone who has ever attended a high school reunion can attest to. While she’s exchanging witty repartee with Raylan, Art gets the phone call about Arlo and calls Raylan over to tell him the bad news. It’s a difficult moment that Timothy Olyphant plays beautifully. Despite the animosity and downright hatred between the two of them, it’s obvious that Raylan feels more than he wants to, and it’s painful to watch him forcefully try to lock those feelings away.
Told that Arlo won’t live through the night, Raylan pays one last visit to the dying old man, but if you were expecting a tearful apology and a deathbed reconciliation between father and son, you haven’t been watching Justified. Arlo’s last words to his only child? “Kiss my ass.” Arlo dies a few hours later (I’m actually going to miss the old dickhead. Is that wrong?), and Art tries to force Raylan to take a week off. Raylan argues him down to two days by denying that he cares anything about Arlo but, in another wonderful scene for Olyphant, a few minutes later he’s fighting tears and obviously moved by his father’s death. Raylan needs a hug, y’all. The line forms to the left.
Boyd is running through options for his next move with Colton, who is more interested in the anonymous text messages he’s receiving from someone pretending to be Ellen May, when Wynn Duffy and his eyebrows show up. We’ll get back to Colton in a minute; Boyd’s immediate problem is the message Duffy brings. Theo Tonin is not happy with Boyd’s lack of results in the hunt for Drew Thompson and is sending his own hitman to take care of the problem. Boyd tells Duffy he’s narrowed his list of suspects down to two men and suggests that the best course of action is to kill both of them. What Boyd is really doing, though, is getting his own problems taken care of since the two soon-to-be-dead-men are Frank Browning and Sam Keener. Browning, you probably remember, is the guy the Clover Hill bigshots want dead and Sam Keener is one of those bigshots. Boyd Crowder 2. Bigshots 0.
Johnny tells Duffy that Boyd conned him and when Duffy relays that information to Tonin, the hitman is sent after Boyd. Are you worried? Don’t be, because Raylan just happens to pay Boyd a visit to ask why Boyd was visiting Browning hours before he ended up dead. When Raylan shows up, he finds Boyd in the custody of a sheriff’s deputy who is actually Tonin’s hitman in a stolen uniform. Before you can say, “This won’t end well,” it doesn’t. Gunfire is exchanged and the hitman is dead on the floor with a few of Raylan’s bullets in his chest. What does Boyd do? He tells Nicky Augustine, Tonin’s 1st lieutenant, that Tonin should be working with him, not Wynn Duffy. Then he shakes down the Clover Hill gang for $100K each and a Dairy Queen franchise. You heard that right – a Dairy Queen. Who wants a Blizzard?
Are you keeping track of the dead bodies so far? Well, I’m not done.
Remember those anonymous text messages Colt was getting? They’re from Johnny, which would be obvious except that Colton is strung out on heroin and losing his shit over letting Ellen May escape so he doesn’t know who is sending them, he just knows whoever it is wants $20,000. Where can he get his hands on that kind of cash? His last drug dealer is the answer. He also happens to be the same dealer that Tim Gutterson visited with his friend, Mark. You know Colton is going to kill the dealer and sure enough, he does, but then he finds Mark hiding in the kitchen. Does Colton kill Mark? Yes, he does. Is this going to bring down the Wrath of Tim Gutterson? If there is a God up there, yes. Please, yes. Angry Tim With a Gun is almost as sexy as Angry Raylan With a Gun.
And I quote, “I am the outlaw…..”