Justified Season 3 Episode 2 recap

In last week’s episode I counted Raylan’s shooting of Nix—the black hat—as a kill. However, several readers threw some shade on that and suggested Nix wasn’t actually dead. Since his fate was inconclusive, I’m down-grading his shooting to a half a kill, since at the very least Raylan dealt him a mortal wound.

We begin with Raylan and Winona at Winona’s house, which she shared with her now-ex husband. I like the byplay between them as it lets us see the lighter side of Raylan, but I remain unconvinced that one of the other deputies—particularly Gutterson, who has a fairly subversive sense of humor—couldn’t accomplish the same thing. I worry on shows like Justified when a character starts to feel unnecessary. If they’re disposable, they’ll be disposed of.

Yep, there’s Boyd in prison, trying to shank Dickie Bennett.

Raylan visits Boyd in prison and asks him for life advice—because they are the most backwards bromance on television—before letting Boyd know that he figured out Boyd got arrested on purpose and is dropping the assault charges. Way to spike Boyd’s guns!

Cut to Art catching up with another marshal. In 1 and 1/8th episodes of season three, we’ve already seen about as much of Art as we did in all of season two. I’m not complaining.

I’m always amazed that Boyd is so patient with Dewey Crowe. When Raylan loses patience with Dewey he breaks Dewey’s nose. I’m kind of afraid to think what Boyd would do. Dewey lets Boyd know that Dickie Bennett has been taken to solitary. More of Raylan’s meddling to prevent Boyd from shanking him.

The marshal from the previous scene checks in with a person in witness protection. A shady character is tailing him. Well obviously the marshal is doomed.

Yep, the shady guy knee-capped the marshal.

Raylan and Winona looking at an ultrasound of their baby. All together now, awwww. Doctor’s appointment serves to keep Raylan out of the loop and the arrival of…Carla Gugino! Clearly a former flame of Raylan’s and now his boss’s boss. Sex-ay.

That other marshal is dead now. FYI.

Ugh, I hate it when people “drive” on film—it’s so obvious they’re not really driving. I don’t care how good your green screen is, it always looks fake. This is an ongoing issue with Justified. At least the scene is decent, efficiently establishing the pre-existing relationship between Raylan and his former lover, now boss.

Shock! The shady guy who killed the marshal is in witness protection!

Nothing good ever comes from scenes that open with a shot of a dead animal head. And sure enough, Art is not f*cking around with this guy, who collects reptiles. “The broads love them,” he says. Really? What broads?

Boyd shows his Nazi tattoos to some guys in order to get beat up. Man, he really wants to shank Dickie Bennett.

Raylan and his ex work well together. She’s at least as interesting as Winona so far.

Whoa, look at Art face-punching the shady guy! He uses wits AND fists!

The nurse cleaning up Boyd in prison is in a crazy movie called The Perfect Host. Recognizing him from that, I’m going to assume at some point this nurse will do something nefarious and/or shocking. Boyd is sent to solitary right next to Dickie. He REALLY wants to shank Dickie Bennett.

Seriously, Art is not messing around this episode. He’s wailing on people, Raylan-style. He also deduces the shady guy’s plan to buy back into the Boston mob by selling out witnesses with Sherlock-like speed. But he’s not fast enough to head off the goons headed toward the witness (of course, it’s the lady with the small children just to make sure we care about the outcome) being babysat by Deputy Brooks. Tense moments hiding from the goons. Art and Raylan show up in time; Brooks and Art get one kill a piece.

Boyd is finally shanking Dickie!

Ah, here’s the end game. Boyd wants Dickie to tell him how to get to the money Mags Bennett supposedly left behind.

Raylan and Carla Gugino had some doings together in Miami. It might be interesting to see a flashback episode of Raylan in Miami at some point. Sounds like he was even wilder there than he is in rural Kentucky.

Winona’s value goes up a bit at the sheer relief on Raylan’s face when he sees her after the shooting at the witness’s house. As long as she’s providing these moments where Raylan can drop his guard and deal with some human issues, Winona will remain at least half-way relevant to the show. I worry about her if she and Raylan split again, or if something happens to the baby, though.

Boyd and Ava are both creepy and cute. They have genuine chemistry but she was married to his brother, and she did kill him that one time.

Mags’ money is “with Limehouse”, who turns out to be a butcher. And an all around scary guy as he lectures a flunkie while butchering a pig and discussing the purposes of lye as an erosive agent. Whoa, this dude dumps lye on his followers a la Tyler Durden. That is hardcore.

So for villains this year we’ve got Boyd and Ava, Quarles from Detroit, Limehouse, and of course, Winn Duffy. Raylan’s got his hands full.

Raylan’s body count so far: ½