I just can’t say it enough. I really love this show. And I was trying to figure out exactly why, and here’s what I think: it’s subtle. I know that sounds crazy for this show, whose protagonist and big bads are usually so over-the-top, but I mean it: the show is subtle with its storytelling. Just look at this episode. There are so many interesting parallels between the story-lines and characters.
One notable theme is the nature of belief and faith. Obviously, we get this with Billy and his sister and Boyd. But it’s also present with Wynn Duffy and Johnnie (“I wanna believe you” and Johnnie’s “I’ll serve him up,” strikingly reminiscent of Cassie’s suggestion that Boyd is bribing her with pieces of silver). The same theme emerges in a slightly different context with Eve the psychic. Also, obviously the angle with Drew and the mystery unfolding. And, of course, Lindsey and Randall ripping off Raylan (this did leave me puzzled–doesn’t she *own* the bar?) But the show does this with subtlety, it doesn’t beat you over the head with the parallels, but gently introduces them and has them run their course. It’s really a thing of beauty how (seemingly) effortlessly they raise the same basic epistemological question in all of these realms, and do so without making any of the characters act unnaturally. And all of them are subtly united around the theme that Eve presents: seeking comfort.
I think so far, this season is shaping up in an interesting way: they’re adding a lot of depth to all of the characters, without having an overarching theme, which is also — in my opinion — a sign of mature writing (not that it was terrible before). I think the plot is turning out to be: Boyd will be in grave danger from a lot of places (presumably Billy will die and Cassie will want revenge, as–apparently–does Johnnie…or does he?) It’ll be interesting, then, to see how the Raylan and Boyd story-lines will intersect. So far they haven’t, but given their history, it must be a matter of time.
Some minor, but interesting things: love the Tombstone poster in Raylan’s room and the Wyatt Earp reference. Also, love the ultimatum Raylan delivers–reminiscent of the first episode…but not nearly as successful. It will be interesting how Raylan responds. I love the opening scene with Raylan and Cassie. Boyd’s “we’ve misjudged each other” was classic. Similarly, I’ve been even more impressed with Timothy Olyphant this season. It’s like he is Raylan. He has added a dimension to Raylan’s smugness that makes him sympathetic, but also palpably flawed. It has made the character more interesting: he’s still likable, but enough of an asshole that everything just clicks better.
Looking to hear what you think!