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Hey Travis,

So I’m curious to hear what you think about this week’s episode. While I enjoyed it, I can’t say I that I thought it was exceptional. There was some really lazy writing (the whole expository talking at the screen w/ the FBI agent and the out of town-look-for-Drew-Thompson goons was silly, as was the FBI agent’s untimely demise). What I thought the episode did well was just continue to explore the insider/outsider theme, while also focusing on family. And, of course, it was great to see Raylan and Boyd on screen at the same time, although this was cut short quickly (I suspect exactly to make us want more–I doubt this is the last we’ve seen of the two of them on screen). The whole ‘Hill People’ business was great and gave the show an interesting element (Patton Oswalt’s “Unless they ate him” was fantastic). As much as Harlan, KY is meant somehow to be seen as a sort of overlooked ‘core’ of America, the Hill People show us how that’s all relative. And they also illustrate how illusory the power of the law is, how dependent on particular social norms and conventions. Once again, of course, it is interesting to see how blood ties are the means through which various conflicts and plot-lines are negotiated.

I think the Boyd/lawyer/Arlo plotline will also be interesting, and, once again, it is interesting how so many of the plot-lines are revolving around Boyd. It would not be too much to say, that, in a sense, Boyd is this season’s main character, which is an interesting change of pace.

I found the Winona bit in the beginning odd and still am not sure what the point of it was.

Your thoughts?

Best,

Martin

 

Martin,

You know, while I was watching this episode, I was thinking, “this is definitely a ‘putting the pieces on the board’ kind of episode.” It’s more setting things in place for coming developments than it was a self-contained story. That happens in serialized shows, and usually it kind of drives me crazy. But even in a “bridge” episode like this, Justified continues to excel at portraying  a world that’s just so much fun to live in. I too found the whole Hill People plot really interesting – just this side of over the top, but still nicely highlighting how Raylan’s family connections render him such an odd, liminal figure. Too much kinship to treat him like an outsider, just like he’s too good a cop to throw him out on his ass (the way, frankly, he deserves) on the job.

I agree about Boyd being at the center of a lot of storylines, including that of the errant Ellie May. But in general, I think this episode had the “bridge” feel I mentioned because we still don’t have a strong sense of the big threat of the season – by this point in past seasons, we’ve had Margo Martindale or Neal McDonough showing up in focal roles. But the Detroit/Drew Thompson stuff is still a bit too offscreen to see where things are developing. In the meantime, I think we’re seeing Raylan drawn into a lot of emotionally compromising situations – Lindsay last week, Winona this week. It’s a nice parallel to Boyd’s unwitting vulnerability.

-Travis

Written by Martin

February 6, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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