The Moth Chase

Elevating the Art of Procrastanalysis – Academics wasting time on pop culture

Archive for the ‘Justified’ Category

One minute she’s here, and the next she’s gone

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Ellie May's Salvation

Martin,

I’ve been loving this season so far, but I’ve also been trying to figure out why it feels different to me. It’s not the still-gestating overarching plotline – every season of Justified takes its sweet time getting going, which is fine by me, because it’s a show whose world is so well-realized that it’s just fun to dwell in (as we’ve both remarked recently, and yeah, I completely agree about its subtlety: well observed, is how I think I’d put it). Arlo’s murder in the season opener guarantees we’re not done with the story of the pancaked parachutist yet, nor with the Arlo-Raylan conflict that’s served the show so well in past seasons; indeed, that conflict perfectly encapsulates the insider-outsider dynamic that I see as Justified‘s most durable and insightful theme. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by teables

January 31, 2013 at 11:32 am

Posted in Justified

Psychometry, yo.

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Hey Travis,

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!

Best,

M

Written by Martin

January 23, 2013 at 6:12 pm

I got a goldfish

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boyd-church

Martin,

So here we are back in Harlan County. In the first two weeks of the season, we’ve seen a big  mystery set up, a raising of the stakes between Raylan and his father, and, well, we don’t quite have a new “big bad,” as our major interloper is a simply a Holy Ghost revival preacher. Still, we have all the pieces in place for a great Justified season. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by teables

January 16, 2013 at 11:59 pm

Posted in Justified

You’ll never leave Harlan alive…

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Justified – Episode 13 – Bloody Harlan

Hi Travis,

There are no more appropriate words to end this season than Brad Paisley’s ominous words. They’re so appropriate and capture not just the feel of the scene in which Mags dies, but also the feel of this season in general. Before I explain that, let me sum up what’s happened in the way of setting us up for next season. Consider this a sort of promissory note: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Martin

May 6, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Posted in Justified

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Reckoning…

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Hey Travis,

Wow…I feel like every week I say the same thing: what an amazing episode. Several things really struck me about this week’s episode. First, the amazing economy of storytelling. It’s incredible how much stuff was compacted into this episode. We get all of our characters (even Loretta) appearing. Furthermore, we get amazing tension between all of them. Some absolutely classic scenes. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Martin

April 29, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Coover was a genius…

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“I love this shit, this shit makes me hard.”

“You kill anybody?”

— Tim Gutterson

Justified: Debts and Accounts (2.10) and Full Commitment (2.11)

Hello moth-chasers: just a heads up that for the next few weeks, I’ll be blogging solo and if he has time, Travis will chime in (he just had a newborn!)

So, Travis,

What an amazing set of two episodes! I’ll say a few words about the second to last episode before touching on this week’s episode. First, I make a lot of Art’s line that Raylan is a “lousy marshal, but a good lawman.” It is hard to figure out how to parse it. Does Art then mean that he knows about Raylan and Winona, but also knows that Raylan wouldn’t do anything genuinely immoral? Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Martin

April 22, 2011 at 10:22 am

Posted in Justified

“Justified” review coming soon!

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Loyal Moth Chase readers,

Martin is at a conference this weekend, and Travis had some family issues arise this week. Check back soon for this week’s review!

Written by teables

April 15, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Posted in Justified