THIS WEEK ON Justified – The Gunfighter

When we last left Deputy Marshal Raylan Givens he was bruised, battered, and shot.   We pick up season 3 a few weeks later.   Raylan is back with the marshals under limited capacity until he’s fully recovered.   It was painful to see him draw and shoot … and miss.   We’ll see how his injuries will limit him in the future.

Raylan is working on his investigation into what happened with the Bennett’s weed and money since the family was taken down.   Boyd is called into the marshal’s office to fill in some gaps in the aftermath.   After some classic banter between the two we are treated to a fistfight.   Good lord it feels like it’s going to be a good season

I don’t want to jump back too much, but in the recap of the past season of Justified, the Dixie Mafia was prominently featured.     I can only imagine that means that Arnett and Duffy will be back.   This rings true when we see a man, obviously Arnett’s superior, visit and tell Arnett he’s in some shit.   I’d like to take a moment and call your attention to the actor playing this mystery man.   Neal McDonough.   He was fantastic in Band of Brothers as the rugged Buck Compton, and it’s wonderful to see him taking a role here on Justified.   The only downside seems to be that antagonists to Raylan don’t seem to last too long.   Sitting in on this meeting is Quinn from Dexter.   I don’t know his name, mostly because I don’t care about him.

So with Boyd back in the big house for what we can all assume is assaulting an officer, the Crowder drug business falls to Devil and Arlo.   Mark me down in the “I don’t believe these guys are gonna get shit done” camp.   They are informed by their buyer that the marijuana is rotten.   Whoops.

Quinn, we still don’t know his name, shows up at a mysterious man’s house wearing a very gay hat and commandeering a pizza delivery.   Quickly he shows his intentions are to rob this man so Arnett can repay his debt.   After a brief bit of exposition we learn that Quinn likes to play games with his victims.   As we all know, this has never, EVER backfired in the history of villainy.   Simply put, he places the gun in the desk between them and has the captive pizza guy count down from ten.   At one, they both are supposed to reach for the gun.   During the count down all I can think of is “What does he do when he doesn’t have another captive handy?   Does he still play this game?   If so, who counts?”   Sure enough, the game is rigged.   Quinn, who we’ll now be calling “Icepick” stabs the other man in the hand with an icepick and shoot him dead.   Walking out of the room, he crassly kills the pizza man.

I want to take a moment to say how sorry I felt for the pizza man.   I mean, shouldn’t I feel bad for the other guy?   He was just minding his own business when a dude comes to his house to rob him?   Well, sure, but he’s part of the plot. I understand his role in the narrative.   The pizza guy however is collateral damage.   I know from a writer’s standpoint, this is meant to make Icepick look more evil.   Still, it’s a rough break for an average Joe just trying to earn an honest buck.

Tim comes to Raylan with a file on our mysterious killer.   Fletcher “The Icepick” Nicks … wow that was convenient.     Its revealed that Icepick worked for one Wynn Duffy.   After a brief and uneventful conversation with Duffy, and a good deal of shit talk from Tim, Raylan is off to find Arnett.

I’d like to present Ava Crowder with the world’s worst metaphor for weed award.   Calling it a cord of wood and still talking about it like its drugs does NOTHING to hide the fact that you’re now a drug dealer.   I’m not hating, I just got a chuckle is all.

In this corner we have the Stetson.   Worn by manly men and in style no matter where you are so long as you have the guts to pull it off.   And in this corner we have the Fedora.   Last cool in the 80’s its been adopted by pretentious, iPhone slinging douchbags. Raylan clearly does not recognize the other man and is on the wrong end of some one way guff.     After Raylan clearly wins the battle of Hat vs. Hat, he finds that Arnett is nowhere to be seen.     I guess it’s time to wine and dine the secretary.

Arnett’s secretary spills the bean on the deal going down between Icepick and Arnett.   I picked up on the fact that she was playing Raylan from the start.   I don’t know if this is because of how it was written or if its because I’m just a mistrustful bastard, but it didn’t matter because we are let in on the “secret” the second Raylan leaves.

After relaying Boyd’s order to burn the “cord of wood”, Ava wants to make sure she’s taken seriously in Boyd’s absence.   She feels the best way to approach this is to cook a nice meal and then play Whack-a Mole © with Devil’s face.   Point taken, don’t fuck with Ava.

Seems like I’m not the only mistrustful person out there; both Arnett and Icepick send proxies to the meeting.   Looks like things, as they often do, get complicated.   The marshals break up the fake deal as Icepick drives away in a cab, obviously peeved that his plans have been ruined.   Art calls to inform Raylan that the whole thing was a bust.   I want it on record that I saw the cab outside Raylan’s place and assumed that Icepick was in there.

Even armed with this foreknowledge, the scene was still tense.   The conversation between Raylan and Icepick was superfluous, but it really didn’t matter.   We’re just here to see these two guys draw down.   We know the game, we know the stakes, and we know Icepick is going to cheat.   How is Raylan going to get his rusty ass out of this mess?   Well, at least his brain hasn’t totally turned to mush.   Presumably Raylan figured out why Icepick’s nickname is Icepick.   When Wynonna reaches one, Icepick attempts to stab Raylan in the hand.   Raylan, being smarter than your average bear, pulls the table cloth towards him, picks up the gun and shoots Icepick in the shoulder.  I guess the game backfired.  I think this might be my favorite scene in Justified’s history.

Back at Arnett’s place, Icepick is noticeably absent mostly because he’s bleeding all over Raylan’s floor.   Quarles (McDonough) lets Arnett and Duffy in on his the fact that he tipped off the marshal service and foiled Arnett’s deal.   Quarles seizes the opportunity to take Arnett’s position within the mafia and dispatches him and his secretary.   Presumably Duffy is left alive because of his incredible ability to lapdog.   Looks like there’s going to be quite the little war coming.

We are left with the image of Boyd marching past Dickey Bennett and Dewey Crowe and into his cell.   Time will tell how long he’s out of commission.