Tuesday, January 27, 2015

REVIEW: 'Justified' - Raylan & Tim Are Followed While Boyd Resorts to Blackmail to Earn a Profit in 'Cash Game'

FX's Justified - Episode 6.02 "Cash Game"

Raylan's investigation brings him into conflict with a paramilitary outfit, while Boyd and his partners try to salvage a profit from their heist.

The final season of Justified at its core is about the grand conflict between Raylan and Boyd. Understandably, any new characters introduced to the season's plot have to be given worth to that major story. Every main antagonist of each season offered a different point-of-view into the world of Harlan, with Raylan and Boyd both dealing with the rewards and the consequences. Mary Steenburgen and Garret Dillahunt are perfectly cast characters in the world of Justified. But they aren't trying to steal focus away from the major story of the final season. They are simply assisting it and making things a bit more difficult for Raylan and Boyd.

It's admirable that Raylan is willing to follow the rules of the investigation in order to lock Boyd up. He is listening to Rachel's orders. He's still having fun on the job. And yet, he's not getting into a big confrontation with Boyd because he wants criminal charges to finally stick. The investigation is still very hopeful. The marshals have a plan of attack and Ava is finally starting to provide information. Everyone is still operating under the assumption that they can finally arrest Boyd. They may not be fully aware of what he's up to with Wynn Duffy and Katherine Hale. But they all have a sense that closure is just on the horizon.

Meanwhile, Boyd is trying to make sense of the profits from his latest bank heist. He was informed that the realtor had three million dollars that he could steal and then split with Wynn and Katherine. Now, he's upset but still working towards that big pay day. However, he seems to be more trustful of Ava than everyone else is. Wynn and Katherine both have their serious doubts on whether or not she can be trusted. Raylan is afraid that the evidence she found was just a test to see if she's working against Boyd. And yet, the information Ava provides is useful. It's just useful to both sides of this war. Boyd tries to use the documents as blackmail to get the money and Raylan stops it and takes back the documents. And then, Ava informs Boyd that one document was different than the rest in that it's the deed for the former bank in town.

That building is now being run by a paramilitary group fronted by Ty Walker. He continues to be the face of this real estate campaign. He's obviously buying up property in Harlan for a reason. But he's also very shifty about what he's truly after in this town. He thinks he can just stroll by and use his charms to get what he wants. But there's something untrustworthy about him the second you see him. This week he gets much more violent because you can't be a criminal on Justified if you're not violent. People understandably should be afraid of him. He needs to know whether this bank heist will effect the operation he is running. The realtor is just trying to protect himself but that ledger of dealings could easily come back and hurt Ty later - especially now that Raylan is in possession of it.

But "Cash Game" also spends some time introducing the new faces of the season. Ty was a shifty presence in the premiere. But now, he's actually killed people to get what he wants and has been better integrated into the main narrative. His buddies are Seabass and Choo-Choo, played by Scott Grimes and Duke Davis Roberts. Choo-Choo is the dim one of the group. There always seems to be a dim one in the group on Justified, isn't there? Dewey often filled that role to a lot of success. Danny Crowe and Coover Bennett were essentially the same character archetype as Choo-Choo initially seems. I'm also guessing it's only a handful of episodes before we see his way of killing someone. He got his name because he charges like a train. Even if all of that is familiar, it still functions well in the Justified universe. The scene in which Raylan is trying to figure if Choo-Choo was following his car or failing to follow the conversation was hilarious. Even Tim got a few great moments when he picked up Choo-Choo just to learn where he and his gang are based at. Lots of information was thrown out in "Cash Game" but all of it seems very appealing and hopeful right now.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Cash Game" was written by Dave Andron & VJ Boyd and directed by Dean Parisot.
  • Sam Elliott also debuted as Avery Markham, an old friend of Katherine's who knew her husband and their criminal enterprise. He has some ideas on how to help her deal with Boyd.
  • No Art at all this week. Have to assume he's off having fun with his wife at home.
  • So little Wynn Duffy, at least he got to proclaim that he knows how to work with hillbilly criminals. 
  • Raylan and Boyd have their first big confrontation of the season. Raylan ends up on top by getting the ledger and the rest of the documents. But Boyd also learns of Raylan's plans to transfer to Florida to be with his family. That could become very ominous for the future.
  • I do get a sense that Boyd's not sure if he can fully trust Ava. His watching her sleep at the end of the premiere was enough to suggest doubt. But now, he seems in love with her again after she proves her worth to his exploits.