I wish that I had enough time to fully discuss every TV show that I watch here in the blog. Sadly, there just aren’t enough hours in the day, especially these days. One that really deserves more attention than I’m able to give it is ‘Justified’, which began its fourth season on FX last week. Even if I can’t cover this series on a week-to-week basis, I feel that I ought to shine a little light on the premiere.
The show’s third season was heavily tied up in a serialized story arc and went to some dark places. Based on ‘Hole in the Wall’, Season 4 looks to lighten things up, at least a little. I have no issue with this. It’s nice to see Raylan having a little fun.
The episode begins uncharacteristically with a flashback to 1983, as a failed parachuter crashes into the ground, scattering bags of drugs all around him. This will come up again later.
In the present day, Raylan gets a phone call from a hot bail-bondswoman named Sharon that he’d had a fling with in Miami. A parolee from her area named Jody Adair skipped town and is currently in Kentucky. Sharon asks Raylan if he’d like to make a little money on the side by tracking the fugitive down and notifying the local PD. Although this is strictly against the Marshals Service’s rules and could get him fired (or jailed), Raylan needs the money for his impending baby, and figures that it’s a small risk if all he has to do is keep an eye on the guy. Well, one thing leads to another, and Raylan winds up nabbing Adair himself. To keep him out of sight, he shoves Adair in the trunk of his car until he can bring him in.
Unfortunately, Raylan gets sidetracked and his car (with Adair still in it) gets stolen. Unable to go through official channels, Raylan has to call in a favor from Constable Bob (Patton Oswalt), a schlubby process server with next to no law enforcement authority, whose overzealous desire to prove himself a badass results in an amusing series of fuck-ups. Naturally, Raylan gets the situation in hand.
The car was stolen by a pair of copper thieves who’d broken into Arlo’s house, presumably to strip the wiring in the walls. However, hidden in the walls was an empty canvas bag that we know belonged to the skydiver. When Raylan visits Arlo in prison to ask him about it, Arlo claims ignorance, but Raylan catches him in a lie. Later, a nosy inmate tries to pry some info about the bag out of Arlo, and Arlo shivs him to keep the secret. Whatever this bag is, clearly it’s important.
In a side story, Boyd is visited by an old army buddy named Colton Rose (Ron Eldard), who signs up as Boyd’s enforcer. The episode also sets up a story arc involving a backwoods holy man called Preacher Billy, whose promises of salvation for lowlifes and sinners has cut into Boyd’s Oxy sales. Billy’s Last Chance Holiness Church seems to be pretty cultish, and I’m sure that his motives are less than pure.
The episode is really entertaining, especially a scene where dimwit hooker Ellen May freaks out and shoots her client when he puts on a bear costume for his Furry fetish. If I have any disappointment, the actor playing Preacher Billy doesn’t seem nearly intimidating or charismatic enough. Even so, I look forward to another great season.