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'Justified': Raylan's 'ready to explode.' How great will these final two episodes be?

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Justified
Prashant Gupta/FX

When Justified exec producer Graham Yost teased that something horrific would happen at the end of season 2’s eleventh episode that would have Timothy Olyphant’s Raylan Givens “ready to explode,” we should have guessed he meant the (presumed) death of his Aunt Helen, but I didn’t see it coming until Dickie and his new Coover (Noover?) showed up in her kitchen. Watch the scene below. I hate to see a strong woman like Helen go, but if it was her on the stretcher shown in next week’s kickass promo (also embedded below), I like that she went out shotgun in hand. (We know from her gasp she was hit, but there were two shots fired.) I also like how it instantly made everything more complicated: Raylan already hates his father, whose new partnership with outlaw Boyd is to blame for Helen taking a bullet, but does he hate Dickie more? Will Raylan, who had no problem going rogue this episode, use his always-loaded guns on Dickie for revenge, or will he control himself and bring him in by the book? Will Mags turn on Dickie, who she’s already all but disowned, after what he did to Givens-Bennett peacekeeper Helen, or will she not want to lose another son to Raylan? And where does this leave Raylan and Boyd, who’s shown alongside Ava raising guns at Raylan in the promo? (Really, Ava?) 

Three more thoughts about last night:

• Anyone else get nervous when Raylan told Duffy that he handled that Gary situation the way he did because finding out who Gary really was would tear Winona apart? People knowing Raylan’s weakness can’t be good.

• We need more scenes between Raylan and Tim. That semi-NSFW hotel room dialogue was as phenomenal as the amber-tinted lighting.

Tim: “You’re not gonna try to go out the window or anything while I’m gone?”

Raylan: “No. Not right now. I’m beat. Plus, you’ve got your car here. Even if I got a jump on you, you’d be right behind me.”

Tim: “But you will eventually.”

Raylan: “Eventually. Yes.”

Tim: “Yes. Why would you do that?”

Raylan: “Well, I gotta talk to some people — alone. So, either you let me go, or I’m gonna have to give you the slip.”

Tim: “I love this s—, this s— makes me hard.”

Raylan: “Well, then we’ve both been warned.”

• The Oak Ridge Boys are very excited to have been name-checked. Update: Joe Bonsall, who sings lead on “Elvira,” just emailed me: “I nearly fell off the couch last night when Marshal Gutterson called them Oak Ridge Boys. THUGS……. REDNECKS……. TROUBLEMAKERS……. That’s US!!!! We have been calling, texting, and tweeting each other all day.” They’re open to a season 3 cameo.

Read more:

‘Justified’: Who is your favorite supporting character?

‘Justified’ exec producer talks [spoiler], family feud, and building toward ‘Bloody Harlan’

‘Justified’: What was in Coover’s bag? We’ve got the answer.

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