While Raylan's bag mystery builds, Boyd fights to keep his business from shrinking
Justified Recap
Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX

If this episode taught me anything, it’s that I would watch Justified even if it was just Raylan, Tim, and Art on one stakeout after another. Bonus points if an episode involves Raylan having sex, which this one did. Like this hour, let’s start there.

Once again, it worries me that Raylan keeps his cash in his underwear drawer and leaves Lindsey alone in his place. Perhaps he figures if he exhausts her with sex that’s “getting good,” she won’t have the energy to snoop or steal. (Of course, other than the money, all he has in there is a Tombstone poster.) He went downstairs to handle the bar delivery and flex his triceps. A man walked right in and helped himself to a beer, even though Raylan told him they were closed. It was clear from the moment he asked Raylan whether he was doing a favor for the blonde or the brunette that he knew Lindsey. Raylan kept it cool, and the man left, but not before asking Raylan whether he thought he could make him leave. Raylan didn’t know, and neither did I. This guy is big like the late Coover Bennett, with seemingly more brains, and Raylan probably wasn’t carrying. The guy bumped into Raylan and tossed a chair on his way out. Raylan looked more confused than worried.

Ava was also handling deliveries at Boyd’s bar. Her visitor was Ellen May, who came to tell Ava she missed her previous night’s shift because she found God. “I saved your soul, remember? Not God or Jesus Christ. Me and my shotgun,” Ava said. That’s why Ellen May wanted to return the favor and encourage Ava to change her ways and seek God’s forgiveness. “You’re a whore, Ellen May. And if that ain’t enough, you and me, we killed a man. We dumped his body down a mineshaft without ceremony. There ain’t no salvation for people like us,” Ava said. Ouch. I didn’t like that Johnny overheard that part of the conversation. If he didn’t already know all that, it’s new information he could use against Ava and Boyd. Ava told Ellen May if she didn’t return to work that night, she’d never step foot in that bar again.

From someone being forced to work, we cut to someone being forced to retire. U.S. Marshals have mandatory retirement at age 57, and Art, we learned, recently turned 56. Before you get worried, showrunner Graham Yost told EW in our weekly postmortem that there won’t be a retirement party for Art anytime soon because the Justified timeline is so tight. The whole series to date has probably taken place over six months or at most a year. Art told a colleague from the Bowling Green office interested in the position what he’d be getting himself into: Tim, we learned, is more trigger happy than Raylan and probably has PTSD and a drinking problem. Rachel, who Art always assumed would take over for him, recently left the husband none of us knew she had and may be emotionally unstable. And Raylan, well, we all know what a handful he is. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out, Patrick!

Art told Raylan about the inmate Arlo had killed, a Dixie Mafia thug named Sam Porter, and Raylan recognized him as being in the room when he’d shown Arlo the Panamanian diplomatic bag from the wall in Arlo’s house. “Raylan, on a scale of one to a sh–load, how much do you need to tell me right now?” Art asked. Since Arlo wasn’t going to tell them why he hid the bag and killed a man just for looking at it, they decided to find Waldo Truth. Again with the symmetry in Raylan’s and Boyd’s story lines, we had a quick cut to Boyd arguing with Johnny about their mystery — the dwindling Oxy sales. Johnny still thinks the church is solely to blame and wanted to check it out (Ava agreed), but Boyd isn’t buying it and said he hates churches (which is what happens when your father has all your disciples killed).

And then we were back to Art, Raylan, and Tim briefing themselves on the Truth family and packing their weapons. The boys wanted to know why papa wanted to go on this particular assignment, and Art had three reasons: the best barbecue he ever had was in Versailles, Kentucky (“We are gonna stop for lunch before we get to the Truths incase you shoot one of them, then we won’t get to go afterward,” he told Raylan), the mystery bag had given him a bit of a “Marshal stiffy” (“That’s a nice image,” Tim deadpanned), and he wanted to nab the federal fugitive who’d been collecting a disability check for 30 years.

NEXT: The preacher and the pervies

Next we saw Ellen May, she had gone to see Preacher Billy to tell him she couldn’t be a part of his church. Why did Cassie try to keep Ellen May from seeing Billy? Was he really busy, or does Cassie know the kind of trouble Ellen May brings with her? I am so enjoying seeing a sober, soft Ellen May. Abby Miller was wonderful in that conversation with Joe Mazzello — crying when Ellen May admitted she’d done unspeakable things and couldn’t be forgiven, and smiling when she listened to Billy tell her she was wrong. Billy’s plan: to shame those who tried to shame her. That will go well.

Fittingly, the next two scenes were fights. We cut from Raylan’s still unnamed bar intruder fighting MMA-style in a backyard ring for cash and Boyd’s buddy Colton punching a guy named Danny, who he’d caught hanging around the brothel trying to sell heroin in Boyd’s backyard. Boyd said he wanted to meet Danny’s boss, then he got pulled away by Ava to come hear children carrying the church’s $1,000,000 bills singing “Shall We Gather at the River?” — the song that the Temperance Union marchers sing at the beginning of The Wild Bunch.

Boyd still wasn’t ready to go to the church, though it was time for him to go pump Sheriff Shelby Parlow, who wants out of Boyd’s pocket, for information. He told Boyd that Billy and Cassie have been in five hard-up cities in three years. He thinks they’re just trying to get communities back on track, which he’s fine with if it means Harlan residents stop spending the little money they have on drugs and whores. Boyd, however, thinks they chip away at the criminal element’s enterprise until said criminals pay them to pack up their tent and leave.

Money was also the topic of conversation for Randall, the guy who almost fought Raylan in the bar and won his backyard bout. “What about that other thing? How soon can your boys get what I want?” Randall asked the promoter. The guy said when Randall has the money, he’ll make the call. Another mystery! What does he want? A gun? We’ve yet to find out. But we did learn that Raylan probably can’t take Randall, who took care of two guys who wanted reimbursed for the money they lost betting against him without breaking a sweat. This sort of reminds me of how nervous we felt the first time Raylan came face-to-face with Quarles and didn’t know about his rail gun. We get to be nervous when Raylan’s around Randall and doesn’t know his hands are lethal weapons.

By this point, Raylan, Art, and Tim had now had enough time to dine and park near the mailbox where Waldo Truth’s check was delivered. Raylan was snoring, which is just the ultimate cool guy move, right, falling asleep when you’re awaiting a potentially dangerous situation (think astronaut Gordon Cooper nodding off on the launch pad). Really though, this was a way for us to learn that the entire office, including Art, is aware that Raylan has been exhausting himself, and probably not as an exotic dancer (which was Gutterson’s jab). Art reminded Raylan it’s against Marshal policy to do anything on the side, and Raylan quickly changed the subject to Art’s pending retirement. That’s when Milo Truth rode up on his bike to pick up the check.

I love that this 13-year-old kid not only made them as they tailed him in the car, but also started yelling, “Help! We’ve got some pervies!” as he rode up to his family’s home. Judd, Waldo’s eldest, did most of the talking encouraging the Marshals to leave. “Hey, he’s stealing your bit,” Tim told Raylan when Judd started a countdown. It would have gone sideways had Mother Truth not come outside. “They don’t look like perverts, well maybe that one,” she said, looking at Art. Notice how it was only after she came out that Raylan really got serious holding his gun. He knows from Mags what kind of power mothers hold in the hills. After Art told the Truths the checks would stop until they found Waldo, Mother told her daughter to go call around for him and invited the Marshals in.

That was another great scene, Mother casually telling them the “romantic” story of how she met Waldo while Art confiscated the Truths’ weapons, Raylan tried to stir a dead guinea pig before Milo flipped him both fingers, and Tim watched Judd smoke a joint (“Oh, I got the glaucoma real bad”) and pass it to his sister. “Waldo” finally arrived, produced ID, and confirmed he was the same Waldo Truth who was convicted of armed robbery in 1971 and served 11 years. He claimed not to know anything about the ID found with the bag or Arlo Givens, so they cuffed him and told him he was under arrest for a 1982 parole violation.

“Waldo” admitted he was actually Harold, who agreed to pretend he was Waldo so the family could collect. Milo pulled a gun, then Tim pulled his. Raylan asked Mother to tell Milo to put his down, and she did, but Raylan had to take the gun and park the kid on his ass. Then, Raylan explained all the charges they were going to haul them in on, so Mother would start talking. She admitted she hasn’t seen Waldo in almost 30 years, since a pilot came and took Waldo away for a job and said he was never coming back. “And you were okay with that?” Art asked her. “Of course, I was. Waldo was an asshole,” she said. “I thought he was romantic,” Tim quipped. I love Tim. Such a great delivery. Mother said he was romantic until they wed, and then he beat her. It got so bad, she once stabbed him in the butt cheek. Once Art figured out the pilot’s name was Drew Thompson, he told Raylan and Tim they were leaving. All they did was take the guns. In our postmortem, Yost says that’s probably the last we’ll see of the Truths. Pity.

NEXT: Boyd meets Billy

As night fell, the lights in the Last Chance Holiness Church tent were on. Ellen May got baptized just before Boyd, Colton, and the young guy whose name I still haven’t learned showed up. Billy said he’d prayed that Boyd and his friends would find their way there. “Well, speak of the devil and he will appear,” Boyd offered with a smile. As they verbally volleyed, Boyd calmly eased his way down the aisle on the attack. Billy asked Boyd if he was prepared to come forth and be saved, and Boyd, in his usual manner, didn’t take kindly to an outsider passing judgment on him. Billy said everyone there and in the towns where he’d served previously would testify to his integrity. Would they to Boyd’s? Boyd told him he once stood where he was, asking people for their faith and offering them eternal salvation in return. “But in the end, their faith was not rewarded and mine was shattered,” Boyd said.

And then the conversation turned to how they each fill their collection plates. Boyd accused Billy of leaving towns when they stopped donating, and Billy said it’s the lord who tells him where and when to go. Boyd quoted John on false prophets (Walton Goggins can preach!) and again accused Billy of being one. Loved those reaction shots of Boyd as Billy referred to Boyd’s skepticism as wise and hard-earned. Billy realized he was so blessed, he had no more need of donations: No member of the congregation will give a cent to the church. Cassie shot daggers at Boyd, which only made him smile again. Billy may not need money, but she clearly wants it.

Back to the Marshals office, where Art poured the boys some of that $200 bourbon Patrick had brought him. Art said he was in his second year when that man pancaked on the pavement and cocaine arrived in Harlan. Art had requested the medical examiner’s report on the body and, guess what, it had a scar on its ass. So that was Waldo Truth. Now the question is, where’s Drew Thompson? Art said he bets Arlo knows.

Remember how we already established Arlo isn’t talking? Let’s cut to a man, Danny the heroin dealer, with a gag in his mouth. Such smooth transitions this season! Boyd’s crew killed time waiting for Danny’s boss to show up by talking about the church. It’s clear that Cassie pulls the strings, so Boyd said all they have to do is figure out what she wants. Ava brought up another concern: What if Ellen May unburdens her soul and reveals details about Delroy’s murder? I’m worried about Ellen May’s life expectancy at this point. But no time to dwell on that. Wynn Duffy is back!

Boyd had sent his boys to buy heroin in Wynn Duffy’s territory in Frankfort and matched it with what Danny was peddling locally. Wynn apologized and said it would not happen again. But Boyd didn’t want an apology, [now shouting] he wanted to be Wynn’s partner. Next to Downton Abbey‘s Dowager Countess, Wynn Duffy’s reaction shots are my favorite on TV. He was amused at Boyd’s enthusiasm over a proposition that he had absolutely no intention of accepting: Boyd offered to be his Harlan distributor and split the profits down the middle. Wynn said even if he was looking for a partner, which he’s not, it’d have to be someone he could trust.

Boyd: Well, you can trust me.

Wynn: But I don’t even trust the way you just now said I could trust you.

Proving Boyd has no idea who he’s dealing with, he threatened to kill Danny if Wynn didn’t reconsider. Wynn sighed, then shot Danny in the head himself. Boyd was definitely surprised, as was Johnny. The guns were lowered and Wynn explained that any dealer silly enough to poach Boyd’s territory isn’t welcome in his crew. Wynn’s crew took the body and Boyd said he’d clean up the mess as a trust-building exercise. Wynn went to leave but turned around: He asked Boyd if he knew why Arlo had killed the Dixie Mafia soldier in prison. Boyd looked to Ava and Johnny, and they knew nothing about it obviously. Wynn suggested Boyd talk to Arlo. Boyd said he’d get back to him. So it’ll be a race to see who can solve this Drew Thompson mystery first?

The episode ended how it started, with Raylan helping Lindsey with her bar work and trying to have sex. Apparently he told her all about his day and the case — again, not smart, I’m thinking. Eventually, after stating the obvious — they’re both hot — they stopped talking and were about to get busy on the bar when Randall walked in. Raylan told him they were DEFINITELY closed, and he said that’s fine: “I just need to have a quick word with my wife.” [Record scratch.] If the promo for next week is any indication, this is gonna be fun.

Your turn. What did you think of the episode?

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