Justified: “Money Trap” Recap
Boyd and Ava attend an upscale swingers party while a dangerous enemy from the season premiere leads Raylan into the beautiful poker face of one Jackie Nevada.
I know things happen fairly quickly on Justified, but I don’t think even I would have guessed that it had only been six days since the season opener, which featured Raylan enlisting the aide of Constable Bob in the retrieval of Jody the Fugitive. Well, Jody was back this week, and as hapless as he was, he still managed to get the drop on the gorgeous Bounty Hunter chick that Raylan previously had “relations” with. Right after she’d finished telling her partner that Raylan himself was an “emotional disaster.” So Jody was dim, but still dangerous in that unpredictable Elmore way.
More importantly than the return of Jody, or the panty-swiping guest stint by Mad Men’s Michael Gladis, was the introduction of The Secret Circle’s Shelley Hennig as Jackie Nevada, a smoking hot college-age poker player straight from the pages of Elmore Leonard’s first officially cross-pollinated novel, Raylan. On a series with beautiful actresses, there was still a striking hotness to Jackie that made you know instantly that something was going to start up between her and Raylan. But even Raylan, rightfully suspicious of Jackie, knew to tempter his expectations, telling Art “This girl ain’t the least bit interested in an old fart like me.” Which is always an aspect of Justified that I appreciate. The fact that, as dashing as Timothy Olyphant is, Raylan can have a drink at a bar and get completely ignored by giggling co-eds.
I don’t know exactly what the story behind the money was, but the real tale here was Jody’s quest for revenge, leading to Wild West-style standoff that we all knew he wasn’t fit to participate in. Yeah, it all felt like a side quest, with Raylan getting himself roped into things in order to avoid visiting Arlo, but, as this show’s proven, it’s fun to watch Raylan eat an ice cream cone much less outsmart some perps. Also – and this came to me while watching this week’s episode of The Following – I appreciate how much this show cuts out the actual investigation and just gets to the chase, letting us assume that “A” led Raylan to “B” which then led him to “C.” As Leonard said himself, “I try to leave out the parts people skip.”
Raylan’s conversation with Arlo really got Arlo worked into a hot tizzy, as shown by Arlo’s stern, statuesque expression and refusal to concede to defeat. I’m not sure what kind of dangerous mischief Arlo can set into motion from behind bars, but the final scene lent credence to the theory that Arlo himself, through the Drew Thompson mystery, might wind up being the main adversary this year. Meanwhile, on the other side of the tracks, Boyd met the “hands that feed.” The power brigade of rich folk that claim to have been “allowing” him to operate his criminal organization – including Lost’s Sam Anderson and Django Unchained’s Ned Ballamy. So Boyd actually went back to Napier’s swinger party with hopes of taking some rich people’s money in exchange for strong-arming Frank Browning, and got put in his place instead. And his hair was “combed all nice” and everything.
Matt Fowler is a member of the Television Critics Association. Follow him on Twitter at @TheMattFowler