This weeks episode was amazing!! In addition to great scenes we witnessed solid performances by every single actor. Perhaps the greatest scenes were those shared by Arlo(Raymond Barry) and Raylan(Timothy Olyphant) but more on that later. These are the elements that make this show so good to watch. Even when there is an episode misstep during the season we still get these types of episodes that make us forget what we were ever complaining about in the first place.

This week picks up right where last week ended with Raylan going to see former Sheriff Hunter in prison to offer him the same deal that Arlo passed on. Hunter immediately questions why Raylan is so hell bent on screwing Arlo’s deal. He never agrees to give up any information and further expands on his distaste for Raylan. We can expect that distaste to be mutual as we continue into the coming weeks episodes.
aaaaaaa justified episode 8 hunter
After Raylan’s exit Hunter finds a “drugged” Arlo in the barbershop and attempts to kill him. After a struggle when Arlo springs up and attacks Hunter with a glass jar full of barber combs we see Arlo stabbed in the chest with a pair of sheers. It is immediately bittersweet. Arlo, has been such a thorn in Raylan’s side all of these years but his presence always reminds us why Raylan is the way he is. Also, it deprives us of the chance to see this great actor perform in this world of Harlan.

Arlo, doesn’t die immediately. He lingers on for the better part of the episode which gives us a great moment with him and his son. Raylan goes to see Arlo in the hospital to “interrogate” him about Drew Thompson but in the process lets us know that deep down he wants redemption for his father. He tells Arlo, “Come on! This way I can tell your grand kids that you weren’t a complete son of a bitch!” Delivered in the same type of aggressive tone that these two have done so well all of these seasons we still sense an underlined hope. Arlo, responds with his trademark line to Raylan for his final words. “Kiss my ass!” That might as well be an I love you for Raylan. It is always said with a certain smirk and sense of feeling behind the eyes.

All of the scenes with Arlo, Hunter, Raylan, and the Marshals office would have made for a great episode in of itself. However, we are blessed with a Boyd story as well that is equally as entertaining and well performed. When we left Boyd last week he was being threatened into killing a man for some of Harlan’s elite politicians and business men. Now Boyd may be from the sticks but he is a criminal mastermind and quickly determines a plan to make this problem his advantage.

After, a visit from Duffy, Boyd convinces him that his target and one of the other elites is Drew Thompson. Duffy, quickly has one of Theo Tonin’s top Detroit gun thugs come out and dispatch them with ease dressed as a Harlan Deptuty. It doesn’t take long for Detroit to realize what’s going on and come looking for Boyd. Lucky for him Raylan is always in the right place at the right time.

Raylan comes looking for Boyd to question him about where his continued information comes from when he finds out one of his leads turns up dead at the hands of the gun thug. Upon Raylan’s arrival to Boyd’s bar he finds the “deputy” walking Boyd out. After, some short dialogue from Raylan and the crowd we hear my favorite line from Timothy Olyphant all season. When the “cop” threatens to shoot Raylan while he is still holding Boyd in front of him Raylan, doesn’t hesitate to pull his gun and shoot the “cop” repeatedly. As he walks up to the body he says, “Jesus, I hope I got that right!” It is Raylan’s gut that helps him survive season to season, but it was funny to see him hoping that his famous gut was correct in this instance.

The Boyd portion of the show wrapped up with asking the elites to come out to his bar for a little chat. There he informed them that their intended target plus one of their own was killed. This rattles the elites quite a bit into trying to call in their favors with judges and other men of power. All of the numbers they call are disconnected. You see Boyd made his deal with devil so to speak with Detroit Mobster Theo Tonin to keep these men in check. Boyd tells the elites he wants $100,000 from each and wants help setting up a Dairy Queen franchise. What a Dairy Queen franchise? Apparently DQ is Boyd’s dream for a legit life for all the future Crowders to inherit.
aaaaaaa justified episode 8 shelby
Sheriff Shelby had a lot of interesting moments this episode. This season is all about guessing who Drew Thompson might be. Last week I considered it being one of the elite, but some of the dialogue makes me think different this week. Sheriff Shelby had a moment with Ellen May talking about his ex wife who left him 25 years ago suddenly. He describes her has looking quite a bit like Ellen May. At the beginning of this episode we do see Drew Thompson’s “widow” going through some photos with Raylan of possible suspects. She mentions it’s hard to recognize someone 30 years later. She could also pass as an older Ellen May. Combine those two parts with Shelby’s continuing to bring up the widow in several instances including his final scene at the Marshal’s office and I think the good sheriff might very well be Drew Thompson.

If it is indeed Shelby that would be very interesting in deed. Shelby has been a character on the show for several seasons now with no indication that he was even very capable of criminal activity. It would open up questions like did they always plan that for him? We will soon see as this season hurdles towards the final few episodes. I for one am excited to see where this freight train takes us.

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Mike Doles

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