Now that Raylan and Boyd are done with their minor distractions, Justified re-focused on the Drew Thompson mystery, which thankfully brought the two of them together again in one of the better episodes of the young season.

Arlo showed up at the Marshals office willing to cut a deal. He’d give information on the whereabouts of Thompson if he was given his freedom. The news of Arlo’s willingness to work with the feds stirred up some trouble, namely Agent Barkley from the F.B.I. (Stephen Tobolowsky) who lost the Thompson case to Art and his marshals. When Raylan was filled in on what was going on, he took it upon himself to find Thompson as a way to keep Arlo behind bars. Once again, Raylan’s side project got him tangled up with interesting characters like the girl who broke into Arlo’s house, her step-father Josiah, and a brood of hillfolk (whom he ended up being related to). On top of all of that, he also got stuck in a pen with Boyd who was also looking for Thompson.

You see, Barkley was dirty and working for Theo Tonin, head of the Detroit mob who was screwed over by Thompson, and he met with Justified405both Wynn Duffy and one of Tonin’s guys named Nick Augustine (played by a cap-less Mike O’Malley). When Barkley wasn’t able to guarantee that he could deliver Thompson alive, Augustine shot him in the head and asked Wynn to help since he was familiar with the Crowders and Arlo. Our favorite Dixie mafioso struck a deal with Boyd, he’d be willing to work with Crowder if he was able to locate Thompson first, which was how he ended up with Raylan.

After Raylan was able to negotiate with the hillfolk’s matriarch, he learned that Thompson was still alive and somewhere in Harlan County, then he handcuffed Boyd to a tree so he could get a head start. When he dropped by Josiah’s, he told him where he could find Thompson and warned the hillbilly gangsters, Raylan found his severed foot. Meanwhile, Boyd’s next move was to bribe Arlo’s lawyer (Romy Rosemont) into rescinding his plea deal.

The biggest lesson learned by watching “Kin” was Justified is vastly more entertaining when Raylan and Boyd are on screen together. Now, I understand and even appreciate why Graham Yost wanted to keep them a part for so long at the start of the season, but everything started to hum and crackle the second Raylan realized who his bunkmate was. From that moment on, it was Justified at its best.

As for the plot, I’ll admit that there were maybe a tad too many twists and turns, but thankfully things were easy enough to follow and it didn’t get too convoluted for its own good. But it’s still early and there could still be some major double-crosses coming, but for now things are moving along nicely, and I’m still hooked.

Other Odds and Ends:

  • In a C-plot, Colton was scrambling to find Ellen May and even went to Shelby for help who was obviously helping her so he could get some intel that could take Boyd down once and for all.
  • To complicate things even more, Arlo and Bo Crowder helped hide Drew Thompson in exchange for the cocaine he stole from Tonin.
  • Oh yeah, and Cousin Johnny’s still in cahoots with Wynn.
  • Not going to lie, it was odd seeing Burt and Carole Hummel guest starring on the same show and not be in the same scene together.
  • Speaking of Mike O’Malley, he had a big night because he also guest starred on Raising Hope. He must have signed over his soul to FOX.
  • Along with O’Malley, Rosemont, and Tobolowsky, this episode included Gerald McRaney (Major Dad), Patton Oswalt, and the return of Natalie Zea (The Following). Who wasn’t in this one?
  • “Mr. Duffy, we are not trustworthy men.”
  • “You didn’t take her up on it?”
  • Boyd: “Still, I can see him sending you up to an early end, you being who you are, but I thought he and I were better friends than that.”
    Raylan: “Why’s that? He got that honor amongst dumbass thieves thing?”
    Boyd: “Dumbass? Coming from the man tied up next to me?”
  • “You looking to start a fight, Raylan? Nine times out of ten, I’d be more than happy to accommodate…:
  • Mary: “Your daddies took all that cocaine for themselves.”
    Raylan: “Of course they did. That’s another reason we’re so proud of them.”
  • “I’d whistle the theme song to Deliverance if I thought you had a better sense of humor.”
It was nice being back on the Thompson case because it had the right amount of forward momentum to keep things going in the right direction, and it was even nicer seeing Raylan and Boyd sparring like only they know how. Pretty great stuff all around. What did everyone else think? Were you just as excited as I was to see the boys back together?
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Find Marcos Canales directly on Twitter @poppas2cents and remember to follow @ScreenInvasion!