I don’t have time, unfortunately, to put up much of an overview of the episode. I’ll just say this was one of my favorite episodes this season. At least on par with the season opener. It flowed so much better than the last two which seemed a tad choppy. As the title suggests, a lot of the episode dealt with family (the double meaning of blood). What I liked best about this episode was that typical Elmore Leonard style of funny situations that are for the protagonists deadly serious.
The drug dealer cum magician Flex was really a character like many of the ones from Leonard’s books and like so much of last year. This isn’t to knock Dewey or some of the past episodes. Just to say that I really loved this particular style of villain. There’s an earnestness and sympathy to the villains in this series that I appreciate. In a sense everyone in the show is broken, but they have their core values.
Not as much time was spent on the season arc stuff. But what there was I really appreciated. We started off with a family barbeque at the Bennett home where Raylan starts things going. It was wonderfully written and we discover that the Bennetts and Givens clans have a bit of history. We also saw the return of Duffy, the leader of the Dixie Mafia from last season. (You might remember Raylan’s ex, Winona got mixed up with them due to her husband’s activities) Raylan basically acts like the typical western and warns everyone off. Which is more to just rile things up (as Raylan surely knows) in order to get them out in the open.
Back on the Boyd front we discover the folks from the mine want Boyd to help them with an armed robbery. And Boyd appears willing to join in. Is he serious? Looks like next week will tell us. Reading between the lines it looks like the plan is for the others to do the robbery and have Boyd prevent it while taking the money. I’ll lay good odds Raylan won’t fall for it. But will Boyd go through with it or does he have other plans? Something odd is going on.
I suspect we’re supposed to read something into Boyd’s Somerset Maugham book, Of Human Bondage. You might recall in that book the protagonist, Philip, is a deep believer in God but his faith falters when God doesn’t heal his club foot. Through various travels and affairs by the end of the book Philip puts aside his lofty philosophical ideals and decides, “the simplest pattern, that in which a man was born, worked, married, had children, and died, was likewise the most perfect.”
In the Raylan/Winona front the ex is offering divorce which Raylan thinks is a plan to get Winona back by being nice. (The divorce is to resolve the problem of the house debt since they now owe more than the home is worth) Raylan offers to take up the payments and we’re not sure if he is joking or not. He says he has funds “in the hundreds” which makes one wonder what Raylan does with his salary.
I didn’t say much about the “one off” aspect of the week. But as I said at the start I loved it. I like the season arc stuff. (Especially the Bennett clan stuff) A solid main story though really does lift the episode. And last night’s was great. I hope we get more like this one. It was also nice to have Rachel’s character fleshed out a bit more. I’ve liked every scene where she plays a significant part. (Remember the whole hat incident from last season)
That’s it. Looks like the season arc really gets moving next week when the armed robbery starts. It’s also interesting how this season all the various threads seems to appear to becoming intertwined. I bet the Dixie Mafia and Winona’s soon to be second ex are still intertwined. (BTW – in case you are curious it is common for the Marshals to be part of joint DEA/FBI/State task forces. I loved the quip to Doyle asking if he hadn’t been invited to the task force.)