Justified: Brother's Keeper

RaylanAn other great episode. A lot was building to this point – but there’s still four episodes left. All those little things foreshadowed of pointed at of late came together tonight. The only thing missing in action was the Winona subplot. But it wasn’t missed.

You remember episodes back when the Bennett boys were disposing of the body of Loretta’s dad, Coover goes back and steals the dad’s watch. Of course we knew this was going to be his downfall right there and then. And tonight it happened. It starts out idyllic enough for the Bennetts with Mags brushing Loretta’s hair. But Mags makes one insult too many to Coover who sees Loretta as destroying the family from within. After having his hand smashed by his psychopathic mom not long ago I suspect he has a lot of rage built up.

Meanwhile it’s a busy party – Boyd shows up to deal with Mags.

Carol and Raylan seem to be getting more and more comfortable with each other. I wonder if he is getting tempted by her blatant behavior towards him.

The deal over the mountain finally comes to the forefront though. Boyd figured out that the real issue was less the mountain, which Black Pike sounds like they had wrapped up, than it is the road to service it. Mags comes out pretty dang good on the deal getting not only millions but 3% of the company. As the meeting was taking place though Raylan and Dickie have a little event. It doesn’t escalate but clearly Dickie is embarrassed and pretty upset. Not just at Raylan but at his mother who disrespected him by not including him in the meeting. Seems like Coover isn’t the only one with mommy issues.


As they put the party down Loretta spies Coover wearing her dad’s watch. Yeah, not too smart on Coover’s part – was it just a cocaine addled brain or is he trying to shake things up. It’s not too clear. Loretta isn’t too smart herself trying to drug Coover with some laced marijuana to find the watch. Coover goes nutso nearly killing Dickie and bringing Loretta to the mine shaft where he killed her father. Fortunately she had time to call Givens who traces the phone. After stepping on Dickie’s bad leg to find out where Loretta and Coover were (a bad leg Raylan had given him) Raylan manages to stop Coover in the nick of time. Unsurprisingly a fight ensues and Coover appears to have the upper hand when Loretta shows up with Raylan’s gun. Just as Loretta is about to shoot Coover Raylan grabs his backup gun and shoots Coover who falls down the mine shaft.

The ending is chilling as Mags is crying about saying goodbye to Loretta. She begs Raylan to speak to her and suddenly all the emotion just ends as soon as Raylan says no. Clearly her emotions are an act. She’s a psychopath through and through.

While there wasn’t as much of the funny dialog and scenes this week what was here just worked.

The big questions.

Coal Ash Spill1. Did something happen between Raylan and Carol? There was a scene of Raylan attempting to call Winona (apparently one of many calls). Carol makes yet an other blatant proposition that they spend the remaining time together. The next shot of them together is in a car in the dark. I’m guessing nothing happened but they’ve been making Raylan start to have a bit more respect for Carol as time goes on. And of course things haven’t exactly been going well with Winona.

2. Where did the actor playing Boyd learn to dance like that? It was funny seeing Ava try to dance while he went to town. Impressive. Seems like Ava and Boyd are getting a bit closer with each other.

3. Mags seems to be turning crime in her county over to Boyd. In effect having Boyd become his dad. About the only qualification is that the Bennetts keep the marijuana trade. Is Boyd playing a longer game here or is he going back to his old ways? My sense is that he’s being positioned by the writers to become the heat from the Bennetts against Raylan in their feud. I have a suspicion that a lot of remaining threads are going to come together at once.

Missing Mountaintop 4. I thought there was a coal ash spill yesterday in Tennessee (where you might recall there was a major ash spill two years ago. Turned out it was a sewage storage collapse. But it still made me think of what Mags was willing to let happen to her community. These spills happen in Kentucky too. And if you’re curious as to what mountain top mining looks like there’s lots on that too. (Not that Salt Lake City can complain when they look to their west at a missing mountaintop turned into a valley) Keeping the coal mining backdrop to the show has been one of the better features of this season.


12 thoughts on “Justified: Brother's Keeper

  1. Check that again. Are you sure Raylan shot Coover? I keep running it over and over and it kinda looks like he shot right next to his head scaring him and fell forward, perhaps fainting. He definitel did not hirt him in either the face or neck. I can not find a speck of blood on him. He had to at least have been shot in the gut or chest. Nothing.

    When did Loretta get Raylan’s gun?

  2. Dan, come on.

    Raylan shot Coover to prevent Loretta from doing it. It’s clear Coover was shot, probably fatally, because his face goes dead just before he falls into the mine. It’s dark, so you can’t tell, but Raylan must have shot him in the chest. From that range, there’s no way Raylan could miss, and if you remember from last season: Raylan doesn’t draw his gun unless he’s going to shoot to kill (yes, that’s a quote).

    Loretta got Raylan’s gun because it fell out when Ralan was bending over Loretta and got hit by Coover.

  3. It was a great episode, but dark. Raylan shows no mercy to Mags, and he has good reason, but there will be hell to pay for that.

    Mags sells out the county for a bunch of cash, plus 4% of the mining company’s parent. That’s probably a lot of money but it shows she has no principles. You could say the same for Boyd and Arlo. In the end, it’s all about money, as Ava predicted.

    It may be that Winona has gone back to Gary. She may see that as the smart play, since Gary is making some sweet financial deal (may already have the cash) and Raylan is broke as usual and in a dark place. Winona seems to be all about money too. She left Raylan originally when moneybags Gary came along, then left Gary when his wheeling and dealing went south, then tried to steal a bunch of money from the evidence room, and as soon as Raylan maybe gets her out of that, she’s nowhere to be found. Gary predicted she’d come back to him, and he may be right.

    Coover is not snorting cocaine, it’s oxy. Hillbilly heroin, which is probably worse than cocaine.

    Walton Goggins (who plays Boyd) may or may not be able to dance, but this episode doesn’t tell us. If you notice, the camera cuts back and forth between Boyd’s face and feet. You never see them together. My guess is, he had a hillbilly dance double.

  4. It’s not about showing no mercy. Loretta is a material witness against Mags. And there’s a good chance that Mags wanted to see her to keep her from testifying. There’s no way officials would ever let Loretta see Mags – not to mention the fact Mags murdered Loretta’s dad!

  5. MCQ – look again closely. It’s a slow pan from his face down to his feet. And they left Ava’s rather pitifully embarrassing dancing in. I bet it was happenstance that the actor knew how to dance so they used it. Also the actress playing Mags says that was him clogging.

  6. You’re right Clark. Funny that site says that Joelle Carter got no warning about the dance scene, and that Goggins just happens to be a champion clogger from his childhood. Amazing.

  7. In response to the big questions:

    1. I don’t think they did. I don’t remember what was said, but during their conversation in the car I remember thinking that there was a line said that implied they didn’t sleep together.

    2’s been answered.

    3. Boyd is one of my favorite characters ever on tv. He is completely unpredictable. There is something he is working towards, but I have no idea what it is.

  8. About 28 minutes in, Carol says, “Woulda been fun back there, huh?” and Raylan replies, “Maybe.” To me, that sounds like nothing happened. I agree with Jacob M

  9. Jacob, I think you’re right now that I think about it. Still, clearly there’s some chemistry going on there. I’ll lay good odds she’s back before the end of next season.

  10. Could you do it MCQ? I thought I’d have time yesterday or even this morning but I’m leaving for San Francisco for the chocolate show at Fort Mason and I’m just swamped.

    I liked it. The dialog was great. But it was definitely one of those “spanning” episodes and it can’t be judged on its own. Only how it sets up the next two.

    The only thing I don’t like is how Boyd is developing. Something seems really inauthentic about it.

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