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November 27, 2014

'Justified' - 'Riverbrook' Recap

by Danny Gallagher, posted Mar 25th 2010 8:23AM
Timothy Olyphant on FX's (S01E02) "I gotta ask, why the hat?" - Rachel

"I tried it on one time and it fit." - Raylen


It's been a long time since I've been itching to catch up on a show. I mean, the kind of frustrating nervousness that makes your gut ache and wish you had control over time and space.

It got even worse my TiVo decided not to record Tuesday night's episode, which means I had to wait to find out what happens next. This just made my nerves twitch and convulse more until my entire body lit up like a Christmas tree of pain, which didn't help since I'm already fighting off a killer cold.

The weirdest part? It actually feels kinda nice.

After last week's dramatic shootout with Boyd, Raylan goes to visit his ol' coal mining buddy that he just used for target practice and Boyd...opens up to him?!? His religious epiphany about the status of his life was dramatic and heartfelt (pardon the pun) but also a total shocker, at least by TV's standards. When the lead villain survives a near death experience by his protagonist, he's supposed to launch into a spittle flying rage. But here, he's not only forgiving him for shooting. He's THANKING him. How's that for innovative television?

Of course, Walton Goggins, who is scary good as Boyd, was bound to make for an interesting villain but now he's infinitely more interesting as he pours his heart to Raylan and seems to be back on the straight and narrow. It's not clear if he's even going to return as Raylan's friend or enemy, but it'll be a surprise even if this is the last we see of him. It's nice to see a show that knows how to hold its cards for once.

But that's another gun shot victim for another day and Raylen's returns to the beat, this time transporting prisoners, starting with the gator hunting redneck who used to work for Boyd. Once again, the subtle touches of the scenes really sell the show well, starting with Raylan's decision to let the prisoner drive the car and when he tries to make a run for it, Raylan's breaks his face on the steering wheel a second time. Blunt force trauma has never been this entertaining.

As the hilarity wears off, the noir takes over, thrusting Raylan into an escaped convict case that seems a little too convenient at first (he happens upon the escapees at the very moment he receives the call) but becomes more interesting as the script rolls out before our eyes. The show felt very different from the first episode. Here, we've got an actual mystery on our hands as opposed to a slowly building showdown between two former mates.

The escapee angle gives the show a purpose to exist outside of its source material while it sprinkles in other revisited tidbits like the meeting with his ex-wife and his on-again, off-again kissyface romance with Ava as they prepare to talk about Boyd's shooting. It's rare to see a show with such a compelling main storyline that can also cook up good, regular ones throughout the season. Let's hope it stays that way.

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OakRidge

You can really tell that they switched the filming location from various locations around the East to southern California. It is unfortunate that they could not stay East for filming the rest of the series.

March 27 2010 at 8:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
csttar63

is AVA the hottest chick on TV. she has a some nice a**.
hope to see more of her.
the racist stuff is a little tough to watch, but it's done well.

March 27 2010 at 11:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Menachem

I don't think Boyd's religious epiphany is going to lead him to the straight and narrow. I think it will mean that he will now be a bad guy with religious fervor, and everything he does will now have god's stamp of approval on it (at least in his mind).

We saw a glimpse of this in the first episode, where he started talking to Raylen about Noah's Ark, with Boyd's twisted interpretation of what happened.

March 25 2010 at 6:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Katie

I thought when he drove past the store the first time, the lights were off but when he turned around to head back to the prison, the lights were flipped on and he got a feeling that something was going on.

I thought this episode was amazing and a great follow-up to the pilot last week. I hope Walton Goggins will be back for more. I love seeing him on my TV again!

March 25 2010 at 12:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
C.A.

I enjoyed the pilot, but this episode really surprised me by how funny it was! There was some top notch comedic writing going on and I didn't expect it at all. I'm definitely enjoying it so far.

March 25 2010 at 10:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gina

I think him finding the escapees just as the call came in was more about how good he is at his job. It would be safe to assume that he had passed that store earlier in the day and maybe even stopped in and saw the store hours. He probably drove past it to get to the prison and again when he left the prison. He gets the call about the escape and as he is driving past notices the store is open when it should not be. He is not dumb. Two escapees, a store open past closing in the vicinity of the escape. Put two and two together and it is at least worth checking out.

As far as his hat. No he is not from Texas, but a lot of people from Kentucky think of themselves as country boys. He left his home but took a little of it with him.

March 25 2010 at 10:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JennyL

I hope this show lasts, as it is incredibly entertaining. Sometimes I feel like they've taken "My Name is Earl" and turned it into a drama.

Walton Goggins is just terrific. I've been missing him since The Shield.

March 25 2010 at 8:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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