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October 9, 2015

'Justified' - 'The Collection' Recap

by Danny Gallagher, posted Apr 21st 2010 10:29AM
(S01E06) "In the words of St. Francis, 'It is only by forgiving that we ourselves are forgiven.'" - Boyd to Raylan upon hearing that Raylen doesn't want to know about his father's misdeeds. "Ain't he the one with the birds?" - Raylan

I've been waiting with eager anticipation for Walton Goggin's character, the reformed bigot Boyd Crowder, to saunter back into Raylan Givens' field of view since the very first episode.

He's the perfect foil, not just for a guy like Raylan but in any villainous context. He's got those cold shark eyes that look like they would turn white if he bit into someone, a smooth and almost calm voice that screams evil and a jaw lined with a set of chompers that look like he has bitten into more than a few someones.

Goggins has played that evil backwoods character in all sorts of ranges from the ridiculous like his role as a brain-dead Texas outlaw in 'Shanghai Noon' to the slightly less brain-dead Shane Vendrell (aka Cletus VanDamme, that name still makes me laugh) in 'The Shield'.

Tonight I got my wish...and then some.

Raylan's attempt to use Boyd to get back at his scheming father was a sheer stroke of genius. It not only set up a perfect chance for Boyd to become the villain he was meant to become, even though he's found Jesus in prison. It's also put him in a perfect position to make his checkmate. It really could go either way at this point. Boyd could become Raylan's new found friend or enemy, and that's what I love about this series. Anything could happen. UFOs could land and abduct Raylan and somehow, there is a chance it could would work.

The main mystery story felt a little short and quite fast for an hour-long series. They were book-ended with Raylan's attempt to take down his old man through Boyd, so they were pressed for time but they did feature a few nice twists and helped take down one real mean sonovabitch: a conniving trophy wife who loves money a little too much and human life a lot less.

The case itself is a little confusing and gets muddled down in the facts too much, but it picks up steam when it is revealed to be a case within a case, so to speak, when the wife's horse training boy-toy shoots the husband in the head and frames the scene as a suicide. It also really gives you someone to hate, which is no tall order compared to a villain who used to blow up churches with rocket launchers for fun.

The real payoff is after the arrest when the art dealer shows Raylan his "collection," a bookcase of burned ashes that once were Adolph Hitler's priceless collection of mediocre paintings. That second-to-last scene with Robert Picardo as the secretive and snooty art appraiser whose life has become a never-ending quest to erase the legacy of his Nazi sympathizing father was really engaging. It sucked me in for the final tumble down the hill at just the point when I thought the coaster had already taken its last big free fall.

It also set up a moment of realization for Raylan that constantly chasing after his father to right either of their misdeeds never accomplishes true justice. Unless, of course, the misdeed is something so astronomical that it could completely destroy either one or both of them. Then just as the wheels start turning again, the ride comes to a complete stop. Our hands and arms are free to move outside of the ride for another week.

Other observations:
- Good Lord there were a lot of famous TV people in this episode. Tonight's episode had Tony Hale aka Buster from 'Arrested Development' and the aforementioned Picardo who also played the doctor in 'Star Trek: Voyager'.

- I just loved how Raylan's chief, played wonderfully by Nick Searcy, just knew that Raylan was sleeping with Ava, even though she didn't accidentally reveal herself covered in a bed comforter and her hair all tussled the way she does in my dreams (sigh). I loved his reaction because even though he's clearly pissed that Raylan is "doing" one of his cases, part of his reaction and demeanor also showed some unspoken body language that read "Hey, can I blame him?"

- Raylan didn't kill anyone this episode. Does that mean he'll have to make up his quota next week?

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Guys, bruce is the same poster who spams every House post about how the DEA is writing the scripts for Fox so that they won't talk about drugs. I'd take his writing with a grain of salt.

April 24 2010 at 6:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Like I said, I like the program, I just find it extremely implausible. But as of the last episode, someone is FINALLY investigating Raylan's shootings. That's a good thing.

How many more shootings? Let's put it this way. If this turns out to be a show about a cop who really gets away with shooting someone in each and every episode, then I will stop watching it. But so far there has been at least 1 episode where he hasn't shot someone, and as of this last episode we see there is some accountability, as there would be in real life, so that's looking pretty good.

I love watching Timothy Olyphant blowing people away, especially jackass racist nazis. No complaints about that. But the show is supposed to be based in the real world, and as such, it should not have a premise that is so fundamentally unrealistic as a cop who averages shooting someone once a week and manages to stay on the job. I'd like to think everyone would have a problem with that, but I do know better than to have such expectations.

April 22 2010 at 4:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

OK Bruce, you win. How many more people can Raylan shoot this season? If he shoots more will you go away? I do know that if he doesn't shoot any more people this season a lot more people will stop watching it.
With your acknowledgment of being a lawyer, we've identified the real problem. You have no problem with illogical or unreasonable scenarios as long as you don't know any better. Just like policeman can't stand most police dramas and doctors and nurses can't stand medical dramas, you've fixated on something you know isn't true because it relates to you.
Get over it or change the channel. The rest of us like the program as the writers have laid it out.

April 22 2010 at 2:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm basing my statement on my experience talking with lots of law enforcement officers (both state and federal). Also, as a lawyer I've dealt with plenty of civil rights cases and due to reasons of liability, there is simply NO WAY Raylan would still be out in the field at this point, after having shot the number of people he's shot - usually with no witnesses around.

Just because I can't cite you to a website that keeps the shooting stats of various cops, like they're baseballs players, doesn't mean I'm taking the "low road" here. I think the stat you mentioned says it all and proves my point. Only 400 people, on average, are shot by law enforcement officers per year in the US. Sounds about right. Divide the number of law enforcement officers by 400 (again that includes all state/local police and federal agents) and just the statistics alone - not taking into account issues of liability - show that the chances of one LEO having shot 5-6 people in a career is highly improbable.

And we're only 6 episodes in to the first season of "Justified." How many more people is Raylan gonna shoot?

Let's put it this way. If my client was shot by Raylan Givens, with his history I'd have one hell of a damn good civil rights lawsuit against the US Marshals service. I'd take that case in a second.

April 22 2010 at 11:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Jason: Yeah that really proves my point. That's by all police, all law enforcement COMBINED. That includes every state and local police department, the FBI, the DEA, the US Marshal's Service, the Secret Service, Bureau of Prisons, etc. About 400 a year. Between the tens of thousands of law enforcement officers. Most go their whole careers without ever shooting anyone. NONE of them shoots 5 or 6 (I've already lost count with Raylan, but the 1st and 4th episodes he shot 2 people each).

If the Marshal's service alone shot 400 people per year then what you're saying would be feasible. The Marshals service isn't that big and despite its association with wild west gunslinging, modern day Marshals probably pull their guns less than most other branches of law enforcement, on average.

April 22 2010 at 11:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Jason, you don't have to believe the specifics of it - i.e. the exact 100 year timeframe I gave. But you're telling me you really believe there is a US Marshal working today who has shot 5-6 different people on just as many different occasions? If so you watch waaay too much TV.

April 22 2010 at 10:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I can imagine (though I don't know the first thing about cooking). And the fact that the show is "fiction" is completely irrelevant to your annoyance. Even if it's based on an alien planet and they are cooking alien meat with alien ingredients, it still has to make basic sense, and i'm sure there are some principles about cooking that would apply no matter what planet you are on. At the very least, you wouldn't intentionally serve poisoned alien meat if you wanted to please your guests and ensure they live long and healthy lives. Just like my fictional vampires, ghosts, goblins and zombies, I expect my alien chefs to act in a rational way with respect to the plot and established canon. There's simply no excuse for that not to be the case, especially that it's "fiction".

April 22 2010 at 12:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Jason, you're not going to find a website that lists US Marshalls and their "kills" (let alone the number of people they've shot who didn't die).

Givens has shot what now, 5 or 6 people? There was one ep where he shot two. Most Marshalls go their entire career without ever pulling their weapon. I'm talking about just brandishing it - pointing it at a suspect. Even fewer have shot ONE person during their careers.

You'll just have to take my word for it that there has not been a US Marshall since the days of Wild Bill Hickok who has shot five people during his career. Let alone over the course of a mere 5 weeks.

The fact that you find that this is plausible is what really scares me.

April 21 2010 at 11:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I feel your pain, Bruce. I cringe every time there's a kitchen scene and the "chef" is doing something that would get himself hurt very badly in a real restaurant.

Thanks for your insights.

April 21 2010 at 8:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

In the first six episodes of the show, Marshal Givens has shot (i didn't say killed) more people than any other US Marshal in the last 100 years. Worth noting.

I'm glad he didn't shoot anyone this week. I actually would stop watching if this were just a show about a law enforcement officer who shoots someone each week.

April 21 2010 at 6:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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