Never has copyright infringement played so major a role in the storytelling of television show. But this week on Justified the arrival of an old colleague of Raylan’s leads to a lot of roundabout ways of introducing a not so new character.

JUSTIFIED: Episode 2: CUT TIES (Airs January 24, 10:00 pm e/p). L-R: Timothy Olyphant and Carla Gugino. CR: Prashant Gupta / FX.

Justified Review ‘Cut Ties’

When a Federal Marshall who is in charge of several witness who are under WITSEC protection is murdered, Raylan and Art get some help from a fellow US Marshall. Assistant Director from Miami, Karen…. Goodall (Carla Gugino). That’s her married name. Her maiden name? Well they don’t say it, but it’s Sisco. As in Karen Sisco, the character Gugino played in the show, Karen Sisco, and the character Jennifer Lopez played in the movie Out of Sight. And the character created by the author of the source material for Justified, Elmore Leonard. But since Gugino played that character on another show with another production company/network, we are just going to stick with Karen Goodall….. but it’s Sisco.

Anywho…. now that we have that straigtened out, we can get to the fairly stand-alone story that Raylan had this week. The Federal Marshall was killed and so Karen and Raylan worked together to figure out why while Rachel and Art protected a few of the witnesses that were now without a handler. Rachel’s charge – a single mom of two who is testifying against a bad bad man. Art’s charge – a scumbag who is just trying to get out of being charged with something by testifying. Oh, and he’s the dude who killed the Federal Marshall in the first place. When Art figures it out, he goes all BAMF and takes the guy down. I cheered as Art just doesn’t get to be badass enough. And speaking of BAMFs- when the team tells Rachel the bad guys are coming for her girl, she takes charge, hides them all in the attic and then kills the one that finds them. It was awesome. Note to Graham: Please make use of the Rachel and Tim characters more. They are fantastic.

Remember how last week I wondered if Winona might be a little offput by the whole “some guy made me count down until he tried to kill my babydaddy” scenario with the ice pick guy? Well, I guess those pregnancy hormones are kicking in, because she seems cool with the whole thing. They were even extra flirty this week and still on track to find a real place to live. And then after his whole crazy day of killing bad guys, she was completely cool, waited for him in the Marshalls office and then they made out in front of Karen for a bit. A little awkward since Karen and Raylan were obviously a thing back in the day… but whatevs.

Now on to the Big Bads of the season. If Raylan is the hero of this story, then Boyd is the anti-hero, and doesn’t he deserve a big bad all his own? Why should they have to share? Last week we met Raylan’s Big Bad, Quarles (Neal McDonough). And Raylan is about to find out how bad he can be – at the end of the episode Art sent him over to the real estate developer’s office because the carpet had been ripped up and the floor underneath was bleached. Talk about a red flag! But for this week the focus shifted to Boyd. He was still in jail with Dickie, but a constant string of events kept him from getting to him, the least of which being Raylan finally figuring out that getting to Dickie was Boyd’s plan all along. So Raylan comes to pay Boyd a visit to let him know that he was so sorry for locking him up, he’ll be out in 24 hours. And then Boyd discovers that Raylan also had Dickie put into solitary for the next 24 hours. Oh Raylan, why must you make everything so difficult?

Thankfully for Boyd, but not so much for Dickie, Boyd’s made buddies with a guard (the always delightfully skeevy Todd Stashwick). And that guard helped Boyd – if he can get himself in solitary (a task Boyd took care of by getting himself beat up) he will get him into Dickie’s cell. And that’s where we finally learned Boyd’s real task: to find the money that wasn’t in the Bennett’s compound. Dickie told him that a man named Limehouse (Mykelti Williamson) has it and will only give it to Dickie now that Mags is dead. Jeremy Davies played the scene so well – so frightened that Boyd would kill him, and also just a teensy bit cocky realized Boyd may just need him alive afterall.

When Boyd gets out of prison, he’s excited to see his girl, Ava, and to let her know it is only a matter of time before they get their hands on all that money. But then we meet Limehouse and realize that it won’t be that easy. That dude is scary. In every way that Quarles was scary in his fancy suits and smooth talking, Limehouse is scary in a backwoods kind of way. His way of keeping people in line – burning them with lye. The fact that he described the process while butchering an animal didn’t help make it any less horrifying.

What’s fantastic about this season so far is that we are two episodes in and our two main fellas have yet to even lay eyes on their respective Big Bads. They both have no idea of what they are in for. And I for one can’t wait for them to find out. And have to work together to take them down. What? A girl’s got to have dreams… and this is mine. That and winning the lottery.

What did you think of Episode 2? Are you as thoroughly scared of Limehouse as I am? What did you think of Karen Not-Sisco? Do you think she may be the wrench in Winona and Raylan’s happiness?

Written by Melissa Miller. Find her on Twitter @serrae



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